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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


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Visit the South Country School District website for updates.



Bellport High School National Honor Society Inducts 73

Honor Society

Bellport High School’s National Honor Society has inducted 73 new members to the prestigious organization. Although the traditional candlelighting ceremony did not occur due to school closings, the students were congratulated by the administration and advisers Danielle Stuckey and Sue Hines by letter. Ms. Stuckey said that the students will be officially inducted next April 2021.

Students inducted into the National Honor Society must adhere to the organization’s four pillars of scholarship, leadership, service and character. They are also encouraged to live up to these ideals beyond their tenure at high school.

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

The South Country Central School District congratulates the following inductees:

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Board of Education trustees recognized by NYSSBA

Board of Education

South Country Central School District Board of Education President E. Anne Hayes and trustee Lisa Di Santo received the Level 1 Board Achievement Award from the New York State School Boards Association for participation in the organization’s School Board U Program’s training opportunities. The award recognizes board trustees who take advantage of NYSSBA’s continuing professional development opportunities to improve their expertise and knowledge in governance and leadership, fiscal responsibility, student achievement and school district operations.

During the May 13 board of education meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani recognized both Ms. Hayes and Ms. Di Santo. He said, “On behalf of the Board and the New York State School Boards Association, we appreciate the additional time you have devoted in fulfilling your responsibilities to our schools and the learning community.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



The Adventures of Flat Ms. Gordon

Flat Gordon

As virtual learning takes its hold, student-teacher relationships have never been more important. At Frank P. Long Intermediate School in the South Country Central School District, fourth grade teacher Vanessa Gordon has devised a way to bridge the separation gap between her class and herself.

The students are participating in a project called Flat Ms. Gordon, based on the original Flat Stanley Project in which a cardboard cutout of a man, Flat Stanley, accompanies students on various adventures. Instead of writing letters about their adventures with Ms. Gordan, as in the original project, the South Country students are taking photos of their adventures with the Flat Ms. Gordon cutout and posting them virtually with a description.

Ms. Gordon said, “I wanted to be with my students for the rest of their fourth grade year and sent a Flat Ms. Gordon letter to the class, hoping to be a part of their everyday activities.”

Some adventures Flat Ms. Gordan has been attending are a Mother’s Day plant sale, eating tacos on Cinco de Mayo, building a catapult, creating a living room fort and accompanying students with their lessons.

Flat GordonFlat Gordon

Flat Gordon

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Life Skills Students Receive Cooperator Award


The Bellport High School Life Skills Program was awarded the Outstanding Cooperator Award, recognizing the students’ great work at the Cornell Cooperative Farm, located in Yaphank.

Teacher Jane Quatrale explained that students enrolled in the self-contained/prevocational Life Skills Program (ages 17-21) and special students in the 8:1:3 classes who receive academic and behavioral intervention are often scheduled to work in community businesses. One of the locations during the last eight years includes the Cornell Cooperative Farm where the students assist with routine maintenance, including raking the animal pens, and filling feed bags and filling wood chip bags for the animal pens. The students also perform light office work and bundle brochures according to school districts and schools.

“We have a great rapport with the farm,” Ms. Quatrale said. “The students enjoy going to the farm and interacting with the animals. The Cornell Cooperative farm is a great program and the students learn important work skills by volunteering their time.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Principal Recognized as a Partner in Literacy

Rebecca Raymond

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that Brookhaven Elementary School Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond received the sixth annual Brookhaven Free Library Community Partner in Literacy Award during the library’s annual meeting, held on March 10. The award recognizes individuals in the community who tirelessly promote literacy.

Dr. Raymond explained that Brookhaven Elementary School has always had a close connection to the Brookhaven Free Library with students participating in school initiatives which include Read Around the World and a dual language event centered around the popular Cinco de Mayo festival.

“The library has always been such an important place in the heart of the community and the students,” Dr. Raymond said. “It’s a safe haven which helps them flourish.”

Dr. Raymond has served the district for six years, first as Brookhaven Elementary School assistant principal for four years and as principal for the past two years. Prior to her tenure in South Country, Dr. Raymond served as a dual language teacher at Southampton Elementary School.

Brookhaven Free Library Director Jamie Papandrea described Dr. Raymond in the library newsletter announcement as a “truly and exemplary community partner and we are proud to honor her with this recognition.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Student-Artists Among Long Island’s Best

Best ArtistBest Artist

The artwork of Bellport High School student-artists Courtney Gerard, Patricia Prott and Tyler Walsh were selected from 388 submissions to exhibit at the Heckscher Museum’s Long Island’s Best Young Artists 2020 juried exhibit. Additionally, Courtney received the Costas Family Award for Excellence in Photography for her digital photograph, “Floating.” Tyler also received the Renzo and Lynette Bianchi Scholarship Award for his ink and watercolor work, “Euphoria.”

Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher Museum is the only juried exhibition on Long Island offering high school student-artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in a museum. As the museum marks its 100th anniversary this year, 100 works of art were selected for exhibit. Each year, students in grades 9-12 are invited to submit artwork inspired by art shown in the museum. For the first time in the museum’s history, an online format features all of the student artwork selected for exhibit, the students’ artist statements and the artwork that inspired the selectees.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Teacher Garners Influential Educator Award

David Perkins

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that Frank P. Long Intermediate School teacher David Perkins received the Influential Educator Award from New York State Senator Monica R. Martinez. The award was presented during the senator’s annual Black History Month Celebration, “African Americans and the Vote,” held on Feb. 28, at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Bellport and to honor individuals who are making a difference in the community.

Mr. Perkins has served the South Country Central School District for 16 years. Currently teaching fifth grade, Mr. Perkins is famous throughout the school community for hosting Bowtie Tuesday. On this day each month, students wear bowties and hair ribbons to feel better about themselves while being reminded about their goals to become more responsible and mature. The students also listen to speakers who provide tips for success in school and in life.

“Students should see glimmers of the best versions of themselves,” Mr. Perkins said. “It’s also important that education be fun.”

Mr. Perkins is also a shining example of how to give back to the community. An Islandia resident, Mr. Perkins has served as a volunteer firefighter in Central Islip for the past three years and is currently learning to drive a firetruck. He also demonstrates a desire to improve his school community through participation in a variety of programs, committees and events. He has served on the Shared Decision Making Team at FPL, Math Day and was basketball coach for the Bellport Middle School team. More recently, Mr. Perkins served on the district’s Technology Committee, assisted in Math 24 tournaments at FPL and is currently an adviser on the FPL Lego Robotics Club.

However, Mr. Perkins goal is always the same — to do his best to improve the success of his students academically and in life.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Named a Top Music Community

South Country Schools

Honor Band

The NAMM Foundation has designated South Country Central School District as one of the nation’s 2020 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.

Music Chairperson James Uzzi said, “Because of support from central administration, the board of education and the community, the district has the resources to do what it takes to make the music program visible and one that serves all interested students.”

The district is proud of its music program, which offers a plethora of instruction in orchestra and band instruments, piano, chorus and music theory. Elementary instruction commences in prekindergarten and third grade students may join the chorus, followed by orchestra or band in fourth grade. A unique elementary offering is the bell program at Kreamer Street Elementary School, which was up and running this school year. 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.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



A Celebration of Excellence and Distinction

Evening of Excellence

Each year, Bellport High School in the South Country Central School District demonstrates pride and gratitude during the Evening of Excellence. This cherished tradition, scheduled to take place on March 24, would have celebrated the accomplishments of 44 distinguished seniors who have maintained a weighted cumulative average of 92% or better for the past seven semesters. Additionally, six members of the faculty were to be honored after being selected by the students as persons who have been influential and inspirational during their educational journey.

Principal Timothy Hogan noted that the students’ striving for “excellence” does not happen by accident. “It [excellence] is the gradual result of always striving to do your best – with high intention, sincere effort and mindful execution.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani said that even though the Evening of Excellence could not take place this year due to school closings, it is important to pay homage to the honorees. “These students not only demonstrated academic excellence but went above and beyond by serving the community and by demonstrating the ideals of the district,” Dr. Giani said.

The district congratulates the following students: Audrey Barry, David Bellante, Erin Boehmke, Amanda Brunning, Kayzjah Charles, Ashley Chavez, Connor Coleman, Eva Colon, Alyssa Demmers, Sebastian DeRosa, Rachel Dickinson, Carly Diolosa, Alexa Ferrara, Elsy Franco Argueta, Courtney Gerard, Emily Gentzel, Ali Dennis Guillermo, Emily Hartmann, Emily Hughes, Natalia Jordan, Juliana Lewkowski, Jacob LiVigni, Jared James Lorenzo, Hanna Lupo, Daniela Mondi, Nicholas Promutico, Ella Rauch, Peri Sallah, Victoria Pennachio, Liam Murphy, Amanda Rasmussen, Marissa Mulligan, Maya Samuel, Luca Scharpf, Kunj Shah, Troy Sica, Mia Suarez, Bryan Tapuy, Miranda Treutle, Lauryn Trupia, Michael Vengroski, Katherine Vignona, Tyler Walsh and Stephen Warnes.

The district also congratulates the following faculty: Antonino Giresi (Frank P. Long Intermediate School), Carolyn Kelly (Verne W. Critz Elementary), Nicole Lafferty (Bellport High School), Jolene McCarthy (Kreamer Street Elementary), Juliane McDermott (Brookhaven Elementary) and Nicolette Schiavone (Bellport Middle School).

