Trip to Washington, D.C.

When it comes to education, it is essential for students to have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities to enhance their learning experience. Newfield High School music students, including band, orchestra, and chorus members, recently went on an educational trip to Washington D.C. for three days. In addition to the educational aspects of the trip, including visits to our national monuments, the students were given the opportunity to perform at the Jefferson Memorial and at the U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza.

“Newfield High School music students work hard both in their academic and musical endeavors,” said Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School. “This field trip allowed our students to learn about our country’s history, make lasting memories with their peers, and share their musical talent.”

At the beginning of the trip, students visited the Jefferson Memorial and WWII monuments. Students then had the opportunity to visit the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. In addition to visiting the national monuments, students visited the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Kennedy Center. While in D.C., the students even had the opportunity to attend a major league baseball game.

Newfield High School Participates in Wellness Week for Mental Health Awareness Month

Newfield High School hosted a Wellness Week in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. Wellness Week is a school-wide event where each day has a theme of healthy habits and outlets for mental health.

“Wellness Week was a huge success. The SADD advisors and students were instrumental in organizing this event. Special thanks to advisors Danielle Dineen and Ashley Sabia,” said Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School. “Our students’ positive mental health in and outside of school is vital to their education, academic success, and emotional well-being. We want our students to feel comfortable with their feelings and be able to express themselves in constructive ways that nurture and support their mental, social, and emotional health.” 

On Love Your Selfie Day Monday, students were invited to visit the tables outside their cafeteria where they had a selfie station. Students were encouraged to take photos with props with positive messages. Newfield High School’s cosmetology students were there to help everyone look and feel beautiful. Participants also had therapeutic hair brushing or hair extension sessions. For Tasty Treat Tuesday, students were given tasty treats while learning about nutritional wellness. A representative from Energize Nutrition visited to answer questions and address concerns related to diet and nutrition. On Paws-itive Mindset Wednesday, students were asked to write down any fears, obstacles, or problems they were currently dealing with. Then they were asked to use the shredding machine to “destroy” the things holding them back. Therapy dogs from Therapy Dogs of Long Island visited the classrooms. Thankful Thursday was all about gratitude. Students were asked to fill out a thank you gram for someone in their lives who they appreciate and are thankful for. The Wellness Week ended with a Fitness Friday. Students joined in on a fitness challenge where they had to participate in five different one-minute-long exercises. A personal trainer from Masá CrossFit made an appearance to speak to the students about how physical well-being was a critical factor in ensuring their mental health and well-being.

Middle Country Central School District Announces Middle School Students of the Month for May

The Middle Country Central School District has announced that My’Kell Durham and Logan Haberstoh have been named middle school students of the month for the month of May 2023. The two students were honored at a recent  Board of Education meeting. 

Dawnwood Middle School student My’Kell Durham is an energetic student with a vivacious energy, smile, and welcoming personality. He is eager to help those around him, listen to his teachers, and put in extra effort in all subject areas. Throughout his years at Dawnwood Middle School, My’Kell’s growth as a student and an individual has been recognized by his teachers and peers. Once a shy young boy, My’Kell has blossomed into a youngster exuding self-confidence and congeniality.  Recently, My’Kell went around to students in his school to help raise awareness for the school’s dance and yoga fundraising event, culminating in the raising of $800. 

Selden Middle School student Logan Haberstroh excels academically. He has maintained impressive grades throughout his middle school career. Logan’s grades average  95 or higher. As a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Logan has done community service at a local home for handicapped adults and has worked to improve the gardens at New Lane Elementary School where he attended elementary school. Logan enjoys being involved in the National Junior Honor  Society, where his participation is providing him with the skills and knowledge to become a responsible local as well as global citizen.  

Centereach High School Virtual Enterprise Takes On NYC Youth Business Summit

The Centereach High School Virtual Enterprise firm participated in the Youth Business Summit at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City recently. Over 6,000 students from around the world participated in the summit. Each firm set up its sales booth, students from each firm networked and exchanged ideas and information, and firms conducted business transactions and made purchases using their POS (point-of-sale) systems. As described by Virtual Enterprises International, organizer of the event, the Youth Business Summit is a dynamic three-day event that brings together young people from across the U.S. and around the world to compete, attend leadership events, and network with peers and professionals. During the three days, Virtual Enterprise students are given the opportunity to display the professional skills and business acumen they have developed through their participation in the Virtual Enterprise program during the school year.

“Our students did an excellent job representing our school,” said Thomas Bell, Principal of Centereach High School. “The international trade show allowed our students to have the opportunity to participate in an educational experience that aligns with their career interest and work-based learning.” 

