Newfield High School Senior Recognized as a Long Island Arts Alliance Merit Scholar Artist in Music

Congratulations to Newfield High School senior, Arabel Rodriguez, on being recognized as a Long Island Arts Alliance (LIAA) Merit Scholar Artist in Music. 

Arabel was recognized for her achievements at the recent LIAA ceremony held at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at Long Island University. She is one of the very few students who was selected on Long Island based on her high academic achievements, impressive music portfolio, and glowing teacher recommendations. 

“We are incredibly proud of Arabel and her accomplishments,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “A special thanks to her orchestra teacher, Mr. Dan Martinez for being her mentor and fueling her passion for music!”

Formed in 2003, LIAA is an alliance of and for the region’s not-for-profit arts, culture, and arts education organizations. Its mission is to “promote awareness of and participation in Long Island’s world-class arts and cultural institutions”. LIAA offers guidance and various support services to arts organizations and serves as an advocate for arts education in schools.

Goals of Giving

On Monday, April 4, the Middle Country Boys Varsity Lacrosse team collaborated with the Special Education Department to host a Goals of Giving event at  Centereach High School. The team played against the Boys Varsity Lacrosse team from North Babylon.

“Our athletes, students, and staff members did an amazing job spreading the word and raising funds to help our students with disabilities,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “This is what our school district is about, coming together to give back to our community. It was  heartwarming to see all those who took the time to participate and help make this event possible!”

The money raised at the Goals of Giving event will go to build communication boards for Stagecoach Elementary School, Eugene Auer Memorial Elementary School, North Coleman Road Elementary School, and Hawkins Path Elementary School. The communication boards will be placed in the schools’ playgrounds for students with disabilities. These boards will help non-verbal students communicate with their peers and teachers while promoting an inclusive environment for all. Many of these students rely on an electronic device to communicate their wants and needs and the boards will allow them to play in their school’s playground when their own devices are not easily accessible. The Goals of Giving event raised a total of $8,730.65.

Newfield High School Theatre Arts Goes Under the Sea!

Newfield High School Theatre Arts students recently completed their four performances of The Little Mermaid musical, based on a Disney 1989 animated fantasy musical film. 

The Little Mermaid, a Disney classic adored by all, is a story about a mermaid named Ariel, who fell in love with a human prince named Eric. She dreams about becoming a human and makes a magic deal with Ursula who is a sea witch to become a human to be with him. The film teaches the audience that no dream is too big or small.

“Great job to these students who put in so much time and effort to perfect their roles,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “Everything about these performances was incredible, from the music, the acting, the dancing, the singing, and the production values. It never ceases to amaze us how professional our theatre students are!”

The Newfield High School Theatre Arts is made up of students who are passionate about performing and the rich history of theatre. Students in the theatre arts learn about acting, production, movement, dance, and musical theatre. In addition to their community performances, The Little Mermaid cast visited all the elementary and middle schools throughout the district to put a smile on the students’ faces. Prior to the Sunday matinee, the cast participated in a free meet and greet as their community outreach which included a children’s book fair fundraiser for the Newfield Newspaper. Everyone who attended had a great time meeting the characters while browsing the books to purchase.

“It is an extreme honor and privilege to work with the cast, pit, crew, and production staff of Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” said Joan Meichner, Director of the Newfield Musical. “Our theatre students are all heart and are so dedicated to their craft. I am beyond proud to be their director. We sold out at every performance!”

Congratulations SCMEA Summer Scholarship Winners!

Centereach High School junior Finn Taich, Newfield High School junior Aamir Sheikh and Holbrook Road Elementary School fifth grade student Louis Weiss each won a $500 scholarship from the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA) for their summer music private study.

The Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA) is made up of professional music educators and advocates throughout Suffolk County. SCMEA is a county affiliate of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and a state unit of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). SCMEA scholarships are available for students who are in grades five through eleven and are interested in different summer private studies.

Finn, who won the Jon-Michael Lasher SCMEA Scholarship, plans to continue his musical studies with voice lessons. Aamir will continue with his violin lessons and Louis intends to continue developing his skills in percussion. Students were selected based on their competitive essays, high NYSSMA scores, and music teacher recommendations. Congratulations to the students and their teachers, Mr. Hough, Mr. Martinez, and Ms. Caliguri for nominating them!

Centereach High School Theatre Arts Proudly Presents High School Musical On Stage!

