Varsity Cross Country & Football Teams Finish League IV & Big Four Champions

Varsity Cross Country & Football
Varsity Cross Country & Football 2
Pictured are the Boys Cross Country Team with Supt of Schools Dr. Giani, Athletic Dir. Mr. McIntyre, BOE President Carol Malin and Coach Vessichio.
Varsity Cross Country & Football 3
Pictured are the Varsity Football Team with Supt of Schools Dr. Giani, Athletic Dir. Mr. McIntyre, BOE President Carol Malin and Head Coach Joe Cipp III. and Coaches Kai Watkins, Kyle Moodt and Stephen Schwicke.
Congratulations to the Boys Varsity Cross Country Team and Varsity Football Team, who finished as League IV Champions and Big Four Champions respectively.  Team members and their Coaches were recognized by the Board of Education at a recent meeting.  

Students Celebrate Career and Tech Education Month

Bellport High School seniors Peter Mistretta, Chrissy Hobson and Adrian Trent show off their marketing skills for a virtual enterprise called “Portside Sweets” during a CTE Month presentation last week.
Bellport High School seniors Peter Mistretta, Chrissy Hobson and Adrian Trent show off their marketing skills for a virtual enterprise called “Portside Sweets” during a CTE Month presentation last week.

Last week, Bellport High School  students spun a  prize wheel during seventh-period lunch. As they came up for a chance to win silly prizes — a piece of candy or a free hug — several career and  technical education senior students were on  hand to  entice younger classmates to enroll in these classes by presenting examples of  work they had been doing all year.  It’s also a way for students to participate in a national public awareness campaign called Career and Technical Education Month. These programs, which at Bellport High School include culinary, business and technology, directly prepare students for high-wage, high-demand careers.

During the month of February, the value and achievements of CTE programs are celebrated throughout the country. “It’s perfect timing since the students are working on their schedules for next year,” explained culinary teacher Lisa Martin.  “Our program is growing every year.”  This year, 122 Bellport students enrolled in CTE classes, with an additional about 70 students participating  in after-school clubs.“The reason I come to school is for culinary class,” said senior Kiara Trent. Last year, she joined a group of culinary students at Walt Disney World’s Epcot for a program called Cook Around the World. Though most of us who have been to Disney look forward to “eating” around the world at Epcot, Trent and her classmates were  treated to  student tours, hands- on cooking demos and crash courses in hospitality during their trip. Trent was amazed at the inside look at how food is grown and prepared at one of the most renowned resorts in the world. France, Trent explained, was her favorite part of the tour because it tied into her core studies at home. “I’ve taken French since seventh grade,” she said. “And I love crêpes.” Fellow senior Chrissy Hobson has taken every culinary class offered to her at Bellport and is planning to enroll in the culinary arts program at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead next fall. “They wouldn’t let me take it again,”she joked about her high school culinary classes.  The program, she explained, has given her the skills needed to cook  recipes at home, but also given her experience in event planning and catering. With the culinary club, Hobson has helped cater school events such as NYSSMA,  events for the Boys and Girls Club and even worked with the business department to cater some of their virtual enterprise meetings.  

The virtual enterprise is a project developed  by  students in the business program. Essentially, they create a business from the bottom up and cover everything from sales and marketing to human relations and customer service. Each project “expires” every five years, explained senior Adrian Jones. Last year was the fifth year, so his class was tasked with coming up with a brand-new idea.  And thus began Portside Sweets, a virtual bakery created entirely by students. According to Martin,  the students must consider the meaning behind each busi- ness decision, down to the name itself. “We chose ‘portside’ as an homage to our location in Bellport,” said senior Peter Mistretta.  Mistretta  and Jones showed off some marketing materials they helped create for the project, including creative business cards that could do well in the real world. “You learn everyday things that you’ll actually use,” said Jones, who plans to study software  engineering after high school. For Mistretta, who plans to study business management in college, the program has showed him how interconnected these disciplines can be. “It shows you how business affects everything  around you and how often these skills are used,” he said, noting that the three departments frequently work together. “I also like the competition aspect,” he added, explaining that projects such as the virtual enterprise have helped him learn how to go above and beyond — a trait future employers will look for.  

These seniors have all taken advantage of the CTE programs and are career-oriented as a result. They also explained how the program has helped them apply these skills to their after-school jobs as well. Martin sees the CTE classes as a way to learn essential life skills that are not always taught in core classes. “These are the skills they need to develop themselves before they go out into the world,” she said. For her culinary students, it’s also a way to be prepared for the future. “They have a head start on learning how to take care of themselves in college, so they aren’t eating junk and fast food all thetime.” Regardless of their future paths, Martin is proud to see CTE students embracing the classes and hopes they feel a sense of pride in their work. “It can be as simple as being able to fix something that breaks in the house,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s a way for students to showcase their talents and feel successful. Our goal is to have well-rounded students leaving Bellport High School.”

