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Tiger Tracks mUfsd's monthly e-news

May, 2018

District Highlights:

  • Outdoor Learning in Full Swing at All Six Schools
  • Superintendent Provides Enrollment Planning Task Force Update
  • MAS Wins the Level 1 Gold Medal at the NYSSMA Majors Festival
  • Video: Elementary Orchestra Teacher Amy Rosen Leads Final 'Strolling Strings' after 39 Years in the District
  • Rockefeller Awards Presented for the Fine Arts and Performing Arts
  • Westchester County School Music Association Names Hommocks Principal Administrator of the Year
  • Hommocks Science Teacher Honored with Governor's Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Original Science Research Students Present Multi-Year Projects at Symposium
  • Students Receive Range of Awards at MHS Ceremony
  • "MHS Talks" Get Students Thinking About Careers
  • Memorial Day Tribute Draws Nice Crowd of Community Members
  • In Case You Missed Them: Other Video Highlights This Month (The HoneyBee project and Mamaroneck Minute w/K-12 Music Coordinator)

From the 'Murray Meadow' to Our Fabulous Gardens, Outdoor Learning is the Best!

Outdoor learning is happening at all of our schools. Just a few of the many examples: At Murray, students have been sketching a ‘pre-spring’ meadow and a ‘mid-spring’ meadow, noting the differences in plant life, specifically color. Kindergarteners have been working with the 3rd grade recess club, as part of Science 21, to plant lima beans in the classroom and then "donate" them to the garden. At Central, the Native Woodlands have provided the chance for children to study biotic and abiotic components and much, much more. Mamaroneck Ave. School has taken a community garden approach this year, with every grade level owning and caring for its own plot of the outdoor garden. Teachers too have been cultivating portions of the garden to support their curricula; MAS Art Teacher Kirsten Yizar has been planting flowers that are highlighted in the paintings her students are studying. At Chatsworth, students have had a blast learning about garden friends and foes, planting natural repellents, and making compost tea. Students are deeply engaged, and many have asked teachers if they can visit the garden every day! Thanks to the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation for the grants that have helped bring several of our gardens to life.

Enrollment Planning Task Force Update

At the May 15th Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps provided the community with an update on the work of the District's community-wide Enrollment Planning Task Force made up of community members, teachers, and administrators. Dr. Shaps said the Task Force has been working hard to understand the issues of long-term enrollment growth and their impact on the current neighborhood schools model with the goal of exploring and assessing long-term strategies. The Task Force -- which met for the fourth time and will continue to meet throughout the coming year -- is committed to learning about the unfolding transformation of teaching and learning and how it shapes our thinking around enrollment trends and space utilization. The Task Force is considering such things as desired student outcomes, class size research, program design, delivery model (how we organize schools) and income inequality.

MAS Chamber Orchestra Takes the Gold at NYSSMA Majors Festival

For the second consecutive year, the Mamaroneck Avenue School Chamber Orchestra (4th and 5th graders), under the leadership of Dr. Katherine Sinsabaugh, received a Level 1 Gold Medal, the highest level of recognition, at the NYSSMA Majors Festival. Congratulations to All!

Amy Rosen Takes Final Bow at Murray Concert After 39 Years in the District

Amy Rosen, Orchestra Director at both Murray Ave. School and Chatsworth Ave. School, will retire at the end of this school year after 39 years in Mamaroneck Public Schools. Take a glimpse at her final concert at Murray. Ms. Rosen, who had 6-8 children in her program at each school when she started in 1979, helped build the program to what it is today with 190 3rd, 4th and 5th grade orchestra students at Chatsworth and 175 at Murray.

Ms. Rosen's former students wait in the hallway before surprising her by joining in during the 'Strolling Strings" tradition at her final elementary orchestra concert at Murray Ave. School.

