Newfield High School Varsity Basketball Student Reaches 1,000 Point Milestone

On Friday, January 27th, Newfield High School student Raiyah Reid became only the third female in Newfield High School Varsity Girls Basketball history to reach the 1,000-point milestone.  Raiyah is currently a junior at Newfield High School and has been a part of the Newfield High School Varsity Girls’ Basketball program since the eighth grade.

“To score 1,000 points in your varsity basketball career is truly unique. You simply don’t see many players–female or male–achieving this laudatory milestone on varsity public school basketball teams,”  said Joseph Mercado, Director of Physical Education, Health, and Athletics. “We are incredibly proud of Raiyah.  The fact that she is the third female to achieve this momentous accomplishment speaks volumes about the Newfield High School basketball program and our coaches. Congratulations to Raiyah Reid!”

Eugene Auer Elementary School Hosts Assembly in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Upcoming Black History Month

In honor of Dr. Martin King, Jr. Day and to kick off Black History Month, Eugene Auer Elementary School hosted an assembly organized by fourth-grade teacher Ms. Jeanine Buttino, with the help of Principal Kenneth Gutmann.

“Educating our students about Dr. King’s leadership and legacy is a great way to teach our learners about equality and the civil rights movement, said Principal Gutmann. “We are also looking forward to honoring Black History Month with the many classroom activities and lessons planned for the month of February that will be highlighting the countless African Americans who have contributed so richly and heroically to our country’s history and culture..”

During the assembly, selected students from each grade level shared with their fellow classmates what dreams they envisioned for the future. After, students listened to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech as well as listened to teachers read various books in honor of Dr. King and Black History Month.

Stagecoach Elementary School Receives Hess Trucks for STEM

Stagecoach Elementary School teacher Elaina Fein’s third-grade class recently received 12 Hess trucks along with the Hess toy truck STEM curriculum guide to use as classroom STEM learning tools. The award of the trucks and curriculum guide was the result of Ms. Fein’s successful application to a program sponsored by the Hess Corporation and the Baylor College of Medicine promoting the educational use of toys.

“STEM is vital in our early learners’ education. It incorporates critical thinking, collaboration, and analysis which are vital in the real-world contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said Shaun Rothberg, Principal of Stagecoach Elementary School. “Exposing our students to STEM early in their education better prepares them for success throughout the educational and life journey.”

The Hess Corporation and Baylor College of Medicine sponsor the STEM Educational Outreach Program which offers free learning kits that include the Hess toy trucks and the STEM curriculum guide. This year the program gave away up to 1,000 STEM kits.

“Our third-grade students were excited to receive the toy trucks and to explore the principals of speed, velocity, and friction related to driving, racing, and track design,” said Ms. Fein. “Thank you to the Hess Corporation and the Baylor College of Medicine!”

Drive With a Reason This Winter Season

Newfield High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions club (SADD) facilitated a successful Driver’s Safety Program through a collaboration of the Town of Brookhaven and Newfield High School Health classes.

“Educating our students about driving responsibly and safely is important, especially during the holiday season,” said Danielle Dineen, Newfield High School SADD advisor. “Through the Driver’s Safety Program, our students participated in an indoor obstacle course and witnessed firsthand how dangerous driving can be if one takes their eyes off the road—even just for a second!”

Al Ferrari, a volunteer retired police officer, and his Driver Safety team visited Newfield High School and presented some difficult truths about driver’s safety, one of which was that Middle Country Road is rated the fourth most dangerous road in New York State. The powerful presentation really resonated with students; many stayed after to personally thank them and express how the program had affected them. 

During the aforementioned obstacle course, students were challenged to not hit any traffic cones while texting, speeding, or wearing vision-distorting “drunk” goggles. Students learned that multitasking while driving is always unsafe and always a bad idea.

“Thank you to Al Ferrari and Tom Indence for visiting our school; Lisa Cook, our school librarian for her technical assistance in preparing for the event; and the Newfield High School custodial team for assisting in the set up of the space,” said Ashley Sabia, Newfield High School SADD advisor.

Jericho Elementary School Students Donate to Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue in Port Jefferson Station

Jericho Elementary School Fifth-grade students in Middle Country Central School District’ Jericho Elementary School were called to action to demonstrate the values of citizenship and cooperation as part of their Character Education. The students collected donations for Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue in Port Jefferson Station. 

