Middle Country Central School District’s 2024 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

The Middle Country Central School District recently announced that Michael Cosmo from Centereach High School and Saitta Roy from Newfield High School are their school’s respective class of 2024 valedictorians, while Gregory Mears from Centereach High School and Danica Lyktey from Newfield High School are the salutatorians. Throughout the four years in their respective high schools, these students excelled academically, were active community members, and participated in various extracurricular activities. 

Centereach High School class of 2024 valedictorian Michael Cosmo achieved outstanding academic success during his high school tenure. His weighted GPA of 103.9 is a testament to his dedication and hard work. Michael’s academic achievements include completing an impressive 13 AP classes alongside two additional college-level courses. He is a distinguished member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Beyond academics, Michael has made significant contributions to all facets of Centereach High School. He serves as the GO Treasurer, demonstrating his leadership and involvement in school activities. Michael’s talents extend to the arts and athletics, as well. He excels as a musician, playing the trumpet in the school’s jazz band and pit orchestra, and as a varsity basketball player and captain of the varsity tennis team. He has been recognized as an Academic All-county player by Suffolk County basketball coaches. Moreover, Michael has shown a strong commitment to community service, tutoring elementary students, volunteering at basketball camps, and participating in Tri-M Music Honor Society-sponsored events. After graduation, Michael plans to pursue a career in law at Georgetown University, building on his internships with local lawmakers during high school.

Centereach High School class of 2024 salutatorian Gregory Mears also achieved remarkable academic success. His combined SAT score of 1530 places him in the top 1 percent of all students nationally. Gregory has completed 11 AP classes and four additional college-level courses, earning recognition as an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National Merit Scholarship Commended student. He is a valued member of the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

In addition to his academic achievements, Gregory is deeply involved in Centereach High School’s co-curricular activities. He holds the position of vice president of the science club, co-founded the school’s chess club, and actively participates in Tri-M Music Honor Society-sponsored events. Gregory’s commitment to community service is evident through his hours spent with the Avalon Nature Initiative in Stony Brook. As a talented musician, he serves as principal bassist in the Philharmonic and chamber orchestras, 

Gregory embodies the spirit of the music department and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. After graduation, Gregory plans to pursue English Literature at Colby College in Maine.

Newfield High School class of 2024 valedictorian Saitta Roy boasts a weighted GPA of 102.1913 and will have the potential to graduate in June with more than 30 college credits. She keeps herself busy as a member of the school’s mock trial team. the crochet club, the newspaper club, and the pit orchestra. She is also the vice president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and president of the National Honor Society.

Outside of school, Saitta works at the Middle Country Public Library and serves as a tutor, also known as a homework pal, for elementary-age students. Saitta has accumulated over 100 hours of community service as a book buddy, making donations to Stony Brook Hospital through the crochet club, serving food at the New Lane Elementary School MVP dance, and running a station at Bicycle Path Literacy Expo through the National Honor Society. Saitta will be attending the University of Notre Dame, at which she will major in mechanical engineering on her way to law school.

Newfield High School class of 2024 salutatorian Danica Lyktey earned the number two spot out of 324 seniors maintaining a 101.6888 weighted GPA. She took a total of 15 advanced placement and college-level classes throughout her high school career, Danica’s got the potential to graduate with more than 40 college credits. 

Danica is an active member of the Spanish Honor Society. the National Honor Society. and is also part of the school’s varsity kick line. Outside of school, she is a competitive dancer at Inspirations Performing Arts Centre and this year she is teaching her class for 3- to 6-year-old students. Danica will be attending SUNY Binghamton in the fall, majoring in psychology.

Hawkins Path Elementary School Receives Generous $5,000 Donation from Burlington Store at College Plaza

Hawkins Path Elementary School received a generous donation of $5,000 from the new Burlington store located at College Plaza in Selden. The donation, made in conjunction with AdoptAClassroom.org, will provide vital support for the school’s educational programs and initiatives.

“We are deeply grateful to Burlington and AdoptAClassroom.org for this generous donation,” said Hawkins Path Elementary School Principal Kristi Leonard. “This contribution will have a meaningful impact on our students and teachers, providing essential resources and support for our educational programs.”

The $5,000 donation will be used to fund classroom supplies, educational materials, and enrichment activities at the elementary school. The support from Burlington and AdoptAClassroom.org will help provide the resources students need to succeed academically and thrive in the classroom.

Dawnwood and Selden Middle School Students Showcase Innovative Research at Stony Brook University’s Offshore Wind Energy Symposium

Seventh-grade students from Dawnwood and Selden middle schools visited Stony Brook University, where they proudly presented their research projects at the prestigious Offshore Wind Energy Symposium.

The symposium provided a platform for students to explore the world of renewable energy and learn about the potential of offshore wind power. Under the guidance of dedicated teachers and mentors, students from Dawnwood and Selden Middle Schools researched various aspects of offshore wind energy, developing innovative solutions to real-world challenges.

