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South Country School District

 

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School Calendar

District CalendarClick here for the current South Country School District Calendar.

Please note, the Calendar is subject to change, so please check the South Country School District's website for updates during the school year.








District News

 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Athletes to Continue Their Sports

School

Thirty-three Bellport High School student-athletes are planning to continue playing their sports on the college or university level this coming fall, South Country Central School District Athletic Director Robert McIntyre reported. Wearing their sports jerseys and T-shirts, the athletes gathered in the library to take an official photo. The activity was also an opportunity to celebrate the students’ impending athletic intentions and to wish their peers continued success.

The district congratulates the following student-athletes:

Angela Aruanna – Suffolk County Community College – tennis
Enma Bautista – SUNY Potsdam – volleyball
Shakeese Byrd – Mansfield University – football
Jaelyn Conquest – Suffolk County Community College – volleyball and track & field
Samuel Hampson – John Jay College of Criminal Justice – soccer
Gionnah Hicks – John Jay College of Criminal Justice – cheerleading
Salvatore Iadicicco – Suffolk County Community College – lacrosse
Janiah Jones – University of Mississippi – cheerleading
Matthew Juarez – Alvernia University – track
Gabrielle Koehler – Post University – lacrosse - National Letter of Intent
Candice Lopez – Alvernia University – cheerleading
James MacGilvray – Western Connecticut State University – lacrosse
Justin Maler – SUNY Oneonta – baseball
Alyssa Mantione – SUNY Oneonta – volleyball
Nathalia Minchala – Dean College – basketball
Grace Minikel – Adelphi University – track – National Letter of Intent
Melannie Molina – SUNY Plattsburg – soccer
Sean O’Hara – Western Connecticut State University – football
Steffen Peabody – Dominican College – lacrosse – National Letter of Intent
Kyler Pizzo – Herkimer College – track
Damian Rabstejnek – Suffolk County Community College – track and field
Sabrina Richards – SUNY Delhi – track and field
Savannah Sargent – Denison University – swimming
Emmaly Seamen – University of Hartford – cheerleading
Devin Trent – SUNY Morrisville – football
Dwan Trent – SUNY Morrisville – football
Jamie Trowbridge – Adelphi University – lacrosse
Andrew Veit – Saint Peter’s University – baseball - National Letter of Intent
Jarell White – College Prep School – basketball
Khyree Wilson – SUNY Morrisville – football
Myles Wilson – SUNY Cortland – football
Shawn Wolf – Saint Joseph’s University – lacrosse – National Letter of Intent
Robert Zahralban – University of Alabama – lacrosse – National Letter of Intent

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Athletes to Commit to College Sports

School

The South Country Central School District is proud to announce that six Bellport High School student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to continue their sports on Division I and Division II teams this coming fall. The district congratulates the students on this outstanding athletic accomplishment and continued success at college this fall.

Gabriella Koehler – Post University (Division II) - lacrosse
Grace Minikel – Adelphi University (Division II) – track
Steffen Peabody – Dominican College (Division II) lacrosse
Andrew Veit – Saint Peter’s University (Division I) – baseball
Shawn Wolf – Saint Joseph’s University (Division I) – lacrosse
Robert Zahralban – University of Alabama (Division II) – lacrosse

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Teacher Named STANYS Science Teacher of Year

Teacher

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that Kreamer Street Elementary School first grade elementary teacher Gina Benzie has been named the 2019 recipient of the Suffolk Section of the Science Teachers Association of New York State Elementary Level Science Teacher of the Year Award.
According to STANYS, Ms. Benzie received this prestigious recognition based on her ability to provide students and teachers with programs and strategies for the advancement of science. She has not only promoted the enhancement of science education with distinction but has also earned the respect of her colleagues.

Ms. Benzie was honored by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani, the board of education and Principal Sean Clark during the May 22 board of education meeting. Mr. Clark said, “It is a real honor to have you on our staff and the whole Kreamer Kingdom is proud of you.”

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School’s Top Achievers Honored at Senior Awards

Awards

Bellport High School’s top seniors were recognized for their scholarship, community service and enthusiasm for extracurricular activities during the annual senior awards ceremony, held in Ebersole Auditorium on June 3. One hundred seniors sat on the decorated stage as their names were called out to receive one or several of the 104 awards and scholarships presented to deserving recipients.

In his introductory remarks, Class of 2019 President Kyle Climan said being chosen for an award or scholarship was a sensational feeling. “We are fulfilled in knowing that we have made the school proud,” he said.

The South Country Central School District congratulates the Class of 2019 seniors who received awards and scholarships, and wishes continued success in their future academic endeavors.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Championship Win for Bellport Middle School History Team

History

After a successful competitive season, the Bellport Middle School History Team now holds the title of Suffolk County History League championship team.

The team competed in seven competitions this school year scheduled between the months of October and May, placing first in six out of seven competitions and earning 20 out of a possible 21 points in the overall standings. During the last competition, held at Bellport Middle School on May 21, the team won first place and was awarded the title and the Suffolk County History League championship trophy.

“This was, by far, the hardest working team I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,” adviser Clifford Piraino said. “They took the initiative every week, writing practice questions for themselves, and even giving up their lunch [period] to come to my classroom and prepare for each competition. This is truly a team I will never forget.”

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Students Showcase Artistic Talents

Art Show

Student choral and instrumental music resonated throughout the Bellport Middle School gymnasium as residents, faculty and students recently perused hundreds of pieces of student artwork during South Country Central School District’s annual District-wide Fine and Performing Arts Show.

The goal of the event was to showcase the district’s talented students in grades K-12 and to promote the importance of art and music in a student’s overall education. During the opening reception, visitors were encouraged to have a snack and to take time to speak with music chairperson James Uzzi and fine arts chairperson Suzette Fandale about the district’s fine and performing arts program. Works included watercolors, oil painting, basket weaving, sculpture, drawing and more. Performances were also given throughout the day by the various performance groups including the jazz band, wind ensemble and symphonic band, concert orchestra and choral groups.

Members of the championship team include Tatianna Alvarado, Claire Cannella, Patricia Carballido, Madeline Day, Kevin Uceda, Emma Kuegel, Rachel Li, Eirini Michaels Hrysanthopoulos and Leah Ofori. The history competition resembles a game of Jeopardy, with the only difference being that the students work together as a team to answer questions. Each month, the students study topics in current events, U.S. presidents, notable historical figures, sports, grade 6-8 history and geography.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

A-Buzz with Spelling Talent

Spelling Bee

South Country Central School District students Saraiya Ferguson and Marcella Krotschinsky were first- and second-place winners, respectively, in the annual Frank P. Long Intermediate School fourth grade spelling bee. After 11 rounds, the winning spelling word was “persuasive.”

Prior to the competition, contests were held in each class and the school’s more than 50 top spellers then took to the stage to battle it out for the spelling title on June 10. Teachers Keri Gimpel, Jeni-Marie McCarthy and Michael McGovern were the judges, while Sandra Winslow served as moderator and Kristin Christie as stage coordinator. The students carefully spelled each word presented, with the words becoming more difficult as the spelling bee progressed.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Says Farewell to Board of Education Trustees

Retirement

During the June 12 board of education meeting, the community said farewell to three South Country Central School District trustees, who will retire from their posts on June 30. President Cheryl A. Felice and trustees Dr. Anthony Griffin and Carol Malin were acknowledged by central administrators, fellow trustees and the community and thanked for their tireless efforts, unwavering support and service to the district’s students.

Both President Felice and Dr. Griffin served on the board of education for one term, July 2016-June 2019 with Felice serving as president for the past two years. President Felice also served on the board advisory committees for teaching and learning, strategic planning, and finance and facilities in addition to being the board representative for the South Country Community Leadership Network.

During his tenure, Dr. Griffin served as a member of the teaching and learning and finance and facilities board advisory committees. He noted that being on the board “has been like being in a car with different drivers, but one moving in the same direction. Ultimately, we were all here for the community.”
Ms. Malin served two terms on the board (July 2013-June 2016 and July 2016-June 2019). She served three years as vice president and one year as president of the board from July 2016-June 2017. Ms. Malin was a member of the board advisory committees for teaching and learning, and strategic planning. During the meeting, she thanked the committee and fellow trustees for their support and noted that she was pleased with the amount of work the board accomplished during her tenure.

Ms. Felice ended the meeting by thanking Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani for holding on to his belief that students come first. She also wished the new board best of luck and encouraged the trustees to continue to push forward with current initiatives.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Students are Grand Prize Winners in CAPS Contest

CAPS

Bellport High School is pleased to announce that Ellen Hoffman’s public speaking and debate class are grand prizewinners in the 2019 New York Mets Anti-Bullying Campaign, “Strike Out Bullying,” in conjunction with Child Abuse Prevention Services.

