What's Right with Spackenkill! Feb. 22, 2019

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

Hudson Valley Writing Project Workshops 2/23

Young Writers Summer Programs

Town of Poughkeepsie Little League

           district logo

What's Right with Spackenkill!

February 22, 2019


blue ribbon logo

blue ribbon logo


Dear Spackenkill Community,

Mary Forsell has written an interesting article in today’s newsletter about the first- year ACE Mentoring Program. Dan Koehler, a parent in the district, approached us this summer about starting a local chapter of this national organization. The idea appealed to us because of the national shortage in the trades and engineering-related fields. In addition, the best career planning for students is to “sink their teeth” in work related to a career of interest. We are very grateful to ACE volunteers. We anticipate this program continuing each year. Students, consider dropping in some Tuesday night to determine whether the program is right for you next year!

We are so proud of all of our students and especially those featured in this newsletter. Our hard-working seniors are beginning to harvest the fruits of their labor.

A word to community groups about flyers that we add to each newsletter: We try to restrict all flyers to electronic copies. I receive on average two to three requests per week, and the management of paper flyers is not only time consuming, but also wastes so much paper, even if the organization pays for the copying. I do hope that each reader reviews the title of the attached flyers in case there is something of interest to you.

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. 

For more information visit this New York State Department of Finance and Taxation link.


Upcoming PTSA Meetings

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

All meetings at 7 PM in middle or high school library

Don't Miss The Lion King, Jr.!

Lion King

Click here for the ticket order form.

Show Dates/Times
Friday, March 1 @ 7:00 PM

Saturday, March 2 @ 7:00 PM

Sunday, March 3 @ 2:00 PM


Science Olympians Headed to State Tournament

The Spackenkill Science Olympiad Team qualified for the State Tournament for the 22nd consecutive year!
The A team placed 2nd overall to qualify and the B team placed 5th overall versus 25 teams in total at the Regional Competition, held Saturday, February 9, at John Jay High School.

 Individual medals earned were as follows: 
 1st Place - Astronomy               Ian Horvath, Albert Yao
 1st Place - Boomilever             Christopher Piatek, Ian Horvath
 1st Place - Codebusters           Nadia Almady, Erik Adolfsson, Rachel Li (junior)
 1st Place - Disease Detective  Sneha Kamada, Emily Ma
 1st Place - Forensics               Emilio Herrera, Luke Hannan
 1st Place - Fossils                    Rachel Li, Sabah Choudhury
 2nd Place - Chemistry Lab         Rachel Li, Emilio Herrera
 2nd Place - Designer Genes       Ariella Hyman-Fessler, Sneha Kamada
 2nd Place - Fermi Questions      Erik Adolfsson, Albert Yao
 2nd Place - Herpetology             Ariella Hyman-Fessler, Luke Hannan
 2nd Place - Sounds of Music     Rachel Li, Emily Ma
 2nd Place - Thermodynamics    Ian Horvath, Erik Adolfsson
 2nd Place - Water Quality           Ariella Hyman-Fessler, Emily Cohen
 3rd Place - Anatomy & Physiology    Sneha Kamada, Sabah Choudhury
 3rd Place - Circuit Lab                        Nadia Almady, Ariella Hyman-Fessler
 3rd Place - Geologic Mapping            Samuel Kelson, Emily Jea
 3rd Place - Protein Modeling              Rachel Li, Sabah Choudhury, Emily Ma
 3rd Place - Mission Possible             Thomas Reardon, Daniel Eng-Kohn
 3rd Place - Mousetrap Vehicle           Christopher Piatek, Joshua Webster


science olympians

Above: The Science Olympiad Team

 science olympians

Above: Shown with advisors Kathy Prisco (far left) and Amy Matts (far right) are seniors John Reardon, Ian Horvath, Christopher Piatek, Nadia Almady, Rachel Li, and Sneha Kamada.    Ariella Hyman-Fessler also participated and is not pictured. 


Todd Students Look Forward to Science Meet

science olympians
Above: Todd Students Jeet Shahani (left) and Edison Sung prepare for the Science Olympiad competition on March 26th.

