Unity Drive Pre K/Kindergarten Center, and School’s PTA, Honored by National PTA

School Receives Visit from Pete the Cat and Accepts 100 Books for Library

Middle Country Central School District’s Unity Drive Pre K/Kindergarten Center recently received a National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) award for the strong collaborative partnership between the school and the PTA. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the National PTA introduced a nation-wide #ThankATeacher contest. Individuals across the country nominated thousands of teachers and PTAs for their selfless work in bringing students a wide range of educational opportunities.


Unity Drive Pre K/Kindergarten Center was selected as one of three schools throughout the country for its constant efforts to work in unison with their PTA.  In the application, Ms. Christine Carrion and her students, were highlighted as exemplifying this strong partnership. In recognition, the National PTA sent children’s book character Pete the Cat to visit Ms. Carrion’s class and presented 100 “I Can Read!” books to Unity Drive’s Pre-K and Kindergarten classes.


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MCCSD Honors ‘Operation Safe Stop’ Poster Winners

Middle Country Central School District recently honored the winners of its Operation Safe Stop poster contest, an initiative to raise community-wide awareness regarding bus safety. Students were tasked with articulating the message that, “When the red lights are flashing, there’s no passing!” The winning posters portrayed traffic must come to a complete stop, in both directions, when a bus’s lights are flashing—even on a divided highway or in a school parking lot. The District, with student safety being top priority, is looking to convey the potential penalties for first time offenders that include a $250, or more, fine, five points on a license and possible jail time.


Every school in the district had the opportunity to have a winning poster.  Winning students were presented certificates at a recent Board of Education meeting for their submissions.  The District’s Parent Teacher Associations also awarded the students with Tropical Smoothie gift cards. The posters will be on displays in the schools and throughout the community for the remainder of the school year.



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Middle Country Central School District Honors April Students of the Month

The Middle Country Central School District recently announced its April students of the month at a recent Board of Education meeting. Centereach High School senior Dante DeBonis, Newfield High School senior Ryan Bloom, Dawnwood Middle School seventh grade student Aliea Ramlal and Selden Middle School eighth grade student Ilsaa Siddiqui were all recognized for their successes and exemplary leadership skills in their individual schools.


“It brings the Board of Education and I great pride each month to honor the excellence of students throughout the District,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roberta Gerold. “These honorees have excelled both in and out of the classroom—scoring at the top of their classes, participating in extracurricular activities and becoming active role models amongst their peers. It is a privilege to be the superintendent of a District with students that continuously make a positive impact in our Middle Country community and beyond.”


Centereach High School honoree Dante DeBonis is held in the highest regard throughout the Centereach community for his constant pursuit of excellence in all that he does. An honor student throughout the entirety of his high school career, Dante never settled at taking the easy path. He challenged himself with a rigorous course load, taking 11 Advanced Placement courses, ultimately ranking 5th in his senior class.


Dante’s academic success is matched by his wide-ranging achievements outside of the classroom. The Centereach High School senior spent all four years on the varsity fencing team—earning him All-County and All-Long Island recognitions and competing in national fencing tournaments. Next year, Dante will be attending Penn State University as a member of the Schreyer Honors College. Due to his hard work, he earned the prestigious NROTC scholarship and will be preparing for a leadership position in the United States Marine Corps throughout his collegiate career.


Ryan Bloom of Newfield High School was recognized for his academic excellence and the positive influence he has on the entire Middle Country community. With a 101.4 weighted GPA, Ryan is set to graduate with a total of 42 college credits in June. Despite his demanding academic schedule, Ryan has been an extremely active member of Newfield. Among his many extracurricular activities, Ryan is the president of the senior class, secretary of the Thespian Honor Society, co-president and editor of the Newspaper Club and a PTSA council delegate.


Ryan will be attending Northeastern University in the fall and will be studying political science. At the moment, Ryan is unsure if he will pursue a career in law or government work, but many of his teachers think he has his eye set on the White House.


Dawnwood Middle School’s April student of the month recipient, Aliea Ramlal, is a high honor roll student and a participant in various clubs including Youth for Humanity, Yearbook Club and the Multi-Media Club. Outside of school, Aliea is an active Girl Scout, a volunteer at the Middle Country Public Library and a volunteer at the Bristol Senior Community in Lake Grove. Her teachers rave about her enthusiasm, determination and ability to effectively collaborate on group projects.


Ilsaa Siddiqui is an eighth grade student at Selden Middle School and a high honor roll recipient every quarter this school year. Recognized not only as intelligent but as an extremely thoughtful and caring individual, Ilsaa is a member of National Junior Honor Society, Best Buddies and frequently gave up her lunch period to help the Pennies for Patient’s fundraiser. Her teachers all commonly identify Ilsaa as a driven young student who enjoys solving challenging questions and frequently pushes herself out of her comfort zone to achieve her goals.



