What's Right with Spackenkill! January 25, 2019


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What's Right with Spackenkill!

January 25, 2019


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Dear Spackenkill Community,

Like many of you, I read the article about Maddie McCall and her overseas humanitarian trip to Haiti both in our newsletter and in the Poughkeepsie Journal. It is very unusual for someone as young as Maddie to demonstrate such a spirit of adventure and extreme empathy. So kudos to you, Maddie! Ms. McCall’s experience reminds me of my own youth and the out-of-school experiences that shaped my life. Volunteer college experiences touched my life and led to significant learning and later career decision making. My takeaway is simply this: Your formal education at school matters and your out-of-school experiences, especially volunteer service, also matter. So try volunteering and other service activities. You may learn and discover more about life and who you are and who you will become.

My best,
Mark Villanti
Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Beginning with applications for 2019, senior citizens must apply separately for the Enhanced STAR (School Tax Relief) exemption by March 1. 

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration is scheduled for February 20th and 21st, 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM at Nassau Elementary School.
Click here to read registration letter

Upcoming PTSA Meetings

February 11th High School
March 11th Todd
April 8th High School
May 13th Todd
June No meeting

All meetings at 7 PM in middle or high school library

PARP Kicks Off!

On the evening of January 16th, the Boardman Road Branch Library kicked off Pick a Reading Partner (PARP). Approximately 110 people attended. “Celebrity" readers Nassau Principal Ferrarone, County Executive Marc Molinaro, SRO Corey Kilfoyle, and teachers Carrie Spiegel and Kody Andreas entertained the children with stories. A librarian led a scavenger hunt and craft activities. The Elementary PTA raffled off bundles of new Scholastic books. Stay tuned for the finale on Friday, February 8th at 6 pm at Hagan Elementary, when students will celebrate their PARP completion with a space-themed laser light show!

 Prinicpal Ferrarone reads to students

Click here for an album of photos from the evening.

Circuit Boards Light Up Programming Class

Students in Mrs. Fletcher’s Programming class recently worked on making simple music on Arduino circuit boards, while learning Javascript in the process. 

programming class in action

Hear music the students created.

Students also created bicycle prototypes with blinking lights and horns using external LEDs.
working on LED bicycle prototypes

Todd Names Geo Bee Winner

Aidan Wood
Congratulations to Todd’s 2018-2019 National Geography Bee Finalists: Jacqueline Gill, Omar Khurshid, Mischa Parsons, Constant Martial, and competition winner Aidan Wood (pictured left). 

Spotlight on Senior Maddie McCall

Senior Maddie McCall

Senior Maddie McCall  (pictured left) recently went on a trip to Haiti with the Vassar Haiti Project, a student-centered educational program based at Vassar College that is committed to the sustainable development of northwest Haiti.The organization holds sales and auctions of original Haitian art that help fund education, healthcare, water access and purification, reforestation, and women’s initiatives.  Maddie became involved through a youth leadership group and after hearing about a former Spackenkill student who worked with VHP. She plans on majoring in college in International relations with a minor in economics.
Here Maddie shares her thoughts on her adventure.

What was your biggest takeaway from the trip?
I'd been working in the office for the Vassar Haiti Project, but after a four-hour plane ride, I was suddenly there. I thought, "Wow this helps real people!* It’s hard to see when you’re far away and in a different country. But then I saw the appreciation and thankfulness  that we were there and it was life-changing.
What surprised you the most?
The most powerful part of the trip was that we had to hike up a mountain for two hours to get to the top, where there is a school and a church and houses. When you look up pictures of Haiti, you don’t see the view you see from top of mountain: you see the poverty. You don’t see pictures of the beauty of nature and the lush forests.

How did you spend your time on the trip?
 A lot of the trip was meetings. We talked about the reforestation initiative, and we had an education meeting with teachers and parents, to see if they had enough books and supplies. There was also a women’s cooperative meeting. They have coffee farms and bag coffee for us through the Vassar Haiti Project that you can order online.

Why is this project so important? What don’t people realize about Haiti?
Tourism went down in 2008 after the earthquake, and it’s a different way of life there. It was like going back in time, with people washing clothes in a river and walking with baskets on their heads. There was no cell service for most of the trip It was amazing to be disconnected.
How can people help?
You’re supporting them so much by buying the artwork, which Vassar Haiti Project sells online. Come to our art sales. Every September there’s a sale at Vassar where you can buy some beautiful work. 

For more information, please visit the Vassar Haiti Project website: https://thehaitiproject.org.

scenes of Haiti
Above:  A few of the beautiful scenes of Haiti that Maddie McCall references in her interview.

Exploring Dr. King's Powerful Words

In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Mrs. Strapec's second graders read the book Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport.  The students discussed what these "big words" meant and then they each chose a word to discuss why it was important. The students then made microphones and wrote words like "equality," "justice" and "freedom" on them (below). The students were proud to shout out these important big words the way Martin Luther King did. Great job, second graders!   
Students display MLK's "Big Words"

Peace Makers

Mrs. Turner's second grade made peace doves last week in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King. The students show off their creations below.

students display peace doves


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.

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