What's Right with Spackenkill! Oct 20 2017


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What's Right with Spackenkill!

October 20, 2017

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow




Dear Spackenkill Community,

Math, science, and technology is an area of our school district that gives us great pride. Those of you who read our weekly newsletter have learned of our students’ success in these areas. I previously shared this comment with student Rachel Li: One of my bucket list items was to be a principal or superintendent in a district where a student earned a Siemens Award. So Rachel, thank you for advancing your research and kudos on your hard work and recognition, along with the science department, who inspired your work.

We have a couple of big games this Saturday: Boys and girls soccer play at 10 am and 12 pm, respectively. Please support your teammates. Finally, thank you to all the staff, families, and students for making Washington, DC, a great trip. I enjoyed reading the student comments and viewing Principal Doherty’s photos during their trip.



Mark Villanti, Ed.D. 
Superintendent of Schools



HIgh School Math and Science News

Math League

Jeremy Webster led all scorers with a 5 in Tuesday's New York Math League contest.

Rachel Li, Adele Long, Justin Moore, Ian Horvath, Yanlam Ko, Chris Piatek and Qihang Yao all scored 4. Kudos to the mathletes!

Prestigious Science Honor

Amy Matts, Rachel Li, and Steve Malkischer

Eleventh grade student Rachel Li has been named a regional finalist in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. Rachel is one of 19 finalists in New York State and 101 nationwide vying for a $100,000 Scholarship. This group was narrowed down from 491 semi-finalists. She is pictured above with her teacher Amy Matts and Spackenkill High School Principal Steve Malkischer.  We asked Rachel to tell us more about how she achieved this honor:

“Over the summer I spent seven weeks conducting research at the Garcia Summer Research Program at Stony Brook University. I wrote a paper entitled Synthesizing and Characterizing Novel Gelatin and Pluronic F127 Hybrid Hydrogels as a Barrier Membrane for Guided Bone Regeneration Following Periodontitis and entered it into the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. I was awarded the prestigious honor of national semifinalist. My team was also selected to advance to the regional finals, a distinction awarded to the top 60 projects out of more than 1,860 projects submitted to the competition. On November 11, I will be presenting my research to a panel of judges for a chance to advance to the national finals in Washington, DC.”

Congratulations on this outstanding achievement! 

Marco Lanzoni Receives
Administrator Award

On October 19, Marco Lanzoni, Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, received the Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s Administration Award for Excellence. Twenty-two of Mr. Lanzoni's Spackenkill colleagues attended, along with 771 participants from the region. Dr. Villanti, Steve Malkischer, and Geri Vasely nominated him for this well-deserved award.




Spotlight on the Capital Project:

ADA Compliance

Each week until the vote on December 5, we will highlight an aspect of the proposed Capital Project.


a discussion with Dave Downes, facilities director

Todd Middle school entrance and rampWhat is ADA Compliance and how does it relate to the project? 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) require that the services, programs, and activities of state and local government operations be accessible to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible. New construction and renovations as part of a capital project must meet certain accessibility standards--the state requires it.


We need to renovate entryways--including ramps, sidewalks, stairs, and railings--at all the schools to be in compliance with ADA requirements. The handicapped accessible entrance at Todd Middle School (above) is used not only by students, but also by visiting senior citizens and veterans for special events.

Fire Alarms

Fire alacontemporary fire alarmrm code upgrades require that these systems include audio and visual (strobe) features, as with the alarm pictured at left. They are required in each classroom and are included in the proposed capital project upgrades.


Audit Report Approvedaudit report

The Bonadio Group, our external auditors, completed the annual audit of the district’s financial statements. They issued an unmodified opinion that the financial statements are presented fairly in accordance with GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles). This is the highest level of assurance they can give. They did not identify any material weaknesses in internal controls over the district’s financial reporting. They further indicated that the books and records were maintained in a clear and orderly fashion that allowed them to complete their audit in an expeditious manner.

The audit was presented and approved at the Board of Education meeting on October 16.  The auditors also reviewed the debt limit calculation as prepared by the district’s fiscal advisor. “They agreed that the borrowing associated with the proposed $24 million  upcoming project would not infringe upon the district’s debt limit,” said School Business Administrator Michele Moloney. Ms. Moloney also presented information on reserve funds and how they will be used to offset Capital Project costs, set for a vote on December 5. We anticipate sending out an in-depth newsletter regarding the project approximately two weeks before the vote.

Click here for the audit report.

