Teaching Old Buildings New Tricks

Selden Middle School Students Design Classroom HVAC/R Systems via Two-Dimensional Drawing and Three-Dimensional Models

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (MARCH 2021)—Middle Country Central School District’s technology students at Selden Middle School learned how to stay cool under pressure through the completion of their recent Heating, Ventilation, Air Condition and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) projects.

The project, which coincides with the district’s Introduction to Skilled Trades unit, challenged the architectural design skills of Mr. Walsh’s eighth grade technology students to create a real-life simulation of a classroom air conditioning system. Using a 2-D drawing approach, students used paper and pencil to draft an image of the classroom and then proceeded to build the ventilation and heating systems in 3-D. The hands-on experience marched students swiftly through the nuts and bolts of how an HVAC/R system operates and positioned them as thought leaders and creative thinkers.

Middle Country’s Introduction to Skilled Trades unit provides tangible advice on steps students can proactively take to prepare and position themselves for a successful career in the field of skilled trades. The unit familiarizes students with eight trades: mason, plumbing, small engine repair, HVAC/R, electrician, landscape architecture and design, residential carpentry, and welding.

Turning the Page

Middle Country Students Hosting Book Collection Drive Through March 31

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (MARCH 2021)—The Selden Middle School National Junior Honor Society, Centereach High School National Honor Society and Home & Careers club, in conjunction with The Book Fairies, are hosting a book collection drive aimed at promoting literacy in the community. Donations of new or gently used books will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

“This initiative is a wonderful opportunity to support several families in our community in their educational journey,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Middle Country Central School District. “Reading is an essential skill for success in school and later on in life. Promoting literacy through this drive can serve as a catalyst for thoughtful conversations among students, teachers, staff and Middle Country families. The District is grateful for any contributions towards our students’ goal of collecting 2,021 books to benefit those in need.”

The community can participate by dropping off reading materials in the book collection boxes located in the Selden Middle School Library or at the Selden Middle School Welcome Desk, if your child is enrolled in fully remote learning. Cookbooks, as well children’s, young adult, and adult will be accepted. For more information, please contact Lizz Scott at lscott@mccsd.net or Ann Lowe (alowe@mccsd.net).

The Book Fairies is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that collects reading materials for people in need throughout metropolitan New York. The reading materials foster literacy and academic success, provide a respite from personal struggles, and nurture a love of reading across age groups. Visit www.thebookfairies.org for more information.

An Extra Dose of Love

Hawkins Path Elementary Students Organize Valentine Goodie Bags for Stony Brook’s PICU

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2021)—What could be better than an extra dose of kindness on Valentine’s Day with the challenging and unforeseen circumstances this year has presented? Students in Ms. Ferrari’s first grade class at Middle Country’s Hawkins Path made it their mission to spread a simple act of kindness throughout the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Stony Brook Hospital (SBH).After substantial brainstorming, Ms. Ferrari’s students determined the best way to spread kindness was to distribute goodie bags to ailing children spending the holiday in the PICU. The class solicited donations from family members and collectively filled more than two dozen valentine goodie bags with small toys, candy, pencils, stickers and more. The initiative served as a learning experience for the young first graders on spreading kindness while enhancing their civic and social responsibility skills. 

Middle Country Celebrates February Students of the Month

Congratulations Kaitlyn Lerner, Chris Cartolano, Logan Squillace, and Lukas Wolpiuk

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2021)—The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) recently announced its February students of the month: Kaitlyn Lerner, Newfield High School (NHS); Chris Cartolano, Centereach High School (CHS); Logan Squillace, Selden Middle School (SMS); and Lukas Wolpiuk, Dawnwood Middle School (DMS). These four distinguished students were recognized and honored for their academic success and positive contributions to their learning environment and the community.

“The District is incredibly proud of Kaitlyn, Chris, Logan and Lukas for their academic and extracurricular accomplishments,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that they all have made on our school community. We look forward to witnessing them continue serving as role models for their peers.”

Kaitlyn Lerner, a senior at Newfield High School who is widely recognized for being attentive and conscientious towards her work, currently maintains a 92.5227 weighted Grade Point Average (GPA). She will have completed a total of 10 college level and Advanced Placement (AP) courses upon graduation. In addition to her participation on the varsity cheerleading team, National Honor Society and General Organization (G.O.), Kaitlyn works several hours a week at a local acai and bagel shop.

