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!
Students earn tokens for new books based on exemplary behavior
The Miller Place School District recently unveiled three new vending machines at its schools, but instead of dispensing candy or snacks, these machines are full of brand-new books.
The Miller Place Parent Teacher Organization donated the book vending machines as part of its commitment to increasing literacy and generating excitement around reading. PTO representatives and District officials recently held a commemorative ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming the vending machines to North Country Road Middle School, Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School and Andrew Muller Primary School.
“Students are already excited about our book vending machines and eager for a chance to use them and get their next favorite book,” said Superintendent of Schools Mr. Seth Lipshie. “Thank you to our PTO for bringing these to our District and putting in place an amazing plan to boost literacy, reward good behavior and get children enthusiastic about reading.”
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.
Miller Place is one of the first school districts on Long Island to bring book vending machines to its schools. The Miller Place PTO launched the book vending machine program as part of its Literacy Initiative to engage students in learning. 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 funded the initiative through the District’s Read-a-Thon, to purchase the Book Vending Machines. The PTO also purchased the books and fully stocked the vending machines. PTO will continue purchasing books for the vending machines in the future.
The PTO executive board includes Kristin Hennig, Suzanne Cloke, Jackie Maloney, Monique Caccavale, Sharda Soohkdeo, Gayle Mancini and Dawn McCarthy. Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner presented the District and PTO with proclamations to praise their success in bringing the vending machines to Miller Place.
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.