During the event, students showcased their findings through presentations and interactive demonstrations. From exploring the environmental impact of offshore wind farms to designing efficient turbine models, the students’ projects covered a wide range of topics, reflecting their passion for sustainability and renewable energy.

The symposium also served as a valuable learning experience for the students, who had the opportunity to engage with experts in the field, participate in hands-on activities, and experience climate simulation models through the virtual reality deck at the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology. By immersing themselves in the world of offshore wind energy, the students gained a deeper understanding of the importance of sustainable practices and the role they can play in shaping a greener future.

Newfield High School Celebrates Spectacular International Night

Newfield High School hosted an unforgettable International Night recently showing the vibrant tapestry of cultures within its student body and community. The event, held in the school’s gymnasium, captivated attendees with mesmerizing performances, tantalizing cuisines, and immersive cultural experiences. 

From captivating dances to soul-stirring songs and rhythmic drumming, the International Night at Newfield High was a testament to the rich diversity that defines the school and its surrounding community. Students from various cultural backgrounds enthusiastically participated, infusing the evening with their unique talents and traditions.

One of the highlights of the evening was the cultural attire worn by students, illustrating the kaleidoscope of traditions represented at Newfield High School. Attendees were transported on a global journey as they meandered through the gymnasium, encountering interactive booths representing different countries and cultures.

“International Night is a celebration of who we are as a school community: diverse, inclusive, and vibrant,” remarked Scott Graviano, Principal of Newfield High School. “It’s a testament to our commitment to embracing and honoring the rich cultural tapestry that enriches our school environment.”

The event provided an opportunity for attendees to broaden their horizons and deepen their understanding of various cultures. From sampling cultural foods to learning about customs and traditions from around the world, guests were immersed in a global experience. Newfield High School’s International Night exemplified the power of unity in diversity, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual respect among students and the wider community.

Newfield High School Students Embark on Unforgettable Music Trip to Boston

Over 100 music students from Newfield High School embarked on an enriching and thrilling field trip to Boston, Massachusetts, marking a memorable chapter in their academic journey. 

The exploration of Boston’s cultural treasures continued with a visit to the New England Aquarium, where students marveled at the diverse marine life and engaged in hands-on learning experiences. Adding their artistic flair to the trip, Newfield High School students even were able to perform at the famous Quincy Market showcasing their musical talents and spreading joy to visitors from around the world. 

Students delved into a whirlwind of cultural and educational experiences, exploring the vibrant city and immersing themselves in its rich history and artistic offerings. The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the mesmerizing performance by the world-renowned Blue Man Group. Students were captivated by the innovative blend of music, comedy, and technology, experiencing an unforgettable evening of entertainment that left them inspired and energized. In addition to the Blue Man Group performance, students enjoyed a plethora of recreational activities, including bowling, laser tag, and arcade games, fostering camaraderie and team spirit among classmates. 

The excitement continued with a Boston Duck Boat tour, offering panoramic views of the city’s iconic landmarks and historical sites. Additionally, students were even ready to view the solar eclipse with their protective eyewear on the Boston harbor.

Of course, no field trip to Boston would be complete without exploring the city’s world-renowned educational institutions. Students visited the Harvard University Campus, immersing themselves in the prestigious academic atmosphere and gaining insights into higher education opportunities. The educational journey extended to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, where students delved into the life and legacy of one of America’s most iconic leaders, deepening their understanding of history and politics.

This immersive field trip provided students with invaluable opportunities for personal growth, cultural enrichment, and artistic expression. Through these experiences, they not only enhanced their musical skills but also cultivated a deeper appreciation for the arts and the world around them. As they return to Newfield High School, these students carry with them cherished memories and newfound inspirations, ready to continue their academic journey with renewed passion and enthusiasm.

Selden Middle School Present the Enchanting Legally Blonde: The Musical Jr.

Selden Middle School proudly presented Legally Blonde: The Musical Jr.Bursting with energy, talent, and vivaciousness, the Selden Middle School rendition captivated audiences of all ages with a delightful blend of comedy, heart, and empowerment.

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde: The Musical Jr. follows the journey of Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen who defies expectations and stereotypes to pursue her dreams of attending Harvard Law School. Fueled by her determination and the power of pink, Elle discovers her inner strength, resilience, and the true meaning of success.

Under the guidance of director Melanie Maiorca, the talented cast and crew of Selden Middle School worked tirelessly to bring this uplifting story to life on stage. From infectious musical numbers to hilarious comedic moments, audiences enjoyed a vibrant and memorable theatrical experience that celebrated friendship, self-discovery, and the pursuit of one’s passions.

