What's Right with Spackenkill! Sept 20 2019

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 Cub Scout Signup

Message from Dutchess County

           Spackenkill district logo

What's Right with Spackenkill!

September 20, 2019


blue ribbon logo


blue ribbon logo



Dear Spackenkill Community,

There have been several articles written recently about emergency drills and the anxiety that they may cause some children and teens. Our principals, support staff, and teachers do their best to communicate sensitively about the drills in the hope of allaying the worry that they may cause some students.

This morning a student‘s backpack inadvertently tripped an alarm. Our students evacuated the school, as they have been trained to do. Afterward, I spoke to one student about this incident and learned that some students were a bit worried when it happened. As a former high school principal, I was grateful when accidental alarms went off because it demonstrated the effectiveness of our drills. Here is my request: Families, please talk with your son or daughter about drills and evacuations and reassure them that 99.9% are only a drill.

Reminder: The vote to provide permission to sell Martha Lawrence will be held next week on Tuesday, September 24th. Voting is from 7 AM to 9 PM at the high school. Please vote. As usual, parking is in front of the auditorium.

The Board of Education meeting is also this Tuesday at 7:30 PM at the high school library, located on the second floor. Mr. Erik Lynch’s appointment as the new Nassau Elementary School principal is on the agenda. Mr. Lynch has indicated that he plans to attend the meeting. This is an open meeting and all are welcome to attend. 

My best,

Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Vote on Sale of Martha Lawrence

September 24th, 7 am to 9 pm, Spackenkill High School Auditorium Lobby

Vote on Tuesday on Sale of Martha Lawrence

SHS Named 'Team School of Excellence'

Third Consecutive Year for Scholar-Athletes


At the last Section IX Athletic Directors meeting, Spackenkill Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics Marco Lanzoni was presented with the Scholar-Athlete Team School of Excellence plaque from The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA). Schools are awarded this distinction when at least 75% of their varsity programs qualified for and received the NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award. Spackenkill was one of 11 schools in Section IX to be awarded.  There are 45 schools in our section.  This was the third consecutive year Spackenkill achieved this recognition. Other high schools that received the award are Marlboro, O'Neill, Goshen, Pine Bush, Monroe-Woodbury, FDR, Onteora, Warwick, Cornwall, and Wallkill.




Scholar-Athlete Team of Excellence AwardStudents Share Their Talents

 Above:  Marco Lanzoni (standing at far left) with area athletic directors whose teams achieved the Scholar-Athlete School Team of Excellence award.  

Students Share Their Talents


student chalk artArt teacher Mr. Romani and five Spackenkill High School students volunteered to help out at the 4th Annual ThinkDIFFERENTLY Dash & Queen City Mile events at First Friday Poughkeepsie this month. Kristina Piatek, Elodie André, Abigail Straus, Anikha Justin, and Gabriella Valdivieso created art on the course and cheered on participants. Their positive attitudes and enthusiasm was greatly appreciated! Over 400 people of all abilities took part in the event.

To learn more, visit www.thinkdifferently.net

students with their artwork
Top, left to right: Art teacher Roberto Romani with Gabriella Valdivieso and Elodie André after they completed a street drawing. Bottom, left to right: Anikha Justin, Abigail Straus, and Kristina Piatek add colorful touches to the race course.  

Alum's Ceramics on Display


At the Spackenkill High School open house, community members might have noticed the display case in the 400 wing filled with pottery. It was created by 2014 Spackenkill Graduate Isabella Condorelli. After attending Dutchess Community College, Isabella is finally fulfilling her dream of attending Alfred University. “Isabella was one of the best ceramic students I have ever had,” said teacher Janet Stong. “She is a hard worker and loves being an artist.” If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces in the case, please send an email to: [email protected].


Flu Clinic Planned



flu prevention clinic


Todd Offers Fresh Fruits & Veggies

Middle schoolers are enjoying a new produce station, which offers a variety of fresh vegetables daily. “I haven’t seen this before," exclaimed one eighth grader. "What a great idea!” Kudos to Food Service Director Lisa French.  
Todd students serve selves at produce station

Teacher Establishes Tech Book Club

students use technology

Hagan’s Jen Darcy will be facilitating a book club centered around the book Learning First, Technology Second, by Liz Kolb.  She learned of this book at the two-day "Tech It Up a Notch" conference at Dutchess County BOCES. 

Learning First, Technology Second is meant to provide teachers with the professional learning they need to move from arbitrary uses of technology in their classrooms to thoughtful ways of adding value to student learning.  The likelihood that technology will effectively be used to improve achievement is greater when digital tools are helping students meet the instructional goals of the lesson. This initiative is consistent with the district's belief that in-house professional development helps facilitate a learning community among teachers.

“Our schools use digital resources in a variety of ways to support teaching and learning,” said Dr. Lori Mulford, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Pupil Personnel. “Electronic grade books, digital portfolios, learning games, and real-time feedback on teacher and student performance are a few ways that technology is being utilized to power learning.”


Take the Scenic Route


Spackenkill teachers Karin McGuire (Todd) and Geraldine LaGasse (Hagan) completed an impressive 95-mile relay race on August 24th, along with fellow team members Mia Chong, Phil DiNonno, Cortney Resto, and PJ Darcy (husband of Hagan Teacher Jen Darcy). The inaugural RiMaConn Relay began in Rhode Island, went through Massachusetts, and finished in Hartford, Connecticut.  It took place primarily on New England’s version of our Rail Trail, known as The East Coast Greenway.  

The leadoff leg started at 4:45 am on Saturday and the team finished about 7:30 that evening.  Waves of runners were staggered about 45 minutes apart to reduce congestion.  Each runner completed three of the 18 legs. Each leg varied in length and terrain, and each runner completed a total of at least 13 miles by the end of the day. 

“The finish line was a great experience as well,” said Mrs. LaGasse. “The last runner crossed over the Connecticut River in Hartford via the Founders Bridge Promenade to Mortensen River Plaza,  where other members were able to join him and ‘break the tape’ at the finish line together. Even after 15 hours in a minivan on three hours of sleep. driving through dozens of small, unknown towns in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and running some challenging courses, we still had a great time and are already planning for next year!”

For more information, visit this link:  https://rimaconn.hartfordmarathon.com/index.html

District teachers participate in 95-mile relay
Hagan teacher Geraldine LaGasse (far left) and Todd teacher Karin McGuire (third from right) took part in a 95-mile relay race in New England just two weeks before school started.  

Captivating the Crowd


Jovie singing Congratulations to second grader Jovie Devitt, who sang the "National Anthem" for Renegades games at Dutchess Stadium last summer and the summer of 2018. This year, the Renegades asked if she could also sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. Jovie looks forward to singing again next summer. We'll do our best to find out the date in advance so the community can attend.

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 [email protected]