Volunteers for a Good Cause

The STA Fundraiser at Applebee’s on February 9th was a great success. Jodi Girard reports that the STA raised $705 for the scholarship fund and served 97 pancake breakfasts. Thank you to all who came out to enjoy breakfast. A special thank you to those who served and greeted guests and plated the food: Jodi Girard, Donna Franzik, Lara Bogdan, Tracie Phillips, Deirdra McGuire, Adiza Al-Saafir, Elyse Joy, Kate Stout, Mary Talleur, Deb Ravas, Carrie Spiegel, Kody Andreas, and Dina Zanca. Thanks also to student helpers Mikayla Stout, Christopher Phillips, Madison Updike, Ella Updike, Clare Sottile, and Mia Bogdan. 

STA Volunteers
Teachers Kody Andreas, Deb Ravas, Carrie Spiegel, and Dina Zanca are pictured with community members at the STA breakfast.

Seniors Named
Presidential Scholar Candidates

High School seniors Ian Horvath, Rachel Li, and Zoe Whalen have been named as candidates in the 2019 United States Presidential Scholars Program. Of the nearly 3.6 million high school seniors graduating this year, they are among the approximately 4,500 students to receive this invitation. 

Each spring, the Commission on Presidential Scholars names up to 161 distinguished graduating high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars. Being selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar is one of the highest honors our nation’s high school students may receive. You can find more detailed information about the program at  www.ed.gov/psp .

presidential scholars

Presidential Scholar Candidates (left to right): Ian Horvath, Rachel Li, and Zoe Whalen.


ACE Mentor Program Builds Skills

Robert DiLaurentis

The ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc. (ACE  stands for Architecture, Construction, Engineering) helps mentor high school students and inspires them to pursue careers in design and construction.

The Hudson Valley Chapter is led by architect Michael Berta, AIA, and draws students from area high schools. Spackenkill hosts the program on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8 pm. One of their chief activities is working on a plan for the future concession stand at the Spackenkill High School field, part of the Capital Project.

Robert DeLaurentis, a high school junior (shown above left), is one of the participants and has been involved on a weekly basis since the program started in January. 
architect with plans

What brings you to the program?

I’m looking at various types of engineering like mechanical and civil.  I’ve wanted to do this program and I knew it would give me a taste of engineering. We’ve basically seen an architect, engineer, and a contractor circulate thoughts and ideas.The way they work together is really cool to see. That translates to us and how we work on projects and with the people in our groups.

Tell us about the concession stand  project.
The architect gave us an overall drawing of the site: the dimensions, which are 18 by 30 feet, and the basic regulations. We had to take that space and figure out how to utilize it in the best way we can and fit in as much as we can. The interesting thing is he gave us a packet of regulations for public bathrooms, and you'd never realize the amount of design that goes in to accommodate a restroom. For example, the sink has to be a certain height for handicapped people. 

How is this program benefiting you?

I really like this program because it improves your communication skills with people of similar interests. There are four or five people to a group. My friend in my engineering class at school is in it with me, and he’s looking at mechanical or civil engineering. His younger brother in our group wants to be an electrician. You can learn about anything related to this industry.

ACE students at work

Loving Their Laptops

Valentine Messages

Mrs. Strapec's second graders used their Chromebooks for a fun Valentine-themed project. The students worked with Mrs. Strapec and Mrs Byrne to come up with and type sentences. They learned how to cut and paste on a computer by deleting words from the sentences and replacing them with a fun rebus (picture or symbol message). Mrs. Strapec and her students hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

students working on Valentine-themed rebus

Their Best Work

Mrs. Byrne and Mrs. Zanca’s second grade class completed a self-reflection project based on the book The Best Part of Me by illustrator Wendy Ewald. The students took inspiration from the student poems and photographs in the book.  Each student chose his or her "best part" and brainstormed three reasons why.  They worked in class to turn that information into a paragraph or poem.  Students incorporated rhyme and repetition into their work.  With the assistance of Mrs. Byrne, the students typed their pieces onto a Google Slide and practiced changing the font, size, and color. Additional skills taught were taking and inserting photos with Chromebook, cropping photos, and changing the format from color to black and white.  All slides were then printed out to be compiled into a class book. The students are so proud of their accomplishments and computer skills and loved showcasing their best parts.

Best Part of Me

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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