Superintendent's Blog

  • Link IB World School Community Outreach Brunch Brings Together Seniors, Veterans

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/17/2019

    Link IB World School students recently shared their musical talents with Senior Citizens and Veterans of the Armed Forces.

    The annual Outreach Brunch was held at the school on June 5 when the cafetorium was packed with Senior Citizens from the Clarkstown/Pearl River Senior Center and Rockland County Veterans who enjoyed food and entertainment. The PTA-sponsored breakfast included pancakes, eggs, and bagels for the community guests.  On the stage, Music Teacher Cynthia Kimmel led three grade levels to a total of 11 separate selections.

    "You are wonderful role models and an inspiration to all of us," said Principal Fran Cuccia when greeting her guests in the audience at the beginning of the brunch.

    IB Coordinator Daniel Jackson referenced the school's success with varying action as described in the program.  Link students raised over $6,000 in a Math-A-Thon while working on math problems and raising the funds for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.  Link students also raised $460 for children in need on Red Nose Day.  This event was founded in in the United States in 2015 and is dedicated to ending childhood poverty in the U.S. and around the world.  In addition, various fundraisers at Link IB World School were dedicated to support the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City to help the 1.8 million New York City residents living in poverty.

    Link IB World School First Graders sang Do Re Mi, We're Internationally Minded and Here Comes the Sun.  Third Grade students performed Hot Cross Buns, Gently Sleep, It's Raining, Merrily We Roll Along, Old MacDonald and JitterBag.  Fourth Grade students sang The Heart of America, All-American Me and You, and Proud to be an American.

    Board of Education President Tammy Bierker and Board member Walter Litvak were in attendance for the event along with Susan Yom (Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction) and Dr. Linda Hatfield (Director of Teaching and Learning).

    Thanks to the Link IB World School PTA for their partnership with the school, and congratulations to Ms. Kimmel and her students for entertaining guests with outstanding singing throughout the brunch.

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  • North Students Showcase Talents at End of Year Art Exhibit

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/17/2019

    The school community can view the artistic talents of North High School students.

    Held at the New City Public Library, the annual North High School End of Year Art Exhibit continues through June 21.

    An Opening Reception took place on June 5 when Art Department Chairperson Nancy K. Diamond partnered with her colleagues to recognize the success of their students. Ms. Diamond was joined by Art Teachers Shaina Dunn, Margaret Keuerleber, Erin McNally, Meredith Rickli, and Ron Wolfson.

    In addition to recognition of students for contests and exhibits, students also received honors in the following categories:

    **Warhol Society (Students currently taking two of more art classes) - Isabella Franceschi, Eric La, Angela Camenisch, Aanika Nawar, Melanie Gathcalian, Dannie Dominianni, Valerie Kloenne, Willow Cox, Alex Song, Larissa Ward, and Skylar Covell.

    **Rembrandt's Circle (Seniors graduating with five or more art classes in high school) - Isabella Franceschi, Eric La, Angela Camenisch, Aanika Nawar, Melanie Gatchalian, and Alison Eisenberg.

    **Principal's Showcase - Caroline Prior, Breana Scott, Yarah Hossain, Ava Capasso, Kerin Varghese, Jaylyn Mojica, Nicholas Mancino, Alexa Milove, Caitlin Valencia, Tian Sippel, Lydia Cohen and Matthew Braunfotel.

    **Edward Hoppeer House Scholarship for Artistic Curiosity - Judith Cassady

    **Dana Sassano Design Scholarship - Aanika Nawar

    Congratulations to all of our students from North High School for having their art work on display, and many thanks to their teachers for providing instruction, support and encouragement throughout the school year!

     

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  • Festa Celebrates Students at Falcon of the Month Breakfast

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/17/2019

    Felix Festa Middle School students were recognized for their success at the Flying Falcon of the Month Breakfast on June 5.

    The monthly event, held in the school cafeteria, recognized students in Grades 6-8 for the following criteria:

    **Enthusiastic Participation in classroom activities

    **Leadership

    **Maintains Outstanding Team Spirit

    **Excellent Preparation and Attendance

    **Enthusiastic Participation in School Related Activities

    **Respectful to his/her peers

    **Follows School and Classroom Expectations and Rules

    **Demonstrates Creativity

    Festa Principals - Dr. Michael St. John, Dr. Diane Mitchell, and Mr. Jon Schatz - took turns reading the names of the students who were recommended as a Flying Falcon of the Month by teachers and staff.  Assistant Principals Ms. Christine Madigan, Mr. Scott Lercher, and Dr. Max O'Casey assisted with the awarding of certificates.

    Students were also recognized at the breakfast for their success in music through the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) awards.  Congratulations to our students for being recognized for their accomplishments, and best wishes to all members of the Festa school community as the school year draws to a close in the coming weeks.

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  • South's Shapiro Twins Conduct Interviews for Broadcast Journalism Class

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/13/2019

    Noah and Alexis Shapiro were a brother-sister TV crew at the May 30 Board of Education meeting.

    The South High School twins came to the meeting to conduct interviews as part of Noah's Broadcast Journalism Class.

    With Alexis behind the camera and Noah in front of it holding the microphone, the South juniors conducted interviews with David Carlson and me.  Mr. Carlson, Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services, was presenting at the Board meeting that evening with an update about all matters pertaining to his leadership of the Special Education Department.  Noah inquired with Mr. Carlson about his report prior to the start of the meeting.  Noah also interviewed me about the District Policy 5110, Student Attendance Areas (Variances) that has been discussed by the Policy Committee for more than a year, and by the full Board of Education during recent meetings this spring.

    "The intended outcomes for the broadcast project was for Noah to understand how to properly produce and film a news segment, and to complete the filming of the video with good framing, color, and sound - all components to be at a level deemed suitable for broadcast," said Helene Magazine-Fishkin, Television Production Teacher at South High School. "Alexis joined the production as an assistant to help Noah with his project.  Alexis comes with experience as she is my college studio TV section."

    Following the interviews, Noah and Alexis partnered to caputure field footage during the beginning segment of the Board meeting.  The video could be used as background footage for his production.

    Having students interview administrators about Board of Education agenda topics provides them insight about the District operations while also giving them learning opportunities in the areas of interviewing and TV production.  Best wishes to Noah, Alexis and their classmates in this particular area of study.

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  • Woodglen Elementary Teachers Create School Garden

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/13/2019

    Sheila O'Rourke and Regina Maguire have created a garden at Woodglen Elementary.

    The two teachers have been busy in recent years landscaping the front of the school with plants and flowers, and this year they have expanded their efforts.

    Located on the side of the school adjacent to the cafeteria is a new, three-tiered garden where lettuce, tomatoes and flowers have been growing this spring.

    "The planter boxes were donated by last year's fifth grade class and the soil and mulch were dontated this year by Dr. Clemente and Mr. Weiss," said Ms. O'Rourke.  "Mrs. Arras recruited volunteers to help fill the planters and spread the mulch. Regina (Magure) and I planted flowers and vegetables in the boxes."

    The team effort described by Ms. O'Rourke has led to outstanding results. With some help from the rainy spring, the vegetables are growing well, and the colorful flowers add beauty to the setting.

    "We hope you enjoy the garden on your next visit to Woodglen," said Ms. O'Rourke.

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  • Woodglen Students Show School Spirit at Field Day

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/10/2019

    The Woodglen Elementary playground was a sea of bright colors on June 3.

    The school's annual field day event was taking place and students across the grade levels came together in teams according to a color: iorange, yellow, red, green, and blue.

    Several parents, in partnership with the school's PTA, led the event and assisted in the coordination of numerous games.  During my visit, I was able to watch the faculty and staff get into the action as well.  Several teachers and staff, including Principal Ms. Lisa Maher, were busy playing two separate games of musical chairs while the entire student body and the parent volunteers watched and cheered.

    Field days are an excellent way to bring our schools together for a fun and exciting year-end event.

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  • Festa Students Share Talent at Middle School Art Show

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/10/2019

    Artistic talent was on display at the Felix Festa Art Show.

    The annual event, held on May 29, was a showcase of work from the entire school year.

    "The Festa Art Show is a wonderful exhibition that shows the culmination of a year of hard work for our art students at the middle school," said Dr. Michael St. John, Festa A School Principal. "One of this year's highlight was the use of technology in order to hear each student describe the inspiration for each piece of art.  Students worked with their teachers using Seesaw to create videos that could be accessed by QR codes."

