Centereach Senior Recognized in U.S. Presidential Scholar Program

Congratulations Jonathan G. Mears

Jonathan G. Mears, senior at Centereach High School

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2021)—Centereach High School’s Jonathan G. Mears has been nominated by the White House’s Commission on Presidential Scholars as a candidate for the United States Presidential Scholars Program. The initiative, established in 1964 by executive order of President Johnson, recognizes the Nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Jonathan’s high scoring on his standardized tests, ranked among New York State’s top 20 male examinees for the SAT and ACT, earned him an exclusive invitation to complete an application for the presidential program. Applicants are juried based on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and an analysis of their essay. Jonathan is now placed into a larger pool for the opportunity to be selected among 800 fellow-candidates as a semifinalist. His application will be forwarded to the Commission for further review.

January Students of the Month from Middle Country

Congratulations Isabella Zimmerman, Parker McPhillips, Michael Ramos Cody, and Naveed Bayan

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) has selected four students—Isabella Zimmerman, Centereach High School; Parker McPhillips, Newfield High School; Michael Ramos Cody, Selden Middle School; and Naveed Bayan, Dawnwood Middle School—as its student of the month recipients for January.

“Students who are selected as student of the month have distinguished themselves as individuals who actively emulate our district’s mission in empowering and inspiring all students in Middle Country,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of MCCSD. “It is with great pride that we congratulate Isabella, Parker, Michael, and Naveed for this tremendous achievement. Each of these students have proven themselves worthy of this distinction by maintaining exceptionally high standards in the classroom and community, and keeping busy with their respective extracurriculars—all with a positive attitude.”

Isabella Zimmerman, senior at Centereach High School, is widely recognized as a natural leader and ambitious young woman inside and outside of the classroom. Upon graduation in June, Isabella will have completed no less than seven college level courses while also balancing extracurricular activities. Since the 10th grade, Isabella has been an active member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and currently holds the position of president. In her role, she spearheaded a Thanksgiving food drive, as well as a holiday greeting card drive as a way to give back to the community during challenging times. Isabella, also a scholar athlete, has been a member of the CHS Varsity Cheerleading throughout high school. Simultaneously, Isabella pursues gymnastics through an outside organization and mentors younger gymnasts in her free time. In the fall, Isabella plans to study at Utica College and pursue a career in physical therapy.

Newfield High School (NHS) senior Parker McPhillips has a highly regarded reputation for his dynamic personality. He is known as a force to be reckoned with. His inquisitive nature, continuously making connections and offering insight to inspire further discussion, has earned him a well-deserved Grade Point Average (GPA) of 93 percent and a mentoring role in NHS’s environmental club. Parker’s enthusiasm for school and life has distinguished him as a role model for his peers and teachers alike. Collectively, Newfield’s staff recognize Parker as an extraordinary individual who has the power to change people’s perspective, and in turn, makes the world a better place.

Michael Ramos Cody, an eighth grader at Selden Middle School, possesses the qualities of perseverance and determination at a level not often found in middle school students. As a result, his academic pursuits include a 99 percent GPA for quarter one and he is on track to complete quarter two with the same results. Outside the classroom, Michael’s perseverance and determination are also evident. With his interest in engineering, Michael educated himself on computer components, bought the materials and successfully built his very own computer. Michael is also very involved with the community library and has previously volunteered his time as a book buddy, art buddy, and LEGO buddy.Dawnwood Middle School eighth grader Naveed Bayan is well-known as a motivated and earnest student. His genuine inner drive to learn has led him to success in his academics with a 98.8 percent GPA for quarter one. Naveed’s constant striving to excel is well known among his teachers. In Algebra, for example, Naveed’s teacher, Ms. Beukelaer, oftentimes finds herself reiterating to Naveed that his work is exemplary, and he does not need to detail as much work as he performs, full well knowing that Naveed will acknowledge her advice, and continue just the same in his relentless pursuit of perfection. In the future, Naveed would like to take his strong interest in medicine and become a surgeon.

