Students excel at Long Island RegionalTrade Show and Business Plan Competition
Thirty-nine students in Mr. Thomas Frank’s Virtual Enterprise class at Miller Place High School excelled at the Long Island Regional Trade Show and Business Plan Competition. Students were tasked with either setting up a business to sell their products at a trade show or pitching a business idea to Angel Investors.
“Our Virtual Enterprise students did an amazing job and were part of a very successful field trip. Everyone who participated represented Miller Place with pride and enthusiasm and exceptional skill,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “Congratulations to all of the students who participated at the trade show for the professionalism and passion they demonstrated while promoting their ideas to investors.”
The Deja VR business set up by student CEO Gianna Benavides is a virtual reality company that sells headsets with a wide variety of games, sports, music, history and travel options. Gianna’s company took home the silver trophy in the website competition. Website creator for Deja VR, Salome Davoudiasl, commented, “the company I am a part of made it entertaining to choose an electric color palette for the website. Once the simple mechanics of our website were evaluated, it became an awesome project to work on throughout the course of the school year.”
Deja VR, which earned $150,000 at the trade show, placed among the top 10 schools on Long Island in the competition, which included 3,000 schools across Nassau and Suffolk County and New York City.
The Sand N’ Shade business, established by student CEO Alexandra DeAmario, sells customized sunglasses, snow goggles, watches and hats. Sand N’ Shade set a school record by selling over $170,000 in merchandise at the trade show.
Eighteen students honored for exceptional character and academic excellence
Miller Place High School recently recognized eighteen outstanding students at its 22nd annual OAK (Outstanding Acts of Kindness) and OAR (Outstanding Academic Recognition) ceremony. Students were recommended by staff members for performing inspiring acts of kindness or demonstrating excellent work ethic or improvement in their classes.
“The District is so proud of these eighteen model students who have shown acts of compassion and lent a hand to their peers in need or achieved remarkable academic progress and development,” said Superintendent of Schools Mr. Seth Lipshie. “These accomplished students represent the best of our Miller Place community with outstanding pride and character. They are positive role models for their peers and continue to impress their teachers and faculty each day.”
OAK award recipients are recommended for performing gestures of kindness and displaying compassion without expecting anything in return. This year’s recipients are Olivia Bloom, Elianna Charbonnier, Eileen Duffy, Klarissa Escobar, Justin Forlano, Jacob Huwer, Lucas McGuire, Sara Mendes, Joseph Ritieni, Natalie Shurbet, Jay Sun and Skye Welch.
OAR award recipients are recommended for achieving academic excellence by maintaining high scores, improving their scores or taking harder courses and rising to educational challenges that may be outside of their comfort zone. This year’s recipients are Christopher Barton, June Colletta, Mathilda Dottori, Eileen Duffy, Jacob Huwer, Aidan Maloney, Maya Murphy and Adrian Tamayo.
Miller Place students bring some joy to those in need during Thanksgiving
The Miller Place School District lent a helping hand ahead of this Thanksgivingby hosting food drives at each of its four schools: Miller Place High School, North Country Road Middle School, Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School and Andrew Muller Primary School.
Students at Miller Place High School collected 800 canned and packaged goods through a Thanksgiving food drive hosted by the National Honor Society. Students collected canned soup, vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing, muffin mix, potatoes and grocery gift cards. The food was distributed to families in need throughout the community and additional items will be donated to local food pantries. As an incentive, high school homerooms compete against one another to see which homeroom will collect the most food to help fill Thanksgiving tables in the Miller Place and Sound Beach communities. The homeroom that collects the most goods wins a bagel breakfast donated by Miller Place Bagels, a local business owned by the parents of a Miller Place High School student. This year, students in Shannon Matura’s homeroom collected the most food by bringing in 374 goods.
“All of our schools had very successful food drives this year and we’re so proud of our students for displaying compassion for those in need during this holiday season,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “What makes Miller Place so special is how we all look out for each other. Our students represent all that is good about our communities.”