CAPS is a Long Island nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the prevention of bullying, child abuse and neglect through its resources and educational campaigns. CAPS also works directly with children in Nassau and Suffolk counties and is a leading resource in bullying, cyber-bullying, child abuse prevention, internet safety, relational aggression, sexual harassment and date rape prevention.

Ms. Hoffman explained that the students wrote, performed in and produced their own public service announcement, “Your Words Matter,” to raise awareness of the dangers of bullying to social and emotional health. The 60-second video was filmed in the hallways of Bellport High School. As grand prizewinners, the students have won tickets to the June 5 New York Mets game at Citi Field, where they will attend batting practice and participate in a pre-game recognition ceremony. Their video will also be shown on the Diamond Vision screen for all fans to see. In addition, CAPS will feature the PSA video in their training materials to ensure that all students feel safe, valued and respected throughout Long Island’s schools. This award also comes on the heels of a second-place win by the class during the 2018-2019 school year.

“It is wonderful for the kids to be recognized,” Ms. Hoffman said. “The award is well-deserved. [The video] is just a small slice of the tremendous talent and hard work the public speaking and debate students exhibited throughout the year.”

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Students Nominated for Teeny Awards

Teeny

The Bellport High School Theater Program is proud to announce that three student-thespians have been nominated for 2019 Teeny Awards. Sponsored by East End Arts, the Teeny Awards, also known as the “Tony Awards” for Long Island high school theater programs, annually celebrates excellence in high school theater across the East End of Long Island. During the Teeny Awards Gala Ceremony, East End Arts will showcase the year’s favorite performances and bestow Student Theatre Arts Recognition Awards to the best of the best at Southold High School on June 9.

Bellport High School’s nominees were all involved with the school’s production of “Rent.” Tyler Zapata and Erin Kelly received nominations for lead male and lead female in a musical, respectively, while Katelyn Maddalena was nominated in the category of supporting female in a musical. In addition, David Bellante received a recognition honor for pit orchestra, and Maya McCullough received a recognition honor as assistant director.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Named a Top Music Education Community

Music Community

The NAMM Foundation has designated South Country Central School District as one of the nation’s 2019 Best Communities for Music Education for its demonstration of exceptionally high commitment to music education and access to music instruction for all district students.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants to advance active participation in music. The district music program was analyzed for funding, staffing of qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

The district is proud of its music program which offers instruction in orchestra and band instruments, piano, chorus and music theory. Elementary instruction begins in kindergarten and third grade students may join the chorus, followed by orchestra or band in fourth grade. As students reach the high school level, they have opportunities to perform with the freshman orchestra, string orchestra for grades 10-12, or to audition for membership in the concert orchestra. There is also a high school wind ensemble and symphonic band for students who play band instruments, as well as membership in the school’s mixed chorus. Piano I and II is offered, as well as Music Theory I and Advanced Placement Music Theory for those planning on continuing their education in music on the college level. The district’s various ensembles also compete in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County festival, the Long Island String Festival Association festival, and the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education All-County festival. Opportunities to perform and compete also include the New York State School Music Association’s Ensemble and Solo and Majors Organization festivals. The district’s most talented student-musicians also apply to participate in NYSSMA’s All-State festival.

Music Chairperson James Uzzi explained that South Country supports the music program in ways other districts do not. “Because of support from Central Administration, the Board of Education and the community, we have the resources to do what it takes to make the music program visible and one that serves all interested students,” he said.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Celebrating the Season with a Pre-K Spring Sing

Spring Sing

The South Country Central School District’s prekindergarten students performed for the first time on stage during Brookhaven Elementary School’s pre-K Spring Sing, held on May 3 for parents and faculty. Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond explained that this annual tradition is a chance for the students to celebrate the end of the school year with their families and to show how much they have grown academically and socially during the year.

Under the direction of teachers Karen Ernst, Kim Lampert and Dawn Sackman, the students sang seven tunes including “America the Beautiful,” “ABC Rock,” “Scat Like That,” “Tiny Tim,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” “Baby Shark” and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Each song was carefully choreographed with minimal props, and select students announced each of the musical selections.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Long Island’s Best Young Artists

Artists

Bellport High School is proud to announce that art students Courtney Gerard, Maria Slavnova and Gury Umanzor received awards of recognition at the Heckscher Museum’s Long Island’s Best Young Artists 2019 exhibit.

This 23rd annual program is the only juried exhibition for high school students that provides the opportunity to exhibit in a museum. Students submit work in a broad range of media, styles and subjects, using artwork on view at the museum as the inspiration for their own work. The object labels next to each work include a statement written by the student and an image of the professional work that inspired them. Heckscher Museum Curator Lisa Chalif and guest juror artist Robyn Cooper juried the 2019 exhibition. This year, the museum received 359 artwork entries from 57 schools, with 80 selected for display in the exhibition.

Courtney, a junior, was the winner of the Donald and Gloria Horn Scholarship Award for her digital photo “Yellowstone” printed on vellum with gold leafing. Maria, a sophomore, was the winner of the Andrew Presberg Promising Young Artist Award for his digital art, “Shades of the City.” Gury, also a junior, won the Cozza Family Photography Award for her digital photograph, “Sit with Me.”

Courtney and Gury are both students of South Country Art Department Chairperson Suzette-Emma Fandale, and Maria is a student of teacher Brandon Payne.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School National Honor Society Inducts 88

Honor Society

Bellport High School’s National Honor Society inducted 88 new members during a traditional candlelighting ceremony, held in the Ebersole Auditorium on April 30. After the Pledge of Allegiance, led by honor society treasurer Henry Chillogallo, introductions were made by president Chelsea Argueta, vice president Valentina Banellis and secretary Andrew Zimlinghaus.

While lighting one of four candles representing the pillars of the National Honor Society, each of the officers spoke about scholarship, leadership, service and character. Even though each inductee was tapped to become a member of this prestigious organization based on their adherence to the pillars, they were further encouraged to continue to live up to these ideals through high school and beyond. Each of the inductees received a certificate and white carnation while current members read individual biographies about the society’s newest members. Principal Timothy Hogan then led the inductees in the National Honor Society pledge, making them official members, and congratulated them on this outstanding accomplishment.

Mr. Hogan said he was proud of the work ethic, impact and enthusiasm each of the students bring to the school, “which speaks volumes about you as a person.” He also encouraged the new members to thank their parents and teachers who have helped them in their journey, and to be sure to continue giving back to the community.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Junior Receives George Washington Book Award

Book Award

Bellport High School junior Carly Diolosa is the recipient of the George Washington University Book Award. Presented by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Alumni Relations at the George Washington University, this prestigious award recognizes high school juniors nationwide who embody the university’s drive and spirit, demonstrated through academic excellence, community leadership, diversity of thought and the ability to put knowledge into action.

Carly was nominated by school counselor Katelyn Burke and has received a gift of James C. Rees’ book “George Washington’s Leadership Lessons,” which details how the nation’s first president developed his leadership skills and became a visionary in developing this country. If Carly decides to apply to the university after high school graduation next spring, her application fee will be waived and she will be eligible for a scholarship gift for GW Book Award recipients.

Carly is a member of the Math and Science honor societies, as well as the National Honor Society. She is an Advanced Placement student and takes honors classes to round out her challenging academic schedule. While taking time out of her studies, Carly is a three-sport athlete on the school’s varsity soccer, winter track and lacrosse teams. As student council president, she also serves as Ex-Officio Board Member, serving as a liaison to the board of education for the 2018-2019 school year.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country's Top Three Students Announced

Top Students

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that seniors Tyler Brock and Aneeqa Majid have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the Class of 2019. Grace Armann was also named essayist. The district’s three top students were honored during a reception in the Bellport High School library on April 18, where they were congratulated by the board of education, central administration, faculty and parents.

Principal Timothy Hogan called their being named valedictorian, salutatorian and essayist as a “remarkable achievement.” He said these students “serve as leaders of the building and as role models to other students.”

As valedictorian, Tyler acquired an overall weighted GPA of 102.9919. Tyler is an advanced Placement Scholar with Honors. Prior to his senior year, he successfully completed nine honors and five Advanced Placement classes and is currently enrolled in an additional six AP courses. Tyler will graduate with a Regents diploma with advanced designation and with honors and mastery in math and science. An outstanding athlete, Tyler has been a member of the varsity tennis team for four years, earning a first single position for the past three years of competition and the title of captain. He also ran cross-country for three years and was a member of the 2016 League Championship team. He is also a member of the National, Science and Math honor societies, Student Council, French Club and Students for Environmental Quality. Tyler also played roles in two high school musicals. His volunteer commitments include Safe Halloween, food drives, homework help at the South Country Public Library, math tutoring, Special Olympics and assisting with religious education. He plans on pursuing his interests in either civil engineering or architecture this coming fall.