Come this fall, Kaitlyn plans to study environmental engineering and work towards her goal of becoming an environmental engineer. Saving the planet is something Kaitlyn is passionate about.

Centereach High School’s Chris Cartolano is someone who routinely exceeds expectations as a result of his focused dedication and intense work ethic. His attitude, coupled with his desire to learn from teachers and coaches, has served him well both inside and outside of the classroom. As someone who approaches his academics and athletics with the same level of concentration and determination, Chris regularly volunteers at his local church, contributes to the district’s booster club with its various events, and serves as a positive role model while coaching and training youth basketball. 

Upon graduation in the spring, Chris intends on studying locally, while also considering enlisting in the military. 

Logan Squillace, eighth grader at Selden Middle School, is a selfless individual who continues to put service before self. His love for his country, matched with his passion for American history, has been a driving force in his participation with student government and community service. While attending the Westhampton Beach Learning Center, Logan was a recipient of the Leadership Certificate. Outside the classroom, Logan spends time with “Helping Makes You Happy, a local organization that aims to demonstrate how every human is capable of making a difference through volunteering. As a sports enthusiast, Logan enjoys basketball and football and will be trying out for the basketball team in high school. In the future, Logan plans to join the armed services to serve his country and pursue a career in politics, in the hopes of becoming President of the United States.

Dawnwood Middle School seventh grader Lukas Wolpiuk, a conscientious student who strives to perform his best in all aspects of life, currently maintains a 100 GPA. While some may be appropriately impressed with his report card grades, it’s Luka’s genuine desire to invest time, effort and hard work to consistently achieve success that sets him apart. Most recently Lukas, who has a passion for trains and transportation, was featured in several regional news outlets discussing his concerns for proposed bridge and toll hikes, parking costs, and agreed that the delay in raising fares was the right move. Lukas is steadfast in taking his passion to the next level and intends on pursuing a career in engineering for Amtrak or holding a position on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) board when he completes school.

P.S. Centereach High School Loves You

Centereach High School Promotes Antibullying and Mental Health Awareness Through Local Initiative

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2021)—The hallways at Centereach High School in Middle Country looked a tad different this week courtesy of P.S. I Love You Day, an initiative spearheaded by Ms. Arizmendi and Ms. Losito designed to promote anti bullying and mental health awareness. 

Students and staff radiated the hallways with their purple apparel in support of the initiative and collaborated to educate one another that mental health is just as important as physical health. People in the building were also able to show support by purchasing a purple mask for $10 or drafting positive affirmations for a staff shoutout.

P.S. I Love You Day, started by a local Islip resident in remembrance of her father, aims to spread love in order to stop bullying and promote mental health awareness by encouraging communities to wear purple on the second Friday of every February. Several schools around the Island joined together to stand up against bullying, help end depression, and prevent suicide by leading seas of purple throughout the Island.

Painting a History Lesson

Newfield’s National Art Honor Society Takes VirtualField Trip to Pollock-Krasner House and Studio

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2021)—The pandemic has certainly challenged educators to go above and beyond to ensure their students still receive the full learning experience. In Middle Country, Newfield High School National Art Honor Society club advisors, Mr. Berretta and Ms. LaLima, have capitalized on the opportunity to bring the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio right to Middle Country via a virtual field trip experience.

The Pollock-Krasner House and Studio, located in East Hampton, was home to Jackson Pollock, an American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement, and his wife Lee Krasner, an American abstract expressionist painter. Members of Newfield’s National Art Honor Society received a personal tour, in the comfort of their own classroom, which educated them on the two artists’ different approaches to their artwork, as well as their past time in the studio. Students also gained a firsthand experience from their tour guide of Jackson’s Pollock’s drip method, pouring paint straight from a can or along a stick onto a canvas lying horizontally on the floor.

Centereach Senior Recognized in U.S. Presidential Scholar Program

Congratulations Jonathan G. Mears

Jonathan G. Mears, senior at Centereach High School

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2021)—Centereach High School’s Jonathan G. Mears has been nominated by the White House’s Commission on Presidential Scholars as a candidate for the United States Presidential Scholars Program. The initiative, established in 1964 by executive order of President Johnson, recognizes the Nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Jonathan’s high scoring on his standardized tests, ranked among New York State’s top 20 male examinees for the SAT and ACT, earned him an exclusive invitation to complete an application for the presidential program. Applicants are juried based on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay. Jonathan is now placed into a larger pool for the opportunity to be selected among 800 fellow-candidates as a semifinalist. His application will be forwarded to the Commission for further review.

January Students of the Month from Middle Country

Congratulations Isabella Zimmerman, Parker McPhillips, Michael Ramos Cody, and Naveed Bayan

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) has selected four students—Isabella Zimmerman, Centereach High School; Parker McPhillips, Newfield High School; Michael Ramos Cody, Selden Middle School; and Naveed Bayan, Dawnwood Middle School—as its student of the month recipients for January.

“Students who are selected as student of the month have distinguished themselves as individuals who actively emulate our district’s mission in empowering and inspiring all students in Middle Country,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of MCCSD. “It is with great pride that we congratulate Isabella, Parker, Michael, and Naveed for this tremendous achievement. Each of these students have proven themselves worthy of this distinction by maintaining exceptionally high standards in the classroom and community, and keeping busy with their respective extracurriculars—all with a positive attitude.”

Isabella Zimmerman, senior at Centereach High School, is widely recognized as a natural leader and ambitious young woman inside and outside of the classroom. Upon graduation in June, Isabella will have completed no less than seven college level courses while also balancing extracurricular activities. Since the 10th grade, Isabella has been an active member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and currently holds the position of president. In her role, she spearheaded a Thanksgiving food drive, as well as a holiday greeting card drive as a way to give back to the community during challenging times. Isabella, also a scholar athlete, has been a member of the CHS Varsity Cheerleading throughout high school. Simultaneously, Isabella pursues gymnastics through an outside organization and mentors younger gymnasts in her free time. In the fall, Isabella plans to study at Utica College and pursue a career in physical therapy.

Newfield High School (NHS) senior Parker McPhillips has a highly regarded reputation for his dynamic personality. He is known as a force to be reckoned with. His inquisitive nature, continuously making connections and offering insight to inspire further discussion, has earned him a well-deserved Grade Point Average (GPA) of 93 percent and a mentoring role in NHS’s environmental club. Parker’s enthusiasm for school and life has distinguished him as a role model for his peers and teachers alike. Collectively, Newfield’s staff recognize Parker as an extraordinary individual who has the power to change people’s perspective, and in turn, makes the world a better place.

Michael Ramos Cody, an eighth grader at Selden Middle School, possesses the qualities of perseverance and determination at a level not often found in middle school students. As a result, his academic pursuits include a 99 percent GPA for quarter one and he is on track to complete quarter two with the same results. Outside the classroom, Michael’s perseverance and determination are also evident. With his interest in engineering, Michael educated himself on computer components, bought the materials and successfully built his very own computer. Michael is also very involved with the community library and has previously volunteered his time as a book buddy, art buddy, and LEGO buddy.Dawnwood Middle School eighth grader Naveed Bayan is well-known as a motivated and earnest student. His genuine inner drive to learn has led him to success in his academics with a 98.8 percent GPA for quarter one. Naveed’s constant striving to excel is well known among his teachers. In Algebra, for example, Naveed’s teacher, Ms. Beukelaer, oftentimes finds herself reiterating to Naveed that his work is exemplary, and he does not need to detail as much work as he performs, full well knowing that Naveed will acknowledge her advice, and continue just the same in his relentless pursuit of perfection. In the future, Naveed would like to take his strong interest in medicine and become a surgeon.

Middle Country Hits the High Notes

Congratulations Logan Mazer and Robert Montano on Being Selected for NAfME’s All-Eastern Ensembles

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—Two Middle Country Central School District seniors—Logan Mazer, Newfield High School and Robert Montano, Centereach High School—are among 39 students from Suffolk County, 184 from New York State, selected by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to perform in the All-Eastern Honors Ensembles virtual event in March.