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Board of Education Celebrates the Efforts of ‘Frozen Jr.’ Cast and Crew


During the March 11th South Country Central School District Board of Education meeting, the trustees recognized those who contributed to the great success of the Bellport Middle School production of “Frozen Jr.,” held on Jan. 17-18. Principal Dr. Jamal Colson said the musical positively impacted the students and community in many ways and that it was more than just a culmination of a weekend event.

The musical promoted lifelong goals for many students, such as acting and singing opportunities or careers in construction, sound and lighting,” Dr. Colson explained to the board of education. “Students learned to work together toward a common goal with the three A’s – attendance, attitude and achievement.”

Staff members Michele Stiriz (director), Sean Austin (musical producer), Oya Bangura (choreographer), Alicia Ferrara (costume designer), Nicolette Clock (assistant producer) and Kieran Sawyer (stage manager) were congratulated. Dr. Colson also introduced shining principal cast members Madison Aruta (townsperson and an Oaken family member), Alexa Allan (Elsa), Kaelyn Schmidt (Anna), Max Yablon (Kristof), Mason Linke (Hans), Madison Roberts (Sven), Jacob Chojnacki (Olaf), Gael Michel (Pabbie), Samantha DeLillo (snow chorus) and Rileigh Picken (Queen Iduna).

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Musicians Attend Honor Band Symposium

Honor Band

Bellport High School student-musicians Jack Burkhardt (clarinet), Taylor Kelly (horn) and Anthony Notartomaso (euphonium) were selected to represent the South Country Central School District at the 2020 New York State Band Directors Association High School Honor Band Symposium, held in Liverpool, on March 6-8.

The student-musicians were selected based on their previous year’s New York State School Music Association scores and teacher recommendations. Each year, NYSBDA selects the top musicians from across the state to rehearse with one of the nation’s most respected conductors, followed by a concert on the final day of the symposium. This year’s concert was conducted by SUNY Fredonia professor of Music and Director of Bands Dr. Paula Holcomb.

Bellport High School Band Director Bradley Hartman said, “We are extremely proud of Bellport High School’s first group of students to be nominated for this prestigious ensemble. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Students Exhibit at Parrish Art Museum

Parrish Art Museum

Bellport High School’s top student-artists were selected to exhibit their artwork at the Parrish Art Museum’s 2020 Student Exhibition, held March 7-April 19. This prestigious show exhibits work amongst students from East End townships in various mediums including computer graphics, photography, sculpture, drawing and painting.

Both Victoria Anguilar-Perez and Trinity Brown won the coveted Ones to Watch award. In addition, Audrey Barry (drawing), Sofia Gannon (photography) and Samantha Porsche (photography) were also selected as honorees.

A 60-year tradition, the annual Student Exhibition features the work of more than 1,000 artists from school districts in Long Island East End townships. Those students selected to display their work demonstrated creativity, enthusiasm and technical skill in diverse media including painting, sculpture, drawing and photography.

The South Country Central School District and Art Department Chairperson Suzette Emma-Fandale congratulated the students on this prestigious honor.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country School District Kindergarten and Pre-K Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year

Kindergarten RegistrationThe South Country Central School District will be conducting Pre-K and Kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year from March 2nd through March 27th, 2020.

English Registration Form

Spanish Registration Form

Call (631) 730-1617 or visit the district website for more information.



Bellport High School Seeks Wall of Fame Nominations

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 Central School District



Bellport High School Students Honored During Annual Brookhaven Black History Month Celebration

Black History Month

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that seven Bellport High School students were honored during the Town of Brookhaven’s 29th annual Black History Month Celebration, held at Town Hall on Feb. 7. Sponsored by Brookhaven’s Black History Commission, students Kayzjah Charles, Shaliq Cochran, Isaiah James, Lisa Kuffour, Tamia Lawson, Alexandra Magro and Maya Samuel were recognized as high-achieving students.

Principal Tim Hogan said, “These students embody the high standards and expectations Bellport High School sets for all of its students and we encourage you to join us in celebrating their achievements.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Wrestlers Receive All-County Honors


The South Country Central School District congratulates Bellport High School varsity wrestlers Josh Leidig (fourth place), Wyatt Gentzel (fifth place), Jaiden Green (sixth place), David Hartmann (sixth place) and Jonah Poueriet (sixth place) for receiving All-County honors during the Section XI Tournament, held at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Feb. 15.

The varsity wrestling team has made great strides this season, having garnered the League IV Dual Meet Championship, held in Hauppauge on Jan. 22. The Clippers also hosted the League IV Tournament at Bellport High School on Feb. 8, where they secured the highest number of points to win the tournament for the second consecutive year.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Presents ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Beatuy and the Beast

Fans of Disney’s iconic romance “Beauty and the Beast” flocked to Bellport High School’s Ebersole Auditorium on Feb. 7-8. Under Director Suzette Emma-Fandale and producer Barbara Gallagher, the 43-member cast entertained the audience with three performances, including a Saturday afternoon character brunch hosted by the production’s characters on Feb. 8.