At North Country Road Middle School, student government sponsorsa yearlong food drive to stock the North Country Road Middle School food pantry. Each Thanksgiving, the donations are used to create Thanksgiving meal packages that they distribute to families throughout Miller Place and Sound Beach.
Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School’s School Improvement Team (S.I.T.) Committee, run by Assistant Principal Nicole Farley and fifth-grade students, “adopted” seven families in need in the Miller Place and Sound Beach communities. The students and brought in items to put together a complete Thanksgiving meal for each family. In addition, gift cards to Stop and Shop were also distributed. The committee organized the food in decorated boxes which were sent to each family. Additional items that were collected were donated to the North Country Road Middle School food pantry.
Andrew Muller Primary School held a food drive in which students donated goods and supermarket gift cards, which were distributed to local families in need ahead of this Thanksgiving. The school’s hallways were lined with boxes labeled accordingly for students to place their donations. In addition, a local catering business donated fresh turkey for families in need.
Golfer Anthony Naples Wins Boys Suffolk County Individual Championship
Miller Place High School Senior Anthony Naples won first place at the Suffolk County Individual Golf Championship after two days of competition at the Spring Lake Golf Course in Middle Island.
Anthony shot par 72 on the first day, putting him tied for fourth place. Day 2 was met with rain and harsh weather, but Anthony persisted through and shot a 1-over par 73. He came back three shots from behind to tie for first place with a 145, 36-hole aggregate.
The competition came down to a one-hole playoff. Anthony won a tee flip and drove his tee shot 280-yards down the fairway on the way to making par to win the outright title.
“We’re very proud of Anthony’s accomplishment in the Suffolk County Individual Championship. Congratulations to Anthony on such a great achievement,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie.
Jennifer Lakas explains how digital tools help children learn literacy skills
Miller Place Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Lakas recently gave a presentation at the Long Island Technology and Education Summit, at which she shared insight on how to effectively use digital tools to teach literacy skills to children.
Her presentation, titled “Digital Tools for Literacy Learning – Primary Grades,” aimed to equip elementary school teachers with the skills and knowledge to use digital tools, such as spelling games and reading apps, to engage students and help them develop literacy skills.
Musicians selected for All-County Jazz Festival andAll-State Music Festival alternates
Several Miller Place High School musicians will have their talents on display as members of the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s All-County Jazz Festival. In addition, two Miller Place students were selected as alternates in the New York All-State Music Festival.
“We are so proud of the achievements of these very talented students. They are all exceptional musicians and very deserving of these honors,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie.
Miller Place High School junior Alan Yue, a member of the MPHS Orchestra, was selected as an alternate to the New York All-State Music Festival Symphony Orchestra. Miller Place High School senior Greg Marino, a member of the Select Chorus at MPHS, was selected as an alternate to the New York All-State Music Festival Mixed Chorus.
Miller Place School District students Maura Luby, Devin McGrath, Sean Creedon, Kyle Fehling, Greg Marino, Kai Schiera and Martin Doherty were selected to perform in the Suffolk County Music Educators Association’s All-County Jazz Festival.
The rehearsals will begin in the first week of November and the performances will take place on November 5 at East Islip Middle School.
The Miller Place School District welcomed students, staff, alumni and friends to its annual Homecoming celebration on September 17. Throughout the week, students and staff members at all school buildings displayed their school spirit for “Spirit Week” in preparation for the celebratory weekend parade and football game. Although the Miller Place Panthers put up a tough fight on the gridiron, the Kings Park Kingsmen ultimately won with a final score of 31 to 20.
“The community showed tremendous Panther Pride this homecoming weekend and our students displayed their enthusiasm representing themselves and the District in typical Panther tradition – colorful, creative and uniquely Miller Place,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “The energy from those in attendance was palpable and it was great to reunite with alumni.”