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Middle Country Central School District Receives 16,000 Books from Ocean State Job Lot

The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) recently accepted a massive book donation—16,000 books—from Ocean State Job Lot’s Charitable Foundation, a discount retailer which recently opened its 124th store in Centereach, NY. MCCSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roberta Gerold, District Board of Education members and Jericho Elementary School students were on hand to accept the generous donation, ultimately aiding in the District’s literacy and reading programs.


“Reading is a vital aspect of any young child’s development, providing an opportunity to learn new vocabulary, recognize sentence structure and keep students’ brains active and engaged,” said Superintendent Dr. Gerold. “Middle Country is constantly providing students with opportunities to develop these imperative literary skills and thanks to our friends at Ocean State Job Lot’s Charitable Foundation we now have thousands of new options to offer our students.”


The donation event was held at Jericho Elementary School, with the books soon to be distributed District-wide throughout libraries and classrooms. Both District representatives and the Executive Director of the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation were on hand to discuss the importance of reading and developing strong literary skills in elementary school students. Robert Martinez, a representative from Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore’s office and Town of Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle were also in attendance for the book donation event.


“With summer around the corner, this donation serves as a fitting reminder about the importance of reading during the summer months,” stated Superintendent Dr. Gerold. “The District’s dedicated teachers will be eager to see the progress our students have made and to have a front row seat to the incredible strides students continue to make next school year as they advance in reading-levels and read their way through our new selection of books.”


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Elementary School Students Go Wild for Reading and Writing At Literacy Event

The Middle Country Central School District recently hosted its second annual literacy event to celebrate and encourage literacy throughout the District’s ten elementary schools. The night, titled “We Are Wild About Reading and Writing!” featured three sessions filled with an assortment of workshops focused on engaging students through popular literary works and practicing their reading and writing skills.


“This year’s literacy event was, once again, a great success and a stellar representation of the District’s commitment to showcasing student growth,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “Our teachers continue to work with students on a daily basis to develop their literary skills, offer assignments focused on increasing students’ vocabulary and aid in enhancing their knowledge of sentence structure. It is an honor to witness the progression of students as they advance through elementary school.”


The District welcomed more than 25 acclaimed professional authors from throughout Long Island to share their literary works with students and parents. These authors, along with teachers, hosted workshops intended to develop creative writing skills and highlight books that are reading level appropriate. In addition, a young author’s showcase was held in the cafeteria providing selected students an opportunity to discuss and read aloud a story they have written during the 2016-2017 school year.


“As educators, we are here to inspire our students and make their educational experience fulfilling,” said Dr. Kyrie Siegel, Coordinator of English Language Arts K-12. “Events like these provide students a platform to share their accomplishments with the Middle Country community and an interactive outlet to express their creativity.”


Members of the Middle Country Public Library, Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators, and ThinkBIG! Theater group were also in attendance to host special activities during the evening’s events.


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MCCSD High School Students Learn Dining Etiquette

Middle Country Central School District students from Newfield High School and Centereach High School recently participated in a dining etiquette lesson at Pollo Rico in Centereach. The dinner, organized by the District’s Business Advisory Board, invited students in the Career Technical Education (CTE) program for an evening of great food and tips on how to present oneself while dinning in a professional setting.


Students dressed in business attire and learned the rules of proper dining etiquette from Linda J. Williams, M.Ed. Certified Etiquette Consultant and Trainer. Williams walked students through utensil placement, when to start eating and when to remove your napkin from the place setting. Middle Country Central School District continues to provide students with opportunities to develop professional skill sets and prepare students for future endeavors.


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MCCSD Class Takes Trip to Suffolk County Courts

Middle Country Central School District students in Centereach High School’s College Business Law class recently took an educational trip to the Suffolk County Courts in Central Islip. The visit, coinciding with the class’ curriculum of the court system, served as an opportunity for students to experience first-hand the items they have been learning in the classroom. The class received a tour of the courtroom and were guided through the roles and responsibilities of all the individuals involved in a court hearing or trial.


A court officer also treated Mr. Bradley’s class to a guided tour of the courthouse – allowing students to explore the cell block, the judge’s chamber and the jury deliberation room. Wrapping up the action packed day, students had the opportunity to sit in on the arraignment process and watch a prosecutor and defense attorney debate their cases. The Middle Country Central School District continually offers students opportunities that bring learning to life.


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Middle Country Central School District’s Student Musicians Perform at SCMEA

The Middle Country Central School District recently celebrated the accomplishments of its student-musicians, as 72 performers from grades five through 10 performed at the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s All-County Festival. The young and talented students performed a variety of musical selections alongside students from districts throughout Suffolk County. After months of practice and rehearsal, the students were selected based on their New York State School Music Association’s (NYSSMA) solo scores from this past spring in addition to recommendations from their music teachers.


The Middle Country Central School District is committed to providing students with opportunities to hone their creativity. The District congratulates the students and their teachers for their prestigious achievement and an incredible performance.


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Newfield Goes Bald

Middle Country Central School District’s Newfield High School recently organized and hosted a St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraising event, raising over $20,000 for research into finding a cure for childhood cancer. The two week fundraising efforts culminated in a morning head shaving event with 50 students, Newfield Principal Scott Graviano, administrators and teachers all going bald for a cause.


