Forty-five Riverhead teens have proved they are championship-caliber cadets.

The group from Riverhead High School's Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) won out over nine other squads from tri-state area schools to take first place overall last month at the Area 4 Regional Drill Meet at Mattituck Junior-Senior High School.

The Riverhead team is eligible to compete at the Area 4 Championship Meet in May. This is the sixth consecutive year that the school has advanced to that competition.

"The cadets worked extremely hard in the weeks leading up to this drill meet and came to the event focused and determined to qualify for Area 4," said Lt. Col. Peter McCarthy, the school's naval science instructor. "Because the drill meet was close to home, it afforded many friends and family members the opportunity to see the cadets compete, and the cadets did not disappoint."

Riverhead brought home seven first-place trophies in various team and individual categories: armed platoon, led by Harold Hubbard; unarmed platoon, led by Thomas Kopp; color guard, led by Rachel Blackmore; inspection team, led by Cody Harris; first-year cadet squad, led by Dakota Ventresca; first-year cadet inspection team, led by Gwendolyn Hilles; and a push-up competition, won by Brenden Grimes.

The Area 4 Championship Meet will be held this spring at a location yet to be determined.

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Santa Fun Run

Connetquot High School's Habitat for Humanity Club recently raised $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk through a 5k Santa Fun Run.

Three hundred runners followed a course through the school's neighborhood in Bohemia.

A $1,500 portion was donated to Cablevision's Power to Learn Program, a multifaceted initiative that integrates technology into education. Newsday is owned by Cablevision.



Sandy Hook snowflakes

Longwood Central School District students recently collaborated to create and ship more than 500 handmade paper snowflakes to the school in Monroe, Conn., that is being attended by children affected in the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

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The project was intended to make Sandy Hook children feel welcome in a new school "that resembles a winter wonderland," Longwood officials said.

Children from Sandy Hook Elementary began attending the school in neighboring Monroe on Jan. 3. The former middle school, which had been closed for nearly two years, was overhauled and renamed after their elementary school.



'Cabaret Night'

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R.C. Murphy Junior High School recently hosted a 10th annual "Cabaret Night" featuring more than 200 students and 50 teachers, who collaborated to perform everything from Young MC's rap classic "Bust a Move" to the Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

The event also marked the choreography debut of seventh-grader Kara Manuud, who performed a dance interpretation of Florence + the Machine's "Dog Days are Over."

In other news, the school's National Junior Honor Society recently raised $2,000 through the sale of handwoven bracelets for Pulsera Project, a nonprofit that aids Nicaraguans.



Physical leadership

One male student and one female student from each Suffolk County high school have received a Zone Award from the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for academic prowess, leadership and physical performance. Students in non-coed parochial schools also received awards.

Local winners were: