Eugene Auer Fifth-Grade Student Awarded Bernie Jones SCMEA Summer Music Scholarship

Eugene Auer Elementary School’s fifth-grade student, John Hacker, was awarded the Bernie Jones Scholarship for summer private music study by the Suffolk County Music Educators Association (SCMEA) recently.  “A round of applause for John Hacker for his dedication and his passion for music,” said Kenneth Gutmann, Principal of Eugene Auer Elementary School. “We are incredibly proud of John and excited that he will be continuing his musical education in the summer with the help of this scholarship.”

John was chosen from hundreds of applicants ranging from fifth to 11th grade from across Suffolk County based on his musical accomplishments, personal essays, and music teacher recommendations.

23 Middle Country Central School District Fifth-Grade Students Receive Arrow of Light Awards

On Sunday, March 19, 2023, Middle Country Central School District fifth-grade students were honored and received their Arrow of Light awards through Pack 362, Selden Scouts.

“We are incredibly proud of our 23 fifth-grade students. We will cheer them on as they continue to serve our community with leadership, respect, and integrity,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools.

The Arrow of Light award is the highest accord available a Cub Scout can achieve. The award is for those who have completed the Webelos rank and prepares them to become members of a Scouts BSA Troop. The Arrow of Light is its own rank where it marks a milestone in a Cub Scout’s growth.

Caleb Concepcion
Elijah Considine
Matthew DeMarco
Joshua Doell
Ford Dubecky
Peter Dyjak
Dylan Fecteau
Jonathan Fontana
Alaric Green
Brian Guadagna
Ian Kenney
Braxton Lane
Azlynn Lane
Patrick Melideo
Aysen Mendez
Michael Muccio
Nicholas Olivier
Jeremy Olsen
Richard Pandolfo
Santino Rezza
Christian Sheridan
Thomas Sheridan
Mason Young

Newfield High School and Centereach High School SkillsUSA Students Take Medals During Regional Competition

Centereach High School and Newfield High School SkillsUSA students recently competed in the SkillsUSA Regional Competition at Suffolk County Community College Brentwood Campus. As in past years, the Middle Country competitors excelled, taking first, second, and third place in the region for senior cosmetology and first and third place in junior cosmetology.  

“A big round of applause to our senior and junior competitors who rose to the pinnacle of this year’s regional competition,” said Marisa Ackerler, Middle Country Central District SkillsUSA advisor. “Our mission through SkillsUSA is to generate world-class workers and leaders. I am incredibly proud of our SkillsUSA students who continuously dedicate themselves to their technical and professional skills training and advancement.”

Senior Cosmetology:
Gianna Oliveri, Newfield High School, First Place
Ashley Vizza, Centereach High School, Second Place
Jasmine Itara, Centereach High School, Third Place
Junior Cosmetology:
Jacqueline Ascenio Gomez, Newfield High School, First Place
Gina Nappi, Newfield High School, Third Place

Newfield High School Student Competes in Long Island’s National History Day Contest

Newfield High School ninth-grade student, Umber Sharma, is competing in Long Island’s National History Day contest. Umber will be competing in the Senior Individual Website Division at Hofstra University on Sunday, March 26 against other high school students from across Long Island. This year’s theme narrative is Frontiers in History: People, Places, and Ideas.

“Umber Sharma has dedicated countless hours to his research project,” said Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School. “We are confident that Umber will represent our high school with exceptional skill and we are incredibly proud of his accomplishments. We wish him luck!”

Umber Sharma’s research project features the trailblazer Grace Hopper and her pioneering contribution to modern computing in honor of Women’s History Month. In addition, Umber has been nominated for the Outstanding Senior Entry in American History Award by his mentor, Newfield High School Librarian Lisa Cook.

Newfield High School Students Inducted to Art Honor Society

Newfield High School held an induction ceremony for 18 new members of its National Art Honor Society. The purpose of this organization at Newfield High School is to inspire and recognize students who have shown outstanding ability in art and support students’ creative abilities and talents. The Art Honor Society advised by Sal Berretta, besides supporting its membership, looks to promote the love of the arts in the greater Newfield High School student body. 

“Our goal is to foster excellence and a dedicated spirit among our Art Honor Society members as well as bringing attention awareness of art to our community, our high school, and other areas of the school curriculum,” said Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School. “Welcome to our new inductees and we are confident our existing members will give them support and resources to thrive.”

During the ceremony, guest speaker, Shay Steuart, a senior at SUNY New Paltz majoring in Art Education and Art History and minoring in Evolutionary Studies and Social Justice Educational Studies, spoke to the Art Honor Society members. She is a visual artist, primarily working in acrylic and oil paint, and just finished her student teaching at New Lane Elementary School and will begin student teaching at Newfield High School.

