What's Right with Spackenkill! December 22, 2017

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What's Right with Spackenkill!

December 22, 2017

A tradition of excellence with a vision for tomorrow

Dear Spackenkill Community,

I can’t even begin to comment on the variety of activities profiled in this issue of What’s Right with Spackenkill! There are so many great examples of work from students, teachers, coaches, and administrators. Families, your support of our schools and your children is greatly appreciated, and I’m glad we were able to stay open today to allow our students to spend their last day of 2017 in school with their friends and teachers, even though they might not appreciate it as much as I would hope!

The Christmas/holiday break is an important time for families. Soon our family will be reunited, as we annually host Christmas dinner. The best gift of all is our grandson, who will celebrate his second birthday on Christmas Day.



Mark Villanti

Mark Villanti, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Athlete Makes District Football History

Kyiev Bennermon signed a national letter of intent to attend Boston College to play Division 1 football on a full athletic scholarship on Wednesday, December 20th. He will participate on their Varsity Football Team. At the standing-room-only event, Marco Lanzoni noted this is the first Division 1 signing in Spackenkill Football history. Coach Clinton DeSouza said, “You are the torchbearer lighting the way for others to have the same happen to them.” Afterward, Kyiev gave a speech thanking teachers, guidance counselors, teammates, coaches, and family for mentoring and encouraging him. Congratulations to Kyiev, parents Christal and Tyrell, his entire family, and all who supported him!

Bennermon with supporters

Kyiev Bennermon (seated with his parents, above) signed a national letter of intent to attend Boston College, where he will play football on a full scholarship. This is the first Division 1 signing in Spackenkill Football history. 



Video Adds Flair to Morning Announcements

A new project of the High School Photography Media Club is streaming video announcements on Friday mornings. The group is able to pull a 3-to-5-minute news show together each week. There are news anchors, remote reporters doing interviews, and even a weatherman. Students get together beforehand and write the script, rehearse, and finally record the production with help from teacher advisers Jenn Fahy and Jodi Girard, as well as Director of Technology Brett Hasbrouck. Students members are junior Madeleine McCall and seniors Charlotte Palumbo, Maria Barefoot, Shannon Forman, and Erik Stauderman.

Check out their broadcasts and watch the live stream on the Youtube channel “Spackenkill HS Announcements,” available by clicking here.



Video forecast

Student team from left to right: Shannon Forman, Charlotte Palumbo, Madeleine McCall, Maria Barefoot, and Erik Stauderman



Wallkill Team Visits Spackenkill

Spackenkill meets with Walkill team

On Friday, December 15, a team of Wallkill teachers and administrators visited SHS to learn about our Chromebook 1:1 rollout. High School Principal Steve Malkischer, Dr. Lori Mulford, Karen Baker, Nick Dunstan, and Marcella Byrne shared their expertise in the discussion.



Students Named All-Stars

The Poughkeepsie Journal continues to announce its 2017 lineup of All-Stars. Cynthia and Emily Ma, sisters in grades 12 and 9, respectively, were recognized for winning the MHAL championship as a doubles team, not to mention their individual accomplishments. Julianne McKee, a junior, has been named to the All-Star First Team for volleyball. Senior Andrew Moreira was named to the First Team for soccer, and junior Dhyquem Lewinson is Co-Running Back of the Year for Football. Football defensive Lineman of the Year kudos go to Kyiev Bennermon. Congratulations to all!

Ma Sisters

Cynthia and Emily Ma

McKee with teamJulianne McKee (back row at left, standing next to coach) with volleyball teammates

Moreira with team
Andrew Moreira, kneeling at left, with teammates.

.D Lewinson

Dhyquem Lewinson

Kyiev Bennermon is shown at beginning of newsletter


Orchestra Students Spread Cheer

Todd Middle School orchestra students went caroling throughout the school with their instruments on Friday. It was a wonderful way to ring in the holiday break!

Please click here to listen to the students playing "Deck the Halls."



Decorating Contest Showcases Teacher and Student Creativity

Congratulations to the winners of the 5th Annual Todd Door Decorating Contest.  The team of judges--Dr. Villanti, Dr. Mulford, Mr. Doherty, and Ms. Sobrin--voted on their top choices as follows:

First prize: Tech Room, Mr. Young
Runner-up: Room 11, Mrs. Vila/Environmental Club
Honorable Mention:
FACS, Mr. Scanlon
Room 24, Mrs. Hutchinson/Book Club
Room 1, Ms. Muellerleile, Ugly Sweater Door


judges at work
Tech's winning door
 Anchala Sobrin, Mark Villanti, Lori Mulford, and Dan Doherty judge doors
Tech is the winner for the Holiday Workshop Door.