Salutatorian Aneeqa Majid acquired an overall weighted GPA of 102.6667 and was designated by the College Board as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, having completed five honors and six AP courses prior to senior year and successfully challenging five AP courses this school year. Aneeqa will graduate with a Regents diploma with advanced designation and with mastery and honors in science. Born in Pakistan and fluent in Urdu, Aneeqa moved to the U.S. when she was 9 years old. Having to work hard in fourth grade to make an academic transition, she thrived prior to coming to Bellport High School in ninth grade, evidenced by her membership in the National, Math and Science honor societies. Last school year, Aneeqa was selected to participate in a summer engineering program at Stony Brook University and has been a member of the math team and varsity tennis team. She writes for the school newspaper, The Clipper, and volunteers at the Brookhaven Public Library as a Junior Ambassador for Suffolk Literacy, where she recruits volunteers to help those who need assistance in learning to read. She also volunteers at Stony Brook Hospital and enjoys drawing and creating crafts. Aneeqa plans on attending Stony Brook University this fall where she will pursue a career in chemical and molecular engineering.

Essayist Grace Armann acquired an overall weighted GPA of 102.3955 and was designated as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. Prior to senior year, she completed nine honors and six AP courses and is completing an additional five AP courses this school year. Grace was recently designated as a National Merit Finalist. She will be graduating with a Regents diploma with advanced designation with honors and mastery in math and science. Her activities include Student Council where she has been class treasurer, class president, student council secretary and student council treasurer. Grace has been a PTSA student member throughout high school and a LEAD Conference representative this year in Washington, D.C. She is also a member of the National, Math and Science honor societies. Her musical accomplishments include Tri-M Music Honor Society, membership in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, concert mistress of both the pit and chamber orchestras and designation as an All-County musician in both the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association and Long Island String Festival Association. Her STEM-related activities include being involved in Women in Science and Engineering at SBU for the past three years, as well as membership in Students for Environmental Quality, math team and Envirothon. In addition, Grace is a reporter for The Clipper, a tutor and a student assistant in the district’s summer music program. Her hobbies include photography, where she recently received an district art award, traveling, reading and music. Grace plans on pursuing a major in journalism and political science and eventually a career in print and broadcast journalism.

The district looks forward to seeing where Tyler’s, Aneeqa’s and Grace’s futures lie and wish them the best as they continue to make Bellport High School proud.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country School Board Honors Top Track and Basketball Athletes

Top Students

During the April 25 South Country Central School District Board of Education meeting, three of Bellport High School’s All-County athletes were honored for their outstanding performance during the winter sports season. Kyler Pizzo, Jarell White and Emily Zahralban received certificates from the board of education and central administration for their individual accomplishments.

Kyler placed third in the Suffolk County championship tournament in the 55-meter hurdles. He ran a time of 7.68, which was two-tenths of a second off the winning time. With his third-place finish, Kyler qualified for the New York State Championship Tournament where he finished in the top 10. He also competed on the 4x200 relay team, which finished fourth in Suffolk County.

Emily finished second in Suffolk County in the 1500-meter race walk with a time of 7:05. Her time and second-place win qualified Emily for the New York State Championships where she finished fourth and earned All-State honors. Emily continued her top performance with a sixth-place finish at the national championships, earning her the title of All-American.

In basketball, Jarell led his team to a 20-2 record for the second consecutive year, a League III championship title and a final four finish in the Suffolk County Championship tournament. He was the leading scorer in Suffolk County, averaging more than 30 points per game, and was the leading rebounder with more than 15 rebounds per game. Jarell has been named League III player of the year and Suffolk County Player of the Year. He was also named to the All-Long Island Team for the third consecutive year and will be named to the All-New York State Team in the upcoming weeks.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Schools Honors Top Wrestlers

Wrestlers

During its April 25 meeting, the South Country Central School District Board of Education and Central Administration honored the district’s top wrestlers, who received All-County designations. Director of Athletics, Health and Physical Education Robert McIntyre announced that Bellport High School student-athletes Wyatt Gentzel, Josh Leidig and Ka’Shaun Parrish received multiple designations that led the team to the League IV championship. Mr. McIntyre also noted that the team was awarded the most improved team in Suffolk County, and the coaching staff received coach of the year honors.

Wrestler Wyatt Gentzel finished the season with a 32-8 record. He won the Kujan Tournament, held at William Floyd High School; the Walt Whitman High School’s Peers Tournament; and at 99 pounds placed sixth in Suffolk County. Wyatt is the second wrestler in school history to place in the Suffolk County tournament as a freshman.

Ka’Shaun Parrish, a sophomore who received All-County football honors in addition to wrestling, finished the season with a 31-5 record. He was also a winner at the Kujan Tournament and placed fourth in the Suffolk County Championships at 170 pounds.

Junior Josh Leidig finished the wrestling season with a 38-3 record. Josh won the Rick Herrmann Tournament and the Peers Tournament, and at 160 pounds placed third in the Suffolk County Championships.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Art Students are Featured Winners at BAFFA

Baffa

Ten of Bellport High School’s most talented artists featured their artwork in the Bay Area Friends of the Arts High School Exhibit on April 7, held at the BAFFA Art Gallery in Sayville. Carolyn Slovensky was the winner of the prestigious Women Sharing Art, Inc. Scholarship, which is given to a graduating female senior who plans on pursuing art education at the college level. She also received a first-place award for her watercolor, “Roman Temple.” In addition, Hannah Tapler received first place in pottery for her work, “Evening Falls.” Kyle Muldoon’s mixed media work, “In Your Likeness,” and Audrey Barry’s acrylic painting on wood, “Point of View,” received third-place awards for mixed media and painting, respectively.

The annual invitational show and juried exhibition is open to high school students in Sayville, Sachem North and South, Connetquot, Bellport, Longwood, William Floyd and Patchogue-Medford. The show is also an opportunity for high school students to showcase their best pieces of artwork and to view the art of high school peers from neighboring districts.

The district also congratulates the following talented exhibitors:

Monica Balbuca – “The Stain of Hunger,” oil pastel
Isabella Banellis – “Fire at the Net,” computer graphics
Mariz Baslious – “Clouds,” computer graphics
Hanna Lupo – “Self Portrait in the Reeds,” colored pencil
Caitlin Saliba – “The Hunt,” acrylic
Dream Smith – “Our Sunday” Best, acrylic

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Celebrates an Evening of Excellence

Schools

It was an evening of pride and gratitude as 51 Bellport High School seniors and six of the South Country Central School District’s teachers were honored during the second annual Evening of Excellence, held on March 26. The distinguished seniors recognized were those who have maintained a weighted cumulative average of 92 percent or better for the past seven semesters. The honored teachers were chosen by the students as persons who have been influential and inspirational during their educational journey.

During his opening remarks, Principal Timothy Hogan said “excellence” does not happen by accident. “It is the gradual result of always striving to do your best – with high intention, sincere effort and mindful execution.”

The evening was punctuated with a performance by the Bellport High School Jazz Combo, and a delicious meal was prepared and served by students enrolled in the high school’s culinary program. The presentation of colors was performed by the high school cadet core, and Kreamer Street Elementary School kindergarten students sang “America the Beautiful” during a taped video recording. Special education students also prepared the flower arrangements and the rotating wooden dessert displays, which complemented the talented artwork of high school students.

The district congratulates teachers Salvatore Di Puma (Bellport Middle School), Wendy Palladino (Bellport High School), Mary Pettit (Frank P. Long Intermediate) William Pettit (Verne W. Critz Elementary), Jennifer Reynolds (Kreamer Street Elementary) and Brenda Tejeda (Brookhaven Elementary) for having made a difference in the lives of the honored seniors.

