What's Right with Spackenkill! April 27, 2018

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

Hudson Valley KidVenture

Summer Camps at Sprout Creek Farm

College Fair

Spackenkill Crew Cosimo's Fundraiser

PTA ​​​​​​Touch a Truck Event

Spackenkill Basketball Summer Clinic

Young Writers Programs  


      Spackenkill logo

What's Right with Spackenkill!

April 27, 2018

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow

Dear Spackenkill Community,

One of the purposes of our weekly newsletter is to provide a vehicle for the myriad of opportunities available to families in the greater Spackenkill community. We screen the flyers based on a couple of factors – value to students and the promotion of non-profits. Some weeks, like this week, the amount of flyers is quite lengthy.  As I review the attachments they all are important to the right person. I hope that you take a look each week and open those attachments that seem important to you.

I review all of the stories that we publish in the newsletter, the great majority of which I have experience with first-hand. The photos and stories speak for themselves.

Next Tuesday, May 1st, the Board of Education meeting will highlight our proposed budget that you will vote on May 15th at the high school. You should receive shortly a budget newsletter that includes budget highlights and also answers the question "What is the return on my tax dollars?"

If you have any questions concerning the budget feel free to email Michele Moloney at michele.moloney@sufsdny.org or me at mark.villanti@sufsdny.org.

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


HS Announces Valedictorian and Salutatorian

We are proud to announce the valedictorian and salutatorian for Spackenkill High School’s Class of 2018.  Pictured above with Principal Malkischer are valedictorian Andrew Wu and salutatorian Jeana Chun. Andrew is undecided between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stony Brook University to pursue a career in computer science.  Jeana will be attending Columbia University to study bio chemistry. Congratulations to both of these exceptional students!



Meet the Board Seat Candidate

Mary Sawyer

Mary Sawyer is running for the one board seat vacancy. This is a five-year seat beginning July 1, 2018, and ending June 30, 2023.  An Associate Professor at SUNY New Paltz in the Department of Teaching and Learning with a focus on teacher education in English Language Arts, grades 7 through 12, Dr. Sawyer has lived in the Spackenkill District for 19 years with her husband, Anthony Yu, and two grown children, Christopher Yu and Martin Yu. Both attended Spackenkill Schools and participated in student government, music, and athletics.

“I want to give back and support the continued excellence embodied by the district,” said Dr. Sawyer. “The Spackenkill community supported our family for many years.  Our two boys received an outstanding, well-rounded education and made life-long friends.  As the years pass, I’ve longed for a way to stay more connected to the district.”

Among Dr. Sawyer’s community activities are her service as a site level building team member in past years at both Hagan Elementary and Spackenkill High School. Currently at SUNY New Paltz, she is Chair of the Curriculum Committee, a member of the Library Advisory Council, and Coordinator of the Education and Theatre Series. Additionally, she is Co-Director of the Hudson Valley Writing Project (HVWP), a teacher-leadership network affiliated with the National Writing Project.   For the past several years she has co-taught in the HVWP Teen Writer’s Institute, a summer writing camp.  Volunteer credits include working with the Appalachian Service Project in Youth Leadership, serving as a Spelling Bee Judge for the Wappingers Central School District, and participating in Newburgh Enlarged Central School District’s Read Across America program.

 “I am a strong supporter of leadership and professional development opportunities for teachers.  I also am knowledgeable about literacy teaching and learning, including the importance of community literacy events, well-stocked libraries, and opportunities for our students to engage in interest-driven pursuits and real-world writing,” said Dr. Sawyer. “Spackenkill has a strong legacy of excellence in education.  Our challenge is to maintain and build on this legacy as we address current social and economic realities.  Through smart decisions, we can fulfill our district’s stated mission to ‘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.’”  


SADD Assembly at SHS

For many years SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) has organized speakers and programs for our juniors and seniors during prom season. With the backing of Mr. Malkischer this year we recently welcomed back Jonathan Mueller.  Jonathan, an Arlington High School graduate, was a freshman at SUNY Cobleskill when he and some friends were hit by a drunk driver while they were going to pick up some food at a local restaurant. Jonathan suffered a traumatic brain injury. Jonathan was in a coma for months and went to four different rehabilitation centers. He has no short-term memory. At the assembly, he spoke about living with a traumatic brain injury and the impact it has had on his life. With the assistance of his father, John, Jonathan travels to give his message about the perils of impaired driving.  He reminded students that alcohol, drugs, texting, and being tired can all impact their ability to drive safely. He urged students to take a pledge promising to never drive or get in a car with someone who is impaired. He doesn't want to see any student go through all that he has because of a poor decision.

