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Bellport seniors earn significant college scholarships

Bellport High School Class of 2024 members Dennys Cardenas, Samantha DeLillo, Dylan Knakal and Iesha Rodney have earned impressive college scholarships. thumbnail259610

Bellport High School Class of 2024 members Dennys Cardenas, Samantha DeLillo, Dylan Knakal and Iesha Rodney have earned impressive college scholarships.

Cardenas received a St. Joseph’s University Presidential Grant. The merit-based scholarship gives him a full ride to the school. He spends his time working and volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club of Bellport. He plans to study biology at St. Joseph’s with the goal of going into the dental field.

DeLillo earned an academic scholarship to Vanderbilt University through the Peabody Dean's Achievement Scholarship. The Class of 2024 valedictorian is an AP Scholar with Distinction and will be graduating with an AP Capstone designation. She is a member of her school’s National, Science, Italian, Math and Tri-M Music honor societies. As a multitalented musician, she participates in the clarinet choir, jazz band and pit orchestra. In addition to playing the clarinet, she performs on the flute and the tenor, alto and soprano saxophone. She is also the class president, a member of student council. In addition, she belongs to Interact and the Students for Environmental Quality Club and has participated in Athletes Helping Others, Special Olympics, Unified Basketball and Unified Bowling. Outside of school, she is a competitive dancer. She intends to study special education in college.

Knakal’s tuition costs at the University of Miami will be paid for through the premier Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship. Knakal is an exceptional student who is ranked in the top 10 of his class. He is an AP Scholar and was selected for the Town of Brookhaven’s Hispanic Heritage Academic Excellence Recognition Award and the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Award. He has also earned the New York State Seal of Civic Readiness and Bellport High School’s Graduation with Distinction in English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Knakal is also a member of his school’s National and Math honor societies and serves as the historian of the Science Honor Society. Outside of the classroom, he played both junior varsity and travel club soccer and ran for the varsity cross-country and varsity winter and spring track and field teams. He was awarded the Gold Key and Senior Athlete awards for his athletic achievements. He is also a musician and played viola annually in the prestigious New York State School Music Association Solo Evaluation Festival. He has been a member of student council, Athletes Helping Others and Robotics Club. Additionally, he gives back to his community. He has provided peer mentoring and tutoring in math, participates in the annual Polar Plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics, and is part of community service events with Mary Immaculate Church, CEED Farm, the South Country Library and the Brookhaven Free Library. He is interested in studying mathematical economics, finance and pre-med in the fall.

Rodney earned a full ride to Cornell University through the Cornell Grant. She is an AP Scholar with Honor and a member of her school’s National and Science honor societies, as well as president of the Math Honor Society. Rodney is a member of her school’s track and field team, running the 400-meter and throwing shotput. She plans to study biology in college.

Date Added: 6/14/2024

Eight Bellport High School seniors military-bound

Eight members of the Bellport High School Class of 2024 will be entering the military following graduation. thumbnail259609

Eight members of the Bellport High School Class of 2024 will be entering the military following graduation. They represent the 1% of graduates who commit to the military each year. The South Country School District extends its gratitude and well wishes to the following seniors who committed to entering the military:

Jake Garromone, Air Force
Melvin Guallpa Guncay, Marine Corps
Lazarus Jackson, Marine Corps
Adonis Lopez, Navy
Stephen Lupo, Air Force
William Muench, Navy
Benjamin Schuierer, Navy
Connor Wilson, Army

Date Added: 6/13/2024


Pool safety contest winner

Kreamer St. student receiving award. thumbnail259608

Suffolk County Legislator Dominick S. Thorne recently presented Kreamer Street Elementary School student Brielle Donegain with a certificate for earning second place in the Suffolk County Pool Safety Art Contest. The South Country School District congratulates Donegain on a job well done.

Date Added: 6/12/2024

South Country school board honors retiring/tenured staff

South Country School District Board of Education formally recognized 20 retiring staff members and granted tenure to nine staff members.  thumbnail259381

During their June 5 meeting, the South Country School District Board of Education formally recognized 20 retiring staff members and granted tenure to nine staff members. In addition, they recognized volleyball coach Larry Auth, as well as outgoing board member Cameron Trent and graduating board ex officio member Brynn Johnson.

The celebration also included a reception with food prepared and served by students in Bellport High School’s culinary program.

The board thanks the following retirees for their dedication to the district:

Bellport High School:
Lisa Carrano, Diane Collins, Regina Hays and Joanne Redigar

Bellport Middle School:
Debra Gajewski, Gregory Jeffrey, Camille Palermo and Rosemarie Yovino

Brookhaven Annex:
Carol Seidman

Central Office/Student Support Services:
Nelson C. Briggs and Renee Caldwell

Frank P. Long Intermediate School:
Josephine Messina and Mary Zaffarano

Brookhaven Elementary School:
Paula Tirelli

Kreamer Street Elementary School:
Kariann Marzilliano

Verne W. Critz Elementary School:
Lynn Cullen, Linda George, Kathleen Huck, Shelley Tooker and Erika Watson

The board also congratulates the following tenured staff members:

Bellport High School:
Nefe Abamwa, Sophia Black, Erika Della Rosa, Romelo Green, Claire Lipponer,
Kirsten Schnabel and Meghan White

Bellport Middle School/Kreamer Street Elementary School:
Kiara Braithwaite

Central Office/Student Support Services:
Beth Doyle



Advocating for change

Advocating for change thumbnail259313

Bellport Middle School Generation Citizen students recently celebrated Civics Day by presenting to their peers, principals and distinguished guests research projects that aim to make a positive impact within their school and community.

Each student team presented an issue they had researched, the root causes of the problem at hand and a plan for action. Project topics included lowering the cost of field trips, creating more options for lunch, reducing homework and creating a video game club.

Delivering the keynote addresses were Brookhaven Town Supervisor Dan Panico and Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr. Both leaders spoke about the importance of researching and finding solutions to problems.

Date Added: 6/7/2024