NYSPHSAA names Miller Place among its exclusive 2022-2023 School of Distinction list
Miller Place High School was recently named a 2022-2023 School of Distinction by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The recognition was bestowed on only 20 schools throughout Suffolk County. The list included 35 schools throughout Long Island and 84 throughout the state. Miller Place earned the honor for the third consecutive year and fifth time over the past seven years.
Miller Place High School qualified for the esteemed School of Distinction status by having its Varsity teams reach NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete Team status throughout the course of the school year. Such teams were honored for having 75% of the participating Varsity athletes on each roster achieve a 90+ GPA for their season of participation.
“This is a proud opportunity for me to recognize the hard work and efforts of our student-athletes from the 2022-23 school year,” said Ron Petrie, Administrator for Physical Education, Health, Athletics, and Intramurals. “This is a true reflection of the quality and commitment our students have to being the best versions of themselves.”
“Our students were thrilled to be back for a new school year and our staff did an incredible job of making everyone feel welcome and ready to learn. The District is excited and eager for the new school year and we are prepared to continue building on our student successes,” said Superintendent of Schools Mr. Seth Lipshie.
District earns distinguished honor for Vending Machine Books for Kindness Initiative
The Miller Place School District’s Board of Education was recently recognized by the New York State School Boards Association’s Champions of Change program for its Vending Machine Books for Kindness Initiative.
NYSSBA’s Area 12 Director Catherine Romano presented the Miller Place Board of Education with a celebratory banner at last week’s Board of Education meeting, where she commended the District and Miller Place Parent Teacher Organization for working together to promote literacy and kindness.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for our book vending machine program and the work our PTO and administration have done to get children excited about reading, while encouraging acts of kindness,” said Superintendent of Schools Mr. Seth Lipshie. “Thank you to the NYSSBA for recognizing our Board members as Champions of Change and thank you to our PTO for everything you do to support our students.”
The NYSSBA Champions for Change initiative goes to districts with family and community partnerships or collaborations that contribute to a positive student experience and strengthen the bond between the district and community. NYSSBA usually announces seven to eight recipients every quarter and Miller Place is the only school district in Suffolk County to receive this honor in the past half-year.
Last January, the Miller Place School District and the Miller Place Parent Teacher Organization unveiled its book vending machines at North Country Road Middle School, Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School and Andrew Muller Primary School. Each book costs one token, which students earn by displaying good behavior and performing acts of kindness. Earning tokens is built into the District’s existing character education programs, which reward exemplary students each month.
The Miller Place Parent Teacher Organization donated the book vending machines as part of its commitment to increasing literacy and generating excitement around reading. One of their goals was to keep children reading and ensure they could always have books at home and not just in school or at the library. Their research led them to Inchy, the only book vending machine company in the country.
The PTO purchased the vending machines through the District’s Read-a-Thon and has been stocking them with an assortment of books for students to choose.
The PTO executive board includes Kristin Hennig, Suzanne Cloke, Jackie Maloney, Monique Caccavale, Sharda Soohkdeo, Gayle Mancini and Dawn McCarthy.
The Miller Place School District recently held its annual organizational meeting, at which time Lisa Reitan was sworn in for her new term as a trustee and newly elected Board member John Galligan was sworn in for his first term as a trustee.
Lisa Reitan was re-elected by the Board as its president and Bryan Makarius was re-elected as Vice President. Lisa Reitan was first elected President by the Board last year for the 2022-2023 school year and served as the Board’s Vice President in the 2021-2022 school year. Bryan Makarius was first elected Vice President last year for the 2022-2023 school year and served as a trustee in the 2021-2022 school year. The 2023-2024 Board also includes trustees Johanna Testa and Andrea Spaniolas.
“I look forward to working with the Board of Education as we continue to improve our student success to make Miller Place the best possible District” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie, who was sworn in as Superintendent for his second year.
Anthony Naples finished third in the New York State Federation golf championship
Miller Place High School senior golf champion Anthony Naples has had a successful year on the golf course, winning the Suffolk County Individual Title. Anthony was a member of the combined Comsewogue-Miller Place Golf team who won the Suffolk County Team Championship and then finished in third place at the New York State Federation golf championship. Capping off his outstanding year, Anthony was recently named to Newsday’s 2023 All-Long Island boys golf team recognizing the best boys high school golfers on Long Island.
“Anthony’s skills, dedication and passion have been evident throughout his successes this year and we’re extremely proud of all he has accomplished,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “He is very deserving of this distinguished honor and we know he will make a great addition to the Fairfield University Golf team.”
