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.

Middle Country Student-Athletes Attend Signing Ceremony

20 students from Newfield High School (NHS) and Centereach High School (CHS) recently signed letters of intent to their respective colleges and universities. 

“We are so proud of our student-athletes for taking their talents to the next level,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “They have prospered athletically and academically in our schools, and we cannot wait to see what their future holds.”

List of the seniors who signed their college letters of intent:

  • Joshua Jacob, Messiah University (Baseball)
  • Joseph Hackal, Stevenson University (Baseball)
  • Evan Hughes, Russell Sage College (Baseball)
  • Carter Rothwell, Ithaca College (Cross Country/Track and Field)
  • Megan Spina, St. Joseph’s College (Basketball)
  • Lauren Cordero, Mitchell College (Soccer/Lacrosse)
  • Lidia Vaquez-Sinisi, Manhattanville College (Field Hockey)
  • Geffrey Alpers, Buffalo (Track and Field)
  • Anthony Batista, Mitchell College (Baseball)
  • Tyler Vath, McDaniel College (Baseball)
  • Erin Lema, Mount Saint Mary (Softball/Volleyball)
  • Britany Dost, St. Joseph’s College (Softball/Volleyball)
  • Oscar Garces, Queens College (Soccer)
  • Daniela Hunt, University at Albany (Track and Field)
  • Jaymarly Blanchard, University at Albany (Track and Field)
  • Adrianna Romo-Laroux, Farmingdale State College (Basketball)
  • Jasmin Williams, Quinnipiac University (Track and Field)
  • Grace Miller, Sacred Heart University (Cross Country)
  • Anthony Fabris Jr., St. Joseph’s College (Soccer)
  • Courtney Kotlyar, Queens College (Softball)

Congratulations to the students, their coaches, and their families on this amazing accomplishment!

Middle Country Central School District’s Teachers Recognized by the NYS Master Teaching Program

 Five teachers from the Middle Country Central School District have been recognized by the New York State (NYS) Master Teaching Program. Donna D’Auria from Newfield High School, Agnieszka Taciak from Centereach High School, Preston Tucci from Selden Middle School, Alyssa Hughes from New Lane Elementary, and Ed Miller from Selden Middle School have all been recognized for their STEM teaching abilities.

The NYS Master Teacher Program network consists of outstanding teachers recognized by Governor Hochul for their dedication to providing the most innovative STEM education to their students, their commitment to professional growth, and their enthusiasm for sharing their successful practices with colleagues in their schools, districts, and regions. This year 230 teachers were recognized; all of whom serve as curriculum and department leaders or members of district and state-level committees and mentor teachers for students and early career teachers.  

“Education is what we do, to be recognized for our STEM program is a huge honor. I couldn’t be prouder of our teaching staff,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools.

Newfield High School Theatre Arts Cast and Crew of The Little Mermaid Attended the East End Arts Council’s Teeny Awards

Newfield High School Theatre Arts cast and crew of The Little Mermaid walked the red carpet at East End Arts Council’s Teeny Awards recently.

Newfield High School was selected to be the guest performers at the awards ceremony. Sophomore Jasmine Recova was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Long Island Music Theatre Festival in the summer. Jasmine will be working with the world-renown composer, Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the musicals, Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, and many more.  Mr. Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, four Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards. In 2015, he received the Isabelle Stevenson Award and a Special Tony Award for his dedication to serving artists and fostering new talent.

“I am proud of each and every one of my students,” said Joan Meichner, Director of Newfield High School’s Musical, The Little Mermaid. “It was an honor to be able to work with such a talented group of students. The cast, pit, and crew were a dream to work with. Special thanks to the East End Arts Council for inviting our talented students to the Teeny Awards!”

East End Arts is a multi-award-winning non-for-profit arts organization that serves the five East End towns of Long Island since 1972. The organization is dedicated to building and enriching its community through arts by encouraging a wide range of artistic expression through education, exhibition, collaboration, and performance.

To view all the Newfield High School students’ Technical Recognition Honorees please visit:

Newfield High School Senior Selected for Music Scholarship

Newfield High School (NHS) senior Austin Pelissier was recently selected for a Suffolk New York State Council of Administrators and Music Education (NYSCAME) Senior Scholarship. Austin was one of only nine seniors selected for this award in Suffolk County.

The New York State Council of Administrators and Music Education is an organization committed to the administration of music programs in schools throughout New York State. In addition to providing scholarships for graduating seniors involved in the organization, NYSCAME Suffolk holds annual festivals for Suffolk County musicians of all ages.   

“We are all extremely proud of Austin and his musical accomplishments,” said Dr. Diana Cook, Director of Music, Fine Arts, and Community Media Relations in the Middle Country School District. “His scholarship is certainly well deserved and we cannot wait to see where his musical journey leads him in the future.”

Austin was awarded the Jon-Michael Lasher NYSCAME Scholarship for outstanding achievement in music. Austin received the $500 scholarship at a scholarship luncheon at the Irish Coffee Pub in East Islip, NY. Austin was also joined by his teacher, Dr. Harold Goldstein. 

Middle Country Students Give Back at Habitat For Humanity Community

Recently, members of the Centereach High School LGBTQ+ Club and the Centereach National Tech Honor Society volunteered their time for Habitat for Humanity. The students dedicated their day at the job site and helped with various tasks in finishing the house being built in Shirley, New York.

“Time and time again, our students never cease to amaze me with their compassion and passion for giving back to our community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roberta Gerold. “I am incredibly proud of this group of young, selfless individuals who dedicated their time. Great job everyone!”

