Congratulations Middle Country Central School District Long Island Arts Alliance Merit Scholar Artists Recipients

Middle Country Central School District recently announced that Centereach High School seniors Finn Taich and Natalie Godinez had been named  Long Island Arts Alliance (LIAA) Merit Scholar Artist Recipients. Finn received recognition in the area of theatre while Natalie was recognized in visual arts.

“Congratulations to our Centereach High School seniors, Finn Taich and Natalie Godinez,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “This was a very competitive award, with only eight seniors selected per arts area from all of Long Island! Special thanks to their sponsoring teachers, Brian Hough, and Karissa LaLima, for their relentless dedication and support of our students.”

LIAA Scholar Artist Merit recipients are nominated by their school district and must represent the highest level of artistic excellence in their area of concentration. Recipients must demonstrate superior academic achievement with an unweighted grade point average of 90 or above and submit an essay and a portfolio of their work or performance.

Finn Taich has been involved in theatre since the fourth grade. His exceptional skills allowed him the opportunity to play notable roles throughout his school years such as Mike Teavee in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, and Troy Bolton in High School Musical. Finn is looking forward to playing Geppeto in this year’s upcoming musical, Pinocchio. Natalie Godinez has been an artist since the third grade, receiving recognition and awards for her creativity, vision, and use of various mediums. Natalie has had her work featured in the Middle Country Districtwide Art Exhibit for many years.  Both students plan to continue to pursue their talents in college next year.

Centereach High School and Newfield High School Students Pay A Tribute to 9/11 Heroes

Middle Country Central School District high school students performed at both the Centereach and Selden Fire Department 9/11 memorial ceremonies.

“It was truly an amazing performance by our students,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “Thank you to our students who volunteered their time to honor our heroes and a special thank you to our Centereach High School and Newfield High School music teachers Brian Hough, Joan Meichner, and Dr. Harold Goldstein, for leading and preparing our students for these special community ceremonies!” 

The Centereach Women’s Choir beautifully performed the Star Spangled Banner, The Rose, and Sing Me to Heaven at the Centereach Fire Department’s 9/11 memorial ceremony. Paul Sutherland, Newfield High School senior trumpet player, majestically performed Taps, and Heather Austin, a Newfield High School senior, sang the Star Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace at the Selden Fire Department’s 9/11 memorial ceremony.

Congratulations to Middle Country Central School District’s NYSSMA All-State Musicians

The Middle Country Central School District is proud to announce that three students were selected to represent the District in the 2022 New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Music Ensembles.

“Congratulations to Finn Taich, Centereach High School senior; and Cameron Unger and Eli Horowitz, Newfield High School seniors,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “The dedication that these students demonstrate for their music, coupled with the performance mastery, is inspiring and amazing. We are incredibly proud of these students who have worked diligently to achieve this honor. A thank you must also be given to  their teachers, Mr. Brian Hough, Ms. Joan Meichner, and Dr. Harold Goldstein for their contributions and passion for these students’ success.”

Finn Taich will be singing Bass 1 in the NYSSMA All-State Mixed Chorus. Cameron Unger will be playing trombone in the NYSSMA All-State Symphonic Band and Eli Horowitz is a NYSSMA All-State Chorus Alternate, Bass 1. All three seniors achieved the highest scores on the highest level NYSSMA All-State solos last spring. They will perform some of the highest caliber music under the batons of accomplished conductors at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester this December. 

Middle Country Central School District Hosts Orientation for New Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Middle Country Central School District recently hosted New Teacher Orientation for the 2022-2023 school year. The orientation was held over the course of two days at the Newfield High School Library.

“New Teacher Orientation is a great way for our new teachers to become familiar with our schools and to learn what makes Middle Country Central School District so great,” said James Donovan, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. “We are thrilled to welcome our new teachers and teaching assistants to the Middle Country Central School District family. We are confident they will be great additions and make valuable contributions to the educational experience of our students!”

On the first day, the program’s focus was dedicated to introducing the new teachers and teaching assistants, going over professional development growth, member and community outreach, district benefits, accessing district technology, understanding the district’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), and reviewing New York State mentoring requirements. The second day was devoted to preparing the new teachers in the areas of classroom management and classroom preparation for individual school buildings.