“It is heart-warming and inspiring to see our students come together to give back to their community,” said Maria Rivera Jespersen, Elementary Character Education teacher. “Through their efforts, we were able to donate a few hundred pounds of cat and dog food, hundreds of cleaning supply items, pet toys, and over 30 large custodial bags and boxes filled with assorted items! These are all staple items the rescue shelter needs to help keep the animals healthy and to provide a clean, safe, nurturing home for them.”

Character Education has been part of the Middle Country Central School District’s teachings for the past two decades. In the last two years, a more defined curriculum has been developed and implemented during the elementary school students’ weekly library time. Each of the elementary schools in the Middle Country  School District can choose a project that will engage its students in a community service effort benefitting community members in need or a specific community organization.

Centereach High School’s Robotics Team Participates in VEX Spin Up Robotics Competition

The Centereach High School’s robotics team, the “CouGears”, recently traveled to Vaughn College in Queens, New York for a VEX Spin Up robotics competition.

“We are so proud of our CouGears. They showed great ability and determination,” said Thomas Bell, Principal of Centereach High School. “We look forward to seeing the teams competing in more regional competitions this winter. Good luck, CouGears!”

The robotics team competed against 31 other school districts and ranked fourth place for qualifying matches with a 5-1 record. They moved on to compete in the elimination rounds and made it to the semifinals. The team showed great skill in other driver and programming challenges, earning them an invitation to the VEX New York State Championship in March. 


Middle Country Central School District Shares the Holiday Spirit

Before heading into their winter break, Middle Country Central School District’s elementary schools were busy sharing the holiday spirit through various activities. Newfield High School’s Drum Club visited New Lane Elementary School to spread holiday cheer by performing with their drums. New Lane Elementary School students also read The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School by Laura Murray. Students were given clues and had to figure out where the gingerbread man was hiding. 

At Eugene Auer Elementary School and Holbrook Road Elementary School, the Elf visited to wish all the families a happy and safe winter break. Holbrook Road Elementary School also delivered beautiful poinsettias to Arbors Nursing home in Hauppauge.

Making a surprise visit to Middle Country Central School District’s pre-kindergarten students were the Grinch and the gingerbread man. The young learners spoke to the visitors about what the holidays mean to them and how excited they were to spend time with their loved ones. At Jericho Elementary School, Centereach High School student Adam Piotrowski, an accomplished accordion virtuoso, shared the holiday spirit by playing throughout the school’s halls and classrooms.

At Hawkins Path Elementary School, students, staff, PTA, and Santa served up holiday cheer at Apple Bee’s flapjack fundraiser to raise money to provide meaningful assemblies focusing on kindness, building self-esteem, and making possible visits by local authors. 

The gingerbread man visiting Middle Country Central School District’s prekindergarten students
Centereach High School student, Adam Piotrowski playing his accordion for the Jericho Elementary School students
Holbrook Road Elementary School student with poinsettias to deliver to the  Arbors Nursing home in Hauppauge.
New Lane Elementary School with their missing gingerbread man
Elf visiting Eugene Auer Elementary School

The Grinch visiting Middle Country Central School District’s pre-kindergarten students
Hawkins Path Elementary School students with Santa at the Apple Bee’s flapjack fundraiser
Newfield High School Drum club performing at New Lane Elementary School

Middle Country Student-Musicians Perform at 64th Annual Senior High School All-County Music Festival

Recently Middle Country Central School District’s student-musicians performed at the 64th Annual Senior High School All-County Music Festival presented by the New York State Council of Administration of Music Education (NYSCAME) and the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA). The concert took place at Half Hollow Hills High School East.

 “We are incredibly proud of our students’ accomplishments and dedication to their passion for music,” said Dr. Diana Cook, Middle Country Central School District Director of Music, Fine Arts, and Community Media Relations. “Congratulations to our All-County musicians and thank you to their teachers, Dr. Harold Goldstein, Ms. Joan Meichner, and Mr. Brian Hough who have guided, mentored, and supported these students as they hone and advance their musical skills.”

The students had the opportunity to rehearse and perform with other outstanding junior and senior student-musicians throughout the county performing major masterworks under the direction of master conductors, Marc Greene, Mixed Chorus conductor, Dr. Jennifer Micelli, Treble Choir conductor, and Michael Cordaro, Symphonic Band conductor.

