What's Right with Spackenkill! Aug 30th 2019

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What's Right with Spackenkill!

August 30, 2019


blue ribbon logo

blue ribbon logo



Dear Spackenkill Community,

Last week I wrote you a "welcome back" letter, so I will not repeat myself. For those of you who are new to the district, we e-mail a weekly newsletter from the district office that our communications specialist, Mary Forsell, puts together. The first of this year highlights various stages of the construction process.

Earlier this week I spoke with a parent at Hagan and was asked why we replaced the Hagan wall. As you may know, we replaced both a Todd and Hagan wall. Both were done for safety reasons. The Hagan wall had design defects that were given a short-term fix years ago. It had the same design flaws as the one at East Coldenham Elementary School.

You can read the story at https://www.recordonline.com/photogallery/TH/20141113/NEWS/111309998/PH/1. The Todd wall was separating from the building and posed an equally risky safety hazard.

As I mentioned last week, our schools are fully functional next week, although there is work that is continuing. Some of the work has curtailed normal before-school activities like Meet and Greet or school visits. We regret any inconvenience, but please understand that the scope of this project is large and we could not open buildings while major construction was in progress for safety reasons. We believe that as you experience our facility upgrades, you will agree that it is well worth any changes in normal before-school activities.

We just mailed a brochure promoting the September 24th vote to sell Martha Lawrence to Westchester Medical Center. We’ve received some questions about this. To clarify: If the voters pass the proposition, the building will remain a preschool operated by Westchester Medical Center, both now and after the vote.

Again, to those Spartans new to the district, we welcome you!

My best,

mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


New Faces in the District


New staff orientation for the entire district took place at Todd Middle School on August 28th.

We are excited to welcome the following staff to the district:

SHS – Ken Lewis, Assistant Principal; Dylan Herman, Physics; Ellie Quinlan, Math; Shannon O’Keefe, PT Special Education; Javeria Sultaan, Science; Ashley Lopez, ENL; Caroline Lin, Teaching Assistant
Todd – Dustyn Cormier, Assistant Principal; Jessie Murphy, Math; Lindsey Pescetti, Spanish; Lawrence Leung, Earth Science leave replacement;  Victoria Pace, Occupational Therapist (and HS)

Hagan – Leah Tomasetti, Grade 3
Nassau – Debbie Weisel, Interim Principal; Alicia Lombardi, Kindergarten; Enid Roberts, Kindergarten;  Melissa Coyle-Vandenbergh, Social Worker (and Todd); Zoe Pappadio, Teaching Assistant; Jennifer Tallent, Teaching Assistant; Kaitlyn Bernard, Teaching Assistant

During the orientation, staff members introduced themselves and talked about upcoming challenges and their hopes for the school year.  Administrators also shared their thoughts about working at Spackenkill. Superintendent Dr. Villanti talked about building relationships across the district and pointed out that the average tenure of retiring teachers is an impressive 25 years. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mulford said, "It is a district that really values continuous improvement."  Teachers broke out into groups to discuss strategies for great teaching and learning. They took a bus tour of the district to become familiar with all of the buildings. In the afternoon, teachers participated in the Mentor Teacher Program. The purpose of the program is to provide peer guidance to teachers new to the district and/or new to the teaching profession.  Experienced, tenured teachers are encouraged to share their knowledge, talents, and skills with new teachers.

mentor meeting
Above: Mentors and mentees discuss the school year ahead.  
teacher orientation
Above: Scenes from new staff orientation.  

From the School Health Office


All required New York State immunizations records are due in the health office by September 18, 2019.  Failure to comply with New York State requirements can lead to your child being excluded from school as of September 19, 2019.  Any questions in regard to this can be directed to your child's school nurse.

Nora Bergstraser, MSN, RN (Nassau): 463-6390

Sharon Dooley-Russo, RN (Hagan): 463-8398

Alyssa Karcz, RN (Todd): 463-6527

Elizabeth Giancaspro, BSN, RN (SHS): 463-2043



Technology Prep Day

Teachers attended all-day technology-related workshops on August 29th. They strengthened their skills in using multiple Google Apps as well as in-house software and district equipment.  
technology lessons for teachers

Top: Technology Integrator Mrs. Byrne leads a class on Google Sites. Bottom left: Technology Director Brett Hasbrouck gives an overview of district equipment, including Chromebooks. Bottom right: District Data Coordinator Kathy Hoey instructs teachers in using multiple staff programs.  

Capital Project Update


Summer work began immediately after school let out in June. Crews have been busy at all four schools over the summer updating facilities. It is the largest facilities reconstruction project in the history of the district. The scope of the project includes roofing, HVAC, sidewalk reconstruction, ADA-compliant entrances,  strobe-activated fire alarms, renovated restrooms at Nassau and Hagan, and major wall reconstruction at Todd and Hagan. New roofs are also nearing completion at Todd and Spackenkill High School. Our high school field project and Nassau playground update will commence this fall as well. You'll also notice that there is a new electronic sign in front of the high school on Spackenkill Road, which will enable us to convey timely messages throughout the school year. Please take a look at images below of the Capital Project's progress this past summer.


Nassau School "Before"

Nassau "before"


Nassau School "After"

ADA-compliant entrance and bathroom, strobe-activated alarms in all classrooms

Nassau "after"


Hagan School "Before"

Hagan "before"


Hagan School "After"

New sidewalks and entrance, rebuilt cafeteria wall 

Hagan after


Todd Middle School "Before"


Todd before


Todd Middle School "After"

New ADA-compliant entrances and sidewalks, new wall

Todd after


Spackenkill High School "Before"

SHS "Before"


Spackenkill High School "After"

New ADA-compliant entrances and sidewalks, new sign, interior and exterior vestibule work 
SHS "After"



Fall Sports 


The fall athletic season is under way. Photos of practices are below.  Game schedules are listed on this site: http://roia.ouboces.org/spackenkillschedulepage.html
Homecoming is the week of October 14th and our homecoming football game is Friday, October 18th at 7 pm.

fall sports

Ready for Opening Day

At Nassau Elementary school, office staff Mrs. Contelmo and Mrs. Petrillo prepare for the arrival of students next week. Kindergarten begins on September 4th. All other grades throughout the district begin September 5th.

Mrs. Contelmo and Mrs. Petrillo


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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