What's Right with Spackenkill! January 18, 2019


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What's Right with Spackenkill!

January 18, 2019


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blue ribbon logo

Dear Spackenkill Community,

This year the high school English Department sponsored a Poetry Out Loud competition. The story is chronicled in this newsletter. Listening to the student recitations of classic poems was truly enjoyable. This superintendent dabbles in poetry writing. The written word can be transformed to another art form when spoken. Hopefully, this year’s program will motivate even more students to embrace this form of self-expression.

School is closed on Monday to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King. A passionate orator, Mr. King’s words live with us today. One quote resonates: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Today a fellow administrator and I had a conversation about this very topic. Our hope for all of our students is that your experience at school helps build your character. Stress, challenges, and failure test and reveal our character. We can grow through disappointment and conflict. Martin Luther King’s life serves as a model for us to learn and be inspired by.

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. 

Martin Luther King Celebrated Around the District

As we look ahead to Martin Luther King Day this coming Monday, January 21st (school is not in Dr. Martin Luther King honored

session), schools have been honoring Dr. King’s legacy in unique ways.


At the high school, Youth Against Racism is adding inspirational quotes to the morning announcements. The middle school has several bulletin boards devoted to Dr. King.

At Nassau, K-1 music classes have been practicing "Sing About Martin" and discussing Dr. King, while Mrs. Turner's second grade is making peace doves in his memory.Martin Luther King biography

Money Matters

Lisa Morris from HVFCU
On Monday, January 14th,  Lisa Morris, Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union (HVFCU),  visited Mrs. Fletcher's Financial Literacy class. The students had been reviewing their coursework with EverFi,  a web-based program provided by HVFCU that covers such topics as credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, and 401(k)s. Ms. Morris answered a number of questions that the students posed on these topics.   She emphasized the importance of the SMART saving process, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound financial goals. When creating a budget,  "it's easier to control your expenses than your income," said Ms. Morris. She also advised what questions to ask when it comes to student loans, such as "When you do have to start paying back?" and "What is the interest rate?" Most important of all, Ms. Morris said, is getting into the "mindset of saving," even if it's just $5 a week.

Click here to view a snippet of the talk.

Upcoming PTSA Meetings

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

All meetings at 7 PM in middle or high school library

Regents Week Schedule

Regents Exams take place from January 22 through January 25. Please click here for the schedule of exams.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration is scheduled for February 20th and 21st, 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM at Nassau Elementary School.
Click here to read registration letter

Sophomores Tour BOCES CTI

Every year, sophomores tour Dutchess BOCES CTI to see the programs in action. On January 7th,  25 students were able to learn about the various courses that are offered there, watch a video that included all of the programs, and tour two different classes. A nice time was had by all!
Student visit BOCES CTI

Well Versed

Poetry Out Loud judges and participants
On Wednesday, January 9th, the high school English department held its inaugural Poetry Out Loud competition. The afternoon consisted of 24 poetic performances by 9-12 graders. The students all did a wonderful job bringing such poems to life as “The Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser and “Larkinesque” by Michael Ryan.  The judges for the competition were (left, left to right) Mr. Calderone, Mrs. Tremblay, and Mrs. Whalen, who came out of retirement for the afternoon to help the department. Winners were announced on Friday, January 11th during the morning video announcements. The first place winner is senior Rachel Li. The second place winner is senior Ariella Hyman-Fessler. The third place winner is freshman Carlie Sjogren. The first and second place winners will go on to compete in the Poetry Out Loud regionals on February 7th at 6 p.m. at SUNY New Paltz. 

Learn more about the Poetry Out Loud program by clicking here.

Poetry Out Loud winners
Poetry Out Loud winners (left to right) Ariella Hyman-Fessler, Rachel Li, and Carlie Sjogren.

Hagan Geography Bee 

Hagan held its annual Geographic Bee, known as the Geography Bee, on Tuesday, January 15th. Teacher Anne Riehl presided over the contest, asking questions about American and world geography. Kudos to fifth grader Adam Mah, who was the champion, as well as to the other finalists who competed in this challenging event. Adam will now take a test to qualify him to compete at the regional level.

Geo Bee finalists

Geo Bee finalists

Fourth and fifth grade finalists representing their classes were as follows: Front row, left to right: Isaac Long, Ryan Wendoloski, Sehaj Munder, and Ethan Daniels. Back row, left to right: Adam Khurshid, Ruby Schwager, Adam Mah, Colin Stephens, and Eva Parsons.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

extended learning at home
Mrs. Strapec's second graders have been busy learning about communities.  The children have read many books on urban, suburban, and rural
communities.  The students enjoyed writing about these types of communities in class as well as making great illustrations that reflect their writing.  Some students are having fun noticing things that they are learning in class while they are out and about visiting different types of communities. One student was so excited to actually get the chance to ride on a subway, while another talked about seeing a silo on a visit to the country.  One second grader tried out a new skill she learned in art class at home at home. The pictures above reflect how the topics Mrs. Strapec is teaching in class are being discussed and extended beyond the classroom. Great job, second graders!

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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