AutumnMargaret Walthers played the female lead as Belle, with Michael Marziliano as the Beast. Aidan Gaynor narrated the production, while Jack Frankie (Maurice), Kevin Munson (Gaston) and Joey Salerno (LeFou) played the supporting male roles. Silly Girls Maya Krulder, Rachael La Grega and Cassidy Solina provided comic relief throughout the play as they swooned over Gaston in hopes of gaining his attention.

Unforgettable were the roles of Lumiere (Jack Burkhardt), Cogsworth (Troy Sica), Mrs. Potts (Emma Butler), Babette (Keira Ballan), Madame de la Grande Bouche (Kennedy Parris), Chip (Carley Simms), Old Beggar Woman/Enchantress (Alexa Ferrara) and Monsieur D’Arque (Aidan Gaynor).

In addition to stunning costumes and a show-stopping set, the audience thoroughly enjoyed the production’s most popular tunes from the original Broadway production and movie including “Be Our Guest,” “Tale as Old as Time,” and “Gaston.” A special thank you was extended to choreographer Stephanie Verticcio, vocal director Henry Finnegan and pit conductor James Uzzi whose efforts made the show a success.

In a statement included in the program, Ms. Fandale and Mr. Uzzi said, “The theater program at Bellport High School has been built over the past 25 years with the commitment, devotion, respect and love from our team. We have had the amazing opportunity to work alongside a group of amazingly talented professionals who hold the highest expectations for themselves and our students. With success as the only option, we have together created and presented truly amazing productions for our community.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport Middle School Robo Panthers Garner Robot Design Award

Robotics Club

The Bellport Middle School robotics team, the Robo Panthers, placed fifth out of 30 teams participating in the FIRST Lego League qualifier, held at William Floyd High School on January 11th. Under the direction of coaches Jeremy Freeman and Matt Gualtieri, the team also garnered the Programming Award in the Robot Design category. Due to the team’s ranking, the Robo Panthers are now invited to compete at the School-Business Partnerships of Long Island’s FIRST Lego League Championship to be held at Longwood High School on March 1.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Wrestling Wins Dual League IV Championship

Wrestling Champs

The South Country Central School District congratulates the Bellport High School varsity wrestling team on winning the Dual League Championship for League IV, held at Hauppauge on Jan. 22. The team qualified for the County Dual Meet, held at Hauppauge on Jan. 22, but lost against Lindenhurst.

Wrestling team captain Joshua Leidig said that hard work and determination was the prescription for the team’s success in garnering the Dual League Championship title. “The team has been working hard in the practice room, at team practices and off the mat, keeping up their stamina,” Joshua said. “The goal of the team is to place as high in the county as possible and to win another league tournament.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Teacher Earns Top Suffolk PTA Honors

Ted Brigham Award

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that Verne W. Critz Elementary School first grade teacher Carolyn Kelly was selected as the Ted Brigham Teacher of the Year. Sponsored by the Suffolk PTA, this award is given to one teacher who demonstrates commitment to the PTA’s mission and objectives.

During the Jan. 22 board of education meeting where Ms. Kelly was recognized by the trustees, South Country PTA Council President Chris Maresco noted that Ms. Kelly strengthened the bond and contributed to a stronger relationship between home and school. Principal Mandy Mazziotti described Ms. Kelly as a determined individual who strives to reach her fullest potential and always has her students in mind.

“She has demonstrated time after time, that she is an educator who truly loves her job and the students not only in her classroom, but the school as a whole,” Ms. Mazziotti said.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport Middle School Presents ‘Frozen Jr.’

Frozen Jr

The talented cast and crew of “Frozen Jr.” drew a packed house to Bellport Middle School’s auditorium on January 17th-18th. Under the direction of director Michele Stiriz, producer Sean Austin and choreographer Oya Bangura, the cast transported the audience to the land of Arendelle and brought to life the story of two sisters, Princesses Anna (Kaelyn Schmidt, Jillian Ferrara and Caroline Graham) and Elsa (Alexa Allan, Ava McKee and Lyla Hollmann). The play also included many of the popular songs debuted on Broadway in 2008, including “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman.”

The principal cast also included Orion Beadle (guard), Haley Fischer Bishop (Bulda), Shaniah Chavez (steward), Jacob Chojnacki (Olaf), Kailyn Ciavatta (housekeeper), Damian Funes (King Agnarr) Mason Linke (Hans), Manny Maldonado (butler), Eirini Michaels (Bulda), Gael Michel (Pabbie), Rileigh Picken (Queen Iduna), Madison Roberts (Sven), Anthony Santana (Weselton), Ryan Seubert (handmaiden), Diana Telese (Oaken), Jordan Teuschler (cook) and Max Yablon (Kristoff.). The South Country Central School District congratulates all who participated including the student-actors who played the part of the snow chorus and summer chorus, Oaken’s family the Hidden Folk and townspeople.

The success of the play was also due to the efforts of digital projectionist Katelyn Austin, set designer and set construction Sean Austin, assistant producer Nicolette Clock, costume designer Alicia Ferrara, stage manager Kieran Sawyer, lighting designer Joseph Skelly and vocal director Michele Stiriz.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Dancing Classrooms at Frank P. Long Intermediate School

Dancing Classrooms

South Country Central School District fifth graders entered and exited the Frank P. Long Intermediate School gymnasium in the escort position, two-by two and linked arm-in-arm, during a culminating performance for parents and faculty of Dancing Classrooms of Long Island. The 10-week physical education unit taught students core moves that form the basis of the merengue, fox trot, rumba, tango, swing, polka and waltz, as well as the importance of teamwork, empathy and respect.

During the program’s introduction, Dancing Classrooms of Long Island Educational Liaison Jessica Heins told parents, “The students walk away with a can-do attitude.” She also thanked the students by saying, “We are grateful to each and every student who bravely entered into Dancing Classrooms and we celebrate all that you have achieved.”

In addition to great exercise, the goal of the Dancing Classrooms physical education unit was 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. Additionally, by learning the escort position, the students learned two important ideals of ballroom dancing, honor and respect.

During the program, demonstration teams and then groups of students performed each of the dance moves for parents, alternating partners during the performance. To further celebrate the dances’ diverse cultures, select students read poetry and prose to add to the festive occasion.

The program culminated with all of the teams and faculty dancing the polka. The students were then allowed to escort their choice of a partner onto the floor for one more dance.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Junior Awarded Rank of Eagle Scout

Eagle Scout

During the January 8th South Country Board of Education business meeting, Bellport High School junior Jake D’Esposito was recognized for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

Jake, a member of Boy Scout Troop 47, worked with a team of individuals to erect a Purple Martin colony, located at Squassux Landing in Brookhaven. The Purple Martin is a bird that resembles a swallow and does not build nests in the wild. The Brookhaven community has been trying to attract these birds back to the community. While working on his project, Jake learned about the Purple Martin’s nesting habits and placement, how to attract the birds, predators, management of the colony, migration patterns, food sources and the need for human intervention.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Athletes 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. The organization has been hosting the event for the past decade. 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 to celebrate the season of giving.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



A Season for Giving

Season for Giving

Throughout the South Country Central School District, students spent the month of November collecting food for those in need.

Under the direction of teachers Jeremy Freeman and Erika Hawthorne, the Bellport Middle School Student Council collected nonperishable food items from Oct. 15-Nov. 20. The food was then sent to Pastor Mike Caiazzo at the Lighthouse Mission to add to the organization’s collection of food for the community.

At Brookhaven Elementary School, the students’ reach had a global appeal. After Halloween, students donated their uneaten candy, which was then sent to military troops abroad.

The Bellport High School Student Council also held its annual Thanksgiving Drive. This year, the organization collected more than 900 nonperishable items for those in need.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Students are in the Zone

Zone Awards

Bellport High School students Connor Coleman and Emily Gentzel 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.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Warm Hearts On and Off the Diamond at Bellport High School


Members of the Bellport High School varsity, junior varsity and Bellport Middle School baseball teams came together in front of Best Market to collect nonperishable food items for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, located at Mary Immaculate Church in Bellport. This is the team's third consecutive year collecting food for the community.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Cheerleaders Offer Encouragement and Support

Cancer Walk

For the third consecutive year, the Bellport High School varsity cheerleaders volunteered at the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Cancer Walk, held at Jones Beach on Oct. 20. Wearing Bellport Cheers for a Cure T-shirts, their purpose in attending the event was to cheer on participants, many of whom are survivors spreading 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.

Coach Samantha Berkowitz said that as cheerleaders, the team wears many hats, including being leaders by giving back to others. The team performed cheers created specifically for the walk. “They offered encouragement and signs of hope to everyone,” Ms. Berkowitz said.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Students Inducted into the Center of Excellence

Center of Excellence

Under the advisement of Aimee Iuliucci and Nicole Colao, Bellport High School’s Center of Excellence welcomed 20 new members during an induction ceremony, held on Nov. 7. Attended by district administration and members of the board of education, inductees received a pin symbolizing both their membership and aspiration to explore college as a realistic, attainable and post-high school option.

Ms. Iuliucci said, “Wear your pin with pride. Your futures are bright.”

During the 2018-2019 school year, 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.

Board of Education President E. Anne Hayes told the students, “Each of you have things in mind for the future. Don’t limit yourself but keep moving forward and you’ll be astounded at what you will have accomplished.”