Middle Country Students Featured on Spotlight on Long Island Schools with Host Bob Vecchio

Recently,  Middle Country Central School District students took part in a recording session on the Long Island News Radio 103.9 radio show, Spotlight on Long Island Schools, with host Bob Vecchio. 

Spotlight on Long Island Schools is a 30-minute broadcast aired every Saturday highlighting schools across Long Island, touching on topics impacting students and teachers. These thought-provoking interviews and meaningful discussions allow the show’s guests to speak about school pride moments, school messaging, and curriculum. Bob Vecchio is the executive director of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association, serving over 100 Boards of Education on Long Island.

The Middle Country students can be heard during the show’s upcoming  Saturday, June 10, and Saturday, June 17 airings. A cross-section of students took part in the show’s taping, which allowed Vecchio to ask questions regarding student involvement with community service, athletics, theatre arts, and the rigor of Middle Country’s capstone program, a graduation requirement that challenges students to complete advanced research projects. 

Centereach High School Theatre Arts Students Perform Disney’s Beauty and The Beast

Centereach High School Theatre Arts proudly presented Disney’s classic, Beauty and The Beast. In addition to the several evening performances for the general Centereach High School community, the Theatre Arts Department collaborated with the Centereach High School Student Council to invite senior citizens to an exclusive Disney’s Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea and show. Senior citizens were able to enjoy light snacks and desserts before enjoying the exhilarating performance.

“This was an all-hands-on-deck production. A round of applause to our cast, pit, crews, and committees for the countless hours dedicated to this production,” said Tom Bell, Principal of Centereach High School.  “I am incredibly proud of our staff and thespian students for presenting this spectacular performance.”

Finn Taich, a Centereach High School senior, was cast as the Beast. This is Finn’s eighth show at Centereach High School. He was selected for the 2022 NYSSMA All-State Conference and is the student director of  Centereach High School’s men’s choir. 

Tatiana Arezzo, a Centereach High School junior, was exceptional as Belle. She was also a guest soloist at Centereach’s Women’s History Month Celebration. Last year, Tatiana was a part of the production of High School Musical, an understudy for one of the main characters, Gabriella. During the fall season, Tatiana worked behind the scenes as costume manager for the plays. She also performs with the school’s varsity kickline team.

Tatiana Arezzo – Belle
Finn Taich – Beast
Emily Strange – Mrs. Potts
Vincent Ferrara – Gaston
Molleigh Fetherston – Lumiere
Rowen Willis – Cogsworth
Zachary Atkinson – Lefou
Natalie Godinez – Madame de La Grande Bouche
Krystian Karwowski – Maurice
Julian Strano – D’Arque
Skyla Gotay – Babette
Isabella Jorge – Chip
Anastasia Vujovic, Dakota White, and Grace D’Acampora – Silly Girls

Newfield High School Cuts Loose with Footloose

Newfield High School theatre art students recently performed the 1998 musical, Footloose. In addition to the performance, Newfield High School G.O. put together a dinner and performance for senior citizens for a night of entertainment, dancing, and delicious Italian food and cookies.

“Footloose’s storyline emphasizes the value of expressing oneself through music and the positive impact all artistic disciplines can have on one’s life. Our Newfield High School thespians embody raw talent, dedication, and pure passion for creativity and self-expression,” said Margaret Derasmo, Costumes and Props Director. “They put on a performance, as is tradition with our thespians, that brought the audience to their feet with their exceptional acting, singing, and dancing.”

The audience was on the edge of their seats listening to nostalgic songs and watching the high-spirited dances. The performance was a huge success and viewers appreciated the drama, comedy, and romance.

“Congratulations to our Newfield High School Theatre Arts for another outstanding performance. A round of applause to our student leaders, ensemble, cast, crew members, pit orchestra, and our cosmetology department,” said Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School. “Thank you to our production staff for dedicating their time to ensure our students were able to perform to their highest potential.”

Middle Country Schools Honor March Students of the Month

The Middle Country Central School District named four students from the District’s four secondary schools as students of the month for March. Each student was recognized at a recent Board of Education meeting, acknowledging their dedication to excellence and community involvement.

“Each month we are surrounded by four brilliant students who emulate hard work, passion, and values of the entire Middle Country student body,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “We are honored to announce our students who go above and beyond in and outside of school.”