To kick off Spirit Week, students celebrated Pajama Day, coming to school dressed in their coziest pajamas. On Tropical Tuesday, the hallways were full of students ready for a luau in Hawaiian shirts and leis. On Wacky Wednesday, students sported their most imaginative and funky outfits wearing mismatched socks, neon colored clothing, and silly hairstyles. On Throwback Thursday, students dressed in various decade-themed apparel from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s eras. The week concluded with Spirit Day, highlighted by students donning their favorite Miller Place School District merchandise and a Pep Rally at the High School.
For the Homecoming parade, Panther cheerleaders, members of the MPHS pep band, and students from each building in the District marched alongside the handcrafted floats. The parade began at the Miller Place Fire Department South and navigated to the high school’s Stadium Field where the Miller Place Panther’s football team played against the Kings Park Kingsmen.
Before the game, the newest class of inductees of the District’s Athletic Hall of Fame walked onto the Stadium Field to be honored by the community. Inductees included Andrew Stafford, Class of ’77; Jacqueline Curtiss, Class of ’79; Marion Mastrangelo, Class of ’84; Ellen Moorehead, Class ’85; and Greg Gaillard, Class of ’96. Two coaches were also inducted: Salvatore Passamano and Liz Borsetti. Ms. Borsetti, or Coach B, was honored posthumously.
Districts recognizes the legacy of five alumni and two coaches
The Miller Place School District recently inducted a new class into its Athletic Hall of Fame, including five alumni and two former coaches – one of whom was honored posthumously.
The Miller Place High School Jazz Band performed and volunteers handed out breakfast as guests took their seats for an intimate ceremony the morning of the District’s Homecoming Game. Following the ceremony, the inductees walked through a giant panther arch and through two rows of cheerleaders to be honored on the District’s Stadium Field.
“Each inductee has left an everlasting impression on the District on and off the field or court,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. These athletes and coaches were chosen by their peers for having such a great impact on the Miller Place Community and it’s an honor to celebrate them this way.”
Andrew Stafford, who played baseball and went to the University of Wyoming, was introduced as an ambassador of the Miller Place community for being a successful and versatile player on the field and an exceptionally kind and compassionate person off the field.
Marion Mastrangelo was a field hockey goalkeeper who was referred to as a tangible threat, not just a target in the goal. Ms. Mastrangelo, who also played volleyball and softball, was named the number one goalkeeper on Long Island in 1983 and went to play at Long Island University Post.
Ellen Moorehead played tennis, basketball and softball at Miller Place and played European handball and bowling after graduating. She went to Dowling College on a full basketball scholarship and was the first female to score 1,000 points. This is the third hall of fame in which she has been honored as she was previously inducted into Dowling’s Hall of Fame and the Long Island Bowling Association’s Hall of Fame.
Greg Gaillard was a top scorer on the Boys Basketball team under Coach Seth Lipshie and scored 237 points in his freshman year and 1,414 by the time he graduated. He led the team to 28 victories, three county play-offs and a League Championship as a junior. Mr. Lipshie recalled his lightning-fast first step as being a staple of his athletic career at Miller Place.
Liz Borsetti, or Coach B, was honored posthumously and her daughters Danielle and Cathy accepted her award on her behalf. Ms. Borsetti, who died in 2017 at 70, coached field hockey and finished her career with 330 wins and 5 loses. She also coached softball, where she finished her career with 60 titles. Her daughters said that they were overwhelmed to hear about how much their mother impacted the lives of her players because they impacted her just as much.
As part of the District’s restructuring plan, the Board of Education is pleased to announce appointments that have been approved for the 2022-2023 school year. Nicholas Corleto, most recently a Chemistry Teacher at Miller Place High School, has been appointed as the District Curriculum Specialist for Math and Science. Evan Curran, a member of our Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School faculty, has been appointed as a Teacher Trainer for Math and Science. Diana Tufaro, who many of you know as the Dean of Students at Miller Place High School, has been appointed High School Assistant Principal. Finally, Matt Nicoletti, a teacher at North Country Road Middle School, will now assume additional responsibilities as a part-time Dean at NCRMS.
