What's Right with Spackenkill! April 20, 2018

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What's Right with Spackenkill!

April 20, 2018

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow

Dear Spackenkill Community,

I want to thank the students, staff, and administration at both Todd and the High School for responding to and managing a challenging event in our schools today. I also want to thank the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department. As always, we can count on their support. 

I enjoyed attending the International Dinner for the second year and particularly appreciated the world map tracing the heritage of the students in our district.  It’s pretty clear we come from a variety of places around the world and that really makes our Spackenkill family both diverse and connected. Congratulations again to the music department for gaining national recognition as a top education provider. Wow, six years in a row—talk about consistency! Although not noted in this issue, Hagan held its Sharpe Reservation trip this week. We’ll have photos and stories next week. I’m greatly appreciative of the parents who volunteer, the teachers, and community supporters as well. The students had a great time. A little rain did not dampen their enthusiasm.

The best way to encourage your children to be great readers is to read to them and surround them with books that they enjoy. So thank you, Nassau, for hosting another book fair. My wife and I still have boxes of children’s literature that we used to read to our kids every night before bedtime. Finally, a shout-out to Erik Stauderman, whose dream of college golf has come true!

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Student Signs with St. Bonaventure

Erik Stauderman signing

Erik Stauderman made it official last Friday when he signed his National Letter of Intent to play Division 1 golf at St. Bonaventure in the fall. Best wishes to Erik and his parents, Karen and Gary, and kudos to Spackenkill Varsity Golf Coach Keith Humphrey on this achievement!



District's SAT Scores in Top 10

The website Newyorkupstate.com has done an analysis of top SAT scores in upstate schools. Spackenkill ranked #10 on the list! Please click here for the link to the online story.


Senior Wins Presentation Award 

Isabel Hammond with poster

Isabel Hammond recently won 3rd place for her poster presentation at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Wonderful job!


Students Join National Movement

Today, April 20th, students from Todd Middle School and Spackenkill High School joined in the national movement to support school safety. At Todd, a morning assembly featured a number of speakers and was hosted by Todd Student Government. School Resource Officer Corey Kilfoyle spoke to students about the importance of “See something, say something” in keeping them safe. “You can always come to me,” he said. Officer Kilfoyle also praised students’ behavior during lockdown drills. Additionally,  Deb DiSanza of the Dutchess County Department of Community and Behavioral Health and Kate Castell of Astor Services for Children and Families discussed mental health and recognizing signs of stress.

Four students from the high school—Isabel Hammond, Jessica Cohen,  Vasvi Bhutani, and Tomas Hererra—also visited and shared their thoughts. Isabel Hammond conveyed a message of hope that student voices are being heard, reminding students that it is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy. Jessica Cohen spoke about the importance of civil discourse, while Vasvi Bhutani discussed events planned at the high school that day.  Students later gathered on the track and field and expressed their views while others listened respectfully. Many of the students wore orange.  Because it was a closed event and not open to the public, Town of Poughkeepsie Police officers blocked and monitored high school entrances during this time to ensure the safety of all.  During the afternoon, high school students attended an assembly on mental health and how to identify at-risk behavior.

International Dinner Draws Hundreds

The Todd Middle School foreign language department hosted an international dinner on April 12th.  Some 400 people attended the event, which truly brought all ages together to sample food from around the world and learn about global culture. The food was served by staff and administration.


District Recognized for Best Music Education

For the 6th year in a row, Spackenkill has been recognized by NAMM Foundation for its commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation.  Spackenkill was one of 583 districts to achieve the distinction nationwide. Congratulations to all members of the music department and our community members who support them! The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music. 

CLICK HERE to visit the NAMM website.



Trying New Tastes

Students in Mrs. Rogers and Ms. Ott's classes grew their own basil in their classroom greenhouse and then brought it to the school kitchen this past Monday to prepare a tomato-basil salad under the direction of Lisa French, Director of Food and Nutrition Services. The students discussed possible other ways to use the herb, such as in sauces and other salad combinations. They also shared the salad with the Todd community in the dining hall. Everyone agreed it was delicious!

Please click here for the students' recipe.



Hagan Running Team Trains for Event 

The Junior Spartans Running Team has been busy training on the grounds of Hagan Elementary School for the past few weeks. The goal of this group, over 70 strong, is to run in the 1st Annual Junior Spartans 5K Run at Vassar Farms on June 1, 2018.  Students train by alternating between running and walking as they build up the stamina to take on this challenge. We will keep you posted with the run results!
Hagan runners


So Many Choices at Book Fair!

student browsing for booksThe Nassau Book Fair was held this past week, filling the gymnasium with racks and tables of titles with a range of themes. The students enjoyed browsing the books and participating in fun activities after they shopped, guided by parent volunteers. As always, thank you Elementary PTA for all your countless hours of work to make this event a big  success!

Regeneron winners with mentor


Second Graders Ready for Earth Day

​Second graders recently decorated shopping bags with original artwork for Earth Day, which falls on April 22nd. They will be used at Adams Fairacre Farms Poughkeepsie this weekend to raise awareness of our responsibility to help the environment. “They had so much fun learning about ways to care for our planet,” said teacher Mrs. Boyce of the students. “They enjoyed being able to voice their opinions in hopes of making a difference in their community.” Photos of all the second graders creating and showing off their work are below. 

Earth Day bag painting
Earth Day
Earth Day
Earth Day
Earth 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