Wonderful dancing. Inspired singingExceptional acting. That was the experience for all who attended Centereach High School’s young thespians’ recent performances of High School Musical On Stage, a story based on the Disney Channel’s original movie.

“I am extremely proud of our Centereach High School’s performers and the commitment they have for refining their craft,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “It was truly an all-hands-on-deck production. It was great to see the collaborative work amongst our student performers, the student crew, and our faculty to ensure these performances were not only successful but awe-inspiring to watch.” 

The show was filled with numerous dance numbers and catchy songs such as Get’cha Head in the Game, Bop to the Top, We’re All in This Together, and Breaking Free that had the audiences on the edge of their seats! High School Musical On Stage is basically a modern-day Grease musical about the hardships of high school, young love, and staying true to oneself.

“Our students never fail to amaze us with their dedication and their passion for theatre,” said music teacher Brian Hough, who directed the play. “It was exhilarating to have live performances again!  Great job everyone!”

Middle Country High School Students Compete in SkillsUSA Competition

 Newfield High School and Centereach High School students recently attended the SkillsUSA competition held at Suffolk Community College Brentwood Campus this year. Three students from Newfield High and four from Centereach High took part in the competition. Juniors and seniors competed separately.

While all Middle Country students performed admirably, three Newfield students stood out in the competition. Ashley Walker, a Newfield junior, placed first in the Junior Cosmetology competition while Gianna Oliveri, another Newfield junior, placed third. Isabella Giordano, a Newfield senior, took second place in the Senior Cosmetology competition.

SkillsUSA is a nonprofit national education association in partnership with teachers, students, and industry working collaboratively to ensure that our country has a skilled and competent workforce. The organization works with middle school, high school, and college students to prepare them for careers in trade, technical, and skilled service occupations. SkillsUSA’s mission is to “empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. We improve the quality of our nations’ future skilled workforce through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace, and technical skills grounded in academics.”

“Congratulations to all of our students who participated,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools of the Middle Country Central School District. “I would like to extend a special thank you to the teachers who helped our young cosmetologists prepare for the competition.”

Newfield High School Library Gets its Own Logo

Recently, Newfield High School students in Computer Graphics 2 and College Computer Graphics classes competed in the Newfield High School Library Logo Design Contest after learning about the art of designing logos in their classes.

“I am always incredibly amazed by our students’ talents,” said Newfield High School art teacher Ms. McIntrye. “These students brought creativity, style, and nuance to their designs, showing a keen understanding of how to use their computer graphic skills in creating their logo designs. Hands-on exercises like this give our students a sense of the work they might be doing if they pursue a career in commercial design.”

It was a competitive contest with submissions representing a multitude of original design concepts and approaches. Congratulations to the winner, Daniel Savage, Junior, and finalists Idania Nunez, Junior, and Brian Padilla Alvarado, Senior. Daniel won a $25 Caffe Amici gift card and Idania and Brian received coupons to enjoy a free cookie from Panera Bread as well as a free sundae from Apple Bees!

“This was an excellent collaboration between the Computer Graphic classes and the library,” said Newfield High School Library Media Specialist Ms. Cook. “Daniel’s winning design is now being used on the Newfield Library’s website and letterhead. It’s truly amazing to use our own students’ original design for our logo!”

21 Centereach High School Career and Technical Education Seniors Receive National Technical Honor Society Graduation Cords at NTHS Induction Ceremony

Centereach High School’s National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) recently held its annual Induction Ceremony, at which 21 graduating seniors received their NTHS graduation cords and 27 new career and technical education students were inducted into the honor society.

The National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) is an educational non-profit organization that honors, recognizes, and empowers students and educators in career and technical education (CTE). Founded in 1984, NTHS provides opportunities that encourage the pursuit of higher education in related fields and cultivates excellence in today’s highly competitive skilled workforce. NTHS highlights the achievements of their top CTE students and provides them with scholarships.

Centereach High School NTHS Advisors Michele Bradley and Laura Michaels noted that the continued interest in the NTHS at Centereach is a testament to the value CTE students gain from participating in the honor society. They both pointed out that CTE students, through their CTE course selections and through involvement in the NTHS, are gaining a foot up in career preparation, which is a decided advantage in their college and future career pursuits. 

