There's plenty of things happening around Huntington UFSD

Huntington School Briefs

There's plenty of things happening around Huntington UFSD.

January 6, 2021

The Huntington School Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m. A detailed agenda will be available several days prior to the meeting.

Mock Trial Team Recruiting New Members

Huntington High School’s perennial county powerhouse mock trial team is searching for new members to fill out its ranks. In the first six years of the program’s existence, the Blue Devil courtroom warriors have proved formidable, including winning the 2018 Suffolk crown and finishing third in the state finals in Albany.

The mock trial competition is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association Foundation. The initiative seeks to enhance participant’s public speaking skills and inspire some to consider a legal career.

District residents Xavier Palacios and John LoTurco volunteer their time with the team, serving as the group’s legal advisors. The two attorneys devote hundreds of hours each year to the team.

The New York State Bar Assn. Foundation believes the mock trial program “teaches students ethics, civility and professionalism; furthers students’ understanding of the law, court procedures and the legal system; improves proficiency in basic life skills, such as listening, speaking, reading and reasoning; promotes better communication and cooperation among the school community, teachers and students and members of the legal profession, and; heightens appreciation for academic studies and stimulate interest in law-related careers.”

Students learn about the rule of law; rules of evidence; proper courtroom decorum; legal terminology and civic responsibility and attitude. Participation fosters respect for the law and the legal system and an ability to view an issue from differing viewpoints.

Then Huntington High School senior Justin LoTurco founded Huntington’s mock trial team during the 2014/15 school year. The team’s first victory came in February 2015 when it toppled Mattituck.

Interested in learning more about Huntington’s mock trial program or ready to sign-on as a team member? Send an email message to faculty advisor Suzie Biagi ( to get the ball rolling.

Yearbook Club Welcomes New Members

The Huntington High School yearbook club is still welcoming new members. There’s always a need for writers, artists, photographers, technology whizzes, editors, proofreaders and a long list of other specialties. There’s also a need for advertisements, which help keep the price of the book affordable.

Teachers Elizabeth Casazza and Kristin Fortunato serve as the club’s faculty advisors.

Seniors are encouraged to join the Class of 2021 Yearbook Remind @hhs2021yb for information on upcoming events, links and deadlines.

The two faculty advisors said they are “thrilled” that club members are coming up with new ideas for the publication. “This year, we will be adding new sections titled Where Do You See Yourself in 10 years, Alumni Parents and Seniors, Seniors at Lunch, College Acceptances and several other surprises,” Mrs. Casazza said.

Yearbooks can now be purchased for $85 by visiting www.yearbookordercenter and entering school code 4279 through January 22, 2021. Personal ads and name stamps can be purchased at the same link through the same date. After January 22 the price will increase to $95.

Interested in getting involved? Send a message to either Ms. Fortunato or Ms. Casazza (

I Stand With SEPTA

Huntington’s Special Education PTA is continuing its membership drive. It’s not too late to come aboard. Memberships are priced at $10 for an individual or $18 per family. Go to The group hopes that more people join the organization and exclaim, “I Stand with SEPTA.”

In the past 12 years, SEPTA has been able to honor nearly 40 teachers and support staff with Distinguished Service Awards for their work with students.

SEPTA has awarded more than $45,000 in grants to faculty members to enhance classroom learning experiences for students.

Donate Old Cameras to Photography Program

That old 35mm SLR camera of yours that is gathering dust on the shelf in your closet is a valuable commodity to the Huntington High School photography program. School officials are urging the community to donate those old cameras for student use.

“We are in need of 35mm Canon Rebels, Pentax K-1000s and Canon AE 1s,” said Pamela Piffard-Williams, Huntington’s photography teacher. “Many people have great cameras that they are no longer using, due to the convenience and quality of digital cameras. We teach film development in our photography course and would appreciate any donations the community might wish to make.”

Mrs. Piffard-Williams said the program’s success depends upon the continued availability of 35mm cameras. The district has been unsuccessful in past attempts to buy new 35mm cameras and get the broken ones that are already in the inventory repaired for continued use.

The district is not interested in obtaining broken cameras or those missing parts since most such cameras cannot be rehabilitated. Donors will receive a letter indicating the value of any donated camera to the program for tax purposes. Most such cameras have a current market value of about $100.

Contact Mrs. Piffard-Williams at or call 631-673-2106 for more information. Please include the make and model of the camera in any correspondence.

School Heritage Museum Seeks Donations of Artifacts

Once a piece of history is tossed into the garbage it’s lost forever. Brian Hansen doesn’t want that to happen to any Huntington School District related artifact. So send the curator of the School Heritage Museum a message first and he’ll be a happy man.

From time to time Mr. Hansen is contacted by folks both near and far who tell him they have an attic full of items to donate. When such a call comes in, he’s like a child standing over a pile of wrapped presents, big eyes and all.

A graduate of Huntington High School, Mr. Hansen is a history buff and the official historian of the Huntington School District. The museum collection he presides over includes thousands of old photos, every yearbook ever published by the high school, old diplomas, books, awards, letters, graduation programs and even school cornerstones and their contents.

Mr. Hansen hopes to add to the museum’s yearbook collection this year. He said that he tells anyone who will listen: “Please don’t throw anything away if it is related to the school district.” He urges people to call him at 631-673-2048 or send him a message at

The Heritage Museum is located in Room 140 at Huntington High School. It contains a fascinating display of memorabilia on display, including a nearly 120 year old water fountain and century old furniture, books, equipment, photos, original school building blueprints and student work through the years.

The museum’s current location opened 14 years ago. Since then the collection has continued to grow. There are even displays throughout the high school hallways. A large bell that once rang out atop district schools 160 years ago sits near a row of guidance offices, complete with written information about its significance.

Mr. Hansen offers class tours of the museum’s collection and has a knack for stimulating student interest in the study of local history. Alumni reunion planners routinely contact the history buff to schedule a tour of the School Heritage Museum and the high school. The curator tries to never disappoint them.

The museum complex includes display areas, a workroom to catalog and prepare artifacts for public viewing, several hundred tiered cushioned seats, a small stage for instructional programs, multi-media equipment and areas for students, teachers and community members to conduct research in the rich history of the district.

There are several showcases in the hallways outside the museum’s doors that are also used to display part interesting artifacts. Some are permanently mounted on nearby walls.

One recent initiative launched by Mr. Hansen involves erecting historical markers at the site of long demolished Huntington UFSD buildings or locations of memorable events that can be tied to the district in some way. Markers have been installed at the sites of Woodbury Avenue Elementary School and Roosevelt Elementary as well as behind the Halesite Fire Department where a beached whale once led to schools closing early because of the pandemonium created by the event.

For more information about the district’s history or to arrange a tour or contribute artifacts to the museum’s collection contact Mr. Hansen.