New Hires:
Maria Anderson, Psychologist
Colleen Bellois, Physical Education
Joseph Conklin, Social Worker
Jason Fernandes, Speech
Juliana Grant, Music
Amy Guido, Psychologist
Dominique Hagenbruch, Special Education
Joseph Harris, Physical Education
Michael Harris, Social Worker and Special Education
Kirstin Hettinger, Transitional Specialist
Alexandra MacNicol, Elementary
Bianca Mammana, Elementary
Angela Maxwell, Elementary
Marisa Pakulat, Elementary
Daniel Smith, Music
Monika Cieslak, Teaching Assistant
Siara Delgado, Teaching Assistant
Cassidy George-Vasquez, Teaching Assistant
Heather Hanak, Teaching Assistant
Kimberly Keegan, Teaching Assistant
Catherine Likewise, Teaching Assistant
Jennifer O’Hanlon, Teaching Assistant
Carla Pereira, Teaching Assistant
Jennifer Signor, Teaching Assistant
Samantha Vulpi, Teaching Assistant

Middle Country Welcomes New Coordinator of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education

The Middle Country Central School District recently announced the appointment of Mrs. Katie Haggerty-Ankner as the District’s new Coordinator of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) and Special Education. Before being appointed to her new role, Mrs. Haggerty-Ankner was a teacher with the District since 2007.

Mrs. Haggerty-Ankner is a Middle Country Central School District alumni. She attended Oxhead Road Elementary School, Dawnwood Middle School, and Centereach High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College, a Master’s degree from Long Island University, C.W. Post, and received an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University.

“We are excited to have Mrs. Haggerty-Ankner on board as our new Coordinator of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “I have full confidence in Mrs. Haggerty-Ankner, who has taught in Middle Country for 15 years as both a General and Special Education teacher. Mrs. Haggerty-Ankner’s experience, leadership, and dedication to all her students as a teacher will be a great asset as she assumes the responsibilities of her new administrative role.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure to teach in the Middle Country School District,” said Mrs. Haggerty-Ankner. “I am incredibly grateful for all the time I have spent in the classroom as a teacher and I am honored to accept my new position as Coordinator of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Education. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Gerold, my central administrative colleagues, and the exceptional staff in our District to ensure that all our students are afforded the absolute best education possible.”

Middle Country Central School District Siblings Raise Hundreds for School Supplies

Over the last few weeks, four siblings at Middle Country Central School District worked together to raise $405 for critically needed school supplies for economically challenged district families. Students Isabella Muccio (9th grade, Newfield High School), Michael Muccio (5th grade, New Lane Elementary School), Giavanna Muccio (3rd grade, New Lane Elementary School), and Madelyn Muccio (kindergarten, Bicycle Path School) ran two lemonade stands in order to raise the funds.

“I am so proud of my children,” said the students’ mom, Michele Muccio. “They brainstormed \and came up with a wonderful idea to run lemonade stands to help other children purchase school supplies. They know how expensive it can be to return to school, and wanted to help out.”

Isabella, Michael, Giavanna, and Madelyn used the leadership skills they learned in school and the girl and boy scouts to make their lemonade stands a great success. They built the storefront stands, painted them, and set them up themselves. They ran both stands in their driveway and spread the word to family, friends, neighbors, and the Middle Country Moms Facebook group.  Isabella and Michael’s former 4th-grade teacher, Mrs. Tricia Green, and New Lane School Nurse Susan Rossi stopped by to donate and offered encouragement. 

In addition to refreshing lemonade, the Muccio’s sold cookies and chips and used all the earnings to purchase school supplies and backpacks at Target and Walmart. 

 “We are just so thankful for all that the Muccio family has done for the students of our district and community,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “The Muccios are an outstanding example of the students that attend Middle Country Central School District. Well done!”

The Muccios delivered all of the new school supplies and backpacks to Phyllis Saltz at New Lane Elementary School and Lisa Contarino at Bicycle Path School. The family was an inspiration to the community as people continue to drop off school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and crayons to their home which will then be dropped off at schools.

