What's Right with Spackenkill! May 19, 2017

Please see community flyers below that may be of interest:

T.E.A.C.H. Summer Academy

Secrets in the Garden at Locust Grove

Kid Venture

Summer Reading Sale Poughkeepsie Library

     spackenkill logo

What's Right with Spackenkill!

May 19, 2017

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow

Dear Spackenkill Community,

I hope you enjoy another issue of What’s Right with Spackenkill! Frankly, there’s a lot to like about SpackenkilI. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t begin by thanking the Board of Education and our voters, who supported our district budget overwhelmingly. We appreciate all those who took the time to vote. We’re also sending as a separate item a flyer on the May 23rd Board meeting next week, whose major intent is to review the Capital Project. It starts at 7:30 pm in the Middle School Dining Hall. We encourage everyone to attend, learn about the project from our architectural and engineering firms, and make comments to assist the Board in completing the final scope of the project.

In looking at the photos in these pages, you can’t help but feel the positive energy of students and staff. We are all very proud of their accomplishments!


Mark Villanti
Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools  


Highlights from the Athletics Department

crew winners​​​​Varsity Baseball Team

Congratulations to the Varsity 4 boat for taking 1st place at the NYS Rowing Championship in Saratoga! They will compete against some of the best boats in the country at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship Regatta on May 26th and 27th in Camden, New Jersey.  Kudos to Head Coach Robin Ackerman and crew members Zachary Habert, Michael Ryan, Andrew Moriarty,  Luke Moriarty, and Thomas Gagliardi.

In other news, Varsity Baseball defeated FDR on May 17 10-2. Head coach Don Neise captured his 300th career win!


Student Governments Attend Conference

high school student government

On Monday, May 15th, student governments from Spackenkill High School (above) and Todd Middle School (below) traveled together with advisers Ms. Klein and Mrs. Vazquez  to attend the NYS Lower Hudson middle school student governmentCouncil on Leadership and Student Activities (CLSA) regional conference, "Safari to Leadership," at Somers High School. During the day-long event, the students heard from keynote speaker Kyle Scheele and attended workshops and idea-sharing sessions. The students returned with many new approaches for fundraising, school spirit initiatives, and community service activities to share at their next student government meetings. 


chess champ

Kudos to High School student Elliot Rivera for winning the Third Annual Spackenkill Spring Chess Tournament. He is pictured above with Principal Steve Malkischer (left) and teacher Dave Bromsey.




Our High School Math Team has been recognized in the American Scholastic Mathematics Association (ASMA) competition as
First Place With Special Merit. Great job team!

Todd  Stands Out in National French Club Contest

National French Contest Winners

On March 23, all Todd 8th grade French students participated in the Grand Concours, otherwise known as the National French Contest.  This exam is sponsored each year by the American Association of Teachers of French and assesses reading comprehension, grammar, and knowledge of cultural information. It also has a listening component.  The exams are graded at national headquarters and the students are then ranked based on the number of correct responses.  Spackenkill has been participating in this event for more than 30 years with great success.  We have consistently had chapter and national winners at all levels.  The foreign language department is very excited to announce our 2017 chapter and national winners at the 1A level.

Ranking 12thHudson Valley Chapter Winners are 
Samantha Bosaz and Christina Pierce

Scoring in the top 10, our National winners are as follows:

Ranking 9th are Erica Koller and Liam Moren

Ranking 7th is Anikha Justin

Ranking 6th is Abigail Straus

Ranking 4th are Emily Cohen and Maggie Schmitt

Ranking 3rd in a three-way tie are Taha Ali, Caroline Currie, and Lucy Palumbo

Finally,  ranked 1st in the Nation, with a perfect score is Sanjana Shahani  

All students who participated will receive a certificate.  The above- mentioned students, also pictured, will receive awards and certificates from the American Association of Teachers of French.  Please note, Emily Cohen is not pictured in the photo. Outstanding job, everyone!


Poetry and Creativity Celebrated at Todd


Middle School teacher Jonathan Shanks planned a Poem in Your Pocket day on May 11th. The day encourages participants to read, share, and be inspired by poetry.  Natalie Palome designed an outstanding display for this event in the lobby. Students had fun reading poems, whether they took them from a poem basket or created their own original verse. In the library, Ms. Cunningham (pictured with student, right) encouraged reciting  poetry aloud.

Ms. Cunningham and Mrs. Joy are also in the news because they received a School Library Media Specialists of Southeastern NY (SLMSSENY) Bea Griggs Memorial Incentive Grant  of $500 toward creation of a Middle School Makerspace.  The grant was designed to encourage young people to use libraries.  They also received a $1,500 Verizon STEM Grant for the project. 

Eileen Cunningham with student

poetry in pocket





Science Students Study Ecosystem 

This past week, seventh grade science students worked with an educator from the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies to learn more about the environment right around the middle school. The students explored the role of mammal diversity and Lyme disease. They baited stations with tuna fish,  sunflower seeds, and acorns to see what animals they would attract over a three-day period. Motion-sensor cameras captured footage of raccoons, a fox, groundhogs, squirrels, and mice (surprisingly, no deer!). The students learned that biodiversity in mammal populations helps control the spread of Lyme. Interestingly, relatively few opossums, raccoons, and deer are infected with Lyme, compared to mice.  

7th grade science students




Vanaver Caravan Tradition Continues at Hagan

On May 12, 3rd grade students at Hagan Elementary put on a spectacular performance that explored multicultural dance and associated traditions. Working with The Vanaver Caravan, a nonprofit organization that performs world dance and music, students not only learned international and American folk dances, but they also came to appreciate the ways of life that shaped them. Pictured are students wearing ethnic costumes and performing dances from the Baltic, Japan, and even the Bronx, New York.

Bronx dance Bronx dance
Japanese dance Baltic dance
Students waiting to dance Japanese dance
students waiting to dance students waiting to dance


15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603; 845.463.7800 
Mission: Inspired by a tradition of excellence and a spirit of continuous improvement, the Spackenkill School District will provide all of our students with the academic and social skills necessary to pursue their goals and become responsible citizens in an interdependent global community.
Vision: All Spackenkill graduates will be lifelong learners who are inspired to pursue their dreams and contribute to the global society.

Please submit story ideas to mary.forsell@sufsdny.org

Issues of the newsletter are available on the Spackenkill website: www.spackenkillschools.org/district_newsletter_ archive