High school drama production draws a crowd to two performances
The Miller Place Panther Troupe recently captivated audiences with two performances of their fall drama production The Curious Savage, written by John Patrick.
“I’d like to commend the actors, set designers, musicians and everyone involved in the incredible production of The Curious Savage. Our students put on two engaging performances that moved their audience with scenes that were both poignant and comedic. Congratulations to everyone involved,” said Superintendent of Schools Mr. Seth Lipshie.
Over the course of this fall, cast members developed their characters and honed their acting skills while crew members sharpened their technical theatre skills and helped curate the set. Director Jenna Ely and Assistant Director Colleen Annicelli led a talented cast that had their audiences laughing, crying and thoroughly enjoying the show.
The Curious Savage follows the story of an elderly widow named Ethel Savage who was left $10 million from her late husband. She seeks to donate the fortune, but her stepchildren seek to thwart her plan and have her committed to a sanatorium called The Cloisters. She bonds with the kind residents there and discovers the meaning of love and family. The dramatic comedy opened on Broadway in 1950 and starred Lillian Gish as Ethel Savage.
For their work on The Curious Savage, the Miller Place Panther Troupe is eligible for the East End Arts’ 22nd Annual Teeny Awards. The annual high school theater awards show, given its name as a reference to the Tony Awards, will take place this June.
Spirit week, pep rally and parade lead to a winning home game
The Miller Place School District recently held an exciting Homecoming celebration with students, staff, alumni and friends on September 30th. 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. The Districtconcluded the week with a High School pep rally, at which Varsity teams were introduced and classes completed in friendly events and competitions. It all led up to a victorious home game for the Miller Place Panthers, who defeated the Islip Buccaneers with a score of 33-7.
“Homecoming brought together the Miller Place community for a tremendous showing of Panther Pride. It was exciting to see staff and students enthusiastically participating in “Spirit Week,” culminating in a High School pep rally,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie. “A spirited parade combined with a deserving win before a crowd full made for a successful Homecoming on many fronts.”
Students celebrated Spirit Week by dressing up each day according to different themes. The week concluded with Spirit Day, highlighted by students donning their favorite Miller Place School District clothing and a pep rally at the high school. Varsity teams were introduced, and classes competed in friendly events and competitions in preparation for Homecoming.
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 defeated the Islip Buccaneers with a score of 33-7.
District celebrates the start of construction on new elementary school gym
The Miller Place School District recently celebrated the start of construction of a new gymnasium at Andrew Muller Primary School.
Superintendent of Schools Mr. Seth Lipshie joined with members of the District administration, the Board of Education, District Architect and representatives of RENU Contracting & Restoration to celebrate the groundbreaking.
“We are thrilled to announce the start of construction of the new gymnasium at Andrew Muller Primary School. Our District has worked diligently to make this possible. This provides an excellent physical education environment for our students. The current shared gymnasium space can now be utilized for a dedicated cafeteria and an area to host school assemblies,” said Mr. Lipshie.
The site of the new gymnasium will be located to the left of the main entrance with an adjoining hallway. The construction of the Andrew Muller Primary School Gymnasium is part of the District’s bond referendum approved by voters in October 2021.
Nicholas DiCaprio participated in the annual benefit for Tunnel to Towers Foundation
Miller Place High School freshman Nicholas DiCaprio finished eighth out of 3,503 runners in the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K on September 24th. Nicholas completed the race with a time of 19:51:3 and was the only Long Island runner to place in the top 10.
“We are so proud of Nicholas for this incredible accomplishment. He is a powerful runner and an earnest student who competed with pride for such a humbling cause,” said Superintendent of Schools Seth Lipshie.” In speaking with News12 about competing in the event, Nicholas noted that it was more than simply another 5K race, but a way to honor the over 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001. “It was definitely special to me. I envisioned the towers there and thought about it a lot [during the race].”
Nicholas is a standout on the track at Miller Place High School, where he is only one of two freshmen on the Varsity Cross Country Track Team. His goal is to continue competing in 5Ks and possibly train for a full marathon in the future.
The Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk symbolizes the late firefighter and 9/11 hero Stephen Siller’s final footsteps from the Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers. It takes place the last Sunday of every September in New York City. The event began with 1,500 people in 2002 and has since become one of the most prominent 5Ks in the country. All proceeds go toward the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which is committed to fighting veteran homelessness, provides mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families with young children, and builds accessible homes for injured veterans and first responders.
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.