Middle Country Central School District Elementary School Students Engage in Unique Learning Experiences During Solar Eclipse

Elementary school students at Middle Country Central School District recently took part in an extraordinary learning opportunity as they researched, explored, and experienced the fascinating phenomenon of a solar eclipse. With enthusiasm and curiosity, young minds actively participated in various classroom lessons and engaging activities tailored to deepen their understanding of this celestial event. Schools were even dismissed later so students could stay and witness this amazing event.

“We are thrilled to provide our students with such a remarkable learning experience,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “Engaging students in scientific inquiry and exploration is essential to their academic growth and curiosity. The solar eclipse provided a perfect opportunity to spark their interest in astronomy and inspire a lifelong love for science.”

The educational initiative aimed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the solar eclipse while emphasizing safety precautions. Students were equipped with safety glasses, thoughtfully provided by the district, ensuring that they could experience the eclipse firsthand with parental consent. Under the guidance of educators, students had the chance to witness the awe-inspiring spectacle while the younger students at the pre-k/kindergarten center participated in viewing parties from the official NASA broadcast.

The experience offered students a unique opportunity to witness the cosmic event alongside their peers. Furthermore, for those unable to venture outdoors, the school facilitated live streaming of the solar eclipse within the classrooms. Through this interactive approach, every student had the chance to witness the eclipse in real-time. The event not only provided a memorable learning experience but also ignited students’ curiosity about astronomy and the wonders of the universe. By combining hands-on observation with classroom instruction, Middle Country Central School District empowered students to explore science in a tangible and immersive way.

Big Heart, Big Hair, and Big Dreams

Newfield High School Theatre Arts students proudly put on a production of the Broadway classic, Hairspray. Newfield’s performance captivated audiences with infectious energy, memorable tunes, and powerful messages of inclusivity.

Based on the iconic John Waters film, Hairspray follows the story of Tracy Trumblad, a big-hearted teenager with big hair with an even bigger dream: to dance her way onto national television and inspire change in 1960s Baltimore. Filled with laughter, romance, and toe-tapping music, the production celebrated diversity, self-expression, and the power of standing up for what is right.

Under the direction of Director Joan Meichner, the talented students of Newfield High School Theatre Arts worked hard rehearsing and perfecting their performances. From the dynamic dance numbers to the heartfelt ballads, audiences witnessed a high-energy and emotionally resonant production that left them singing and dancing in their seats.

Newfield High School Mock Trial Team Advances to Quarterfinals in Prestigious Suffolk County Regional Competition

The talented and dedicated members of the Newfield High School Mock Trial Team achieved a remarkable milestone recently by securing a spot as one of the top eight teams in the highly competitive 2024 Suffolk County Regional High School Mock Trial Competition.

The team’s outstanding performance earned them the coveted spot, where they faced off against Huntington at the John P. Cohalan, Jr. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York. The Newfield High School Mock Trial Team’s journey to the quarterfinals was a testament to their exceptional legal acumen, teamwork, and commitment to excellence. Throughout the competition, the team demonstrated their mastery of courtroom procedures, persuasive argumentation, and critical thinking skills, impressing judges and spectators alike with their poise and professionalism.

While in a close match against Huntington, the Newfield team showcased their legal prowess and strategic thinking in a high-stakes courtroom setting. The John P. Cohalan, Jr. Courthouse, known for its long legal history, provided an ideal backdrop for the intense legal battle between two formidable teams.

The Mock Trial Team’s journey to the top eight this season was a result of countless hours of preparation, practice, and unwavering determination to excel in the demanding world of mock trial competition. They will use the lessons from this year’s competitions to prepare for success next year when they plan to welcome back several members.

Middle Country Central School District’s Career and Technical Education Students Shine at Annual SkillsUSA Regional Conference

The Annual SkillsUSA Regional Conference held on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at the Suffolk County Community College Brentwood Campus, was the scene of an impressive showcase of talent as Career and Technical Education students from across Long Island gathered to demonstrate their career-related abilities and compete against peers.

“The results of this competition reflect the dedication and commitment of our students, who have devoted countless hours to honing their skills and preparing for this prestigious competition,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “Their success is a testament to their perseverance and determination, and we couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments. Special thanks to our cosmetology teachers, Ms. Michaels, Ms. Ackerler, Ms. Ingarra, and Ms. Bartnik for guiding these students to success!”

Middle Country students participating in the SkillsUSA competition included Ana Mesquita, McKenna Vivona, Gina Nappi, Lindsey Sigault, Jocelyn Morales, Olivia Ludwig, Julianna Allestra, and Abigail Jones. Seniors Mesquita, Sigault, and Nappi secured remarkable victories, placing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively, in the Senior Cosmetology category. Additionally, junior student Jocelyn Morales showcased exceptional skills, clinching 2nd place in Junior Cosmetology. 


Gina Nappi, Newfield High School, first place
Jocelyn Morales, Centereach High School, second place
Ana Mesquita, Centereach High School, second place
Lindsey Sigault, Newfield High School, third place