Middle Country Central School District Honors Patriot Day

The Middle Country Central School District honored Patriot Day on September 11, 2023, marking the 22nd anniversary of this tragic day. Patriot Day serves as a solemn reminder of the lives lost and the bravery displayed by the first responders and citizens during that devastating event.

“Observing Patriot Day provides an opportunity for our students to remember and honor the lives lost. By observing this day, we can ensure that the memory of the victims and heroes are not forgotten,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “Throughout the day, various educational activities took place in classrooms, promoting understanding and empathy among students. Our students were engaged in meaningful discussions about the events of 9/11, emphasizing the importance of unity, resilience, and the power of community in times of adversity.”

At Eugene Auer, North Coleman Road, New Lane, and Jericho Road Elementary Schools, students participated in various classroom activities such as completing a heart-shaped flag and watching short clips about Patriot Day. Students read This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth  

by Sean Rubin, a compelling story about community resilience from the perspective of the Callery pear tree that survived the attack.

The Centereach High School Women’s Choir and Newfield High School student Thomas Lasher performed beautifully at the Centereach Fire House for the 9/11 memorial ceremony.  The choir opened the ceremony with the Star Spangled Banner and also performed The Rose and Sing Me To Heaven. Thomas majestically performed Taps on his trumpet. At Selden Fire House’s 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, Newfield High School student Jasmine Recova sang the Star Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace.

Middle Country Community Shares The Gift of Education With School Supply Donations

The Middle Country Central School District’s community members, families, and businesses come together every year to donate school supplies and backpacks to share with the students who need them. This year, Port Jefferson Elks Lodge, Healing Waters Church, Old Navy, Oxhead Road Elementary School community members, Suffolk Transportation, and the District’s PTA Council donated school backpacks and school supplies for a drive-up giveaway event scheduled to occur on September 13, 2023, at Eugene Auer Memorial Elementary School from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for everyone’s donations this year. Their generosity will make a significant difference in the lives of many students in need,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “ Their contribution will enable us to provide essential school supplies to our students who need them the most, ensuring they have the necessary tools to succeed academically. The donated backpacks will not only serve as a means of carrying their belongings but also instill a sense of pride and confidence in our learners. It is through collaborative efforts like these that we can create a positive change in our community.”

Muccio Siblings Donate $504 in School Supplies to Middle Country Central School District

The four Muccio siblings in the Middle Country Central School District – Isabella Muccio (tenth grade, Newfield High School), Michael Muccio (sixth grade, Selden Middle School), Giavanna Muccio (fourth grade, New Lane Elementary School), and Madelyn Muccio (first grade, Stagecoach Elementary School) –  ran a two-day lemonade stand during the summer and raised enough money to purchase $504 worth of school supplies for the District. 

The four siblings used the entrepreneurial and leadership skills they had learned in school and through their involvement in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to make their lemonade stand a huge success. They built the storefront stands, painted them, and set them up themselves in their driveway. 

“We are incredibly proud of the Muccio children. It’s inspiring to see their passion and willingness to help out their school community.,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “We are incredibly thankful for all that the Muccio family has done for our schools. These students are exemplary of the students that attend Middle Country Central School District. Great job!”

The Muccio siblings were able to purchase ten school bags and hundreds of school supplies. Many community members, including the Muccio students’ teachers and coaches, and District staff members, dropped by to donate to the fundraising efforts. A manager of a local Walmart in Centereach even heard about the students’ two-day fundraiser and donated over 20 filled backpacks to the District as well. 

The Muccios delivered all of the new school supplies and backpacks to Stagecoach Elementary School. These donations will be distributed throughout  Middle Country schools for students who need them.

Centereach and Newfield High Schools Celebrate Classes of 2023

The Middle Country Central School District held commencement ceremonies for the graduating classes of Centereach and Newfield high schools in June. The graduation ceremonies recognized the graduating seniors for their outstanding academic achievements and unwavering commitment to the community.

“On behalf of the Middle Country Central School District administration, Board of Education members, faculty, and staff, I would like to congratulate our Centereach and Newfield High School graduates on this momentous milestone,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “Our Middle Country graduates have exhibited excellence in academics, athletics, service, and the arts throughout their high school years. I am confident these young adults will be a constant source of pride and positive change in our communities.”

The Centereach High School commencement featured an address from Principal Thomas Bell, along with encouraging words from valedictorian Lauren Hoppe and salutatorian Derek Zheng. At Newfield High School’s commencement, Principal Scott Graviano delivered opening remarks, and the attendees heard from valedictorian Zarif Rezwan and salutatorian Leah Landron, who each shared what their high school journeys taught them. 