These donations will be distributed amongst the schools and will be able to give many students the supplies they need and would not have been able to obtain otherwise. 

Middle Country Central School District Extended School Year Program

Middle Country Central School District students from Kindergarten through high school were afforded the opportunity to attend the District’s  Extended School Year Program from July to August.

The Extended School Year Program runs for approximately six weeks to maintain, support, and reinforce subjects in the school curriculum. Next year will make 10 years since the program opened. It has grown from 50 students to approximately 150 students. 

“The Extended School Year Program allows our students to continue all the skills they have worked on throughout the school year,” said Katie Haggerty-Ankner, Coordinator of Special Education-PPS and principal of the Extended School Year Program. “The teachers and staff create opportunities for our students to grow academically, socially, and independently. An important part of the program is the community outings that provide real-life experiences for these students as they work hard to maintain their Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals.”

During the Extended School Year Program, students have the opportunity to go on bowling trips to the Centereach Bowling Alley and to the Middle Country Public Library. The outings encourage the students to focus on school work during the week and help students to become part of the community. It also provides an opportunity for general education students to volunteer their time during the summer in service to the special needs students and add to their community service hours.

Centereach and Newfield High School Graduates Turn Their Tassels in Celebration

The Middle Country Central School District recently hosted commencement ceremonies for the 2022 graduating classes of Newfield High School and Centereach High School. The graduates received diplomas and commendations for their dedication and perseverance, which included overcoming the unprecedented challenges of the Covid pandemic. 

“Congratulations to our outstanding classes of 2022. These impressive young adults have made a positive impact on the Middle Country community with their academic and personal achievements and their excellence in academics, creativity, and athletics,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “I’d like to thank our dedicated teachers, staff, Board of Education members, and our Middle Country family for their continued support and dedication to our students’ wellbeing and education!”

During the Newfield High School commencement ceremony, the pledge of allegiance was recited by G.O. President Dora John and the anthem was sung by Allyson Short. Mr. Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School, shared his welcoming remarks and Valedictorian Dora John and Salutatorian Abu Kalam took the podium to share their messages and encouraging words to their fellow graduates. 

During the Centereach High School commencement ceremony, following a welcoming message from Principal Thomas Bell, Senior Class President Hunter Emerson and  G.O. President Devyn Engelbert addressed their fellow graduates. During the ceremony, Valedictorian Nicholas Mattern and Salutatorian Isabella Fiore took the podium to reflect on the last four years of their high school journeys.

Newfield High School Senior Awarded Music Scholarship

Newfield High School (NHS) senior Natalie Brendle recently received a senior scholarship from the Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA). The $600 scholarship was awarded for her outstanding performance in orchestra.

“We are proud of Natalie and all her accomplishments,” said Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School. “She is a wonderful example for other students and what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication.”

LISFA is an organization that supports and promotes high-quality orchestral string instrument performances at all levels. LISFA hosts annual festivals in both Nassau and Suffolk County, where musicians are able to come together and perform under the direction of talented string teachers. Festivals are hosted across Long Island for orchestral students from fifth through twelfth grade.

Newfield High School Celebrates International Night

The World Language Honor Society at Newfield High School (NHS) recently held International Night for the first time since 2019. The event celebrates diversity in the Middle Country School District, featuring a wide variety of countries.

“We are so excited to be able to hold International Night once again,” said Laura Martin, World Language Honor Society Advisor. “Students and staff members from across the district were all able to celebrate cultures from all over the world with a fun night of talented performances and delicious food.”

In addition to Newfield High School students, performers at the event included students from Centereach High School, Selden Middle School, and Holbrook Road Elementary.  Irish step dancing, drum circles, and a karate demonstration were just a few of the many acts performed. Newfield High School senior Matthew Krol also gave a presentation about his interview with Ursula Von der Leyen, European Commission President. 

“I am proud of our students and the work they have done to host a successful International Night,” said Scott Graviano, NHS Principal. “We greatly value cultural diversity at NHS, and this is a perfect way for us to celebrate it.”

This year, the members chose to donate event proceeds to help humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The $1,000 raised was split among three different charities: World Central Kitchen, Save the Children, and Choose Love.