The district also congratulates the following students: Chelsea Argueta, Grace Armann, Dimitri Arresto, Angela Aruanna, Valentina Banellis, Marvina Baslious, Megan Berja, Roshnie Bisram, Kristine Brittelli, Tyler Brock, Anna Burkhardt, Harrison Burkoff, Angelina Caroli, Henry Chillogallo, Kyle Climan, Ivelisse Diaz, Alexander Erwin, Michael Foley, Katerin Fuentes Velasco, Samuel Hampson, Timothy Harder, Maxwell Kaczmarek, Eloise Kocay, Gabriella Koehler, Shaun Laurinaitis, Theodore Loizides, Nolan Lyons, Aneeqa Majid, Justin Maler, Alyssa Mantione, Carly McEvoy, Grace Minikel, Morgan Monte, Nicholas Nazzaro, Sarah Neese, Rebekah Ofori, Samuel Perez, Juliana Polonski, Andrew Porsche, Kai Rauch, Ahmed Rehman, Daniel Roach, Ciarra Saliba, Savannah Sargent, Chiara Scharpf, Gabrielle Tims, Christopher Tucker, Jonathan Ulloa Fuentes, Gabriela Vazquez, Thomas Wilson IV and Andrew Zimlinghaus.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Students Honored at Parrish Art Museum

Parrish Museum

On March 9, five Bellport High School student-artists were honored at the Parrish Art Museum’s annual High School Show. This prestigious show exhibited work amongst students from East End townships in various mediums including computer graphics, photography, sculpture, drawing and painting.

Caroline Slovensky won an honorable mention in pastel, while Mariz Baslious (computer graphics), Courtney Gerard (photography), Dream Smith (drawing) and Cailey Ziegler (computer graphics) won the coveted Ones to Watch award.

The district also congratulates Grace Armann (digital photography), Audrey Barry (pastel), Robert Menendez (watercolor), Kyle Muldoon (pastel), Yeak Kay Phong (paper), Bryce Reid (pastel), Cameron Kerr-Smith (pencil), Hannah Tapler (ceramics), Nahum Vanegas (weaving) and Kimberly Wilson (black and white photography) who displayed their artwork during the high school exhibit.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Student Grace Armann Named National Merit Finalist

Grace Armann

Bellport High School senior Grace Armann advanced to a finalist position in the National Merit Scholarship program. Grace now continues alongside 15,000 chosen finalists to compete for one of 7,400 National Merit Scholarships offered this spring. She was named a semifinalist in the 64th annual 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program competition in September 2018, having entered the competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT).

At the finalist level of the competition, members of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation evaluate the finalists’ academic records, information about the high school’s curricula and grading system, recommendations, information about activities and leadership and a personal essay.

Grace is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the math and science honor societies. She is an avid musician and is currently concert mistress of the school orchestra and a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She is also treasurer of the student council and a member of the Students for Environmental Quality Club. Upon graduation this June, Grace plans to study communications and journalism in college.

The district congratulates Grace on this outstanding accomplishment and best wishes for further success in the competition.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport Middle School Robotics Team Wins Programming Award

Robotics Award

The Bellport Middle School Robo Panthers garnered the Programming Award at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League qualifier tournament, held at Huntington High School on Feb. 3.

Sponsored by the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, members of robotics teams from Nassau and Suffolk counties worked hard to research, design, build, program and test Lego robots that addressed this year’s challenge “Into Orbitism.” Teams, including the Robo Panthers, were instructed to choose and solve a real-world problem faced by humanity during long-term space exploration within the sun’s solar system. Competitors built, programmed and tested an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to solve a set of Robot Game missions, operating under FIRST’s core values, teamwork and professionalism.

Robo Panthers co-adviser Matthew Gualtieri explained that the team was judged on core values and teamwork, their outer space innovative solution which included the design of an artificial device for astronaut health, and the technology and programmatic components of the robot. Mr. Gualtieri noted that the judges were particularly impressed by the team’s programming in the robot design category.

The South Country Central School District would like to congratulate Robo Panthers team members Anthony Costanza, Derek Griffin, Dylan Horn, Travis Miller, Caden Rupolo, Dan Slawinski and James Vohrer on a great season.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Jack Nix to Become South Country Board of Education Vice President

Jack Nix

During the March 27 board of education meeting, South Country Central School District trustees unanimously voted for Jack Nix to take on the position of board vice president. Mr. Nix replaces former vice president Regina Hunt, who announced her resignation from the board of education earlier in the month due to residency changes.

Mr. Nix, who was elected to the board of education in May 2017, graduated from the district in 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from St. Joseph’s College. Mr. Nix currently serves on the board of education’s strategic planning and health and safety committees.

Mr. Nix thanked his fellow trustees upon being sworn in by district clerk Christine Flynn. “I am looking forward to working closely with President Felice,” he said. “I also want to thank Regina Hunt, who was my mentor.”

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Trustee Regina Hunt Resigns

Regina Hunt

During the March 13th South Country Central School District Board of Education meeting, the board regretfully accepted the resignation of vice president Regina Hunt due to a residency change. Hunt has been a trustee since 2015.

Board President Cheryl A. Felice heartfully thanked Ms. Hunt for her service to the district’s students and the community. “Her love and compassion for the people of our district will be sorely missed, equaled by few and exceeded by none,” Ms. Felice said. “We will all miss her willingness to go the extra mile, her knowledge of our schools, the integrity she possesses, and her truly authentic nature. Most of all, we will miss her laughter and friendship.”

In addition, Suffolk County Legislator Robert Calarco presented Ms. Hunt with a proclamation thanking her for her service to the community.

During her closing remarks, Ms. Hunt said “It has been a real pleasure working here. If anyone needs me, I’m always available.”

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Students Celebrate Dr. Seuss

Dr Seuss

Throughout the South Country Central School District, elementary-level students enrolled at Brookhaven Elementary School, Frank P. Long Intermediate School and Kreamer Street and Verne W. Critz elementary schools celebrated Dr. Seuss’ March 2 birthday with literacy activities to strengthen their reading and writing skills.

In addition to extensive literacy lessons, Verne W. Critz Elementary School students participated in a weeklong list of fun activities to recognize their love of reading and writing. On “The Cat in the Hat” Day, students wore crazy hats and headbands to demonstrate their love of reading. Students also brought to school a favorite stuffed animal or animal figure to participate in “Put Me in the Zoo” Day, dressed in mismatched clothes or a wacky hairdo on “Wacky Wednesday,” and wore green clothing on “Green Eggs and Ham” Day. The week culminated with Drop Everything and Read Day in which students and faculty spent the final half hour of the school week reading their favorite books or a group story.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport Middle School Touts ‘Progress’ During Black History Month ceremony

Black History Month

In collaboration with S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Bellport Middle School in the South Country Central School District presented Evolution of Dance and Music, the program for this year’s annual Black History Month celebration, held in the school auditorium on Feb. 26.

The evening was punctuated with performances by the middle school jazz ensemble, under the baton of Audrey Garcia. The Bellport Middle School Chorus, under the direction of Kyle Sherlock, performed John Legend’s “Glory,” and local dancer Aniya Heyward gave a talented tap dance performance. In addition, a poignant video presentation, James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” set the tone for the evening’s message about making progress and accepting black history as the nation’s and “our” own history.

After student Mistress of Ceremonies Madison Roberts welcomed the audience and Autumn Simon led the Pledge of Allegiance, Bishop Charles Bullock of Old South Haven Presbyterian Church in Brookhaven gave the invocation. Principal Dr. Jamal Colson set the theme of progress, claiming that progress can be made through community partnership and working together. He reminded students that they can make progress through adoption of the three “As,” attendance, attitude and striving for achievement.

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman (District 1) Valerie Cartright, who is Brookhaven Town’s first African-American and person of Haitian descent to be elected to the town’s government, noted that the struggle of others is part of black Americans’ progress. She said, “It is important to be present in everything in our community. We need to ask whether we are expressing our voice.”

Bellport Middle School teacher Loraine Richardson-McCray noted that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “with love” progressive and revolutionary correspondence and speeches in addition to the notable “I Have a Dream” speech. Ms. Richardson-McCray also encouraged the audience to read “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

Students Samir Bell and Bobby John gave the celebration’s closing remarks. “We have to come together, stay together and be one,” Bobby said. “Without struggle, there is no progress.”

After the ceremony in the auditorium, participants were invited to continue the evening’s celebration of black history with dancing and dinner provided by Arooga’s Grill House and Sports Bar, Bravo, Café Castello Restaurant and Pizzeria, Café Gia, Cirillo’s IGA, Del Fuego, Empire State After School Program, Gaby’s Deli & Grocery, New Bethel First Pentecostal Church of America, Inc., Super Deli, Sicilia D’Oro, Stop & Shop and The Journey.

  


          

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Seeks Wall of Fame Nominations

Bellport High School

The Bellport High School Wall of Fame is a project intended to celebrate distinguished graduates of Bellport High School. Nominees will be evaluated on the basis of their contributions to their profession and their community. Graduates may be nominated by anyone within the South Country community and a selection committee will evaluate the application. Click here for more information.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Students are 100 Days Smarter

South Country School NEws

South Country Central School District celebrated the first 100 days of school on Feb. 15 with special and engaging hands-on English language arts, mathematics and art activities to mark this momentous occasion for the district’s elementary-level students.