(By Tara Smith, reprinted courtesy of the Long Island Advance 2/23/17)

Fifth Grade Student Soon-to-be Second Time Author


Christopher Ford may only be turning 11, but he is already an accomplished author with a big heart and a long list of goals.  “I want to be a whole lot of things,” he said. “First a football player … then eventually, president.”

After publishing his first children’s book at the end of third grade, “Mr. Mustache Goes to the Circus,” the now fifth-grader at Frank P. Long Intermediate School is developing his second book in the Mr. Mustache series. 

“It took me a few years to write,” he said.  “It’s about a young man named Mr. Mustache and he likes to explore … so when the circus came to town, he wanted to see it.” Mr. Mustache eventually joins the circus, but realizes he isn’t good at it, Ford stated as he held up his colorfully illustrated book. “Then he realized at the end that he just had to be himself, and that’s all that mattered.”

Ford's parents, Elisa and Jim Ford, were with their son from the beginning and encouraged him to bring his ideas of Mr. Mustache to life.  “He was writing on a big yellow pad and he had page after page … pictures, everything,” his mother said. “So that’s when I told my husband to start filing all of it online.” The father-and-son duo began researching publishers and were quickly picked up by Archway Publishing. Although Christopher drew the entire concept art himself, which was essentially a stick figure sporting an antenna, he decided to outsource the illustrator online.

The family is hoping to have his second book out by the end of this school year, so fans can read about Mr. Mustache’s growing family. “It’s about Mr. Mustache and how he is going to get a puppy … it’s going to be a schnauzer,” he disclosed. “He’s going to have a mustache, too.”
The books are available online only and in sparse stores across the U.S., but that doesn’t stop the soon-to-be middle school student from sharing it with his friends to read. 

On Feb. 28, Christopher will participate in the Parent University workshop at Kreamer Street Elementary School. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the young author will be signing copies of his book for families in attendance. Half of the proceeds for each book will go towards fighting illiteracy, a topic he finds concerning. “He donated books to the library and to his teachers,” said his mother.

The karate black belt and track-running, book-loving, football-playing Cub Scout and student tutor knows that being sincere is the first rule and will always hold the door open for a group of strangers. “You can teach manners and helping others,” she added, “But you can’t teach being genuine and you can’t teach integrity… you’re just born that way.”  “I think he’s a role model for other students,” said Regina Hunt, South Country School District Board of Education trustee. “He just wants to help other kids.”

Christopher thought long and hard when he came up with the concept for the Mr. Mustache franchise, by even including a “Where’s Waldo?” type of game within its pages. “He said, ‘I don’t want kids to be done when they’re finished reading it … I want them to want to read it again and again and again,’” explained his father.  “We have mustaches hidden on each page,” Christopher added. “We challenge you to find all of them.” 

“At Frank P. Long Intermediate School, he serves as an active member, contributing to the fabric of success within the school community,” said principal Stefanie Rucinski. “He is kind and caring to others and accepts everyone regardless of their differences. Chris is one of many who exemplifies excellence in the South Country Central School District.”

The young author’s success comes from the help of his parents and his own business-savvy mind. At 5 years old, he created his own branding trademark, CF Productions, which also holds the name of his personal website.  When asked for any insight, the 10-year-old mini-businessman said that anyone can write a book, and compared creating a literary work to a game of Othello — all one needs is a strategic plan. With a dozen book ideas, a published work and a sequel currently in production, Christopher is nothing but happy.

“Make sure you put your mind to it and put your ideas on paper first so you can work off of it,” he said. “It makes me feel like so proud of myself because it came from such a big dream to write a book.”

 (reprinted courtesy of Long Island Advance)


Lending Library Open for Business in Cluster A

Lending Library Open for Business in Cluster A
Lending Library Open for Business in Cluster A 2
Sharing their love of reading, Frank P. Long Intermediate School teachers Mary Pettit, Trish Gallina, Tony Giresi, Laura Heaton and Nick Paolillo worked together to create a "Lending Library" for 5th Grade students in Cluster A. Stocked with books donated from "The Book Fairies", a Long Island based non-profit organization, the library aims to foster literacy by inspiring and cultivating a love of reading among students. The library is maintained by the students themselves, who are free to both borrow and donate their own books to the collection. They ensure the success of the program by making sure it runs smoothly and offering new features to keep kids motivated. Book requests, book reviews and book raffles are among the features added since the program began.

Pictured above left to right are....
Bryelle Reid, Brian Suarez, Taylor Macioce, James Voher

New Parent Technology Workshops - Family Engagement Center

Click here to view the upcoming Parent Technology Workshops at Family Engagement Center.  

"Beyond Just Say No"

The Family Engagement Center is sponsoring Stony Brook Children’s Hospital’s, Adolescent Medicine Physician, Zachary Jacobs, DO in a conversation on how to really help your children control their impulses and understand the risks and consequences of their decisions on Monday, March 13, 2017, 6:30 to 7:30 pm.  Click on the links below for more information. 