Top: Jonathan Mueller addressing students. Bottom: Pictured from left to right are Joan Dwyer,  Jonathan Mueller, Karen Nardis, and John Mueller.  John Mueller has worked at Todd  Middle School as a guidance leave replacement.


Exchange Student Attends SHS

Through The Rotary Youth Exchange program, Spackenkill is hosting Riw from Thailand, who arrived here in late August and is a senior at the high school. He is one of seven exchange students in the Hudson Valley area (Rotary District 7210).  The program is very competitive and viewed as an academic scholarship. Students apply in their home countries and are then sponsored by a receiving club, in this case Poughkeepsie South Rotary Club.  The exchange students are on an academic visa and are required to attend school and keep up with their grades.  Part of the student visa requires students to live with three different host families. Spackenkill teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Vila, a former exchange student herself, has taken charge of Riw’s visit. Mrs. Vila is a Millbrook Rotary Board member and District Youth Exchange Committee member. Other countries represented this year are Italy, Denmark, Germany, Japan, France, and Spain.  Each month, a local Rotary club sponsors a weekend and takes all exchange students in the area to experience the local treasures we hold here in the Hudson Valley. 

At the Rotary District Conference at the Sagamore Resort in Lake George last week,  Riw was an ambassador for both Thailand and Spackenkill and delivered a touching speech. Photos from the event are below, including the students holding their national flags.


School Social Worker on Panel

School social worker Tracie Phillips (pictured above at far right) was on a panel of professionals last Tuesday, April 24th in New Paltz called Creating Safer Spaces for LGBTQ Youth in Community Organizations & Institutions.  


Todd Student Promotes KidVenture

Hudson Valley KidVenture will take place this weekend, Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th from 11 am to 4 pm. The event is geared to kids of all ages and abilities.  Information and tickets can be found on hvkidventure.org. Adam Macklin, a 7th grade Todd Student,  is on the "KidKrew" team that is organizing the event. Adam met with the Mayor of Poughkeepsie and did other promotions this week.  "Our commercial was heard on iHeart stations this month and this past Tuesday I was live on a four iHeart radio stations," says Adam. He is shown in photos below with Joe Daily and Michele Taylor from 92.1 radio along with another KidKrew member.  (Adam is pictured on the left.)

Middle School Celebrates Poetry

For the 2nd Annual Poem in Your Pocket Day, Todd students selected their favorite poems (music lyrics count!) and shared them with others, whether reading them aloud or putting them on display.  Selections from Mrs. Winnis's and Mrs. Vila's ELA classes decorated the walls of the sixth grade wing. The students enjoyed choosing the poems. Thank you to Mr. Shanks for organizing the event.


Students Learn Outdoor Skills at Sharpe

From Wednesday through Friday of last week, fifth grade students had a wonderful adventure at Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, which has close to 2,000 acres featuring lakes, ponds, streams, and hiking trails.  They spent much of their days outdoors exploring the woods and learning outdoor skills. What an adventure! Photos from the three-day trip are below.


Author's Day at Nassau

Nassau celebrated Author's Day with David A. Adler, who has written over 250 books in a variety of genres. A former New York City mathematics teacher, Mr. Adler published his first book in 1976. His most famous character is the mystery detective Cam Jansen.  There are almost 50 Cam Jansen Mysteries and they have been translated into many languages. Another one of his popular series is the Jeffrey Bones Mysteries. Clearly, there was a lot to talk about with this prolific writer! Each grade level had their own session with him.  Afterward, second graders sat down to lunch with Mr. Adler to get to know him even better.


Second Graders Participate in "Game Show"

Mrs. Strapec's and Mrs. Turner's second graders had fun in their math class on Thursday. The students were practicing their math fact fluency with a fun-filled game of "Math Wiz." The students were given a fact by a teacher and had to "buzz" in the answer. It was fast paced and exciting! The students commented that they felt like they were participating in a game show. The children enjoyed playing together and told the teachers that they are looking forward to playing this game again. 

Nassau Students Learn About Careers

Last week, Nassau parent and Spackenkill alumnus Mr. Adam Mazzuto visited Mrs. Boyce’s classroom to speak about his occupation. He is an engineer who works for ABC. He talked to students about the importance of working as a team and being respectful to others. In his presentation he showed the class how various crews set up a stage, how they build sets and design control rooms, and how to prepare the set with lights and equipment. The students learned a lot and enjoyed it. Thank you, Mr. Mazzuto!


Kindergartners Embellish Bags for Earth Day

​Mrs. Robyn Davis's kindergarten class got busy this week decorating brown paper grocery bags from Adams supermarket with Earth Day messages like "Save the Planet" and "Don't Litter." Look for them in use at the Poughkeepsie store this weekend.



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