Many of the students arrived at the school entrance dressed as 100-year-olds or donning T-shirts decorated with 100 items. Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) stations allowed the students to build structures with 100 Legos, Unifix cubes and other materials. Students honed reading skills while hunting for site words posted in their classrooms and listening to a number of stories related to the first 100 days of school. There were also games and physical education stations where students performed 100 repetitions of exercises. In Brookhaven Elementary School’s Dual Language Magnet Program, students reviewed and recited their numbers up to 100 in both English and Spanish during a Hershey Kiss and match game.

South Country Director of Elementary Education Amy Brennan noted that this day is special for elementary-level students. “The students have really worked hard and have been successful in meeting the academic challenges of the first 100 days of school,” she said.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Performs ‘Rent’

South Country Schools

A talented cast and crew drew full houses during performances of Jonathan Larson’s “Rent,” held in the Bellport High School Ebersole Auditorium on Feb. 8-9.

Under the direction of Suzette Fandale, producer Barbara Gallagher and choreographer Stephanie Vertichio, the 39-member cast and company entertained the audience with this memorable rendition of the 1990s musical about a group of starving New York artists who struggle with their careers, love lives and the community effects of the AIDS epidemic while trying to survive in Manhattan’s East Village.

Shaun Laurinaitis played the role of aspiring filmmaker Mark, while Tyler Zapata played HIV-positive musician Roger, both of whom scramble to make rent to their former roommate and landlord Benjamin, played by Mike Marziliano. In the meantime, friend and professor Tom (Henry Chillogallo) is attracted to Angel (James MacGilvray), who is dying from AIDS. The success of the production was not only due to the professional-quality of the student-actors but by the 22-member crew, Angelique Graziano’s talents with hair and makeup, vocal director and accompanist Henry Finnegan and the pit orchestra, under the baton of Jim Uzzi. The masterful set design and construction were also the workings of Ms. Fandale, Ms. Gallagher and Mr. Uzzi.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Verne Critz Snuggles Up and Reads

School NEs

The excitement was palpable as Verne W. Critz Elementary School students in the South Country Central School District collected their passports in the school cafeteria for the PTA’s annual Snuggle Up and Read event. The passports listed four opportunities for the avid readers to attend 15-minute read alouds by teacher volunteers.

“This is a great opportunity for the students to hear multiple bedtime stories,” Principal Mandy Mazziotti said. “It is also an additional opportunity for students to hear literature read aloud.”

As the students approached the classrooms, the doors were decorated to reflect the theme of the story. The teachers also dressed up for the occasion to add dramatic effect to their reading.

The school thanks the following faculty for their participation in this beloved event: Donna Cimino and Jessica Richards – “Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great;” Lynn Cullen and South Country Public Library librarian Jen Marin – “The Three Armadillies Tuff;” Erika Watson – “Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth;” Jennifer Hayhurst and Jill DeRosa – “Mother Bruce;” Carolyn Kelly – “The Three Ninja Pigs;” Lealand Richard – “Secret Pizza Party;” Stacey Kevelos and Rebecca Ruchman – “Manana Iguana;” Theresa Milani and Maria Waldeck – “The Most Magnificent Thing;” Jennifer Petti and Erica Vitale – “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons;” Megan Huber and Melissa Nucatola – “The Day the Crayons Quit” and Shelley Tooker “Bad Boys Get Cookie.”

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Verne W. Critz Students Celebrate Career Day

Career Day

Verne W. Critz Elementary School students in the South Country Central School District dressed as firemen, nurses, veterinarians and athletes as part of the school’s Career Day.

Principal Mandy Mazziotti explained that Career Day is an opportunity for the students to set goals for themselves and to be exposed to various opportunities available to them as they get older.

Career Day commenced with an assembly with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani, who explained to the student body his job as a district superintendent. Speakers from local businesses also visited the classrooms and included chiropractor Dr. Joseph Merckling, Suffolk County police officer Eddie Gomez and K-9 partner Milo, paramedic Kristin Huck, Air Force Pararescue Captain Salvatore Sferrazza, merchandiser Melissa Wasylyshyn, physical therapist Amy Maragioglio, fireman Matthew Wilkinson, transportation specialist Joshua Warshaw, veterinarian Dr. Nicholas Martuccio, dentist and hygienist Dr. Matthew Kahn, and finance specialist Joanne Bennett.

The students not only had a fun day dressing up, but learned about various professions, thanks to the volunteers who made Career Day possible.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Musicians Honored

Musicians

During the January 9th board of education meeting, the South Country Central School District’s top student-musicians were honored.

Mia Grossman (soprano, mixed chorus), Erin Kelly (soprano, mixed chorus) and Tyler Zapata (trumpet, symphonic band) were congratulated for being named alternates for the New York State School Music Association All-State Music festival.

Although these students did not attend the event held in Rochester last month, being named an alternate is a prestigious honor and ranks the students among the most talented throughout New York State.

In addition, Mia (soprano, treble chorus), Erin (soprano, mixed chorus), Katelyn Maddalena (soprano, mixed chorus), Maya McCullough (alto, mixed chorus), Daniel Roach (viola, symphony orchestra), Tyler (trumpet, symphony orchestra) and Autumn Margaret Walthers (alto, mixed chorus) were congratulated for their participation in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County festival, held at Half Hollow Hills East High School on Nov. 17.

The district congratulates the students on this outstanding accomplishment.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Athletes and Coaches are Tops in Their Sports

During the January 9th South Country Central School District Board of Education meeting, Bellport High School student-athletes and coaches were recognized for exemplary accomplishments.

Alyssa Mantione and Samuel Hampson were congratulated for having received the Suffolk Zone Award. Sponsored by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, this award recognizes one male and one female Suffolk County high school senior from each school district who exemplify outstanding scholastic ability, physical education performance and leadership qualities.

Four high school athletes were also congratulated for being named Section XI All-County Athletes and include: Grace Minikel (girls cross-country), Jaelyn Conquest (girls volleyball), DJ Trent (football) and Ka'Shaun Parrish (football).

In addition, League IV junior varsity girls volleyball coach Ellen Hoffman and League IV varsity girls volleyball coach Larry Auth were each recognized for being named Coach of the Year.

The district congratulates the athletes and coaches on these outstanding accomplishments.

 

Athletes

Bellport High School students Alyssa Mantione and Samuel Hampson were recognized by the South Country Central School District for having received the Suffolk Zone Award and are pictured with (l-r) Director of Athletics Robert McIntyre, Board of Education President Cheryl A. Felice, Bellport High School Principal Tim Hogan and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani.

 

Athletes

Bellport High School varsity girls volleyball coach Larry Auth and junior varsity girls volleyball coach Ellen Hoffman were recognized for being named League IV Coaches of the Year and are pictured with (l-r) Director of Athletics Robert McIntyre, Board of Education President Cheryl A. Felice, Bellport High School Principal Tim Hogan and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani.

 

Athletes

Bellport High School athletes Grace Minikel, DJ Trent and Ka'Shaun Parrish were recognized for being named Section XI All-County athletes and are pictured with (l-r) Director of Athletics Robert McIntyre, girls cross-country coach Alic Johnsen, Board of Education President Cheryl A. Felice, Bellport High School Principal Tim Hogan, football coach Jamie Fabian and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani. Jaelyn Conquest is not pictured.

 


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Feeling Good, Looking Good, Behaving Well

Bowtie Tuesday

Fifth-grade students in David Perkins’ class at Frank P. Long Intermediate School in the South Country Central School District regularly don bow ties and hair ribbons during monthly participation in the class’ Bowtie Tuesday. The activity is an opportunity for students to look and feel good about themselves, while simultaneously practicing the goals of the district’s character education program.

“By wearing the bow ties and ribbons, the students look good and feel good about themselves,” Mr. Perkins explained. “Bowtie Tuesday also reminds the students about their goals to become more responsible and mature, our theme for the year.”
On Bowtie Tuesday, the students temporarily put away their own work and listen to the guest speakers who regularly visit the classroom, offering their tips for success. Prior to the holiday break, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Marlon Small made an appearance and discussed what each of their jobs in the district entails. The students also asked questions about whether their jobs are stressful, why they wanted their jobs, whether they liked school as a child and what they like to do after work.

Dr. Giani and Mr. Small also had words of advice for the students. Mr. Small told the students they should always set goals and work toward them, paying attention to the Golden Rule. Dr. Giani said, “When you have a challenge, make the best decision and stick with it.” He also noted, “Nothing is better than being true to yourself and others.”