“Logan and Robert have proven themselves as two very distinguished individuals with natural musical talent and exceptional work ethic, respectively,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of MCCSD. “I am proud to celebrate Logan and Robert, as well as their teachers, Dr. Harold Goldstein and Mr. Brian Hough, on this well-earned recognition and extraordinary opportunity. We wish these two the best of luck on their upcoming performances.”

Logan Mazer, selected for clarinet, and Robert Montano, selected for voice, will perform exceptionally challenging music under the direction of prominent conductors. For three days, the two will collaborate with members of their respective ensembles for a program of rehearsals, masterclasses and sectionals on March 4-6. A video recording, including Logan and Robert, will be premiered at the Eastern Division Professional Development Conference, held via Zoom on April 22-24.

Middle Country Awards December Students of the Month

Congratulations DeShawn Jamison, Vincent Robitaile, Julia Lizewski, and Aidan Eck

MIDDLE COUNTRY, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) is proud to announce its December students of the month: DeShawn Jamison, Centereach High School; Vincent Robitaile, Newfield High School; Julia Lizewski, Selden Middle School; and Aidan Eck, Dawnwood Middle School. These four remarkable students are being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, dedication to extracurricular activities, and for showcasing great potential for their respective futures.

“I am thrilled to congratulate DeShawn, Vincent, Julia and Aidan for setting the bar remarkably high for others striving to follow in their footsteps,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “On behalf of the Board of Education, we look forward to witnessing the continued successes of these four students as they continue to grow into leaders of our community.”

DeShawn Jamison

Centereach High School (CHS) senior DeShawn Jamison is widely acknowledged by his peers and teachers as a high spirited and hardworking individual, always greeting those around him with a smile. As a diligent and dedicated student, DeShawn excels in his academics and beyond the classroom. Through his participation in the district’s in-house work study opportunities, DeShawn has developed partnerships with local businesses to gain real-life work experience. As a key player in CHS’s Cougar Café, a program that prepares menus and meals for staff, he spearheads all in-person sales, as well as phone orders. DeShawn attributes his radiating positive attitude to his parents and his former teacher, Mr. Hutter.DeShawnJamisonCentereach High School (CHS) senior DeShawn Jamison is widely acknowledged by his peers and teachers as a high spirited and hardworking individual, always greeting those around him with a smile. As a diligent and dedicated student, DeShawn excels in his academics and beyond the classroom. Through his participation in the district’s in-house work study opportunities, DeShawn has developed partnerships with local businesses to gain real-life work experience. As a key player in CHS’s Cougar Café, a program that prepares menus and meals for staff, he spearheads all in-person sales, as well as phone orders. DeShawn attributes his radiating positive attitude to his parents and his former teacher, Mr. Hutter.

Vincent Robitaile

Vincent Robitaile from Newfield High School (NHS), recognized as a student who always takes initiative, currently maintains a weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) of 96.0833 with the potential to graduate in June with more than 40 college credits. Several of Vincent’s accomplishments include his involvement as a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, and DECA, Inc. Outside of the classroom, Vincent works at the Middle Country Public Library, volunteers as a camp counselor at vacation bible school, and has participated in a food drive at St. Margaret’s Church to prepare food for those in need. Upon graduation in June, Vincent is aiming to attend SUNY Stony Brook.

Julia Lizewski
Julia Lizewski

Selden Middle School (SMS) eighth grader, Julia Lizewski, is widely considered to be a standout student by her teachers and peers alike. Julia’s boundless enthusiasm for learning has enabled her to maintain a yearly average at, or exceeding, 98 percent while in SMS. Julia is a valued member of the kickline team and co-president of National Junior Honor Society. Outside of school, Julia earns several hours of community service while spending time at Polish School on the weekends. 

Aidan Eck

Aidan Eck from Dawnwood Middle School (DMS) is well-known as a conscientious student who always carries a smile on his face. As an inquisitive individual, Aidan puts 100 percent effort into every assignment and strategically takes his time to ensure he’s doing his best work – characteristics that speak directly to his exceptionally high GPA of 96.75. Outside of school, Aidan participates in lacrosse and soccer and enjoys spending time with his family. In his future, Aidan aims to pursue a career in computer programming because of his natural ability with computers.

For more information regarding the Middle Country Central School District and its students’ many achievements, please visit the District’s website: http://www.middlecountry.k12.ny.us.