Message from the Principal
November 5, 2018
Dear MHS Community,
As we come to the close of the first marking period - I would like to thank all of the students, faculty, and families for a great start to the school year. At this point, we are well acclimated to our new schedule, as well as the earlier start time! As we know, the ability to adjust to change is a very important quality.
Our high school students and staff have accomplished a lot this fall. Our fall sports programs got the school year off to a wonderful start. Now we look forward to our Drama Club performances of "The Christmas Story" that takes place November 15-17.
I will be mailing recognition letters to the families of our Honor Roll and High Honor Roll. The names will also be linked to our website.
Please check the website often for daily announcements. Furthermore, we like to use the website as our "bragging platform" to show all of the wonderful accomplishments of our, your students.
Matt Lawrence, Ed.D.
Mahopac High School Principal
(845) 628-3256 Ext. 11510
Follow me on Twitter: Dr. Matt Lawrence@PacHS_Principal
MHS News & Headlines
Mr. DiSanto and Mr. Pollaro Awarded NYS Outstanding Program, Practice, Project Award
The Mahopac High School College Counseling Program, headed by Ron Pollaro and Dennis DiSanto, has been awarded the 2018 New York State Outstanding Program, Practice, or Project Award by the New York State School Counselors Association (NYSSCA). This award recognizes the best professional practice in the field among New York State school districts.
Pollaro and DiSanto work together to lead the high school counseling team to present a comprehensive College Counseling Program for MHS students and families.
Some of the highlights of the College Counseling Program are:
- Financial Aid Night
- Mahopac University Night
- College Mini Fairs (twice per week)
- National Hispanic College Fair
- MHS Sophomore Advisory
“On behalf of the Mahopac High School educational community, I would like to congratulate our Counseling Team, especially Mr. DiSanto and Mr. Pollaro, for their tremendous work for our students and parents,” said Dr. Matthew Lawrence, Mahopac High School Principal.
Pollaro and DiSanto will attend the NYYSCA Annual Conference at the Sagamore in Lake George on Friday, November 16, to receive the award.
“We are proud to have the leaders in the state working with our high school students every day to become college and career ready,” said Anthony DiCarlo, Superintendent of Schools.MHS News & Headlines
Ms. Stephens and Mr. Mahoney Inducted into NYS Master Teacher Program
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the selection of Mahopac High School teachers Michael Mahoney and Elizabeth Stephans, along with 273 other educators from across the state, to join the New York State Master Teacher Program (NYSMTP) in partnership with the State University of New York and Math for America.
In effort of strengthening the state’s K-12 STEM education, the NYSMTP honors the work of the highest-performing STEM teachers by establishing an expert community dedicated to developing expertise in teaching science, technology, computer science, robotics, coding, engineering, and math courses across grades K-12, including Advanced Placement, honors, Regents and International Baccalaureate levels. These educators will join the network of Master Teachers created in 2013, bringing the total number of Master Teachers across New York State to 980.
“Education is the cornerstone to success, and it is the brilliant, dedicated teachers in New York who make a difference in countless lives and inspire the leaders of tomorrow,” Governor Cuomo is quoted on the NYS Education website. “Congratulations to the 275 newest members of the Master Teacher Program, who will join the ranks of the top educators in the state as they work to further their skills and their impact on students in every corner of this great state.”
“Mr. Mahoney and Ms. Stephens are each a true testament to our District-wide commitment to prepare each and every student for college and career readiness with a strong STEM foundation,” said Anthony DiCarlo, Superintendent of Schools.
Like their fellow Master Teachers, