Westhampton Beach Fall Athletes Recognized

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The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has recognized all 10 of Westhampton Beach High School’s fall athletic teams as Scholar-Athlete Teams.

To earn the recognition, 75% of each team was required to hold a GPA above 90%.

The Westhampton Beach School District extends its congratulations to the athletes.

Athletes Earn Honors

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Westhampton Beach High School Hurricanes Lillie Henthorne and Nicholas Wazkelewicz were recently honored by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as winners of the Suffolk Zone Student Leadership Award. The seniors were selected based on their excellence in physical education, leadership ability and service to the community.

During her tenure at Westhampton Beach, Henthorne has been a member of the varsity girls volleyball and softball teams. She also belongs to her school’s Interact Club, student government, and National, Mathematics, Foreign Language and Science honor societies. She plans to study environmental science in college in the fall.

“Physical education has taught me that you can have fun playing sports with others regardless of whether they are your friends, in a different grade or someone you wouldn’t normally hang out with,” she said.

Wazkelewicz has been a member of his school’s varsity football team for the past two years, varsity basketball team for three years and varsity track for four years. He serves as captain of both the varsity basketball and football teams and holds a Jim Lynch Unsung Hero Award. He also performs in his school’s band, volunteers at Maureen’s Haven and serves as an Immaculate Conception religious retreat counselor. He hopes to attend Louisiana State University or Michigan State University in the fall.

Reflecting on what he has gained from physical education, Wazkelewicz said, “My favorite physical education moment was playing softball junior year and keeping track of who won the series. I loved how into it both myself and my classmates were.”

Going the Extra Mile

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Westhampton Beach High School senior Gavin Ehlers and junior Max Haynia have been named to Newsday’s Top 25 Long Island Boys Winter Track list. Ehlers, who is one of the best distance runners on Long Island, earned the accolade for placing second in the Class B public school cross-country championships. He was also named Newsday’s Runner of the Year in the fall. Haynia received recognition for his performance during the cross-country season and for winning the 3,200-meter in 9 minutes, 29.87 seconds at the Suffolk sectional championships last spring. The Westhampton Beach School District congratulates these fantastic athletes.

A Meeting of the Minds

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Members of the Westhampton Beach High School Virtual Enterprise team had the opportunity to engage with fellow Virtual Enterprise teams from 21 school districts across Long Island at a networking event on Dec. 21.

During the event, spearheaded by Westhampton Beach High School VE teacher Amy Demchak, students showcased their Virtual Enterprise marketing materials and products and participated in simulated business transactions.

“This hands-on experience allowed students to act as young business professionals, marketing their virtual products and developing business partnerships with Virtual Enterprise firms from other schools,” said Demchak.

The Westhampton Beach High School Virtual Enterprise business program requires students to create a business concept and formulate plans to market it. They compete and present their plans at several events throughout the year.

Student Collects Toys for Children in Need

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For the fifth year in a row, Westhampton Beach High School junior Emily Tully has successfully held a toy drive for the nonprofit John Theissen Children’s Foundation, based in Wantagh.

“I am giving back to the community, but it doesn’t feel like work or depletion,” said Tully. “Running the toy drive gives me happiness to know that I am making a difference in someone’s life.”

Tully started her mission to collect toys as a seventh grade student at East Moriches Middle School. She continued her philanthropic efforts at Westhampton Beach High School, teaming up with the school’s Interact Club and placing collection boxes at the high school and elementary school, as well as in East Moriches schools. She also works to boost the drive through social media and with the assistance of the schools, which raise awareness as well.

Tully inaugurated the annual toy drive after the John Theissen Children’s Foundation provided toys to a friend who was battling childhood cancer.

“I decided to bring the toy drive to Westhampton Beach and East Moriches as a way to involve myself and the community in giving back for the holidays,” she said.

All of the toys collected are distributed to children on Long Island who are sick or underprivileged.