Middle Country Hits the High Notes

Congratulations Logan Mazer and Robert Montano on Being Selected for NAfME’s All-Eastern Ensembles

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—Two Middle Country Central School District seniors—Logan Mazer, Newfield High School and Robert Montano, Centereach High School—are among 39 students from Suffolk County, 184 from New York State, selected by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to perform in the All-Eastern Honors Ensembles virtual event in March.

“Logan and Robert have proven themselves as two very distinguished individuals with natural musical talent and exceptional work ethic, respectively,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of MCCSD. “I am proud to celebrate Logan and Robert, as well as their teachers, Dr. Harold Goldstein and Mr. Brian Hough, on this well-earned recognition and extraordinary opportunity. We wish these two the best of luck on their upcoming performances.”

Logan Mazer, selected for clarinet, and Robert Montano, selected for voice, will perform exceptionally challenging music under the direction of prominent conductors. For three days, the two will collaborate with members of their respective ensembles for a program of rehearsals, masterclasses and sectionals on March 4-6. A video recording, including Logan and Robert, will be premiered at the Eastern Division Professional Development Conference, held via Zoom on April 22-24.

Middle Country Awards December Students of the Month

Congratulations DeShawn Jamison, Vincent Robitaile, Julia Lizewski, and Aidan Eck

MIDDLE COUNTRY, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) is proud to announce its December students of the month: DeShawn Jamison, Centereach High School; Vincent Robitaile, Newfield High School; Julia Lizewski, Selden Middle School; and Aidan Eck, Dawnwood Middle School. These four remarkable students are being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, dedication to extracurricular activities, and for showcasing great potential for their respective futures.

“I am thrilled to congratulate DeShawn, Vincent, Julia and Aidan for setting the bar remarkably high for others striving to follow in their footsteps,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “On behalf of the Board of Education, we look forward to witnessing the continued successes of these four students as they continue to grow into leaders of our community.”

DeShawn Jamison

Centereach High School (CHS) senior DeShawn Jamison is widely acknowledged by his peers and teachers as a high spirited and hardworking individual, always greeting those around him with a smile. As a diligent and dedicated student, DeShawn excels in his academics and beyond the classroom. Through his participation in the district’s in-house work study opportunities, DeShawn has developed partnerships with local businesses to gain real-life work experience. As a key player in CHS’s Cougar Café, a program that prepares menus and meals for staff, he spearheads all in-person sales, as well as phone orders. DeShawn attributes his radiating positive attitude to his parents and his former teacher, Mr. Hutter.DeShawnJamisonCentereach High School (CHS) senior DeShawn Jamison is widely acknowledged by his peers and teachers as a high spirited and hardworking individual, always greeting those around him with a smile. As a diligent and dedicated student, DeShawn excels in his academics and beyond the classroom. Through his participation in the district’s in-house work study opportunities, DeShawn has developed partnerships with local businesses to gain real-life work experience. As a key player in CHS’s Cougar Café, a program that prepares menus and meals for staff, he spearheads all in-person sales, as well as phone orders. DeShawn attributes his radiating positive attitude to his parents and his former teacher, Mr. Hutter.

Vincent Robitaile

Vincent Robitaile from Newfield High School (NHS), recognized as a student who always takes initiative, currently maintains a weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) of 96.0833 with the potential to graduate in June with more than 40 college credits. Several of Vincent’s accomplishments include his involvement as a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, and DECA, Inc. Outside of the classroom, Vincent works at the Middle Country Public Library, volunteers as a camp counselor at vacation bible school, and has participated in a food drive at St. Margaret’s Church to prepare food for those in need. Upon graduation in June, Vincent is aiming to attend SUNY Stony Brook.