Rockefeller Awards Presented for the Fine Arts and Performing Arts

And the Rockefeller Arts Awards go to….MHS’s Chase Thede for the performing arts and Tricia Ballard for the fine arts. The Mamaroneck High School Fund for the Fine and Performing Arts was established in April, 1982, with the receipt of a $10,000 award for excellence in arts education from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. In giving this award, Mr. David Rockefeller, Jr. cited Mamaroneck’s Fine Arts Department and PACE program for ‘outstanding instruction, significant student achievement, and broad administrative and community understanding and support.’ Interest from the Fund is used each year to award scholarships to students for outstanding arts achievement. See below Chase's performance at the BOE meeting, when he accepted the award.

The Rockefeller Awards, presented at the May 15th Board of Education meeting, went to Chase Thede for the performing arts and Tricia Ballard for the fine arts.

Westchester County School Music Assn. Names Hmx Principal Dr. Weitzman Administrator of the Year

Hommocks principal Dr. Seth Weitzman was named Administrator of the Year by the Westchester County School Music Association. Dr. Weitzman was nominated by Hommocks music teachers recognizing his support for music education over the last 17 years at the helm of Hommocks Middle School.

Dr. Seth Weitzman, third from left, receives Administrator of the Year Award from the Westchester County School Music Association. Dr. Weitzman was joined at the ceremony by Hommocks music teachers.

Gov. Cuomo Honors Hommocks Science Teacher with Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award

Hommocks Middle School Science Teacher Lawrence Perretto was the recipient of the Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award, created and awarded by Governor Cuomo. In a surprise visit to his classroom, Perretto, one of two teachers in New York to earn the honor. was bestowed a plaque signed by the Governor and a $5,000 check to pursue continued professional development. The plaque reads in part: For exemplifying the highest ideals of teaching in your classroom: fostering creativity, a love of learning, and independent thinking from all of your students.

OSR Students Present Multi-Year Projects at Symposium

MHS Students Recognized with a Range of Awards

From College Book Awards, to Community Sponsored Awards, Music and PACE recognitions, academic department awards and awards in "honor of special individuals", students invited to attend the Mamaroneck High School awards ceremony arrive for the evening not knowing which award(s) they will receive. It is always an exciting evening to be able to celebrate the broad range of talents, skills and achievements of our students.

"MHS Talks" Enable Students to Consider Careers and Interact with Experts in Varied Fields

A huge thank you to the STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck for creating, organizing and putting on "MHS Talks" to provide Mamaroneck students the opportunity to meet and engage with experts from diverse career disciplines in small roundtable discussions. Each of the speakers imparted invaluable career and life messages to our students.

Above left, students interact with NBC-TV's Kate Snow as she kicks off “MHS Talks" as Keynote Speaker, followed by a roundtable discussion she led later in the day. Above right, students enjoy a session led by Rachel Wilson, Head of Cybersecurity at Morgan Stanley. Prior to her role at Morgan Stanley, Wilson spent 15 years in senior executive level leadership positions at the National Security Agency (NSA). One student remarked afterwards, "I now am 100% confident I know what I want to do with my life."

Beautiful Memorial Day Tribute Draws Nice Crowd of Community Members, with New Touch This Year

The annual Memorial Day Tribute in honor of those who sacrificed their lives during our nation’s wars, presented by the MHS Social Studies Department in conjunction with the Kemper Memorial Park Preservation Fund, drew a nice crowd of community members -- including many veterans -- on a beautiful day. The event had a new component this year. In addition to the Richard M. Kemper Contest Awards Ceremony, where this year’s contest winners (Liana Haigis, Sylvie Gheewalla, Mark Yukelis, and Sydney Weisstuch - Honorable Mention) presented their projects, the event recognized two graduating Mamaroneck High School seniors who will be serving our country in the future - ROTC Midshipman Beatrice Karp and Naval Academy Midshipman Hannah Hanley. US Navy Commander Christian Gaskell was present to officially award Beatrice with a full scholarship to University of Pennsylvania.

Video Highlights This Month

In case you missed them, check out the Honeybee project video produced by MHS Video students and the "Mamaroneck Minute" featuring K-12 Music Coordinator Dina Madden.

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