Habitat for Humanity is a global non-profit housing organization that works with local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. as well as in about 70 countries. Habitat for Humanity’s vision is “a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

Middle Country Honors May Students of the Month

The Middle Country Central School District is proud to recognize two middle school studentsJulia Zabinsky and Liana Chivuas students of the month for May. The two students were recognized for their academic excellence, participation in school activities and clubs, and brilliant attitudes.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I acknowledge Julia Zabinsky and Liana Chivu for their academic success and distinguished character,’ said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of Middle Country Central School District. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to watch the growth of these two students, who are positive role models for their peers. I can’t wait to see their journey in high school in the coming years.”

Selden Middle School eighth-grade student Julia Zabinsky was nominated as student of the month for her maturity, intelligence, and positive attitude every day. Julia’s unmatched work ethic is shown through her meticulous lab work and constant desire to complete extra credit assignments, despite having a perfect grade score of 100 for the quarter. Julia also had a perfect 100 each quarter in her living environment class. 

Although Julia is a strong student academically, she is much more than her grades. Julia is devoted to community service and helping others. She is a Junior Environmental Steward with the Town of Brookhaven and has helped with clean-ups and wildlife preservation on south shore beaches. These projects helped save diamondback terrapin turtles who have been consuming litter and are in danger as they move about crossing roads.  Julia also enjoyed helping with the Happy Hearts project in which she assisted special needs students with their sewing.

Julia is also a lover of animals, especially those that are challenged.  She has adopted three special needs cats, two of whom are blind and the third who is partially blind. She also appeared on television during the Kitten Bowl which airs on Super Bowl Sunday to advocate for special needs animals. Julia’s dream is to become a veterinarian one day.

 Dawnwood Middle School seventh-grade student Liana Chivu was nominated as student of the month for her great respect for her fellow classmates and her remarkable spark for learning and education. She is an active member of the classroom as she helps her friends and contributes her thoughts, ideas, answers, and questions.

Liana is a member and the president of the Dawnwood National Junior Honor Society. She is involved in many clubs and activities at Dawnwood including Peer Leadership Club, Technology Club, American Sign Language Club, and Drama Club. Liana is also a member of the Competitive Sachem Swim Club and devotes many of her lunch periods to volunteering at the school store.  Liana’s overall average for her sixth grade school year was 99.67 and her average for this school year is 98.8. She plays clarinet in the Dawnwood band and often works with students in her ENL afterschool study sessions. She has career hopes of working in the field of space exploration.

Middle Country School District Announces Centereach and Newfield High School 2022 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

The Middle Country Central School District has officially named its top scholars for the Class of 2022. Centereach High School announced Nicholas Matter and Isabella Fiore as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, and Newfield High School announced Dora John and Abu Kalam will be valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the Class of 2022.

Centereach High School valedictorian Nicholas Matter is an exceptional and well-rounded student. Upon graduation, he will have completed 12 AP courses with an additional two college-level courses, allowing him to enter college with more than 40 college credits. Nicholas has never received a score of less than a 4 on any AP test.

Nicholas is a member of the National Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society, Jazz Band, and the school’s math team, of which he was president last year. He is also an accomplished musician, scoring a perfect six on his most recent New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) solo, and has participated in Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA) performances for the past six years. Nicholas is also a strong athlete. He has been a valuable member of the varsity soccer team for the last two years. He was recognized by Suffolk County as an All-Academic player this past season. Nicholas has worked at Brookhaven National Lab, where, through their mentoring program, he developed a tool used by other developers to automate testing. The valedictorian has been accepted and will attend Binghamton University in the fall where he will study computer science. Nicholas boasted a weighted GPA of 102.7.

Centereach High School salutatorian Isabella Fiore is an involved student in her school and community as well as maintaining a stunning academic record. By the end of the school year, she will have completed 11 AP courses along with an additional three college-level courses.

Isabella is a member of the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Italian Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Distributive Education Clubs of America ( DECA), Environmental Club, and the History Club. She has been a cross country runner, twirls baton, and is a competitive swimmer and lifeguard. Isabella is well known throughout Centereach High School as a talented artist. She has taken elective classes such as fashion design, crafts I and II, and advanced drawing and paintings. After graduation, Isabella plans to focus on her goal of becoming a doctor. She has been accepted to Nova Southeastern University’s Honors College as a neuroscience major. She received dual admission to Dr. Kiran Patel Medical School to pursue her goals. Isabella boasted a weighted GPA of 101.8.

Newfield High School valedictorian Dora John is an academic, extra-curricular, and volunteering superstar. She is the president of the World Language Honor Society, president of G.O, president of the Newfield Wolverine Newspaper, and treasurer of the National Art Honor Society. The valedictorian is a member of the varsity fencing team, mock trial team, National Honor Society, SADD Club, and Thespian Honor Society, and sits on the Middle Country Legislative Assembly.

Dora volunteered as a techno buddy, a book buddy, and an art buddy through the Middle Country Public Library. She currently sits on the teen advisory council of the public library, serves as a teen book reviewer for the library, and is a hospital volunteer at Stony Brook University Hospital. In the fall, Dora will be attending Cornell University as a Human Biology, Health and Society major. She boasted a weighted GPA of 103.3542 and has the potential to graduate next month with more than 50 college credits.

Newfield High School salutatorian Abu Kalam locked in the number two spot earning him a salutatorian title with a weighted 101.3625 GPA. At the end of his high school journey, Abu will have two college-level and 14 advanced placement classes which combined a total of more than 50 college credits.

Abu has been a member of the varsity tennis team, National Technical Honor Society, National Honor Society, secretary of DECA, and president of the 2022 Senior Class. Outside of school, he earned the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award for completing 100 hours of community service at Stony Brook University Hospital. In addition, Abu interned through Perry Gershon’s and Jackie Gordon’s campaigns for congress. Abu is set for Honors College at Stony Brook University in the fall. He will be majoring in economics with the long-term goal of consulting and then entering the world of politics.