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Students Put a Positive Spin on Reading

Reading Mentors

Bellport High School reading students not only serve as role models, but regularly assist Brookhaven Elementary School kindergarten students with their reading skills through participation in the Reading Mentors program.

During the high school-level reading class, the high school students are taught kindergarten reading skills and techniques utilized in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, a program adopted by the South Country Central School District for teaching reading and writing. With their favorite books in hand, the kindergartners then work on their reading skills with their mentors, who are able to put a positive spin on reading.

Director of Humanities Jaclyn O’Hagan explained that the Reading Mentors program builds the district’s already strong culture of reading and gives the high school students accountability in this important task. The younger students are also always excited to work with the high schoolers. “We celebrate literacy any way we can,” Ms. O’Hagan said. “The program makes reading meaningful to the mentors and the kindergarten students.”

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Athletes and Teachers Donate Toys to Head Start

Head Start

Bellport High School’s Athletes Helping Others organization, in conjunction with the Bellport Teachers’ Association, hosted a toy drive for the students of Bellport Head Start for the holiday season.

Athletes Helping Others advisor Pete Grossi explained that the organization has been hosting the event for the past nine years. During the day, students ages 3-5 were given the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and receive a present from one of the elf-athletes. It was a wonderful way for the students and middle school social studies teacher Glen McAvoy, dressed as Santa, to celebrate the season of giving.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Students are in the Zone

Suffolk Zone

Bellport High School students Sam Hampson and Alyssa Mantione were selected as recipients of the Suffolk Zone Award. Sponsored by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, this award recognizes one male and one female Suffolk County high school senior from each school district who exemplify outstanding scholastic ability, physical education performance and leadership qualities.

The South Country Central School District congratulates Sam and Alyssa on this outstanding athletic accomplishment.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Helping to Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

South Country School News

For a second consecutive year, the Bellport High School varsity cheerleaders volunteered at the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, held at Jones Beach on Oct. 21. Wearing “Tackle Breast Cancer” sweatshirts, their purpose in attending the event was to cheer on participants, many of whom are survivors, as they braced the cold to spread awareness about this disease.

The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is a 3.5 mile noncompetitive walk to help make a difference in the lives of those touched by breast cancer. The walk raises money to fund research, provide information and support, and to celebrate survivors and remember those who lost their battles against breast cancer.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Prescription for Success on the Volleyball Court

Volleyball

The Bellport High School girls varsity volleyball team clinched the League 4 Championship title this month and finished the season 10-0, with an overall record of 14-5. Larry Auth, who has coached the team for the past 23 years, noted that during his tenure this exceptional team has now garnered 15 league titles and nine second-placements.

“All the players have been dedicated to the team,” Auth said. “Everyone contributed to the team in different areas and worked together to make this a successful season.”

Prior to the Oct. 29 playoff game against West Islip, senior team captains Jaelyn Conquest, Alyssa Mantione and Jamie Trowbridge described the team’s prescription for success. Alyssa and Jamie have played volleyball for all four years of high school, while Jaelyn divided her time with both volleyball and soccer during her high school career.

Jamie explained that in order to be an “unstoppable team,” everyone has to do their job on the court and play their positions well. “If everyone is on their A-game, then the team can accomplish a lot,” she said. “But they have to come to the court prepared and ready to play their best, and that’s what happened this year.”

While commitment and dedication are commendable traits that mold a winning team, Alyssa believes that the team’s communication skills are what have helped this team achieve success. ”By communicating with one another both on and off the court, we have been able to keep everyone’s confidence at a high level, and that confidence has risen even more every time we’ve won a game,” she noted.

Jaelyn, who was designated as an All-League player last year, said a captain must maintain a positive attitude for the team, even when things are not going so well on the court. She is confident that next year’s team will adopt all of the fore-mentioned core values, taking them to the next level and garnering another championship title.

“If we play with our hearts then we can say we did everything we could,” Alyssa added. “It’s what we feel we accomplished on the court that makes the game good or bad. It’s all attitude.”

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Students Receive Brookhaven Hispanic Advisory Board Award

South Country School News

Four Bellport High School seniors received awards from Brookhaven Town’s Hispanic Advisory Board during the fifth annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Chelsea Argueta, Henry Chillogallo, Ivelisse Diaz and Katerin Fuentes Velasco were among the 64 Hispanic/Latino seniors from 13 school districts throughout Brookhaven Town who were honored for having maintained a cumulative GPA of 95 percent or higher.

Principal Timothy Hogan presented the students to the South Country Central School District Board of Education during the Nov. 13 business meeting, where they each received a certificate for their academic accomplishments. “It’s a pleasure to have each of them represent Bellport High School and South Country in such a positive fashion,” he said.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS students Inducted into Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence

Under the advisement of Aimee Iuliucci and Nicole Colao, the Bellport High School Center of Excellence welcomed 30 members during an induction ceremony, held on Nov. 8. Attended by district administration and members of the board of education, inductees received a pin symbolizing both their membership and their aspirations to explore college as a realistic, attainable and post-high school option.

Board President Cheryl A. Felice told the students, “I’m asking you to use the programs and support systems available to you today. It’s hard, but always find a way.”

The Center of Excellence club was reintroduced by Assistant Principal Dan Fauvell. Membership provides participants with an intensive college-awareness focus and emphasizes the building of successful academic behaviors, including calendar planning, prioritization, study habits, obstacle and roadblock coping strategies and smart decision-making. Students are held accountable for their personal goals, while embodying the leadership principles of professionalism, ambition, integrity, resilience and resourcefulness. There is also significant written and oral presentation work, combined with a focus toward college and career-readiness.

Guest speaker U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin said he hopes inductees experience their American dream through acquiring a college degree. “The benefits I experienced in college, I would not have otherwise experienced,” he noted.

The induction ceremony was preceded by a dinner, hosted by the high school culinary students. Music was also provided by the Bellport High School flute choir, under the direction of music chairperson James Uzzi.

The South Country Central School District congratulates the following inductees: Na’Kayla Austin, Jacquelin Ramos Bonilla, Julieth Stefania Cruz Gonzalez, Billy Lue Franco, Rondell Freeman, Samantha Fuentes, Fredis Antonio Gonzalez, Jack Halpin, Josiah-Truston Igwe, Ashley Milena Jimenez, Carolina Jimenez, Alliandra Khillawan, Floerie Kuffour, Candice Lopez, Emily Hartmann, Jamie Marca, Connor McIntosh, Jason Molina, Tyler Montalvo, Melody Pastor, Zachary Pino, Orlin Reyes, Dawn Slawinski, Kaitlyn Stines, Kaylee Thatcher, Nevaeh Tinsley, Alexis Urbina, Coleen Shaw, Jaylen Trent and Anecya Sutton.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Student Receives County Summer Youth Award

Gionnah Hicks

Bellport High School student Gionnah Hicks was one of 100 students countywide who received a Suffolk County Summer Youth Award for Leadership Ability from Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

During the summer, Gionnah participated in Suffolk County’s Summer Youth Work Experience Program, where she performed administrative and clerical duties for the Butterfly Effect Project, a nonprofit organization that empowers young women. In conjunction with the county’s Department of Labor, the Butterfly Effect Program is housed in the First Baptist Church of Riverhead, under the direction of executive director Tia Fulford and Pastor Cynthia Liggon. The goal of the program is to provide girls with marketable skills and job readiness training.

Pastor Liggon described Gionnah as exceptional, a quick learner and well-spoken. She noted that Gionnah’s ability to secure and schedule professionals for the Butterfly Effect Program’s job readiness training seminars was remarkable.

“Gionnah is the most stellar worker and is most deserving of this award,” Pastor Liggon said.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Student a Questbridge Scholarship Finalist

South Country Schools

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that Megan Berja, a senior at Bellport High School, has been named a finalist for a 2018 Questbridge National College Match Scholarship. If selected, Megan will be granted admission to one of Questbridge’s partner colleges with a full, four-year scholarship worth $200,000, which covers tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies and travel expenses.

The Questbridge National College Match is a scholarship application process that assists outstanding low-income seniors admission to the nation’s most selective colleges.

Megan is a member of the National Honor Society and math and science honor societies. The College Board recognized Megan as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honors, and she currently ranks in the top 5 percent of the Class of 2019. In addition to participation in Mathletes and the Women in Science and Engineering Program at Stony Brook University, Megan is also a tutor and works with the high school newspaper.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport Middle School Students Take a STEP Toward Their Future

School NEws

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that 23 Bellport Middle School students have been accepted into the Suffolk County Community College Science and Technology Entry Program, a free Saturday morning science, technology, engineering and math program for high-achieving minority students. Funded by the New York State Department of Education, the STEP Program focuses on career awareness, basic skills and real-world mathematics, science and technology applications for students in grades 7-12.

