What's Right with Spackenkill! May 25, 2018




      Spackenkill logo

What's Right with Spackenkill!

May 25, 2018

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow

Dear Spackenkill Community,

I have had the pleasure of attending most of the district's concerts for Hagan, Todd, and the High School during the past two weeks. They have all been extraordinary! Last night's high school concert was stunning not only musically, but emotionally. Mr. Malkischer and I talked this morning and never in our careers have we ever left a concert feeling so proud of our teachers, students, and families in attendance. Why, you may ask? For many reasons is the simple answer. The musical performances are always excellent, but two elements made last night's concert different. The heartfelt gratitude expressed by our student musicians and choraleers for their teachers-- and especially Ms. Carter during her final concert as she prepares for retirement--was moving. Including the entire orchestra on stage with the chorus and 20 alumnus in the final performance that resulted in a standing ovation from our families left all in attendance with a profound emotional experience.

Remember, school is closed on Monday in remembrance of the past servicemen and women that served our country in the Armed Services like my dad. Thank you.

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools



ISEF Finalists Take Home Awards

Rachel Li and Jessica Cohen

We are pleased to announce that Jessica Cohen earned 4th place in Physical Science and Rachel Li and partners earned 2nd place for a group at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) last week! Each year more than approximately 1,800 student finalists earn the right to attend ISEF, the world’s largest international  pre-college science competition, as a result of winning an Intel ISEF-affiliated fair at a local, regional, or national level.

During the fair, the students attended symposia, attended a panel on innovation and entrepreneurship, and socialized with other finalist at various functions. Finalists compete on average for $4 million in awards and prizes and are judged on their creative ability and scientific thought, as well as the thoroughness, skill, and clarity shown in their projects.



MHAL Scholar-Athletes Honored

Congratulations to Corradscholar-athleteso Mazzarelli and Jeana Chun for being named the 2018 Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) Senior Scholar Athletes from Spackenkill! At a breakfast at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel on May 21st, the two were recognized for their achievements.

Please click here to read about each scholar-athlete.



Top Chemistry Scorers

beakersCongratulations to Rachel Li and Jeremy Webster, who recently competed in the National Examination for the Chemistry Olympiad, sponsored by the American Chemical Society.   Spackenkill had six students qualify, but only the top two scorers were permitted to compete. Nationally, about 1,000 students competed. 


Science Symposium May 29


Junior Achievement Awards

Junior achievement awards

Congratulations to the SHS juniors who received awards for various achievements in a ceremony on May 22nd in the Black Box Theater. The following students are pictured above:

Bottom row left to right: Sneha Kamada, Mia Eng-Kohn, Ariella Hyman-Fessler, and Zackary Heraghty.

Middle row left to right: Ornella Al-Sayah, Rachel Li, Jacob Ruppert, and Evan Habert.

Top row left to right: Jonathan Waxman and Ian Horvath.

Please click here to read a list of awards


Golf Champ!

Erik Stauderman


Volunteers Help Children

Volunteers help children
Last Friday, members of the Spackenkill community volunteered at the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. Among the projects they completed were mulching, planting, building an outdoor stage for children’s performances, and making raised planter gardens.   Pictured are students Avery Rossman, Madison Setzer, Olivia Garbarino, and Sonny McBride, along with Joseph Arcuri (class of 2017) and community members Chris Setzer and Tom Lombardi.


Living History

Todd’s eighth grade students ventured to New York City on Tuesday, May 15, for a visit to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park.  This marks the 11th year that students have been treated to this trip on behalf of the Rabbi Erwin Zimet Memorial InstitutScenes from Museum of Jewish Heritagee and Mr. Victor Stern’s involvement with this organization.  In addition to touring the museum, students listened to the testimony of George Bear, who survived the Holocaust with his mother in Nazi-occupied Poland by “passing” as a Christian in and around the area of Warsaw.  As always, the outdoor Garden of Stones exhibit—which looks out over New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island—was a memorable parts of the students’ experience. This year an interactive exhibit called New Dimensions in Testimony was a real stand-out of the visit. Students were able to to ask questions of lifelike projections of Holocaust survivors Eva Schloss and Pinchas Gutter.  Installed last September and running through the end of August, this exhibit enables visitors to ask these two living, Holocaust survivors any question about their experience in this era of history.  

Garden of Stones and scenes from Museum of Jewish Heritage


A Celebration of Scholarship

Faculty, parents, and students enjoyed the annual Todd Honor Roll Breakfast last week. Each day, students from a different grade joined in. Congratulations to the honor roll students and their families!
honor roll breakfast
honor roll breakfast


District Musicians Continue to Shine

The Todd Band concert on May 16th and Hagan Spring Concert #1 on May 17th once again showcased the impressive talents of our students.  Some scenes are below.

Todd band concert

Todd Band Concert, conducted by Pennie Burgess and Victor Catanzaro.
4th grade band
Above: Scenes from Beginner Band.
3rd grade and strings
Above: Third Grade Chorus sings "Green Eggs and Ham." 
Mrs. Burgess and Ms. Valentine conduct beginner band and strings, respectively.


Safety First

On May bike rodeo15th, third graders enjoyed a Bicycle Rodeo, which is held to reinforce bicycle safety. Thank you to the Town of Poughkeepsie Police for supporting this event.



Second Graders Collaborate 

On May 18, second graders participated in Teamwork Counts, an annual event co-produced by physical education teacher Carrie Spiegel and second grade teacher Dina Zanca.  Twenty-two teams participated in rotating stations.  Each station presented a different task that required the students to follow directions and work as a team. Students tested their skills with probability, solved a giant jigsaw puzzle, and identified states.  They also guided each other blindfolded through obstacle courses. This year the event got even bigger, with four new stations, two of which were held outside. 

Students enjoyed the challenges of putting their heads (and hands and feet!) together.  Thank you to the many parent volunteers who worked so hard to make this fun activity a success!

teamwork counts




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