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to watch our Centereach Class of 2023 prepare for their next adventure,” said Mr. Bell. “We are extremely proud of our graduating students, and we know they will achieve great things and continue to make us proud.”

At the Newfield High School commencement ceremony, Principal Graviano noted to the graduates and those in attendance, “The graduating class of 2023 has shaped Newfield High School for the better. You and your families have so much to be proud of as we officially celebrate the culmination of your high school experience. We cannot wait to see how you tackle your future endeavors with grace and honor.”

Two Middle Country Seniors Awarded Scholarships From NYSCAME

 Newfield High School senior Cameron Unger and Centereach High School senior Finn Taich each received a music scholarship at the recent New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education (NYSCAME) luncheon. Cameron received a $1,000 scholarship donated by SCOPE and Finn received the $750 NYSCAME Jon-Michael Lasher Scholarship. Both these scholarships are awarded to deserving seniors based on their musical achievements, contributions to their school’s music program, community music production, and acceptance into a university music degree program.

“Congratulations to Cameron and Finn. This recognition and scholarship is a great achievement and testament to their hard work, dedication, and passion for their music,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “Thank you to Dr. Goldstein and Mr. Hough for guiding these two student-musicians to excellence and keeping them motivated!”During the luncheon, Dr. Cook, Director of Music and Fine Arts for the Middle Country Central School District, along with the other members of NYSCAME, recognized and praised the two students for their accomplishments, virtuoso, and musical commitment Their teachers expressed their gratification, as well as congratulating the two seniors and wishing them all the best for their future musical careers.

North Coleman Road Third Graders Visited by Owl

Ornithologist Jim MacDougall visited third-grade students at North Coleman Road Elementary School recently to teach students about wild owls. Accompanied by Aria, his Eurasian Eagle Owl, Mr. MacDougall taught the students many fascinating facts about birds. North Coleman Road families and parents joined in to help students dissect owl pellets in a lesson aimed at learning about the diet of an owl.

“This was a great hands-on and engaging experience for students,” said Gretchen Rodney, Principal of North Coleman Road Elementary School. “Learning about the way these birds of prey behave in the wild teaches students the importance of their roles in the ecosystem and provides them with a basic understanding of the food chain.”

Jim MacDougall is a published ornithologist currently serving as the education coordinator and rescue transport volunteer for the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Refuge Center. He and Aria also paid a visit to the Middle Country Public Library recently in order to celebrate Museum Day. 

Sunrise Wind Representatives Visit Middle Country Central School District High Schools

Sunrise Wind representatives recently visited Middle Country’s Newfield High School and Centereach High School to talk about wind energy, wind farms, and the future of wind energy on Long Island.

“Thank you to Sunrise Wind representatives for visiting our high schools,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “This was a great opportunity for our technology students to learn about possible internships and career paths as they gain a deeper understanding of renewable and sustainable energy.”

Sunrise Wind spoke to selected technology students based on their career interests in renewable energy and technology. The discussions touched upon what it takes to build an offshore wind farm and how power is transported to the shore.  The students also learned about the many different careers and opportunities in the field of wind energy, from engineering and construction to operations and maintenance. 

Sunrise Wind has a partnership with Orsted and Eversource. Orsted is the global leader in offshore wind and climate action and Eversource is a national energy leader with more than 100 years of experience in delivering power to the northeast region of the United States. Orsted has recently been ranked the most sustainable company in the world and will be the first major energy company to become carbon-neutral by 2025.

Multicultural Night at Oxhead Road Elementary School

Oxhead Road Elementary School students recently learned about cultural heritage and traditions, celebrating their various backgrounds with food, music, clothing, and more. 

“Thank you to our Oxhead Road students and families for making this event a great success,” said Corinne Seeh, Principal of Oxhead Road Elementary School. “This event is a great opportunity for our students to learn about other cultures,  share traditions with friends, and develop stronger bonds with their classmates both in and out of  the classroom setting.”

The students, along with their parents and family members, were encouraged to bring a dish native to their cultural background to share with their fellow classmates. Students set up tables for their food, many adorned with décor and other cultural artifacts. This event was inspired by the idea of bringing people together, learning, and appreciating the similarities and differences between all of us.

Selden Middle School Donates 864 Items to the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless

For the first time ever, six different extra-curricular clubs, comprising over 100 students in Selden Middle School, worked together to collect 536 non-perishable food items and 328 toiletry items for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless (LICH) recently. 

“It is such a privilege to witness our students and teachers come together to give back to our community and make a difference,” said Andrew Bennett, Principal of Selden Middle School. “Our school is a shining example of leaders and doers that want to make a positive impact. Thank you to our students, families, faculty, and staff for all the donations and help to collect and count the items.” 

