Middle Country Student Entrepreneurs Win at LIU Post Competition

Middle Country School District Centereach High School students Jason Calderone and Abigail Zerbe each participated in an entrepreneurship competition at LIU Post recently. The two high school students competed against 1,500 students from 60 other high schools in the Elevator Pitch Contest. The event was sponsored by LIU Post and Virtual Enterprises International at the Business and Entrepreneurship Leadership Conference.


Participating students were tasked with presenting a 30 second pitch for a newly-created business to a 600-person crowd of peers and panel of regional business leaders and entrepreneurs. Jason pitched his company “Rapid Brew.” Abigail pitched her company “What’s in the Box?” Both placed in the top 13 out of 90 students to make it to the finalist round.


The Middle Country School District congratulates both students on outstanding performances at the Elevator Pitch Contest. For more information about academic programs available at the Middle Country School District and a calendar of events, please visit www.mccsd.net.


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Centereach High School student Abigail Zerbe pitches her company, “What’s in the Box?” to the audience at the Elevator Pitch Contest at LIU Post.

District Announces October Students of the Month

The Middle Country Central School District announced its October Students of the Month at its recent Board of Education meeting. Centereach High School student Andrew Colletti, Newfield High School student Samantha Varone, Dawnwood Middle School student Kaitlyn Ippolito and Selden Middle School student Delaney Unger were all celebrated for their outstanding academic achievement, abundant extracurricular participation and providing an overall positive impact on their individual schools and entire community.


“Month after month, we have the incredible opportunity to celebrate four students who emulate the positive values and hard work of the entire Middle Country student body,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roberta Gerold. “We are thrilled to once again honor students who go above and beyond in the classroom, inside their respective school and throughout their surrounding communities— a representation of what all Middle Country educators seek to instill in our students.”


Centereach High School senior Andrew Colletti is the perfect example of a multi-talented student. Andrew has a GPA of 94.8 and is currently enrolled in five college level classes in addition to physical education and the Philharmonic orchestra. Andrew is a star in the classroom, is an active member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, and   a star on the football field where he is a Suffolk County All-Division player. Andrew is a leader on the tennis court as well, where he was recognized by Suffolk County coaches for his outstanding sportsmanship.


Samantha Varone from Newfield High School has been recognized for both her scholarly and volunteer work. Samantha will graduate this June with 36 college credits, along with several other distinctions. The Newfield High School senior is the General Organization vice president, the treasurer of the environmental club, a member of the National Honor Society, a girl scout with a gold star, and an active member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.


What makes Samantha so remarkable is that it has not always been such an easy road for her. Samantha had brain surgery in 2010 to help overcome moyamoya, a rare brain disease that narrows the blood vessels in the brain. Samantha plans to continue to give back to children in the future—planning to pursue a career as a special education teacher.


Dawnwood Middle School eighth grader Kaitlyn Ippolito is a distinguished scholar-athlete. Kaitlyn’s current cumulative GPA is 99.5. She is a three-sport athlete, participating as a doubles player in varsity tennis, a member of the junior varsity basketball team, and a member of the varsity lacrosse team. Kaitlyn has been nominated for the Student of the Month honor by her teachers during every month of sixth and seventh grades.


Selden Middle School eighth grader Delaney Unger has faced adversity head-on and has continued to shine in the classroom. When Delaney was in sixth grade she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. Delaney returned to school last year after winter recess, and has maintained a 95 academic average through it all. She has become an activist for raising awareness for childhood cancer—traveling to Washington D.C. to speak with the staff of numerous members of Congress.


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



Centereach High School senior Andrew Colletti.


Newfield High School senior Samantha Varone.


Dawnwood Middle School eighth grade student Kaitlyn Ippolito.


Selden Middle School eighth grade student Delaney Unger.

Middle Country Central School District Students Initiate Trayless Tuesday Program

The Middle Country Central School District recently launched its Trayless Tuesday program which removes Styrofoam lunch trays from cafeterias, and replaces them with ‘paper boat’ trays, at Jericho Elementary School, Selden Middle School and Dawnwood Middle School on Tuesdays during the 2018-2019 school year. This environmentally-conscious program was initiated following last year’s successful capstone project by Mrs. Katherine MacDonald’s fifth grade students at Jericho Elementary School that earned a $50,000 grant from New York State Assemblyman Steven Englebright to implement.


“The years spent in elementary school are an extremely formative time during a student’s educational journey. From learning their letters and numbers in kindergarten to becoming engaged and thoughtful community members, it is incredible to witness this progression,” stated Superintendent of Schools Dr. Roberta Gerold. “The completion of this trajectory is perfectly captured during our fifth grade students’ capstone project—utilizing their years of education, teamwork skills and their observations of the world around them to effect meaningful change.”


Last year, the fifth grade students in Mrs. Katherine MacDonald’s class began to conduct research on the Styrofoam lunch trays that are a staple of cafeterias across the nation. During their research they discovered the harmful effects that Styrofoam has on the environment: 2.3 million tons of the non-biodegradable Styrofoam ends up in landfills each year. It is extremely harmful for animals’ digestion tracks and it releases chemicals that pollute the air we breathe and the earth’s atmosphere.


“When the students began to discover the damaging effects that these trays—which are used for less than 30 minutes and then disposed of—have on our environment for decades and even centuries to come, they were immediately invested in this as their project and truly put their hearts into its success,” stated Jericho Elementary School Principal Glen Rogers. “This became less of a classroom project for them and more of a mission.”


In June, the now sixth grade students presented their findings and caught the attention of local leaders including Assemblyman Englebright. Following a secondary presentation by the students, Englebright granted the District $50,000 to conduct a program that would begin to remove Styrofoam trays from District schools. The initial grant has provided funds to provide ‘paper boat’ trays one day a week to Jericho Elementary School, where the program initiated, and the two District middle schools, where the students behind the program now attend.


“The students didn’t stop at researching the impact that Styrofoam has globally but also learned that our cafeteria uses roughly 275 Styrofoam trays a day,” added MacDonald. “Their proactive stance on limiting that amount has produced real change in the Middle Country community that will continue into future years. I am extremely proud of my students’ accomplishments and know they will continue to excel as they begin their new chapter in middle school.”


For more information about academic programs available in the Middle Country School District and a calendar of events, please visit www.mccsd.net.


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Middle Country Student Erin Metzendorf Recognized By Long Island Arts Alliance

Middle Country Central School District’s Centereach High School senior Erin Metzendorf was recently recognized by the Long Island Arts Alliance as the Long Island Scholar Artist in Dance. Erin, one of two students to win this award in Suffolk County, is the first Middle Country Central School District student to be recognized for this honor. .


Erin, her family, and Centereach High School music teacher Mr. Brian Hough, who nominated her for the award, will attend a Long Island Arts Alliance reception later this year at the Tilles Center, where Erin will be presented with $250 scholarship. The District continues to provide its students with opportunities to participate in art, music and theater programs and looks forward to students’ regional recognitions in the arts throughout the school year.


For more information about academic programs available at the Middle Country School District and a calendar of events, please visit www.mccsd.net.