What's Right with Spackenkill! March 16, 2018

Please see flyer(s) below that might be of interest:

Football Booster Club Fundraiser

Cheer Fundraiser

      Spackenkill logo

What's Right with Spackenkill!

March 16, 2018

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow

Dear Spackenkill Community,

This week I made the decision for school to stay open on a delayed schedule when almost all of the schools in our area were closing. It is important to realize that Spackenkill’s weather may be different from that of other districts. Safety is my most important consideration, but I also do not like to close school if it’s avoidable. You as a community have been supportive of my decisions and I am most appreciative.

We are living in a very stressful time for so many reasons, but on a personal level when I visit our schools it’s almost always an energy creator for me. The photos that Mary Forsell takes and posts in our newsletter are fairly representative of what it is like in our classrooms and special subject areas.

Today, I attended the St. Patrick's celebration of Mrs. Davis and Ms. Gomez’s first grade class. Earlier this week I also visited Mrs. Scoralick and Ms. Drummond's cross-grade leprechaun project, and what good times I had! Spend a few minutes in an elementary school classroom and you can’t help smiling and feeling energized.

A “tip of the cap” to our math team, our senior class and their hard-earned college acceptances, art show exhibitors, music department, Todd Odyssey of the Mind team, and sixth grade team. Hope to see many of you tonight at the PTA Harlem Wizards fundraiser!

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

 Chamber Music Ensemble Inspires Students

PROJECT Trio, a chamber music ensemble, visited the district last Tuesday for a full day of performances and rehearsals. The group is comprised of three composers/performers: Greg Pattillo, flute; Eric Stephenson, cello; and Peter Seymour, bass. Performing over 70 concerts a year, the musicians made their debut at Carnegie Hall in 2010 and have played with a number of symphony orchestras. They been featured on National Public Radio, and their music can be heard on several commercials. The three met in the late 90s at the Cleveland Institute of Music, a classical music conservatory.

After an inspirational performance at Hagan, which included a demonstration of "beatbox flute," the group headed to the high school to rehearse with band, chorus, and orchestra members. They played for and with the students, giving them tips on how to improve their work by adding movement, liveliness, and showmanship, and also offered advice on how to pursue a career in music.

“I loved playing in my larger ensemble in high school, but I also wanted to find ways to play outside of school,” said Mr. Seymour. “Start coming up with your own little jams. They start from the simplest things and by building things on top of it you are instantly writing music, and who knows where it might take you?” At a concert that evening, the students gave dynamic performances that reflected all their hard work that day.

Project Trio visits Hagan and SHS


Spack Impresses at DUSO Sectionals

Congratulations to the Mathematics Team for their strong showing at Sectionals!  Twenty teams competed for the title in the four-county DUSO League.  The A Team arrived at Vassar College in a strong position, having won the Section E​ division by 26 points and just missing first place in the whole league by one point.  At the end of the Sectionals competition Spackenkill A was tied with Arlington A, each with 16 points, while Spack B and Spack C were right behind, each with 15 points.  Unfortunately, Spackenkill A lost the tie breaker and came in second place in the Sectional Competition.  A special shout-out goes to Andrew Wu, who was recognized for being the only student out of 100-plus to successfully solve question 4!

In the Section E division Spack A was first, Spack B was second, Spack C was fifth, and Spack D was eighth.  Nice work all around!


College Acceptance Update

Students have been accepted to even more schools since our last update. Please see the list below. Students, please let your guidance counselor know if you have any acceptances that need to be added to the list!

