What's Right with Spackenkill! Sept 6 2019

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What's Right with Spackenkill!

September 6, 2019


blue ribbon logo


blue ribbon banner



Dear Spackenkill Community,

One of the captions in the newsletter quotes me speaking about the need for schools to change as educational requirements and the needs of students change. Our staff recognizes that instructional practices from a decade ago will work with most students, but for others we may need new strategies. Dr. Donna Riter, a behavioral psychologist, will be working with us as a coach/consultant as part of a long-term plan to support our efforts to effectively educate all students.

Bus routes change every year as a result of changes in ridership. In addition, since we contract out with Total Transportation, drivers change from year to year. It normally takes a few days to realign our schedules during this transition period. Therefore, please understand that for a couple more days your child’s bus may be behind the posted schedule.

We promised that our buildings would be fully usable by day one of classes, and that pledge has been kept. We have continuing work to complete, such as new fascia board, HVAC, and electrical work (that is why you may see open ceiling tiles).  By and large, we are very happy with the work that has been completed this summer on such a tight schedule. 

I can feel a positive energy as I visit all of our schools. We hope that your children are off to a great start!

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


A Great First Day 


first day

Above: Scenes from the first day at Nassau, where staff was on hand to assist and guide students into the school. School Resource Officer Steve Doughty (top left) joined Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lori Mulford and Superintendent Dr. Mark Villanti to greet families (center). Interim Principal Debbie Weisel accompanies a returning student (middle right). School Psychologist Duane Tolomeo helps students get their bearings (top right). Families were personally welcomed back by a familiar face: crossing guard Joanne Van Ness (bottom left).  
Hagan first day Elementary PTA drawings
Above: The Elementary PTA decorated the sidewalks and entryways of Hagan and Nassau with positive messages to start the school year on the right foot.  The artwork above greeted students at Hagan.  

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



Touring the District

The Board of Education joined administrators on a district-wide building walk-through this week for an update on the Capital Project. Construction Manager Kevin Conn and Facilities Director Dave Downes filled everyone in on work that took place over the summer.  
board walkthrough
Clockwise from top left: Spackenkill High School Assistant Principal Ken Lewis (far left) with Board members Dr. Richard Horvath and Dr. Mary Sawyer. Dr. Sawyer meets new Todd Assistant Principal Dustyn Cormier. Dr. Villanti explains the scope of the project. Facilities Director Dave Downes (left) discusses plans for a flagpole at Todd. Board member Dan Koehler is also pictured.  

Superintendent's Conference Day Highlights

Dr. Villanti opened Superintendent's Conference Day on Tuesday by underscoring the theme of change.  “For us to be effective as a school district and maintain the performance levels that you have achieved we need to continue to change.” On the second conference day, Board President Tom Keith cited Spackenkill’s many achievements—including the high school’s 2018 National Blue Ribbon award, high SAT and STEM rankings, and success in all areas: art, science, math, writing, athletics. “The kids have all succeeded because of you....They will always think back on what teacher inspired them." Next, building principals introduced new staff and the superintendent recognized staff for years of service at the 20-year mark. Staff who previously achieved 30-plus years are Chris Weisner, Pat Sample, Kim Burlingame, and Donna Petrossian—all coincidentally from Hagan. High School teacher Maureen Tremblay was also honored with a standing ovation for an amazing 40 years of service!   
Mark Villanti and Tom Keith
Above left: Dr. Villanti spoke to staff about this year's theme: change. Above right: Board President Tom Keith cited Spackenkill's many accomplishments.  
Scenes from Superintendents Conference Day
Above, clockwise from left: Maureen Tremblay has taught at Spackenkill for 40 years. Principals introduced new staff. Rachel Johnson, vice president of resource development for the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region (and also a Spackenkill parent), talked about how the organization benefits the community.  
20 year staff

Staff marking their 20th year at Spackenkill (above, left to right): Kim Valentine (Hagan), Tom Mulvihill (District), Diane McCarron (SHS), Manuel Blanco (Todd), Kim Rogers (Todd), Allison Travis (Todd), Kate Stout (Hagan), Debbie Ruggiero (SHS), Chris Rawls (Todd), Dawn Katz (Hagan), Deborah Boyce (Nassau), Leesa Marcinelli (Hagan), Lara Bogdan (SHS), and Donna Franzik (SHS). Not pictured: Silvia Sanders (Todd), Rose Laveglia (Nassau), and Judy Calhoon (Nassau).  
elementary staff
New elementary staff (above, left to right): Leah Tomasetti (Grade 3),  Zoe Pappadio (Teaching Assistant, Nassau), Kaitlyn Bernard (Teaching Assistant, Nassau), Anna Nardelli (Resident Sub, Hagan), Victoria Pace (Hagan OT), and Brigitte Cegielski (Nassau Monitor). Not pictured: Nassau Interim Principal Debbie Weisel,  Alycia Lombardi (Kindergarten), Enid Roberts (Kindergarten), Melissa Coyle-Vandenbergh (Social Worker, Nassau and Todd), Jennifer Tallent (Teaching Assistant, Nassau), Jinnette Gonzalez (Teaching Assistant, Hagan, moved from Nassau), and Nassau Custodians Donna Haumaier and Dominick Nardis.  
Todd staff
New staff at Todd (above, left to right): Dustyn Cormier (Assistant Principal), Jessie Murphy (Math), Lindsay Pescetti (Spanish), Lawrence Leung (Earth Science leave replacement), and Jonathan Hild (Resident Sub). Not pictured: Custodians James Grimes and Andi Driza.  
new HS staff
New HS staff (above, left to right): Ashley Lopez (ENL), Ellie Quinlan (Math), Dylan Herman (Physics), Kenneth Lewis (Assistant Principal),  Shannon O’Keefe (Special Education), Javeria Sultaan (Science), and Melissa Thompson (Guidance Secretary). Not pictured: Caroline Lin (Teaching Assistant, moved from Nassau) and Rickey Lopez (Custodian).
professional development
Above: Staff participated in professional development with behavioral psychologist Dr. Donna Riter and Mike Clarke.  

Welcome to SHS


Freshman & New Student Orientation was a fun event where incoming ninth graders and new students got a preview of high school life. Guidance counselors, class advisors, and administrators introduced students to high school protocol. The students also enjoyed a reception.

freshmen and new student orientation

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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