BMS Cancer Research Fundraiser Sets New Record

Pictured 1st row: Angie Gomez, Madison Peters, Emily Zahralban.  2nd row:  Kaylee Thatcher, Annie Mezzatesta, Karli Monsell, Isabella Gascon, Grace Mezzatesta, Row 3:   Stuco Advisor Mr. DiPuma, Jack Armann, Cassidy Solina, Michaela Lyons, Mitchell Mordente, Isabella Banellis, Dr. Colson, Principal.
Pictured 1st row: Angie Gomez, Madison Peters, Emily Zahralban. 2nd row: Kaylee Thatcher, Annie Mezzatesta, Karli Monsell, Isabella Gascon, Grace Mezzatesta, Row 3: Stuco Advisor Mr. DiPuma, Jack Armann, Cassidy Solina, Michaela Lyons, Mitchell Mordente, Isabella Banellis, Dr. Colson, Principal.
The Bellport Middle School Student Council concluded its third consecutive “Penny Wars” for Cancer Research. The school engaged in a month long competition this January, in which the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students battled it out to see which grade could win the most points while raising money for cancer research.  Cassidy Solina, 8th grade Student Council Representative, said “We all know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease and remembering those people helped push us to beat the goal.” This year the council set the goal to beat the $3,010 record that was set last year.  The faculty and students set out to do exactly that.  The success of this fundraiser was supported by many of the staff members helping to cheerlead and coordinate the students' enthusiasm.  Other students took to collecting outside of local supermarkets to help increase their collection.  In the end, Bellport Middle School collected $3,800, which will go directly to Johns Hopkins University for Cancer Research.  
Bellport Middle School Student Council advisor, Mr. Di Puma, said that he is truly grateful for the collective efforts of the Bellport faculty, staff and students.  He stated that he is continually inspired by the charitable nature of the Middle School and the amazing feats that the faculty, students and staff continue to accomplish on a daily basis.    

Brookhaven Visiting Artist Program

Pictured are Artist Lorena Salcedo-Watson & Kindergarten Student Kaiya Griffin
Pictured are Artist Lorena Salcedo-Watson & Kindergarten Student Kaiya Griffin
During the week of January 9th , local artist Lorena Salcedo-Watson spent a week at Brookhaven Elementary School working with art teacher, Michelle Procida and her students.  As part of a program funded by the South Country Education Foundation, Ms. Salcedo-Watson collaborated with students in the art room, exploring line, shape, texture, and color in nature’s treasures. They created original works of art and afterwards completed a paper  reflecting on their experience. 

Ms. Salcedo-Watson also prepared a school wide collage with drawings contributed from students and staff.  The collage is on display in the Brookhaven Elementary School lobby.  Staff and students are grateful to both Ms. Salcedo-Watson and the South Country Education Foundation for their support in providing this wonderful opportunity.  

Bellport Middle School's "Seussical Jr."


The cast and crew of the Bellport Middle School’s musical recently put on an amazing and magical performance of “Seussical Jr.”   The story intertwines numerous books from one of the best known children’s author, Dr. Seuss.  Students worked very hard, meeting 4-5 days a week, 2-3 hours each day rehearsing, singing, dancing, and acting.  

In addition to the wonderful performances, special thanks goes out to the team behind the scenes, including Mr. Sean Austin our Producer, Set Designer and PR person, Ms. Nicolette Clock, Stage Manager and Assistant Producer, Mrs. Melinda Link our Props Designer, Mrs. Cynthia Pfister our Costume Designer, Ms. Oya Bangura our Choreographer, Mr. Joseph Skelly our Lighting Designer and Ms. Michelle Stiriz our Director and Vocal Instructor.  

“The entire cast and crew of Seussical Jr. formed a family bond and everlasting friendships through their experience during the play season, which lasts from September to January.  The team effort that takes place throughout our time together is incredible, and we are looking forward to our time together next year” said Mrs. Stiriz.  Congratulations to all staff, cast and crew of Seussical Jr. for another successful Bellport Middle School Musical season!



Board Honors Girls Volleyball League Champions


The High School Girls Volleyball Team was recently honored by the Board of Education for an outstanding season as undefeated, League Champions. Coach Larry Auth praised the team for their hard work, attributing their success to their steadfast dedication to both the sport and to each other, on and off court.

Pictured left to right are:   Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani, team members Juliann Posch, Courtney Kane, Jenna Monsell, Arielle Lane, Coach Larry Auth and BOE Vice President Allison Stines.


Pre-K & Kindergarten Registration Information - 2017-2018 School Year

Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration for students who will be entering the district in September of 2017 will be held at the Central Registration Office from March 1st to March 30th 2017.  Click here for information

Register Now for Upcoming Parent University Workshops 2/28/17

Come and learn new strategies that your child is experiencing in school to assist your child with homework at home. Most workshops will be conducted by SCCSD teachers and each workshop will last for fifty minutes.  Visit the Parent University Page for additional information. 


South Country Community Leadership Network Extreme Yard Spring Clean Up

We're looking for yards!  The South Country Community Leadership Network (SCCLN) is organizing the 3rd AnnualFREE Spring Front Yard Clean Up for a select number of homes deserving of a little TLC in the South Country Community.  Please click on the document below for details.  Information must be sent in by April 1, 2017:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017