Centereach High School student Amber McLeod is an exceptional student academically. She challenges herself by taking a rigorous schedule. Her current weighted GPA is 96.6 and she is ranked in the top 20 percent of Centereach High School’s graduating class. Amber will graduate in June with three completed AP classes and six college-level classes. She is a key member of a newly formed psychology club that raises awareness and provides support to students suffering from mental health issues. She is the leader of history club serving as the president for the group’s Black History Month activities and celebrations. Outside of school, Amber volunteers for a non-profit organization, Sessions for Hope. This organization operates out of SUNY Old Westbury and SUNY Stony Brook and is dedicated to offering mental and spiritual guidance for young men and women.

Amber is currently in the process of weighing her options for school next year. She plans to study education and attain her master’s degree in English. She hopes to travel the world and teach English at an international school and plans to continue with her own writing, hoping to publish books and write screenplays for movies.

Newfield High School student Delaney Unger is passionate about all things music and dance. She has been dancing since she was three years old. In sixth grade, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bone in her left femur. During chemotherapy treatments, she was given the option to have a surgical procedure called rotation plasty amputation. This phenomenal surgery had only been performed once before at Stony Brook University Hospital. On April 5, 2017, Delaney opted to do the surgery and was ultimately declared cancer-free in September 2017. Fast forward six years, Laney is the captain of the Newfield High School varsity kickline team and is a  teacher at Chorus Line Dance Studio. Delaney is a member of the Tri-M Honor Society, the Foreign Language Honor Society, and Girl Scouts. She maintains a weighted average of 98.48 and has the potential to graduate in June with more than 35 college credits.

Delaney and her family founded The Live Like Laney Foundation which is dedicated to helping children and families dealing with childhood cancer. She is committed to the University of South Carolina for the fall and hopes to continue with kickline.

Dawnwood Middle School student Morgan Primak is a model student with a wonderful personality and an endless thirst for knowledge. Morgan’s overall average for her sixth-grade school year is 99.4 and her average for the first and second quarters of this school year is 99.3. Outside of the classroom Morgan’s main interest is swimming. She is a member of the Three Village Swim Club where she dedicates her time to swimming six days out the week for an hour to an hour and a half per day. She is also a member of the seventh-grade orchestra, National Junior Honor Society, Sign Language club, and Youth for Humanities club. Morgan hopes to become a veterinarian when she finishes college.

Selden Middle School student Laci Turner is a well-rounded student. Her grades have been very impressive since she first arrived. Her first quarterly average back in sixth grade was 96.8 and it has never dropped below that since. During the past six quarters, Laci’s quarterly average has been 99 five times.

Laci is the captain of Selden Middle School’s field hockey team and the president of the National Junior Honor Society. Laci plays lacrosse and basketball for Selden Middle School. She has been a Girl Scout since the first grade and loves dancing. Laci volunteers at the Middle Country Public Library and her church. She hopes to attend Columbia University or Yale University and pursue a career as an orthodontist.

PARP Celebration at Middle Country Central School District

Elementary schools in the Middle Country Central School District have been busy celebrating Pick A Reading Partner (PARP) week to get their young learners excited about literature. For example, at Stagecoach Elementary School, students participated in PARP week with a fairy tale theme, “Once Upon a PARP”. To kick off the week, students engaged in various events and activities such as fairy tale trivia, free book giveaways, drop everything and read time, ballroom gym, and mystery guest readers.

At North Coleman Road Elementary School, students celebrated PARP week with a theme of “Invasion for the Out of This World”,  where Rachel Ndembera, Coordinator of Science and Research K-12, visited the students as a guest reader. Ms. Ndembera shared two amazing stories celebrating women who made outstanding contributions to our nation’s space program.  At North Coleman Road, students created North Coleman Road aliens during their art classes.

Learning to read is arguably the most important skill in a child’s education. PARP week is a great opportunity for students to ask an older sibling, parent, grandparent, or friend, to become a reading partner and read with them for at least 20 minutes. PARP was first introduced in 1978 by New York State Senator James Donovan in hopes of strengthening the collaboration between home and school to encourage students’ love of reading.

Middle Country Student Wins New York State Gymnastics Title

Middle Country Central School District recently announced Hannah Hughes, a sophomore at Newfield High School dominated the New York State Gymnastics Competition in Buffalo, New York. Hannah placed third in floor, third in beam, second in bars, and first place in vault. She was also named the New York State All-Around Champion.

“Congratulations to Hannah for her outstanding performance at the state gymnastics competition in Buffalo. The numerous awards she won in Buffalo, including being named the all-around champion at the competition, are indicative of her commitment to her athletic craft. ,” said Joseph Mercado, Middle Country Central School District Director of Athletics. “Hannah has always shown great enthusiasm and passion for gymnastics. Her dedication to her sport serves as a role model for the other athletes in our program..”