These talented individuals have already made significant impacts on Miller Place students and the Miller Place/Sound Beach communities. They bring with them a wealth of experience, great enthusiasm and long-standing relationships with our students and staff that will allow them to seamlessly move into their new roles.
Nicholas Corleto has worked in the Miller Place School District since 2010 as a high school Chemistry Teacher. He is known as a great motivator of students, inspiring them to always strive for new heights in their studies and in life. One of Mr. Corleto’s professional highlights with the district was his development of a groundbreaking scientific computing course with Brookhaven National Lab to introduce students to the fundamental mathematical and computer programming techniques employed by scientists, using programming examples from scientists at Brookhaven National Labs. Mr. Corleto is a veteran who has served as a reservist in the United States Air Force, giving support during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle.
Evan Curran began teaching in Miller Place in 2007. He has been a fourth and fifth grade teacher during his 15 years at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School and was appointed as the K-5 STEAM Lead Teacher in 2018. Mr. Curran was named a New York State STEM Master Teacher in 2019. During his time at LADSBS, he has served on the School Improvement Team, written elementary math curriculum, and presented multiple local and statewide professional development sessions on the Best Practices for Classroom Instruction. Mr. Curran has served on statewide committees to write content for the New York State Math Assessments, while also serving as a regional scoring leader. Mr. Curran started the Math Olympiad program at LADSBS in 2015, launched the first Miller Place STEAM Night in 2017, and, last year, organized the first Virtual Suffolk County Math Tournament for 30 schools across Suffolk County.
Diana Tufaro has been part of the Miller Place School District for over 14 years, beginning her tenure in the District as an AIS and Special Education Teacher at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School. After earning her Master’s degree in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), Ms. Tufaro became the District’s ENL Teacher, serving our ELL population in all four buildings. She was appointed as the Dean of Students at Miller Place High School in 2016, after completing her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. As an administrator, Ms. Tufaro has provided professional development to her colleagues, has served as a member on several school-based committees, and has been an adviser to the National Honor Society, Yearbook and Student Government clubs. Ms. Tufaro is a member of New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, the New York State Association for Bilingual Education and the New York State Association of World Language Administrators.
Matt Nicoletti grew up in the Miller Place community and is a 2007 graduate of Miller Place High School. He studied English Education at SUNY Oneonta and spent his summers at Eastern Suffolk BOCES as a Teacher’s Assistant for students with special needs. Upon graduating college, Mr. Nicoletti returned to Miller Place to assume a temporary district position, which led to his full-time district employment the following year. Over the decade of his career with us, Mr. Nicoletti has earned the respect and admiration of his students and faculty colleagues. This past year, Mr. Nicoletti was a driving force in the fundraising efforts to build the Chris Prendergast Memorial Garden at North Country Road Middle School. A man of many talents and interests, Mr. Nicoletti also directed the MPHS drama production this past year.
District holds Flags for Freedom fundraiser for 9/11 charities
The Miller Place School District supported the Flags for Freedom fundraiser to commemorate on the 21st anniversary and honor those impacted on September 11th.
The Miller Place High School Student Government launched the effort, through which members of the community were invited to purchase American flags to be displayed along Memorial Drive from September through the end of October.
“The Miller Place community has displayed tremendous dedication and respect for those who were affected by the tragedies of September 11th. I applaud the staff and students engaged in this effort to recognize and support in remembering this tragic event,” said Superintendent of Schools Mr. Seth Lipshie.
The fundraiser raised money for organizations working to help those impacted by the tragedies of 9-11, including Tunnel to Towers and the Wounded Warrior Project. To date, 130 flags have been sold. The Student Government will be selling flags during homecoming on September 17.