The STEP Program provides 16 Saturday morning enrichment classes at SCCC, two field trips to local scientific and cultural centers and local school district activities. In addition to enrichment classes taught by SCC faculty, guest lectures by leaders in the local technological, industrial, social and educational organizations will serve as role models.

“The STEP program provides an amazing opportunity for these students to jumpstart their academic future,” said school counselor Christina DeNapoli.

The district congratulates the following STEP Program participants: Grade 7: Jaiden Jackson, Gael Michel, Leah Ofori, Aarilin Pitre, Bryelle Reid, Jorge Riera, Juliana Sarmiento, Andres Tacuri and Katherine Yupa. Grade 8: Sara Abdelbasset, Tatianna Alvarado, Vannesa Cevallos, Javon Davis, Autumn Gambles, Emily Garavito, Arianna Gomez, Liany Kasten, Patricia Lopez, Scarlett Maldonado, Isabella Moreno, Sarah Ofori, Vanessa Perez and Katherine Yanza.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport High School Students Honored by Brookhaven Town

School News

Bellport High School students, Chelsea Argueta, Henry Chillogallo, Ivelisse Diaz and Katerin Fuentes Velasco were recognized during the Town of Brookhaven Advisory Board’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, held on Oct. 5. The seniors were honored for the outstanding academic achievement of maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 95 percent or more.

The South Country Central School District congratulates the students on this accomplishment.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

College Board Recognizes 20 Bellport HS AP Scholars

BHS Scholars

The College Board has recognized 20 Bellport High School students as Advanced Placement Scholars for exceptional achievement on the May 2018 national exams.

Eleven students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by receiving a score of 3 or higher on three or more exams and include: Chelsea Argueta, Marvina Baslious, Roshnie Bisram, Maxwell Kaczmarek, Shaun Laurinaitis, Nolan Lyons, Maya McCullough, Nicholas Nazzaro, Rebekah Ofori, Daniel Roach and Gabrielle Tims.

Megan Berja, Tyler Brock, Kyle Climan, Alexander Erwin, Eloise Kocay and Chiara Scharpf received the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average grade of 3.25 on all AP exams taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of those exams.

Grace Armann, Valentina Banellis and Aneeqa Majid also qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on five or more of these exams.

AP courses completed with a score of 3 or higher on the final exam may afford students the opportunity to earn college credit. Currently, 183 students are enrolled in one or more of Bellport High School’s 17 AP courses, which are available to juniors and seniors, except for AP Music Theory which is available for qualified sophomores.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Student Sean Skelly Receives AABLE Award

Sean Skelly

Transformative Education Departmental Services has recognized Bellport High School student Sean Skelly as a recipient of the Access to Better Learning Experience Award for his advocacy of the disabled community.

A former junior fire fighter for the Hagerman Fire Department Explorer Program and a probationary fire fighter for the same department, Sean has participated in Brookhaven Town’s Clean-up Day. During the winter, he assists with snow removal around fire hydrants and the homes of elderly fire department members. During the holidays, Sean makes “elf visits” to Home Depot in Bellport with a fire truck and Santa Claus for the enjoyment of the community’s children.

As an employee of Woodside Nursery and Gardens since 2013, Sean has assisted with Make-A-Wish during the holiday season. He has also been a volunteer with Angels on Long Island since 2014, where he assists with moving and picking up furniture, loading and unloading trucks, helping in the store and participating in their special events, such as the back-to-school drive and fall festival.

Bellport High School Principal Timothy Hogan recognized Sean during the Sept. 26 South Country Central School Board of Education meeting. “Sean is a young man of character who possesses a commitment to community often not seen in people his age,” Mr. Hogan said. “He is a remarkable young man with a bright future.”

Sean will be presented the AABLE award at the Bellport Country Club on Oct. 27. The district congratulates Sean on this prestigious recognition.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Empire State Grant Awarded to South Country CSD

The South Country Central School District, in conjunction with the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc. was awarded an Empire State Afterschool Program grant. Totaling $560,000 a year for four years, the grant will support an afterschool program at Bellport Middle School for 300 students in grades 6-8 and will run three hours a day for five days a week. The opening date of the program is projected for later this fall. In addition, 50 high school students will be provided afterschool programming through the Boys and Girls Club of the Bellport Area.

“The district appreciates this generous grant, which will provide a much-needed service to students in our community and which will fill a gap for students and their parents who need alternatives for afterschool hours,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani stated.

Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc. Director of Youth and Adolescent Services Cynthia Amato explained that the grant will provide vocational, recreational and educational preventative programming. As an Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc. partner, the Suffolk County Police Department will also provide education on violence prevention and the risks of drug use and addiction.

In addition to a designated homework hour with tutors in core subjects, participants will select from a host of activities, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), cooking, dance, music/audio club, music/DJ mix club, special events for students and families, and social-emotional and healthy living activities. Through the Leaders of the Future/STARS (Students Taking an Active Role in Society) clubs, participants will also learn leadership skills and take on community service projects. SAVVY Me program activities will also promote self-discovery and understanding.

“With increased afterschool participation through enrollment, we aim to improve academics and attendance, as well as foster parental involvement,” Amato said.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Imagining a ‘Whirled’ of Peace

Pinwheels for Peace

Brightly colored paper pinwheels whirled on the front lawn of Frank P. Long Intermediate School to create a visual public statement about the importance of world peace. Fifth-grade students crafted the iconic childhood symbols as part of the Pinwheels for Peace Project to commemorate the annual International Day of Peace held on Sept. 21 and established in 1981 by the United Nations.

Pinwheels for Peace was originally an art installation project started in 2005 by Florida art teachers Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan which was quickly embraced by millions of teachers throughout the world. Each year, students like those in the South Country Central School District, write their hopes for peace and unity on the pinwheels prior to planting them on school lawns.

In addition to making pinwheels, the students also discussed the concept of “peace,” as well as the importance of living in harmony and being able to agree to disagree with others.

Pictured: From left, Ryan Fostvedt and Daniel Varuolo

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Books Unite Barbers and South Country Students

Barbers and Books

South Country Central School District elementary students read their favorite books as local barbers trimmed their locks during the Barbers, Beauty and Books reading campaign held on Sept. 15. Held in conjunction with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Smart Start Suffolk and the South Country Public Library, the district encouraged students to visit KO Hair Designs and Lonnie’s Barbershop of Bellport and Imperial Kut Kreators and Razor’s Edge of East Patchogue where each received a certificate of participation and $5 gift card to use at participating businesses.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Marlon Small, Director of Elementary Education Amy Brennan, Director of Humanities Jackie O’Hagan, Brookhaven Elementary School Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond, teacher Krysta Kanowsky and South Country Public Library Assistant Director Patrick O’Leary were on hand to applaud the students for their excellent reading skills.

“This is a great way to connect the community and the school district through literacy,” Dr. Giani said. “Not only did the students and barbers have a great time, the students received the opportunity to showcase their academic skills.”

During the event, the district rolled out its new mobile library, which will be officially unveiled at homecoming on Oct. 6. Students took a tour of the school bus, which will house a collection of books and a computer for use by district residents.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Dancing Classrooms

Dancing Classrooms

South Country Central School District fifth-graders entered and exited the gymnasium in the escort position, two-by two and linked arm-in-arm, during a physical education dance unit taught by Dancing Classrooms of Long Island. The escort position shows honor and respect, two ideals that go hand in hand with learning ballroom dance, teaching artist Jessica Heins explained to the Frank P. Long Intermediate School students during their first lesson on Sept. 17.

First positioned in a circle, the students learned core moves that form the basis of the merengue, fox trot, rhumba, tango, swing, heal-toe polka and the waltz. Ms. Heins, along with accompanying teaching artists Angela Trivigno and Christina Stiriz, also explained the importance of being a good partner, while students paired off to try their new steps.

In addition to great exercise, the goal of the ballroom dance unit is to provide additional opportunities for students to hone teamwork, develop respect for peers and invoke elegance in movement. With the introduction of each dance, the students also learn about diverse cultures.

After their first lesson, the students were instructed to each write a letter to Dancing Classroom, explaining what they learned, how they feel about the program and what they expected prior to their first lesson. In December, the students will conduct a showcase of their new dancing skills for family and faculty.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Bellport HS Junior Sworn in as Ex-Officio Board Member

An official piece of business on the Board of Education’s Sept. 12 agenda for South Country Central School District was the official swearing in of Carly Diolosa as Ex-Officio Board Member. Carly, who is student council president during the 2018-2019 school year, will serve as a liaison to the board, relaying information about high school events and activities to the trustees while informing student council members about district business.