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Amherst College
Babson College
Boston College
Bryant University
Champlain College
Clarkson University
Columbia University Pre-Medical Program
Cornell University 
Drexel University
Dutchess Community College
D'Youville College
Elmira College
Elon University
Fairfield University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Fordham University
Fordham University (Fordham College at Rose Hill)
George Mason University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Goucher College
Hartwick College
High Point University
Hofstra University
Iona College
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Johnson & Wales University (Charlotte)
Johnson & Wales University (North Miami)
Johnson & Wales University (Providence)
Le Moyne College
Lebanon Valley College
Lehigh University
Liberty University
Loyola University Maryland
Macalester College
Manhattan College
Manhattanville College
Marist College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mercy College
Moravian College
Mount Saint Mary College
New England College
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New York Institute of Technology
Northeastern University
Nova Southeastern University
NYIT School of Osteopathic Medicine (BS/DO Program)
Pace University, New York City
Penn State (University Park)
Pennsylvania State University 
Providence College
Queens College of the CUNY
Quinnipiac University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/Albany Medical College
Ringling College of Art and Design
Rochester Institute of Technology 
Roger Williams University
Sacred Heart University
Saint Leo University
Saint Michael's College
Saint Olaf College
Salisbury University
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of Visual Arts
Siena College
Smith College
St. Bonaventure University
St. John Fisher College
St. John's University - Queens Campus
St. Thomas Aquinas College
State University of New York at Albany
Stony Brook University
Suffolk University
SUNY Alfred State College
SUNY Binghamton
SUNY Buffalo State College
SUNY College at Brockport
SUNY College at Cortland
SUNY College at Oneonta
SUNY Delhi
SUNY Fredonia
SUNY New Paltz
SUNY Oswego
SUNY Plattsburgh
Temple University
The College of Saint Rose
The New School - All Divisions
The University of Texas, San Antonio
University at Buffalo The State University of New York
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
University of Hartford
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Miami
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of New Haven
University of North Carolina at Asheville
University of Rhode Island
University of Rochester
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Utica College
Villanova University
Washington College
West Virginia University
Western New England University
Wingate University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Yale University
York College of Pennsylvania


Harlem Wizards Fundraiser to
Benefit Schools

John Smith (aka "Big J") from the Harlem Wizards visited Nassau, Hagan, and Todd on Wednesday to spread the word about the PTA/PTSA fundraiser game on Friday night at 7 pm at Spackenkill High School. The Wizards will take on the Spackenkill Dream Team, comprised of staff! Big J, who stands 6 feet, eight inches tall and wears a size 18 shoe, did a few basketball tricks for students and spoke to them about how this fundraiser benefits the district. "Your teachers are here to educate you, and on Friday they will entertain you," he said. At the assemblies, Big J interacted with students at each school, and staff who are playing this Friday came out of the audience to meet him.  One player to watch is Todd head custodian Colin Burgess, who also stands 6 feet, 8 inches and used to play basketball.  Expect giveaways and lot of laughs at this worthy fundraiser.

Please click on this link to order tickets.

Big J
Big J (far right) with a Todd student and Colin Burgess, who will be playing Friday night.
Big J with Nassau teachers  and Dream Team members Carrie Spiegel and Daniele Wilcox.
Todd student performs a trick for an 8th grade audience.


Health Tip: Benefits of Hand-Washing

handwashingSpackenkill High School Nurse Joan Dwyer shared this link about the benefits of hand-washing. Please click here to access the story.


Pi Day Serves Up Math-themed Fun

Todd observed Pi Day on March 14th.  Sixth grade students engaged in numerous Pi Day activities, including: Circles Are All Around Us!  (pi is the ratio  C:d, circumference to diameter); Creating Pi-Scapes  (graphing the digits of pi); Compass Creations (learning how to use tools associated with circular objects) Creating and Performing Original Pi Parodies; Can You Hula Hoop For 3.14 Minutes or More?; How Close Can You Come to Pi?  (measuring the circumference and diameter of circles to create the quotient for the ratio of C:d), and Archimedes Circle Drawing Contest  To round out the circle theme, parents contributed a slew of tasty pies and the students also enjoyed pizza.  Some images are below.
Pi Day


Todd Supports Sparrow's Nest!