Selden alumnus, Rachel Cortes, a current Stony Brook student, spearheaded the donation drive in conjunction with her organization at Stony Brook University. To kick off the week-long collection drive, Rachel and two of her peers spoke to numerous club members and their advisors about the homeless issue on Long Island. Currently, there are over 3,800 documented homeless people across Nassau and Suffolk counties,  1,200 of which are children. The collection drive was such a tremendous success that the advisors are planning to make this an annual springtime event.

Middle Country Central School District Announces 2023 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

The Middle Country Central School District recently announced that Lauren Hoppe from Centereach High School and Zarif Rezwan from Newfield High School are the class of 2023 valedictorians, and Derek Zheng from Centereach High School and Leah Landron from Newfield High School are the salutatorians. Throughout the four years in their respective high schools, these students excelled academically, have been active community members, and participated in various extracurricular activities.

“Congratulations to our valedictorians and salutatorians who emulate what our District strives to instill in our students through a well-rounded educational experience. These four students have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to their academics while being role models for their peers as well as for all members of our school community,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Middle Country Central School District. “On behalf of the entire Middle Country family, we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”

Valedictorian Lauren Hoppe is an exceptional student. She is an AP scholar and will have completed 13 AP courses and two additional college-level courses by graduation this June. Lauren is also a well-rounded individual who is musically gifted. She is a member of the Tri-M Honor Society, competes annually at NYSSMA, and plays in the Centereach High School wind ensemble. She was a member of the school’s pit orchestra in the recent musical, Beauty and the Beast. 

Lauren is an active member of the National Honor Society and Italian Honor Society and is vice president of the student government. Lauren is also a competitive athlete. She is the captain of the women’s soccer team and played varsity for four years. This year, she was recognized as the most valuable player by her team and voted to the All-County team by the coaches in Suffolk County. Lauren has been accepted and will attend Fairfield University in September. She plans to continue her education in the field of nursing with the goal of becoming a nurse anesthetist.

Centereach High School salutatorian Derek Zheng is a talented and gifted student. His academic achievements are laudatory. Derek’s combined SAT score is 1520. Upon graduation, Derek will have completed 11 AP classes as well as six additional college-level courses. He is the vice president of the National Honor Society, the senior class, and the president of the math team. Derek is also r involved in the Science Olympiad and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, leaders club, environmental club, and history club.

Derek played a major role in the success of Centereach High School’s basketball team serving as captain. He was recognized as an Academic All-County player by the Suffolk Country basketball coaches.  Throughout his high school journey, Derek has shown the same initiative and perseverance in the community as he has in school. He worked as an assistant manager at two local businesses, interned as a medical assistant at the Three Village Asthma and Allergy Center, and as a hobby, he started his own clothing line, Day One Aspirations.  After graduation, Derek plans to study finance and computer science at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Derek ultimately hopes to pursue his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Business. 

Newfield High School valedictorian Zarif Rezwan is an inspirational student. He was born in Bangladesh and moved to the United States with his family in the summer before starting eighth grade. He learned how to read and write by watching movies in English. Throughout his high school career, he completed 16 college and AP-level courses. He maintained a weighted average of 103.79. He has the potential to graduate next month with more than 45 college credits.

Outside of the classroom, Zarif is an active member of DECA, and a varsity athlete with the cross-country,  Winter Track, and Spring track and field teams. He is a historian of the National Honor Society and president of the National Technical Honor Society. Zarif also tutors students through ten hours of SAT math prep and is an usher and helper at the Islamic Association of Long Island. All of his hard work inside and outside of the classroom has earned him recognition as a National Merit Scholarship Program finalist, AP Scholar with Distinction, state-level placement in DECA, and cross-country most improved player. Zarif was also the recipient of the Suffolk Zone Physical Education Outstanding Student Award and Selden Masjid’s Youth Leadership and Empowerment Seminar Essay Scholarship. Post graduation, Zarif is off to the University of Southern California. He’ll be majoring in computer science concentrating on computer vision and autonomous driving technology.

Newfield High School salutatorian Leah Landron is a diligent and compassionate student. By the conclusion of her high school journey, she will have completed 14 college and advanced placement level courses. Leah maintains an unweighted average of 99.06 and a weighted average of 103.48. She has the potential to graduate next month with more than 35 college credits. Leah has earned the AP Scholar award. She is a member of the Thespian Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Chamber Orchestra, drama club, and school choir. She is also the secretary of the National Art Honor Society and president of the newspaper club. 

In her spare time, Leah enjoys drawing, writing poetry, and playing the ukulele. Her teachers describe her as the ideal student. Leah is headed to Stony Brook in the Fall where she’ll major in chemical engineering with a focus on environmental issues.