Click here for a presentation regarding the audit.

Click here for the reserve funds presentation.



Sports Update

Exciting Football Win in Overtime

Last Friday, our football team won a game in overtime against O'Neill. Here's the play by play:

Spackenkill took an early lead on a safety on O'Neill's first drive to make the score 2-0. Then we scored on a 2 yard QB sneak by Adam Loughran before the half. We led 9-0 going into halftime. We opened the 3rd quarter by forcing a punt and scored on a 38 yard TD run by Dhyquem Lewinson, putting us up 16-0.

O'Neill scored to make it 8-0. They tied the game at 16-16 with 25 secs left and we went into overtime. They had the first possession of overtime and Kyiev Bennermon made a huge play, sacking their quarterback. O'Neill kicked a FG to go up by 3. Then on our possession, Dhyquem got us to the one yard line. From there Adam L. punched it in on a QB sneak. We won 22-19!

Boys and Girls Soccer Post Season Schedule

Saturday, Oct. 21 – BOYS vs. Ellen/Highland at 10AM and GIRLS vs. Chester at 12PM - Spack HS soccer field

Monday, Oct. 23  (if both teams win Sat) - GIRLS at 12PM and BOYS at 2PM - Spack HS soccer field

(If only one team wins Saturday they will play at 2PM Monday)



High School Students on the Move

On October 5, high school students attended the Second Annual Dutchess County Youth Health Rally at Dutchess Stadium. It was hosted by CAPE: the Council on Addiction Prevention and Education. The freshman class recently held a free car wash at the high school and made $400 in donations! The gentleman at center is none other than Dr. Villanti!  

Student Government Candidates Make Speeches

This week, Todd Student Government held officer elections. Student candidates gave speeches that were very impressive. Kudos to the following students for a job well done: Brian Breslow, Cynthia Fainguersch, Adam Macklin, Kathryn Kaylor, Sanad Sahawneh, Andrew Chun, Julia Gill, Hannah Ullinger, Savannah Thompson, and Yeshua Wray.

Results are as follows: President, Brian Breslow; Vice.President, Adam Macklin; Secretary, Andre Chun; Treasurer, Hanna Ullinger, and Committee Chief, Yeshua Wray.

Candidates await their turn at the microphone. Club advisor Norma Vazquez introduced each speaker.

Each student gave a brief speech.


Students Enthusiastic About
Washington, DC, Trip

Last week, seventh grade students took a trip to Washington, DC, a longstanding annual tradition.  Now that they've settled back in to their school routine, we asked them about the trip.

Adam Macklin and Hannah McSpedon were the wreath layers at Arlington National Cemetery. Hannah most enjoyed the Vietnam Wall because “it is so powerful.” Adam enjoyed seeing the MLK Memorial.

Elizabeth Mastrantuono and Soumya Kamada agreed they would remember this trip forever.  Elizabeth’s favorite part was the evening illumination and walking around and seeing memorials. Soumya said that it was great living and learning with her friends. Her high school teammates on the Varsity Tennis team told her the trip would be amazing—and it was!




Christopher Philips and Oliver Katz thought the Washington Monument was especially awesome at night!



Evacuation Drills a Success

This week Nassau School had an evacuation and leave the premises drill. Todd Middle School also had an evacuation drill. Both drills were implemented by School Resource Officer Chris Hamel and went smoothly. Photos are below.

Todd students gather on the front lawn. Nassau students walked in orderly fashion away from the school.


Students Construct Sundials

Mrs. McGurl’s first grade class did a sundial study that illustrated how shadows move over the course of the day. The lesson was a part of the Science21 interdisciplinary curriculum.




Busdrivers' Breakfast Ends with Ride

Nassau School hosted a Busdrivers’ Breakfast today. School Social Worker Tracie Phillips and Principal Nancy Ferrarone thanked the drivers for all that they do. Students made placemats with drawings for the drivers, and there was homemade banana bread and other treats. The students then received a lesson on the three big bus rules: keep down the volume, stay in your seat, and keep your hands and your feet to yourself. Students who follow these rules will receive stars from the drivers, and when Ms. Phillips is able to fill a special box with them, the school will have a pajama party. Students took bus rides around the parking lot loop to practice what they’d learned.

Drivers enjoyed homemade baked goods.

Students made placemats.

School Social Worker Tracie Phillips thanked the drivers.

Students rode buses around the parking lot loop to practice bus rules.

15 Croft Road, Poughkeepsie,  NY
(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