Julia Lizewski
Julia Lizewski

Selden Middle School (SMS) eighth grader, Julia Lizewski, is widely considered to be a standout student by her teachers and peers alike. Julia’s boundless enthusiasm for learning has enabled her to maintain a yearly average at, or exceeding, 98 percent while in SMS. Julia is a valued member of the kickline team and co-president of National Junior Honor Society. Outside of school, Julia earns several hours of community service while spending time at Polish School on the weekends. 

Aidan Eck

Aidan Eck from Dawnwood Middle School (DMS) is well-known as a conscientious student who always carries a smile on his face. As an inquisitive individual, Aidan puts 100 percent effort into every assignment and strategically takes his time to ensure he’s doing his best work – characteristics that speak directly to his exceptionally high GPA of 96.75. Outside of school, Aidan participates in lacrosse and soccer and enjoys spending time with his family. In his future, Aidan aims to pursue a career in computer programming because of his natural ability with computers.

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

Four MCCSD Students Receive Suffolk Zone Award

Congratulations Savannah Bond, Lorenzo Selini, Jada Hodge and Logan Munoz

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—The Middle Country Central School District is celebrating the accomplishments of four distinguished student-athletes who were selected as recipients of the Suffolk County Zone Award. The award, sponsored by the New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NYSAHPERD), honors the top male and female physical education student in each Suffolk County high school graduating class.

The district congratulates Newfield High School’s Savannah Bond and Lorenzo Selini, as well as Centereach High School’s Jada Hodge and Logan Munoz, for this incredible achievement and for earning the status as physical fitness role models for other students.

A Little Change Makes a Big Difference

Middle Country’s Ms. Marrero Spearheads Shop with a CopInitiative Through Suffolk County’s Sixth Precinct

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—A distinguished teacher from the Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) has shown that a little change makes a big difference. Selden Middle School (SMS) teacher, Ms. Marrero, organized the district’s Shop with a Cop, a program that rewards children with the opportunity to purchase clothing and other necessities while shopping with a police officer. Several students from the district’s elementary, middle and high schools were paired with a volunteer to shop the aisles of Walmart for 60-minutes.

Warmings Hearts and Hands

Middle Country Students Host Mitten Drive Benefiting Lighthouse Mission

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (JANUARY 2021)—Middle Country’s Pre-K students at Unity Drive Pre-K/Kindergarten Center are warming more than hearts this holiday season. Inspired by Candace Christiansen’s “The Mitten Tree,” Mrs. Gorwitz and her Pre-K students organized a drive to collect mittens benefiting those in need through the local organization, Lighthouse Mission. This initiative is one of the many ways the Middle Country aims to provide students with a first-hand experience of helping those in need.

Middle Country Honors November Students of the Month

Congratulations Logan Mazer, Jada Hodge, Ayush Pal and Krish Vakharia

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (NOVEMBER 2020)—The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) is proud to recognize four students—Logan Mazer, Jada Hodge, Ayush Pal and Krish Vakharia—as students of the month for November. The four students were recognized for their continued academic success, participation in extracurricular activities and positive attitudes throughout the buildings.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, faculty, staff members and the entire Middle Country community, I want to congratulate these remarkable students on their achievements and for setting the bar high for all who will follow in their footsteps,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “We look forward to witnessing the continued success of Ayush and Krish and the contributions that Logan and Jada will make as they venture out in the world.”

Newfield High School senior Logan Mazer is the epitome of a multi-talented student balancing rigorous academics and a multitude of extracurricular activities. Logan, who will have taken a total of 12 Advanced Placement (AP) and college level courses upon graduation in June, has continued to challenge himself academically while maintaining a weighted GPA of 101.7708. Logan is a member of the Foreign Language Honor Society, pit orchestra, book club, jazz band, National Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society, and the Legislative/Community Outreach Committee.

Logan hopes to continue his studies at Georgetown University, George Washington University or University of Maryland upon graduation from Newfield High School. He intends to major in political science and aims to work toward becoming a driving force, a top advisor behind the scenes that influences positive change in the world.