“We are incredibly proud of all the students and staff at Newfield for their unwavering drive to participate and give back to those less fortunate,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “The efforts of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation hits close to home for our Middle Country community as several students in our District have been faced with battling cancer at such a young age. It’s heartening to see everyone come together to honor the students who have passed, currently fighting cancer or are in remission.”


As students, teachers and administrators honored loved ones by getting their heads shaved, the Newfield High School community turned out in high numbers with an infectious energy and spirit. The event commenced with Newfield teacher Keith Hassett’s bagpipe performance, in traditional Irish dress. The festive atmosphere only grew throughout the morning with live music, Irish step dancing by eight members of the Mulvihill Lynch School Irish Dance and a growing number of participants braving the shave.


“The turnout and response we received over the past two weeks perfectly encapsulates the values and character of the students at Newfield,” said Scott Graviano, Newfield High School Principal. “Our students are always seeking new avenues to become engaged members of the Middle Country community and I’m honored to have helped the students facilitate such an extraordinary success alongside Assistant Principal’s Kevin Richman, Kim Pelan and Mark Palios.”


The head shaving event was hosted in Newfield’s Cosmetology Center – equipped with barber chairs, electric hair clippers and a special arc of green balloons. The cosmetology students were tasked with shaving all participants’ heads, serving as an educational experience and a lesson in service and giving back.


“I tell my students every day that we have the power to change lives,” said Toni Ingarra, Newfield Cosmetology teacher. “With this event, I think we proved to ourselves that by coming together we can make an influential impact on the lives of others.”

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Middle Country Central School District Announces March Students of the Month

The Middle Country Central School District recently honored their March students of the month at a recent Board of Education meeting. Centereach High School senior David Ebanks, Newfield High School senior Michael Barnum, Dawnwood Middle School sixth grade student Abigail Jones, and Selden Middle School sixth grade student Logan Aybar were all recognized for their academic excellence, athletic achievements, perseverance and positive attitudes.


“Each month, it brings all of us here at Middle Country Central School District such joy to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roberta Gerold. “Watching our students grow in our school system brings an overwhelming feeling of fulfillment. Their successes here are just the beginning, and we can’t wait to watch all they accomplish in the months and years to come. Congratulations to all honorees.”


Centereach High School senior and March student of the month recipient David Ebanks was chosen for his academic excellence and consistent “can-do” attitude—even in the face of obstacles. Teachers and administrators have recognized David as a respectful young man who walks around the school with a smile on his face, brightening the days of all who interact with him. Despite his wide range of successes academically and in extracurricular activities, he has remained modest and humble.


Last month, David was honored during the Town of Brookhaven’s Black History Month Celebration, recognizing him for his outstanding academic accomplishments throughout his high school career. David continued to thrive academically even while challenging himself by enrolling in college-level statistic and English courses during the current school year. Due to David’s hard work, he will graduate this June with an Advanced Regents diploma. David has left an invaluable mark on Centereach High School through his efforts as a peer tutor and his active role in the Bible Club. David is still uncertain of where he will continue his education next fall, but the University of Central Florida and LIU at CW Post are among the schools he is considering.


Michael Barnum is a senior at Newfield High School and recipient of March student of the month. Michael’s journey during his time at Newfield has been one of great success and resilience. Following his freshman and sophomore year achievements, both in the classroom and on the basketball court, Michael received unimaginable news in March 2015. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Michael spent the next eleven months keeping up with his academics through home teaching—even while facing intense chemotherapy treatment.


Michael’s diagnosis never altered his steadfast commitment to his studies and trajectory of excellence. He is in remission, and will be graduating on time this June with a potential to graduate with over 18 college credits. Michael has applied to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and is planning to major in psychology. Michael has inspired his peers and the entire staff at Newfield High School through his remarkable determination.


Dawnwood Middle School’s March student of the month recipient, Abigail Jones, is a remarkably smart and talented sixth grader. During her first two quarters of middle school, Abigail has maintained a stellar 98 GPA, with high honor distinction, and is an active member of Jazz Band and Art Club. Outside of school, Abigail finds time to participate in dance, Girl Scouts, volleyball and piano. Her favorite subject is science because of the hands-on experiments and interaction with her peers. Abigail’s confidence and leadership skills will be a great asset to the Dawnwood Middle School community for years to come.


Logan Aybar is a sixth grade student at Selden Middle School. His academic excellence during his first two quarters as a middle school student earned him High Honor Roll and sequentially, March student of the month. Although he enjoys all of his classes, his favorite class is math because he relishes the challenge of solving complex problems and getting the right answer. Logan is an active participant of the Science Club and also enjoys attending after-school fitness intramurals. In his free time, Logan plays in soccer and basketball leagues and volunteers to prepare and deliver meals to homeless shelters. He is recognized as an attentive, genuine student who is a pleasure to have in class.  As of now, Logan does not know what he wants to do when he gets older but is instead focused on being his best self and exploring all of his interests.


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