GSA Holds Holiday Social

Middle school GSA hosted a cookie-and-cocoa holiday get-together after school this past Monday. Members of Peer Mediation also joined the festivities with advisers.

GSA Holiday Party

hot cocoa for all

GSA hosts a holiday party. Mrs. Phillips dispenses hot cocoa.

Spack in the Community

Johnny Mulcahy as SantaSHS sophomore John Mulcahy recently appeared as Santa himself in the Beacon Performing Arts Center’s production of Elf, the Musical.

HS orhestra at Allsport
Orchestra students entertained Fishkill Allsport patrons with holiday music.



Exploring the Science Behind Santa's Sleigh

For their third STEM project this year, second graders in Mrs. Zanca's and Mrs. Wilcox's classes took on a new challenge: Build a sleigh to transport Santa's gifts and make it travel as far as possible. The students worked with limited materials to achieve this feat: 4 to 6 straws, 1 to 2 index cards, 2 feet of tape, 3 to 6 LifeSaver candies, and 2 to 4 Popsicle sticks. Students took 10 minutes to plan the design individually and then 15 minutes as a team. Working together for 30 minutes, they constructed each sleigh. Twelve teams then tested out their designs. The sleighs traveled distances ranging from 5 to 31 inches. Afterward, the students brainstormed ways that they might alter the designs to make them travel even farther! 

designing the sleigh

watching sleigh go down ramp

Tweaking the design Watching sleigh glide down ramp



Holiday Celebrations Around the World

Second grade students in the classrooms of Mrs. Zanca, Mrs. Wilcox, Mrs. Strapec, Mrs. Boyce, and Mrs. Turner learned about cultural holiday traditions from around the world this week. The students rotated through each teacher’s classroom and listened to music, watched videos, and worked on themed craft projects. Topics included Kwanzaa, La Befana from Italy,  Hanukkah, and Las Posadas in Mexico. 

showing off la posada craft

Showing off La Posada craft


working on Kwanzaa craft

Working on a Kwanzaa kinara

working on a Hanukkah craft

Exploring Hanukkah traditions

working on legend of La Befana

Learning about the legend of La Befana, the Italian gift giver



Concerts Highlight Elementary Talent 

This past Monday, Nassau Elementary School hosted an in-school concert featuring their own second graders singing “Funga Alafia,” an African tune, with music teacher Kody Andreas. As a special treat, students were accompanied by a drum ensemble of second grade teachers.

After the second graders kicked off the concert, visiting choristers and musicians from Hagan entertained the school. Fourth and fifth grade chorus, led by Ms. Berube, performed a special candle-lit song. Concert Band, conducted by Mrs. Burgess, entertained with snowman-themed music. Gold Strings sounded beautiful, as always. A fun touch was a spoof on a triangle solo by Principal Nancy Ferrarone that drew enthusiastic applause! Students performed that evening at Elementary Concert #2.

2nd grade sings African song with Mr. Andreas

Mr. Andreas with second grade singing African song


.2nd grade teachers play percussion

Mrs. Boyce, Mrs. Strapec, Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Zanca, and Mrs. Wilcox formed the drum ensemble

concert band

Concert band plays at Nassau

.Mrs. Ferrarone plays triangle

Mrs. Ferrarone plays the triangle

Mrs. Berube with 4th and 5th grade chorus

Ms. Berube with fourth and fifth grade chorus


Gold Strings entertains the students

Gingerbread Construction Ahead

At Nassau and at Hagan this week, elementary students have been busy making gingerbread houses embellished with frosting and treats.

Students in Mrs. West's kindergarten had lots of fun building gingerbread dream houses, below.  Thank you to the parent helpers who came in to work with the students.
.gingerbread making oarent helpers
Ms. Drummond's kindergarten and Mrs. Scoralick's third grade teamed up to make gingerbread houses. Each creation was unique, and the little ones enjoyed working with the older students. Look below and you'll see two sister teams representing both grades working together.
pride in creation
.gingerbread proud
sisters work on gingerbread houses


Giving Their All

Students in Mrs. Strapec's class made gifts for family members this week. Each unique creation is ready to hang as a decoration. You can see the pride in each student's face.

  making a photo gift
making gifts
  students making gifts hard at work making photo gifts



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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Issues of the newsletter are available on the Spackenkill website: www.spackenkillschools.org/district_newsletter_ archive