Even though Carly does not have voting privileges, she said she is excited with her new role. “It is an honor to be able to speak on issues concerning the school and student council,” Carly said. “I want to learn as much as I can.”

Carly is a member of the math and science honor societies, as well as the National Honor Society. She is an Advanced Placement student and takes honors classes to round out her challenging academic schedule. While taking time out of her studies, Carly is a three-sport athlete on the school’s varsity soccer, winter track and lacrosse teams.

Board President Cheryl A. Felice welcomed Carly to the board and wished her much success in her new position.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country CSD Upgrades Security District-wide

As South Country Central School District students returned to classrooms for the 2018-2019 school year, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani and the board of education have been working diligently to upgrade and improve safety and security measures throughout the district. Although some of the measures are clearly visible, Dr. Giani noted that many throughout the district are not noticeable to the community.
“Our ultimate goal is to make our facilities as safe as possible for faculty, staff and students, and to be prepared in the event that security measures are needed,” Dr. Giani said.

The district is currently seeking approval from the New York State Education Department to install security vestibules in the elementary schools, similar to those currently in place at Bellport High School, Bellport Middle School and Frank P. Long Intermediate School. With the new visitor management system in place at these facilities, visitors are prescreened, photographed and provided a sticker badge prior to entering the buildings and are required to return the badge when exiting the schools.

Additionally, this fall, faculty and staff are being issued new identification cards, which will ensure the district is aware of who is inside the building in case of emergency. High and middle school students have also been issued identification cards, which must be tapped upon entrance of the school and cafeteria as an attendance measure.

Security cameras have been placed in all non-instructional areas of the schools and the gymnasiums, as well as entrances, the sides of buildings and dead spaces. An upgraded security camera service also records activity around the buildings and was funded through the Smart Schools Bond. The district’s buses are also equipped with cameras to insure additional security for riders.

The district has also added a new “lockout” procedure to its security measures. During a “lockout,” only the exterior doors to a building are locked and business as usual carries on inside the building. A lockout procedure is different from a “lockdown,” in which all students and faculty must shelter in place until further notice.

The most visible security measure is the presence of a new senior guard. A retired police officer, the senior guard visits all of the district’s facilities. In-house responders form respectful relationships with students and assist with intervention and the de-escalation of potential security issues. The responders also work as security guards after school hours.

For the first time, teachers will be required to attend an active shooter training exercise with the Suffolk County Police Department. The goal of the exercise is to educate faculty on how to achieve a maximum and effective response during potential threat to security.

The district also plans on utilizing the latest technology to upgrade security. During the Aug. 22 board of education meeting, the district voted to move forward with the potential use of Suffolk County’s RAVE application. Available through a county grant, the RAVE application is a panic button alert system, which allows the district to speed dial 911 to foster a quick response in the event of an emergency. The district is also interested in working with the Suffolk County Police Department’s Virtual Private Network, which would lessen response time by allowing the county to access district phones and cameras in the event of an emergency.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Dual Language Magnet School Officially Open

Magnet

South Country Central School District officially celebrated the opening of its Dual Language Magnet Program at Brookhaven Elementary School on Sept. 4 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by district administration, board of education trustees, faculty and community residents. The magnet program will now allow all district students beginning in kindergarten the opportunity to learn core subjects in both English and Spanish, becoming bilingual and biliterate through fifth grade.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani said, “We are thankful to so many of our school community, who have contributed to our past successes, and we are very excited about our future successes under our new school leadership and teacher leaders.”

MAgnet

Brookhaven Elementary School has offered dual language instruction since 2015 to its students who reside in the school zone of Brookhaven Hamlet. The Dual Language Magnet Program, now offered to students district wide, will allow Spanish-speaking students to learn English and English-speaking students learn Spanish. Under the new model, two teachers will simultaneously instruct students in both languages. Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond explained that accessibility to dual language instruction commences with kindergarten and will expand by one grade level each year.

“This was a vision since four years ago and it is humbling to see how the program has grown,” Dr. Raymond said. “I believe the program will further bridge the community together.”

Board of Education President Cheryl A. Felice thanked the community for “seeing the mission through.” She added, “This could not have been accomplished without a team effort.”

Brookhaven Elementary School students Anastasia Blanco and Naomi Schindler-Schul were also on hand to assist the district with the ribbon-cutting and to speak with the community as well as peers about their experiences in the dual language program.

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

Smooth Opening for South Country Schools

Opening Day

The iconic yellow buses pulled up in the driveways of South Country Central School District’s elementary and secondary schools on Sept. 5 filled with students toting backpacks and supplies for the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The students were greeted with warm smiles and well-wishes from their teachers and principals as they filed into the buildings ready to begin instruction.

Prior to opening day, the district eased the kindergarten and pre-kindergarten students’ transition into elementary school by hosting “playdates,” so that the schools’ youngest students could meet their teachers and make new friends.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani said he was impressed by the district’s smooth opening and the teachers’ and students’ enthusiasm and motivation to begin work immediately. “I am confident that the 2018-2019 school year will be productive for all of our South Country students,” Dr. Giani said.

Opening Day

Opening Day

Opening Day

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Trustee Receives Prestigious Warrior Award

Regina Hunt

Regina Hunt, the vice president of South Country Central School District’s Board of Education, received the prestigious Warrior Award from the Transformative Educational Development Services organization. The award recognizes Ms. Hunt’s longtime advocacy in the school district community.

During the Aug. 22 meeting of the board of education, Ms. Hunt was congratulated by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani and Board President Cheryl Felice for her community outreach.

Pictured, Left to Right: Dr. Joseph Giani, Regina Hunt, Cheryl Felice

  


 

Courtesy of the South Country School District

South Country Central School District Welcomes New Administrators

SC SchoolsSC Schools

SC SchoolsSC Schools

The South Country Central School District has filled four administrative positions with talented faculty to commence the 2018-2019 school year.

Dr. Rebecca Raymond (pictured top left), assistant principal at Brookhaven Elementary School since 2014, has been appointed principal of the building. A Center Moriches resident, Dr. Raymond was instrumental in developing the framework for the district’s Dual Language primary program. She holds a doctoral degree in educational administration from Dowling College, as well as a bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in elementary education from Adelphi University.

Replacing Dr. Raymond as Brookhaven Elementary School assistant principal is Rosa Kalomiris (pictured top right). Prior to her appointment, Ms. Kalomiris served as a K-12 English as a New Language teacher and as the district’s Family Engagement Coordinator. Ms. Kalomiris, a Sayville resident, holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics/TESOL, a master’s degree in liberal studies and educational leadership certification from Stony Brook University. She is proficient in both Portuguese and Spanish.

Joseph Watson (pictured bottom left), a Blue Point resident, has been appointed assistant principal at Bellport Middle School. Prior to working in South Country, Mr. Watson served as a social studies teacher at Elmont Memorial High School in the Sewanhaka Central High School District since 2003. Mr. Watson holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in secondary education from Molloy College, as well as a master’s degree in school leadership from Touro College.

Rounding out the administrative appointments, Jack Burke (pictured bottom right) will serve as the director of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Mr. Burke, a Lake Grove resident, was previously supervisor of K-12 mathematics in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District. He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in school administration from Indiana University, as well as advanced certification in school building leadership and school district leadership from The College of Saint Rose. Mr. Burke is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in leadership and administration at St. John’s University.

The district congratulates the faculty on their new administrative positions and wishes for much success in the new school year.

  




Schools

 


Pre-K

Pre-Kindergarten Program
(At Brookhaven Elementary School)

101 Fireplace Neck Road
Brookhaven, NY
631-730-1700
Website







Pre-K

Brookhaven Elementary School
101 Fireplace Neck Road
Brookhaven, NY
631-730-1700
Website







Kreamer Street Elementary School

Kreamer Street Elementary School
37 Kreamer Street
Bellport, NY
631-730-1650
Website







Verne Critz Elementary School

Verne W. Critz Elementary School
185 Dunton Avenue
East Patchogue, NY
631-730-1675
Website







Frank P. Long Intermediate School

Frank P. Long Intermediate School
599 Brookhaven Avenue
Bellport, NY
631-730-1725
Website







Bellport Middle School

Bellport Middle School
35 Kreamer Street
Bellport, NY
631-730-1626
Website







Bellport High School

Bellport High School
205 Beaver Dam Road
Brookhaven, NY
631-730-1575
Website







South Country Administrative Offices

South Country School District Administrative Offices
189 Dunton Avenue
East Patchogue, NY
631-730-1500
Website






The above internet links direct to websites of the South Country Central School District. Photos courtesy of South Country Schools.