Middle Country Central School District Blooms with Continued Success

Middle Country Central School District Announces its Students of the Month of February 2022

With Spring around the corner, and schools slowly gearing up for their winter recess, Middle Country Central School District is excited to announce the students who have surpassed academic expectations throughout the year. For the month of February, the Middle Country School District is honoring Keyana Demosthene, Allyson Short, Alaina Castaldo, and Max Cherry as students of the month.

 “It is important to highlight our students and their achievements. Each month, we are honored to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of four outstanding secondary students whose ’ dedication to excellence both in and outside of the classroom is exemplary,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, Superintendent of Schools. “A round of applause to Keyana, Allyson, Alaina, and Max for all their hard work!”

Keyana Demosthene, a Centereach High School senior, actively participates in many of her school’s functions such as the Thanksgiving Food Drive, the PTSA Fashion Show, and Adopt-a-Child. She is a member of the Centereach High School’s Bible Club, the French Honor Society, the Yearbook Club, and the newly formed Medical Professions Club. Keyana’s current weighted GPA is 96 and she will graduate in June completing four AP courses and an additional six college-level courses.

Allyson Short is a valued thespian at Newfield High School. She is currently an active member of the Drum Club, a member of every choir the school offers, and has been active and cast in musicals and drama productions since 6th grade. She is also the secretary of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, Vice President of the Thespian Honor Society, and a three-time first-place winner of the Island Idol Competition, second place overall in Suffolk’s Got Talent, and was selected as a soprano vocalist for All-State Chorus. This past May, Allyson was awarded the Certificate of Excellence by the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education. Allyson has been accepted to Molloy and  Marymount Manhattan College where she will be majoring in musical theatre with the hopes of becoming a Broadway star.

Alaina Castaldo is an exceptional 8th – grade student at Dawnwood Middle School. Alaina has been a member of the Dawnwood band for the last three years. Outside of the classroom, Alaina has been a competitive gymnast for nearly 10 years and practices a minimum of 18 hours a week. Alaina’s combined average from her academics when she was in 6th and 7th grade was an astounding 99.05 and her average for the second quarter of this school year is 98.28. Alaina’s dream is to participate in gymnastics in college where she can also explore her passion for robotic engineering.

Max Chery is an athletic 8th-grade student from Selden Middle School. He plays basketball, participates on the wrestling team, and plans to play lacrosse this spring. Max has shown impressive growth each semester despite the difficulties of virtual learning last year and the rigors of the Regents level classes this year. Aside from sports, Max also plays the violin. His dream is to become a football player, a lawyer, or a teacher.

For more information regarding the Middle Country Central School District and its students’ many achievements, please visit the district’s website:


Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fourth Graders at Hawkins Path Observe MLK Day Through Their Art 

Artwork is worth a thousand words and that was especially true for one fourth-grade class at Hawkins Path Elementary School. The life and legacy of civil rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr., has impacted not only the lives of those who lived in the 1950s and 1960s but the lives of all future generations. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the students created unique works of art that encompass the lessons Dr. King worked tirelessly to impart to those around him. Kindness, patience, understanding, and acceptance were key parts of the civil rights movement and they are core values that the Middle Country School District works every day to teach its students.

“Teaching about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an important lesson at every age for our students, and the way that information is imparted helps us develop character traits in our students that will help better prepare them for the next steps in their lives,” said Dr. Roberta Gerold, superintendent of schools. “Ms. DuBarry’s art lesson was not only a creative outlet for our students but it allowed students to explore themes that were central to the civil rights movement that are still pertinent today.” 

While Dr. King’s life ended far too soon, the wisdom and work he did during his lifetime have been far-reaching, long-lasting and history-making. Hawkins Path’s fourth graders were excited to honor the legacy of Dr. King through their one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Ms. DuBarry, art teacher at Hawkins Path Elementary, encouraged students to draw the outline of their hand on a piece of paper and, within that hand, create or place artwork that was representative of peace, kindness, and camaraderie. 

Students in Ms. Hawkins’ class that participated in the exercise were able to connect to this important part of our country’s history while also identifying how the lessons and characteristics that made the movement so successful can be applied to their daily lives today. Art, kindness, patience, and tolerance are what help the students of the Middle Country School District stand out. It’s these same concepts that will prepare them for all their future endeavors, both academic and personal.

For more information regarding the Middle Country Central School District and its students’ many achievements, please visit the district’s website: