MP Announces OAK and OAK Recipients

Twenty-One Students at Miller Place High School Recognized for Exceptional Character and Academic Excellence

Miller Place School District (MPSD) is proud to announce that twenty-one exceptional students from Miller Place High School were recognized for their random acts of kindness and exceptional academic achievement during the District’s annual Outstanding Acts of Kindness (OAK) and Outstanding Academic Recognition (OAR) Awards Ceremony.

“Congratulations to our 21 students who continue to represent the District and our community with exceptional pride and character,” said Dr. Marianne Cartisano, superintendent of Miller Place School District. “I am proud to recognize these students for their active participation in extracurriculars, commitment to being positive role models for peers, and academic excellence. These distinguished students are a representation of what all Miller Place educators seek to inspire throughout our District.”

Students who receive the OAK Award display selfless behavior and inspire peers with their kindness. Recipients of the OAK award this year include Julianne Cerato, Hailey Koppelman, Madison Murphy, Adam Tarsia, Erin Matthews, Thomas Cirrito, Jason Cirrito, Danielle Cirrito, and Rowen Rivera.

To meet the requirements for the OAR Award, students must excel academically and successfully rise to the educational challenges presented to them. Recipients of the OAR Award this year are Cole Asparro, Matthew Murray, Colton Young, Shaun Mooney, Justin Klotz, Sean OConnor, Madaline Martin, James Duffy, Meghan Connolly, Hannah Cantone, Kate Doyle, and Thomas Ventiquattro. These students have either met long-term goals or are students who have exhibited commendable improvement.

Coupons for Character

Miller Place, N.Y. (January 2020)—Last year, North Country Road Middle School (NCRMS) in Miller Place kicked off its Coupons for Character initiative to reward its students who serve as positive role models, promote respect and help NCRMS build a caring school community. Each month, students who have demonstrated exceptional character have their name placed into a container in the main office and at the end of the month, three students’ names are randomly selected to receive a prize for their leadership. Additionally, each student whose name made it into the jar receives a letter home in recognition for their commitment to making NCRMS a great place to learn and gain leadership skills.

For October, NCRMS’s recipients were Edwin Rubio, Rowan Elder and Adrian Tamayo. For November, the recipients were William Spagnolo, Jason Murray, and Erik Flannery. Most recently, December’s recipients were Alex Villanella, Noah Squires, and Jake Siegel.

NCRMS’s October Coupons for Character Recipients
NCRMS’s November Coupons for Character Recipients
NCRMS’s December Coupons for Character Recipients

MP Student Places 7th out of 35,517 in National Competition

LADSBS’s Akilesh Earns 7th Place in SumDog’s Holiday Contest

Miller Place, N.Y. (December 2019)—Students in third grade through fifth grade at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School in Miller Place recently showcased their math skills during the Holiday Sumdog Competition. During the week-long competition that took place from December 6 through December 12, students completed 1,000 questions tailored toward their individual skill level. Akilesh Kandasamy, a fifth-grade student at LADSBS, claimed 7th place out of 35,517 students in the competition this year after answering 994 questions correctly.

Each year, the Sumdog contest is available to students in grades K-8. At the beginning of the school year, students are selected for the program based on their grade level. Each competition, students’ scores are calculated based on the average accuracy of correct answers. Students are able to select which game they play and Sumdog then generates specific questions to tailor each individual student. After the competition is completed, students are ranked on a leaderboard by the number of correct answers they had. If there’s a tie, students are ranked on the average answer speed.

Miller Place Students Provide 10 Meals to Local Families

LADSBS Hosted Food Drive to Give Back to Community

Miller Place, N.Y. (December 2019)—Throughout the month of November, students in Mr. Cevasco’s fifth grade class at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School in Miller Place dedicated their free time to give back to their community. The class collected over 700 food items in addition to gift cards to provide a Thanksgiving meal for 10 families in the building. The drive was so successful that it also provided additional meals for the rest of the holiday week and helped stock two local food pantries. This is part of the District’s ongoing initiative to help students be conscientious, active contributors to society and their communities.

A Journey into Egypt

NCRMS Hosts Jambo Productions for A Journey into Egypt

Miller Place, N.Y. (December 2019)—Miller Place’s sixth grade students at North Country Road Middle School recently explored the northeastern corner of Africa. In the building’s cafeteria, students participated in “A Journey into Egypt” with Mike Harrold from Jambo Productions to explore the world’s most heralded ancient civilization. The assembly discussed Egypt’s geography, religion, historical sites and culminated with a glimpse of modern-day Egypt. Afterwards, students took a trip to the library—which was converted to a museum for the day—to learn more about some artifacts that were discussed during the presentation.

The Miller Place School District hosts various guest speakers and assemblies to promote multi-cultural awareness and respect for diversity in a dynamic and interactive presentation.

NCRMS Students Welcome Popular Children’s Author

Sarah Beth Durst Inspires Miller Place’s Aspiring Authors

Miller Place, N.Y. (December 2019)—The book club at North Country Road Middle School (NCRMS) in Miller Place recently welcomed popular children’s author, Sarah Beth Durst, in celebration of recently completing her book, The Girl Who Could Not Dream. During the club’s most recent meeting, Ms. Durst captivated the students’ attention as she shared her path to becoming a writer and her extensive writing process. During the presentation, Ms. Durst graciously spoke about her life, her reasons behind becoming an author and who inspired her love of reading. Afterwards, she opened the floor to students for questions which ranged from, “How old were you when you realized you wanted to become an author?” and “Are you working on a new book?” In an effort to help students improve their own writing, Ms. Durst shared insight on how to write imaginative fiction and placed a strong emphasis on the revision process.

A Tea-riffic Day in Studio Art

Student Artists Host Japanese Tea Ceremony Using Self-Made Tea Bowls

Miller Place, N.Y. (December 2019)—At Miller Place High School, Mrs. Stasi’s Studio Art class recently hosted a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony in celebration of their latest project. Over the last few weeks while studying ceramics, the student-artists designed Japanese inspired tea bowls. Each bowl was designed using the pinch pot method to reflect the natural and imperfect tea bowls from Japan. Collectively, the class sipped tea in each of their glazed bowls to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments.

Ms. Stasi’s annual Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstrates how the Miller Place School District incorporates cultural diversity initiatives into lesson plans throughout the school year. The District aims to open students’ minds and increase their awareness and understanding of the lives people lead around the world. 

Say Something with Miller Place Students

MPHS Participates in Education Awareness Program with Deputy Sheriff Amie Rodecker

Miller Place, N.Y. (December 2019)—Students and staff at Miller Place High School (MPHS) recently participated in an education and awareness prevention program and training with representatives from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Sheriff Amie Rodecker met with each grade level for four 50-minute presentations to educate students on Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something initiative. Sheriff Rodecker discussed the signs and signals of a potential threat, and how to facilitate a conversation with a trusted adult.

In 2018, Officer Sheriff Errol Toulon partnered with Sandy Hook Promise to bring the Say Something presentation to all Suffolk County schools. To date, the Sheriff’s Office has trained more than 8,000 students, school faculty and parents in Suffolk County.

Be Kind. It’s Easy

Miller Place High School Celebrates World Kindness Day

Miller Place, N.Y. (November 2019)—In celebration of World Kindness Day, the School Improvement Team (SIT) Committee at Miller Place High School welcomed students with positive affirmations and inspirational messages throughout the building. The day was devoted to promoting generous acts that bring people of every type together and emphasize the power behind small and large kind gestures. Nearly 900 Post-It Notes covered students’ lockers and classroom doors with phrases like, “In a world where you can be anything—be kind” and “you’ve got this.” World Kindness Day, an initiative of the World Kindness Movement, highlights good deeds in the community by focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness that binds people.

Ride for Life Founder Returns to MP

Students in LADSBS Promote ALS Awareness with Ride for Life Founder

Miller Place, N.Y. (November 2019)—Miller Place School District (MPSD) recently welcomed back Ride for Life Founder Chris Pendergast for a special assembly at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School (LADSBS). Mr. Pendergast, a beloved member of the community and courageous fighter of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), returned to the District to speak with elementary students about his journey over the last several years and inspiration behind founding Ride for Life, a charity that raises money and awareness for ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“Every year, we welcome Mr. Pendergast for his heartening story of perseverance and commitment,” said Dr. Marianne Cartisano, superintendent of Miller Place School District. “He is a special member of the Miller Place-Sound Beach community, and it’s an honor to have him speak to our students and inspire them to play their part in raising awareness for such an important cause.”

Students at LADSBS listened attentively to Mr. Pendergast’s story about his advocacy efforts and how his devotion and perseverance inspired the Ride for Life organization. The presentation relayed an important message for students to never give up and overcoming the odds. Students were also amazed by Mr. Pendergast’s ability to utilize advanced technology equipment to type using his eyes and speak through a computerized voice.

Ride for Life is an annual public awareness and fundraising campaign to spread ALS awareness. Each year, ALS patients ride their electric wheelchairs across Long Island as they are escorted by hundreds of students from local schools and community groups.