Guest speaker and former Board of Education President Cheryl A. Felice told the students that they need to have the willingness to take risks. “Young people are important to our democracy,” she said. “You need to become involved in the process.”

The induction ceremony was preceded by a dinner, hosted by the high school culinary students. Nevaeh Tinsley led the salute to the flag, while and Destiny France sang the national anthem. Additionally, COE president Anecya Sutton, vice president Emily Hartmann and secretary Kaitlyn Stines announced the names of the inductees as they received their pins and certificates.

Ms. Iuliucci also announced that the COE has received a $711 grant from the Brookhaven 7-Eleven, a $2,000 grant from the South Country Education Foundation and a $250 grant from Ms. Felice.

The South Country Central School District congratulates the following inductees: (Grade 9) Jada Crowell, Catherine Chicas Fuentes, Aaron Dupaya, Eldrick Dupaya, Sara Epstein, Natali Gonzalez Romero, Ryan Grell, Justin Guzman, Wayne Heinecker, Meadow Lyn Moscatiello, Vanessa Perez, Ambar Ventura; (Grade 10) Sarah Elbaroudy, Andrea Giles; (Grade 11) Asha Golding, Sydney Rountree; (Grade 12) Janaisha Austin, Elsy Franco Argueta, Suzan Lunde and Mahogany Quinitchett.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Brookhaven Elementary School Opens Food Pantry

Food Pantry

Struggling families in the Brookhaven Elementary School community now have an additional community resource with the opening of the new food pantry on Nov. 6. In collaboration with the school’s PTA organization, the pantry has been filled with nonperishables and paper goods donated by Island Harvest Food Bank.

Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond said that 20 families in the school community have thus far reached out for assistance. “Students are at the heart of the community,” Dr. Raymond said. “It takes a village to raise a child. Having food available for those who need it binds families together and is one less worry.”

At present, PTA members and faculty will box food, based on requests, and families can call the main office to make an appointment for a pickup.

South Country Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani thanked Dr. Raymond and the PTA for their insight and help with the project. “We are very excited about this new resource, which will assist our neediest families,” he said.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Teacher Named an Educator of Excellence

South Country Schools

South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that Brookhaven Elementary School second grade teacher Victoria Suarez has been named a 2019 Educator of Excellence by the New York State English Council. This award honors teachers who are leaders in the classroom, who collaborate with colleagues and serve as mentors for new teachers.

During the Nov. 13 board of education meeting, Principal Dr. Rebecca Raymond presented Ms. Suarez to the trustees and described her as deserving of the award in that she readily seeks out opportunities to support her students’ continual growth, seeks professional learning opportunities, attends and presents workshops, participates in numerous school committees and extends the learning experiences of colleagues.

“We at Brookhaven are proud of your achievement and are humbled to work and learn from you each and every day,” Dr. Raymond said.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



South Country Central School District Art Gallery Commendations


The artistic talents of 51 individual student-artists and group work by Verne W. Critz Elementary School first graders were commended during the South Country Central School District’s second annual Art Gallery Reception, held on Oct. 23 at Central Office headquarters. The students’ artwork is part of an ongoing art gallery, which will be exhibited throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani told parents and faculty in attendance that “This is a new tradition, and we are excited and pleased to walk down the hallway at Central Office and see this wonderful children’s artwork.”

Each student received a certificate, and refreshments provided by the art department were served.

The district congratulates the following students:

Bellport High School: Roselida Albarran, Edwin Alfaro, Audrey Barry, Tatianna Davis, Josselyn Fuentes, Sarai Garcia, Courtney Gerard, Violet Gordon, Haley Herrmann, Abigail Horn, Tiara Jones, Hanna Lupo, Robert Menendez, Jake Mulle, Yeak Kay Phong, Samantha Porsche, Madelyn Reyes, Sabrina Rodriguez, Caitlin Saliba, Dream Smith, Seryna Waldron-Walker and Jaelyn Zapata

Bellport Middle School: Karyn Devine, Louisa Gordon, Julia Kotasek, Scarlett Maldonado, Alana Negron, Leah Ofori, Megan Wilkinson, Katherine Yanza and Mirka Zapata

Frank P. Long Intermediate School: Jack Fauci and Joshua Terry

Kreamer Street Elementary: Adrianna Fudge, Mason Kern, Sophia Fuentes Rios and Adeline Wiley

Brookhaven Elementary: Isay Gonzalez Bonilla, Shianelle Dilan, Samantha Velasquez-Garcia, Jayden Giuseffi, Iniya Holland, Brody Kandler, Antonio Michielli and Ashly Angelina Muy

Verne W. Critz Elementary: Christopher Behnke, Lineth Rivas Gamero, Joseph Figueroa Oliva, Sofia Perez, Lola Provenzano, Dylan Sarmiento Quiroga and Group Work by first grade students.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Frank P. Long Students Give Back to the Community


Frank P. Long Intermediate School fourth graders in Vanessa Gordon’s class got a jump start on the community’s participation in the annual South Country Community Clean Up, held on Oct. 19.

The students joined their teacher with large plastic bags and gloves to clean up all of the trash that had blown within the perimeter of the intermediate school. The students retrieved two bags of trash, and many of the classmates remarked how good it felt to give back to the community.

Sponsored by the Brookhaven Free Library and the South Country Community Leadership Network, the annual clean up aims to work together to make a difference in the community.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Volleyball Digs Pink


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Bellport High School student-athletes worked to make a dent in raising funds for breast cancer research.

On Oct. 10, the girls volleyball program played against Newfield High School during a Dig Pink event. In addition to defeating the visiting team, the program raised $1,410 for the Side Out Foundation to assist with breast cancer research and awareness. The funds were raised by selling paper volleyballs to show support for those impacted by breast cancer, which hung on the gymnasium walls as a reminder of the games’ purpose. For the past eight years, Bellport High School’s volleyball program has raised and donated more than $20,000, one of the largest contributions from a high school volleyball program on Long Island.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Top Notes for South Country Student Musicians

South Country Schools

The New York State School Music Association selected Bellport High School student-musicians Taylor Kelly and Timothy Montick to perform at the 2019 NYSSMA All-State Winter Music Conference, to be held at the prestigious Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York on Dec. 8.

Taylor, an alternate, was selected to play French horn with the symphonic band, and Timothy was selected to play the trumpet with the symphony orchestra. The students were nominated and selected based on their NYSSMA solo and ensemble festival scores, held at Mt. Sinai High School last spring. This represents a remarkable achievement, as there were 6,500 students that auditioned statewide for a position in the All-State Music Festival.

In addition, eight Bellport High School students were selected to participate in the 2019 High School All-County Music Festival, sponsored by the Suffolk chapter of the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education (NYSCAME) and the Suffolk Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA). More than 14 hours of rehearsals will culminate in a concert performance at Huntington High School on Nov. 15. Selections were based upon each student’s NYSSMA Solo Festival rating and school music teacher nominations. This festival recognizes Suffolk County’s most accomplished high school music students in grades 11 and 12.

Representing Bellport High School are the following:
• Jack Burkhardt – clarinet – symphonic band
• Vivian Fritz – harp – symphony orchestra
• Taylor Kelly – French horn – symphony orchestra
• Timothy Montick – trumpet – symphonic band
• Anthony Notartomaso – euphonium – symphonic band
• Troy Sica – viola – symphony orchestra
• Ryan Voegele – trombone – symphony orchestra
• AutumnMargaret Walthers – alto – treble choir

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Brookhaven Town Celebrates South Country Hispanic Students

South Country Schools

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that the Town of Brookhaven’s Hispanic Advisory Board has recognized the academic achievements of Bellport High School seniors Elsy Franco Argueta, Ashley Chavez, Natalia Jordan and Sebastian DeRosa during the sixth annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, which was held on Oct. 11 at Brookhaven Town Hall.

The students were nominated by teachers and the school’s guidance department for having acquired and attained a 95% GPA or above through their junior year of high school.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Frank P. Long Garden Club Planting Reaps Stellar Harvest

Garden Club

The recent warm daytime and cool nighttime temperatures made ideal conditions for Frank P. Long Intermediate School Garden Club members to harvest vegetables planted in the school’s courtyard learning lab gardens. There were exclamations of joy and awe as the students examined and then picked the labor of their work: a bright purple eggplant, onions, peppers and a variety of lettuces. The vegetables were bagged and donated to the Lighthouse Mission for an early fall salad for its patrons.

During the 2018-2019 school year, the South Country Central School District opened its new courtyard learning lab, completed with the use of district capital reserve funds while providing a flexible instructional space and an extension of classroom learning. Vegetable and flower boxes were made available for Garden Club members and classes to beautify the garden plots as part of the science curriculum.

Previous Garden Club adviser Sarah Rauch said, “The goal of planting vegetables was to beautify the courtyard and to show students where their food comes from.”

Ms. Rauch noted that the students were particularly interested in the way asparagus plants grew. Additionally, Bellport Garden Club volunteers came each week to assist with the planting and weeding and provided the club with a $100 grant to pay for bulbs, plants and tools.

Even Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani caught the planting bug. He donated spicy onions from his own home garden for the students to enjoy. “The gardening plots are amazing and a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn how food is grown,” Dr. Giani said.

Frank P. Long Intermediate School teacher Diana Santos is the new Garden Club adviser and has plans in place for imminent planting and science learning with this year’s members, who meet on Tuesday afternoons after school. The students will continue taming the overgrowth and plant additional bulbs that will bloom in spring. The students are even trying to identify a spikey plant that unexpectedly grew among the flowers.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



College Board Recognizes 42 Bellport HS AP Scholars

AP Scholars

The South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that 42 current Bellport High School students and 2019 graduates were recognized as Advanced Placement Scholars for exceptional achievement on the May 2019 national exams.