Todd Supports Sparrow's Nest



Middle School OM Team Going Strong

On March 10, 2018 Todd Middle School participated in the regional Odyssey of the Mind competition in Goshen. The students competed in the structure problem titled “Animal House”. A team member built a structure weighing 15 grams and performed a skit for 8 minutes. Their structure held 337 pounds and their skit had the audience laughing. This year's team placed 3rd in the competition. Congratulations!


All-County Festival Showcases Musical Talent

All County students

On Saturday, March 10, the Dutchess County Music Educators Association (DCMEA) presented the Elementary All-County Festival at Arthur S. May Elementary School. The following students performed:

Todd Middle School

Alyssa DeLaurentis (orchestra), Ryan Freedman (orchestra), Daniel Jea (orchestra), Angelina Kim (orchestra), Andy Zhu (orchestra), Julia DeLaurentis (chorus), Nicholas Weibrecht (chorus), Matthew Darcy (band), Marlena DeLaurentis (band).

Hagan Elementary School

Thit-Sar Kyaw (orchestra), Effie Thomas (orchestra), Jacqueline Gill (orchestra), Katie Park (orchestra), Isabella McDermott (chorus), Graciela Wray Rivera (chorus)

Michelle (Fleischman) Milligan

Michelle Fleischman MilliganGuest-conducting the DCMEA Elementary All-County Orchestra was class of 2007 alumnus Michelle (Fleischman) Milligan, coming full circle from when she first was a performer in the group in 2000.  Among her past music teachers at Spackenkill are Kim Valentine and Marissa Kaczynski. Mrs. Milligan is currently the orchestra director at Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia.

Read a full bio of Mrs. Milligan in the program by clicking here.

We asked Mrs. Milligan about her Spackenkill experiences:

Q: Do you remember any particular moments at Spackenkill that inspired you?
A: There were so many inspirational moments, from conducting Into the Woods, to performing in the Prisms concert, and our senior solos! The most memorable moment in orchestra was probably performing Spider Dreams, and Ms. Kaczynski played with us. A really challenging piece, but we had so much fun performing it! The most important thing I remember about Spackenkill was being a part of something that was such a close family. The music program at Spackenkill is much smaller than the music program that I teach in now, but I strive to make every student in my program now feel as much a part of our program as I felt when I was in the program at Spackenkill. This is true not only for the music program, but my involvement in Spackenkill as a whole. It is such a blessing to have grown-up in such a small school district where I felt like my teachers were always really invested in my success, and inspired us to be better students. 

Orchestra students with Michelle Milligan
Mrs. Milligan surrounded by All-County Orchestra students.


 Nassau Celebrates Music In Our Schools Month 

 March is Music in Our Schools Month, a celebration of the importance and benefits of music education. On March 10, Mr. Andreas held Music with Mr. A, an  early childhood music class for ages four and under in his classroom. Many families brought their children and grandchildren to the event. 

Above: Scenes of families enjoying Music with Mr. A day at Nassau.
A little bird told me music in our schools month
Above: For Music in Our Schools Month, Mr. Andreas placed small bird pictures in teachers’ mailboxes on which he asked them to write a fun musical fact about themselves. It can be what makes you musical, your favorite song, or whatever connection you have or had with music! Then he made a display outside his classroom on a bulletin board titled "A Little Bird Told Me."



Young Artists Show Their Work 

Young artists at Vassar reception

Enjoy some scenes (above) from the John Iyoya Art Show opening reception at Vassar College last weekend. Elementary and middle school families came out to support their artists. 


To Catch a Leprechaun...

leprechaun traps

Students from Ms. Drummond's kindergarten class and Mrs. Scoralick's third grade collaborated on leprechaun traps on Monday at Nassau. Working together, the classes built elaborate creations with chutes, ladders, secret passageways, and amenities like swimming pools to lure little people. 


Mrs. Strapec's students
Mrs. Strapec's class at Nassau wishes everyone a lucky day!



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