Jada Hodge, a senior at Centereach High School, is an incredibly well-rounded and passionate student who has demonstrated the ability to excel academically, athletically, musically and socially—all at a very high level. Currently ranked number 21 in this year’s graduating class, Jada will have completed nine AP courses, and an additional four college level courses, upon graduation. She is also a member of the Italian Honor Society, the Tri-M Honor Society, and the National Honor Society; and participates in CHS’s environmental club and Science Olympiad. Jada is also a fierce competitor on the track, earning the title of 7th in the state for Spring 2019 in the 100-meter dash and 4th in the state for Winter 2020 in the 55-meter dash.

Jada remains undecided regarding the school she will take her talents to next year but intends to study towards her goal of becoming a physician’s assistant.

Dawnwood Middle School (DMS) eighth grade student Ayush Pal exemplifies all the characteristics of what a student should display within the classroom and the entire academic environment. Ayush is recognized as someone who is always helpful to his peers and an active participant in class, denoting his genuine eagerness to learn. He’s also a key player in the DMS percussion ensemble. Ayush, who recently achieved a perfect score of 100 for his Quarter 1 average, hopes to become a brain surgeon one day because of his interest in how the brain works.

Krish Vakharia, an eighth grade student at Selden Middle School, possesses a myriad of Middle Country’s key valuesperseverance, resiliency, responsibility, respect, and characterin spades. Academically, Krish has been a high performing student achieving nearly a perfect score on his recent report card while enrolled in two Regents level courses. Outside of academics, Krish enjoys sports like football, swimming and basketball; is a member of Best Buddies and spends time tutoring at the Middle Country Public Library.

Middle Country Students Help People Get on Their Feet

Two Middle Country Students Collect 1,500 Pairs of Socks to Benefit the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (NOVEMBER 2020)—Two distinguished and kind-hearted students from the Middle Country Central School District have been assisting others get on their feet for the winter season through their recent sock drive. Noah Hernandez, a first-grade student at New Lane Elementary School, and his brother Hunter Hernandez, a pre-kindergarten student at Bicycle Path Pre K-Kindergarten Center, are collecting pairs of socks to donate to the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, a non-profit organization that advocates for effective solutions to the homelessness crisis on Long Island. In only two weeks, the Hernandez brothers have exceeded their initial goal, 750 pairs of socks, by collecting 1,500 so far.

Local School Scores Touchdown with New York Jets Alumni

Middle Country Central School District Presented with $5,000 to Provide Students with Increased Access to Healthy Lunches

CENTEREACH, NEW YORK (November 2020)—The Middle Country Central School District (MCCSD) was recently joined by New York Jets alumni, Tony Richardson, for the presentation of a $5,000 grant award from the New York Jets & American Dairy Association of the North East to be applied towards the district’s lunch program financing.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to provide our students with increased access to healthy lunches, a districtwide goal that has been made much easier with the generosity of our friends at the New York Jets & American Dairy Association of the North East,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “It’s so important, now more than ever, that our students have access to healthy food options to remain healthy, focused and engaged. As a district, we place a heavy emphasis on promoting health and wellness, and this grant provides us with a tremendous opportunity to do both.”

In September, Middle Country’s District Manager for Whiston’s Culinary Group Laura Gaglione, applied for the grant with a vision to address food insecurities that students in the district face and to promote health and wellness for students’ development within the Middle Country school buildings.

Tony Richardson, the New York Jets & American Dairy Association of the North East and Whiston’s Culinary Group representatives joined Centereach High School and Newfield High School students, principals and coaches, as well as district and community leaders for the socially distant presentation of the grant. Many students had the opportunity to speak with Tony Richardson, learning about his years playing professional football and his motivation to help promote nutrition in schools.

Jets alumni, Tony Richardson, presented the $5,000 grant to the Middle Country School District alongside students and staff.
Lunch staff and administrators are inspired to promote health and wellness for all students with the help of the New York Jets & The American Dairy Association of the North East.