Anthony went undefeated in his head-to-head matches during the team’s regular season and won first place at this year’s Suffolk County Individual Golf Championship at the Spring Lake Golf Course in Middle Island.
He is one of five students to be named to Newsday’s 2023 All-Long Island boys golf team.
Anthony plans to continue his golf career in college and signed his Letter of Intent this past fall to play for Fairfield University’s Division I golf team.
Students recognized at East End Arts High School theater award show for their productions of Anastasia and You Can’t Take It With You
Miller Place High School actors, set designers, musicians and others involved in the Miller Place High School Panther Players productions of the musical Anastasia and the play You Can’t Take It With You were honored recently at the East End Arts’ 21st Annual Teeny Awards. The annual high school theater awards show, given its name as a reference to the Tony Awards, took place on June 11th at Longwood High School in Yaphank.
Carly Shurbet won the Teeny Award in the category of lead role in a musical, drama or jukebox/revue for her portrayal of Anya Anastasia in Anastasia. Julianne Donohue took home a Teeny Award in the category of a supporting role in a musical, drama or jukebox/revue for her portrayal of Lilly Malevsky-Malevitch in Anastasia.
“Congratulations to our students who took home awards and to everyone who was nominated this year. The Teeny Awards is recognition for students to receive acclaim for all their hard work and dedication of our Panther Players.,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “We had incredible productions this year and we’re so proud of everyone involved for contributing to these outstanding performances.”
The Teeny Awards has been celebrating outstanding performances and remarkable behind-the-scenes work in high school theater since 2002. Anonymous volunteer judges with backgrounds in theatre attend high school productions in Suffolk County throughout the year to select nominations before the winners are decided by a judging committee.
Other Miller Place High School students receiving acting recognition at the awards ceremony included:
Student Nomination Category Role
Kai Schiera lead role in a play Martin Vanderhof (Grandpa) You Can’t Take it With You
lead role in a musical, Dmitry drama or jukebox/revue Anastasia
Natalie Cervenka supporting role in a play Essie Carmichael You Can’t Take It With You
Claire Wagner supporting role in a play Madame Kolenkhov You Can’t Take It With You
Student Nomination Category Role
Gregory Marino supporting role in a musical, Vlad Popov drama or jukebox/revue Anastasia
Lucas McGuire supporting role in a musical, Gleb Vaganov drama or jukebox/revue Anastasia
Vienna Sigismondi outstanding performer in a play Grand Duchess Olga Katrina You Can’t Take It With You
In the technical categories, Julianne Donohue received a nomination for outstanding student choreography for her work in Anastasia. Emma Rosequist was lauded for her artwork, receiving a nomination for outstanding poster design for creating the poster for Anastasia.
Technical recognition was also given to Rayna Bruno, Sophia Cui, Rachel Leonoff, Erin Maloney, Isabella Romero and Natalie Shurbet for lending their make-up skills to the production of Anastasia.
Lighting designers, assistants and crew members Emma Balamoti, Joseph Costa, Jordan Miletti, Aiden Pace and Alex Trocchio were named for their work in Anastasia.
Stage manager/assistant stage manager Gianna Benavides was recognized for her work in Anastasia and Abby Bosshard was named for her work in You Can’t Take It With You.
Sound designers, assistants and crew members Taylor Higgins and Lauren Soreil were recognized for their work in You Can’t Take It With You.
Stage crew members Gianna Benavides, Jane Delaney, Lorilei Specht, Michael Venegoni and Evie Weiner were recognized for their work in Anastasia; Molly Caufield, Sarah DiPersio, Taylor Higgins, Kaitlyn Lopez, Antonio Minier, Aiden Pace, Lauren Soreil, Alex Trocchio and Gabby Zorn received praise for their behind-the-scenes work in You Can’t Take It With You; and Abby Bosshard, Sophia Necci and Kylie Taylor lent their talents to both You Can’t Take It With You and Anastasia.
Pit orchestra members also received acclaim for their performances in Anastasia, including Analynn Bisiani on clarinet, Brennos Blake on piano, Mia Carvajal on violin, Lucy Chang on violin 2, Bernard Creedon on tenor sax, Mary Duffy on percussion, Eileen Duffy on violin, Kyle Fehling on alto sax, Rosa Fuentes on violin 2, Nathaly Garcia on cello, Jacob Huwer on violin, Hope Jacobsen on flute, Robert John Kalin on baritone sax, Grace Lassiter on viola, Lilah Lindemann on piano, James Loughlin on percussion, Maura Luby on trombone, Taylor McHugh on bassoon, Nick Nania on viola, Nailah Rahman on bass, Jack Serrentino on trumpet, Wyatt Shattes on trumpet, Faith Torres on cello, Emma Venegoni on oboe and Bianca Zou on violin 2.