23 students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by receiving a 3 or higher on three or more exams and include: Chelsea M. Argueta, Marvina E. Baslious, Rafael M. Benavides, Megan Berja, Roshnie A. Bisram, Kayzjah N. Charles, Katerin Fuentes Velasco, Sam F. Hampson, Erin G. Kelly, Jared M. Lorenzo, Nolan R. Lyons, Alyssa N. Mantione, Grace A. Minikel, Rebekah A. Ofori, Victoria J. Pennachio, Andrew R. Porsche, Nicholas F. Promutico, Ella G. Rauch, Ciarra N. Saliba, Luca S. Scharpf, Christopher Z. Tucker, Sarah R. Valenzuela and Cesar Velasquez.

Connor M. Coleman, Sebastian M. Derosa, Ali Guillermo, Natalia A. Jordan, Maxwell R. Kaczmarek, Eloise R. Kocay, Nicholas J. Nazzaro, Chiara M. Scharpf and Gabrielle V. Tims 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 L. Armann, Valentina C. Banellis, Tyler M. Brock, Kyle D. Climan, Alexander G. Erwin, Shaun V. Laurinaitis, Juliana F. Lewkowski, Aneeqa Majid, Maya G. McCullough and Daniel J. Roach 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.

Additionally, Valentina C. Banellis and Tyler M. Brock were recognized as a National AP Scholar by earning an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



Bellport High School Photographer Takes Top Art Honors

CourtneyThe South Country Central School District is pleased to announce that the Long Island Arts Alliance presented Bellport High School student Courtney Gerard with an Award of Merit during the 2019-2020 Long Island Scholar-Artists Award ceremony, held at Long Island University’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 11. Courtney was recognized for her excellence in academics and in the area of photography.

To be considered for this prestigious designation, students must be nominated by their school for representing the highest level of artistic excellence in media arts, visual arts, music, dance or theater. The student must also submit a portfolio of their work for consideration by the selection committee and must hold an unweighted grade point average of 90% or above.

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District






School Begins for South Country Central School District Students

School District

South Country Central School District students disembarked from bright yellow buses with backpacks and school supplies on hand for the start of the 2019-2020 school year on Sept. 4. The students were greeted with warm smiles and well-wishes from faculty and principals as they filed into the buildings ready to begin instruction 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 instruction. “I am confident that the 2019-2020 school year will be productive for district faculty and a wonderful year of learning for all South Country students,” Dr. Giani said.

School District

School District

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District



New Faculty Welcomed to the South Country Central School District

New Faculty

During a three-day orientation program, 25 educators were welcomed to the South Country Central School District by the board of education and administration and were familiarized with the workings of the district on Aug. 20-22.

In addition to a warm welcome by Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and General Administration Nelson Briggs and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Marlon Small, new faculty members learned how to utilize the district’s technology, employee benefits and payroll, and took tours of the district and their individual buildings.

Presentations included information on how to reach every parent/guardian, how to create a culturally responsive learning environment, classroom management and positive intervention strategies, teachers’ union, training in Response to Intervention, Common Core Learning Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

The board of education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani also hosted a luncheon at the administrative offices to formally welcome new faculty to the South Country family. After introducing the administration, Dr. Giani noted that each and every South Country employee, regardless of their role and title, impacts student learning and contributes to the district’s mission to educate all students, even though successes may not always show up in the classroom.

During his opening comments, Dr. Giani told the new faculty that he believes that if each and every child has a connection with one adult in their school, that child will be academically and emotionally successful. “I challenge each of you to make connections with your students and build relationships with their families, regardless of who they are, where they live, or their socio-economic status,” Dr. Giani said. “Teaching isn’t easy, but what can be a more important profession than one that shapes the mind and lives of children.”

Courtesy of the South Country Central School District





Pre-Kindergarten Program
(At Brookhaven Elementary School)

101 Fireplace Neck Road
Brookhaven, NY


Brookhaven Elementary School
101 Fireplace Neck Road
Brookhaven, NY

Kreamer Street Elementary School

Kreamer Street Elementary School
37 Kreamer Street
Bellport, NY

Verne Critz Elementary School

Verne W. Critz Elementary School
185 Dunton Avenue
East Patchogue, NY

Frank P. Long Intermediate School

Frank P. Long Intermediate School
599 Brookhaven Avenue
Bellport, NY

Bellport Middle School

Bellport Middle School
35 Kreamer Street
Bellport, NY

Bellport High School

Bellport High School
205 Beaver Dam Road
Brookhaven, NY

South Country Administrative Offices

South Country School District Administrative Offices
189 Dunton Avenue
East Patchogue, NY

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