New Inductees:
Shariq Ahmad
Tahsina Akbar
Anjali Alexis
Mya Barry
Faith Burns
Devi Das
Vicky Das
Abigail Daniels
Phenisha Dulnuun
James Keenan
Payton Martin
Jessica Mcllree
Amtul Naqvi
Daiana Ramirez
Samantha Sayers
Caralena Schwartz
Ella Sharrock
Isabella Warner 

Professional Shadow Day at Middle Country Central School District

Approximately 75 eighth-grade students at Dawnwood Middle School and Selden Middle School in the Family and Consumer Science and Technology classes participated in the annual Job Shadowing Day event sponsored by the Middle Country Business Advisory Board (MCBAB). This was the first such event after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students worked alongside or shadowed a family member or friend of the family and had the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at an average workday in a variety of careers, including paralegal, teaching, nursing, small business owner, and corporate executive. The students saw firsthand how the education they are receiving at school, including 21st-century skills such as time management, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving are directly connected to future employment.

“I observed in-person and through participation in virtual meetings how a cohesive team works,” said Angela Patalano, an eighth-grade student at Selden Middle School, who shadowed a senior vice president of data and systems integration at Lifetime Brands. “I took a showroom tour and learned a great deal  about product categories and branding.”

Math-A-Thon for A Better Tomorrow

Middle Country Central School District’s Jericho Elementary School students recently participated in a Math-A-Thon competition sponsored by St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital to help raise money and increase awareness of the groundbreaking work done at the Memphis-based research hospital. The school’s first-grade through fifth-grade students completed grade-appropriate math tasks as the foundation of the fund-raising effort.

“It’s truly amazing to see what we can do as a community,” said Elena Baldwin, Principal of Jericho Elementary School. “Special thanks to Carolyn Raynoha who organizes and spearheads Math-A-Thon each year. Your dedication to your students and giving back to the community is admirable!”

This was the eighth year that the school has worked with St. Jude’s. This year, the students’ efforts resulted in  $6,501 being raised for the hospital. Over the course of eight years, Jericho Elementary School students have raised $76,615.

“The students truly enjoy and look forward to the Math-A-Thon,” said Carolyn Raynoha, Jericho Elementary School’s fourth-grade teacher. “This program aligns with our Character Education efforts, and more specifically with this month’s  theme word which is caring.”

The St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital is world-renowned for its work in treating and fighting childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Treatments developed at St. Jude’s have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened over 50 years ago.

Students at Jericho Elementary School presenting their achievements to their teachers after the Math-A-Thon 
Jericho Elementary School students and left to right, Carolyn Raynoha, teacher, and Elena Baldwin, Jericho Elementary School Principal with their donation

Middle Country Central School District’s February Student of the Month

The Middle Country Central School District recently announced its February students of the month. Receiving recognition were Centereach High School senior Sadia Huda, Newfield High School senior Amanda Knoph, eighth-grade Dawnwood Middle School student Santiago Valdivieso, and eighth-grade Selden Middle School student Matthew Sheridan.

“It brings me great pride each month to honor the excellence of our students throughout the District,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “These students have excelled both in and out of their class as well as in their extracurricular activities and being active role models amongst their peers.”

Centereach High School senior, Sadia Huda is an academically outstanding student. Throughout her high school journey, she has excelled in the classroom while challenging herself. Her weighted GPA is 97.1, which places her in the top 50 of the senior class. Sadia will graduate in June with more than 30 college credits. Sadia is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Language Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society, a member of the varsity bowling team and sings in the women’s choir. She volunteers her time through these organizations as well as at the Middle Country Public Library and Sachem Public Library. With countless volunteering hours, Sadia also finds the time to work more than 20 hours a week at her local CVS. Sadia has been accepted to a number of colleges and looks forward to pursuing a double major in Biology and Computer Science.

Newfield High School senior Amanda Knoph is focused and diligent in her work habits. Her dedication has paid off in both her perfect class average and AP scores last year. She ranks number 13 in her class of 381 seniors. Amanda has an unweighted GPA of 98.102 and a weighted GPA of 101.0071. She expects to graduate in June with more than 30 college credits. Amanda is a superstar outside of the classroom as well as inside the classroom. She is a member of the National Art Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society, and National Honor Society. Amanda is a member of the Middle Country varsity gymnastics team where she is a two-time scholar-athlete award winner, helping the team rise to Suffolk County League II Champions. Amanda was also named All-American team member. Outside of school, Amanda volunteers in neighborhood clean-ups in the Town of Brookhaven with her team is a homework helper at the Middle Country Public Library and is a gymnastic coach at New Era Gymnastics. 

Eighth-grade Dawnwood Middle School student Santiago Valdivieso is a well-rounded student. According to Santiago’s teachers, he regularly volunteers to answer questions, and frequently raises his hand to ask thoughtful questions or check for understanding. Santiago’s overall average for his sixth and

seventh-grade school years was 98.77. His average for this school year’s first and second quarters is 98.83. Outside of school, Santiago’s passion is soccer. He plays on a travel team as well as at Dawnwood Middle School. 

Eighth-grade Selden Middle School student Matthew Sheridan is a steadfast worker and holds himself to high standards. His quarterly averages are always in the mid to high 90s which has put him on the high honor roll every quarter of his middle school career. This year, he has maintained an average each quarter at or above 98. In addition to playing football at Selden Middle School, Matthew has been a member of the Select Chorus and he was one of only five students from the school selected for the SCMEA All-County Festival. He is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and outside of school, Matthew is a Boy Scout and enjoys swimming, reading, and listening to classic rock ‘n’ roll.