District holds Spring National Letter of Intent signing for 13 students
The Miller Place School District recently held its Spring National Letter of Intent signing event for 13 student athletes who will continue their athletic and academic careers after graduation. Students displayed pride in their future schools by wearing sweatshirts and other apparel with their colleges’ names and logos.
“We are so proud of these talented and skilled student athletes. We are confident they will excel in their future athletic endeavors,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie.
Jack Kiernan and Dominic Falino, both members of the Miller Place High School boys’ baseball team, will be continuing their baseball careers at SUNY Cortland and Fairleigh-Dickinson University, respectively.
Lacrosse players Natalia Altebrando and Caden Stubba will be representing Stony Brook University and St. Joseph’s University, respectively.
Football players Edward Haeffer and Nick Oliva will be teammates again for Utica University; Edward will also join the track team.
Additionally, Ella Neyland will join the equestrian team at Lynchburg College, Kylie Hoffmann will play field hockey for SUNY Oneonta, Katie Doherty will be joining the soccer team at SUNY Oneonta, Zander Klaric will join the swimming team at Le Moyne College, Shanna Wolfe will be joining the cheerleading team at Long Island University, Dominic Cahill will play golf for Coker University, and Robert Cunningham will join the wrestling team at SUNY Cortland.
North Country Road Middle School teacher is honored by the Science Teachers Association of New York State
Laura Opitz, a science teacher at North Country Road Middle School in the Miller Place School District, was recently named the 2023 Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS).
“Ms. Opitz is an extraordinary teacher and an encouraging mentor to both students and members of our faculty and staff. We commend her on this very well-deserved achievement,” said Miller Place School District Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie.
Ms. Opitz is a veteran teacher and Science Club advisor who has helmed many unique and interactive learning opportunities for her students. Recently, she and her students worked with the New York Marine Rescue Center to rehabilitate and rescue a sea turtle named Peachy Keen. Her students continue to monitor Peachy Keen, who is currently navigating the Northeastern Coast of Florida.
This past fall, Ms. Opitz brought another exciting project to Miller Place by collaborating with the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and NASA. Students had the opportunity to conduct research and present their findings to NASA researchers and administrators during the live, virtual Student Research Symposium.
MILLER PLACE, NEW YORK (FEBRUARY 2023) — The combined Miller Place High School and Newfield High School Boys’ and Girls’ Fencing teams finished their seasons as the 2022-2023 undefeated League II champions. The Boys team went on to win the Suffolk County Championship eventually losing in the Long Island Championship to Syosset.
“The Miller Place fencers had an excellent season with their teammates from Newfield High School and proved that our fencing athletes can compete at the highest level” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “Their exceptional performance is a testament to their dedication.”
Individually, Ryan Southworth won the bout that clinched the county title. Marc Lindemann placed first in the Boys’ Foil championship at the Suffolk County Individual Championships, while Anders Dalberg placed second in the Boys’ Foil championship. Ryan Southworth placed tenth in the same competition and Meadow Dalberg placed fifth in the Girls’ Foil championship.
The District congratulates the Boys’ and Girls’ Fencing teams on their accomplishments and on an incredible season!
The Miller Place High School Panthers Wrestling team took home third place in the Section XI Division I Suffolk County Wrestling Championships at Stony Brook University on February 13th and 14th.
Junior Michael Giugliano and Senior Robby Cunningham both clinched first place in their weight class, wrestling at 132 lbs and 172 lbs, respectively, and finished the tournament as Suffolk County champions. The Panthers also had three additional All-County wrestlers, including Junior Brian Schreck, who wrestled at 145 lbs and placed fourth, Junior John Caccavale, who wrestled at 160 lbs and placed fourth, and Senior Nicholas Bloom, who wrestled at 118 lbs and placed fifth.
Miller Place is the smallest district competing in Division I and the Panthers celebrated their third straight top five finish in the Suffolk County championship.
On February 24th and 25th in Albany, for the first time in Miller Place history, two wrestlers placed at the New York State Wrestling Championship tournament. Michael Giugliano at 132 lbs and Robby Cunningham at 172 lbs both placing 6th at the tournament.
“The members of the Panthers wrestling team showed Suffolk County and New York State that they are fierce competitors and that Miller Place is a powerhouse on the mat,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “Our wrestlers represented the District with pride, passion and integrity.”
The District congratulates the Panther wrestlers on their accomplishments and an incredible season!