Students were selected to perform at the 64th Annual Senior High School All-County Music Festival on the basis of the outstanding rating they received as soloists in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo and Ensemble Festival held in the Spring of 2022, along with their music teacher’s recommendation. 

Newfield High School Band:
Rebekah Giglio, Baritone Saxophone
Cameron Unger, TromboneNewfield High School Mixed Chorus:
Jules Mast, Alto 1
Eli Horowitz, Bass 1

Centereach High School Treble Choir:
Grace D’Acampora, Alto 2

Centereach High School Mixed Chorus:
Emily Strange, Alto 1
Finn Taich, Bass 1
Julian Strano, Bass 1

Newfield High School NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County musicians, Cameron Unger, Jules Mast, Eli Horowitz, and Rebekah Giglio

Centereach High School NYSCAME/SCMEA All-County musicians, Grace D’Acampora, Emily Strange, Finn Taich, and Julian Strano

Holiday Feast!

In the spirit of the holidays and togetherness, students in Centereach High School’s Life Skills Class collaborated on the preparation and cooking of an in-class holiday feast to be enjoyed by the class prior to the holiday break.  “Our Life Skills class is structured to educate our students on a wide set of social, behavioral, and everyday skills that will be used for a lifetime,” noted Thomas Bell, Principal of Centereach High School. “This exercise, while educational, also provided an engaging, fun experience that could be shared amongst the students in the class.”

Students in the Life Skills Class are special education students of various levels of learning challenges. During the class, students are taught basic lifelong skills such as how to wash and dry their clothes and how to cook. Students in the class are also provided experiences that teach goal-setting, problem-solving, communication, safety, and nutrition skills. 

Middle Country Central School District Celebrates Board Members

The Middle Country Central School District recently celebrated its Board members at their last Board meeting in honor of School Board Recognition Week. “Our Board members devote countless hours to make sure our schools have the necessary resources to ensure our students can be successful,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “On behalf of the Middle Country Central School District family, I would like to thank our School Board members for their selfless commitment to our students, our faculty and staff, and to the entire Middle Country School District community.”

Students from schools throughout the Middle Country School District attended the board meeting with their peers to present various interactive performances to highlight some of the amazing educational initiatives that Middle Country students have due to the Board’s leadership and support.  For example, one group of students performed bucket drumming which is part of the STEM Celebration. The performance was coordinated by Scott Kubik, Stagecoach Elementary School music teacher. The Centereach Robotics Team, advised by Technology teacher Nick Parrinello, coordinated a robotics student demonstration, where the Board Members had the opportunity to drive the robot.  

One of the more entertaining presentations was made by the College Computer Graphics Class, taught by Jeannette Kiesling Centereach High School Computer Graphics teacher. The class designed wooden superhero emblems of Middle Country’s District Logo on the Glowforge,  a 3D laser printer with a wooden copy printed for each Board member. Members of the Centereach High School Drama Club, advised by Patty Duryea, Theatre Director, presented a short performance from their latest show, Pinocchio.

Amy Pacifico, Coordinator of World Studies K-12, and Dr. Kyrie Siegal, ELA Coordinator brought in four third-grade students from Jericho Elementary School to read their essays about the importance of Super Citizens and who they are, while dressed in their outfits.  These community Super Citizens include Police Officers, Firefighters, Doctors, and School Board Members.  The students learned about what Board Members do and how they are Super Citizens in education. The second-grade students drew pictures and wrote letters, thanking the members for their hard work and dedication. Lynn McMillin, PTA Council President, and the PTA Council gifted the Board Members with Super Citizen-designed cookies.

“It takes strong schools to build a strong community and our Board members spend countless hours studying education issues, reviewing regulations, speaking with the educators in this district as well as Board members in other districts, to ensure the decisions they make are the best decisions for the children of the Middle Country School District community,” said Dr. Diana Cook, Director of Music, Fine Arts, and Community Media Relations. “Even though we make a formal effort to show our appreciation during School Board Recognition Week, their contributions and dedication are appreciated every day of the year by all of us.”

Board Members:
Dawn Sharrock, President
Robert Feeney, Vice President
Arlene Barresi, Trustee
John DeBenedetto, Trustee
Doreen Feldmann, Trustee
Denise Haggerty, Trustee
Robert Hallock, Trustee
Deborah Mann-Rodriguez, Trustee
Kathleen Walsh, Trustee