    Several students, teachers, parents, administrators and friends of the school community came out to visit the show that was held in the hallways of the middle school leading toward the foyer outside the pool.  Four students also entertained the visitors while playing the violin.

    The Felix Festa Art Teachers are Peggy O'Hara (Department Chair), Julie Fanshawe, Joe Mackey, Lotte Petricone, Anna Maria Lalli, and Chris Hughes

    "The Art Show is always a special event because you speak directly to students, teachers, and parents about the products they create in art class," added Dr. St. John.  "It's a great way for the community to come together and see our wonderful children in action."

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  • South's Carly Donoghue Shares Nyack Hospital Internship Experience

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/5/2019

    The WISE Program was a rewarding experience for Carly Donoghue.

    Carly, a senior at Clarkstown High School South, did her field internship at Nyack Hospital and shared her final report in front of classmates, teachers, and family members on May 30.  Her work at the hospital was connected to her involvement with the school's WISE Program that allows for seniors to have an individualized field experience in an area of study they are considering for college.

    "I am thankful for the experience in this class," said Carly.  "It changed my life.  It's the perfect class for me."

    Carly provided the audience in the classroom a narrative summary of her nurse internship experience at Nyack Hospital while showing numerous slides along the way.

    "It was a first-hand look into the medical field to see medical professionals do what they do," said Carly. "Every single day in the hospital is so different.  I want to be a nurse practitioner.  I am excited to pursue a career in nursing."

    South High School Principal Deb Tarantino was in attendance for Carly's presentation along with her teachers Doug Pritts (Business) and Cindi Wiseltier (English).  Mr. Pritt's responsibilities include oversight of the Career Development Occupational Studies (CDOS) program which includes the WISE students.

    Ms. Wiseltier, when speaking to Carly Donoghue in front of her classmates following her presentation, stated, "(Carly), you have a warm energy about you.  You like people.  You talk to people.  You make people happy."

    Congratulations to Carly Donoghue, as well as all students at South High School and North High School who participated in a field internship through the WISE program this semester.

     

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  • Bardonia Elementary Students Share Knowledge at D.A.R.E. Graduation

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/4/2019

    Bardonia Elementary students took turns sharing what they learned from the D.A.R.E. Program.

    During the school's D.A.R.E. graduation on May 29, students read essays, poetry and summaries of their education that was provided to them by Officer Norman A. Peters of the Clarkstown Police Department.

    When I had the opportunity to speak, I summarized the key points I had heard from the students while listening in the audience:

    **Be mindful of risky situations and peer pressure.

    **Have a network of friends.

    **Avoid cyber bullying by thinking before you type.

    **Be brave when making decisions.

    **Be careful about health risks.

    Student essay readers included Noah Markose, Bradley Hau, and Emma Bini.

    Principal Michelle Zernone and her team of Fifth Grade Teachers were on hand for the graduation: Vivian Del Valle, Jaime Dicembri, Alice O'Hara, and Cristina Soreco.

    In addition, Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, and Councilmen Frank Borelli and Patrick Carroll were in attendance for the event.

    Congratulations to our D.A.R.E. Graduates at Bardonia Elementary and best wishes for great success while making healthy choices going forward.

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  • South High School Founders Day Celebrates Community Success

    Posted by Martin Cox on 6/4/2019

    Students, parents, an assistant principal, and community members were recognized at the South High School Founders Day Celebration and Awards Night.

    The annual event, sponsored by the PTSA, was held on May 29 in the South High School cafeteria.

    Parent Renee Price co-hosted the event with James Russell, a South Social Studies Teacher as well as the Co-President of the PTSA.

    Principal Deb Tarantino provided a welcoming address to the students as well as the guests in attendance.  Following the introduction of past presidents and honorary life members, South parent Beatrice Mattaway and Assistant Principal Julie Dahl-Jacobs were presented with Honorary Life Memberships.

    The following students were recipients of Scholarships:

    Academic - Ryan Evangelista, Ryan Greene, and Jenna Ranney

    Viking - Jessica Palmer, James Rung, and Gina Ruotolo

    Service - David Bruen, Lexis Rosenberg, and Joanne Stirrup

    Special Achievement - Alexander Oberman

    Kenneth Zebrowski Memorial - Wynter Malone

    Congratulations to the students, Ms. Mattaway and Ms. Dahl-Jacobs for your recognition!

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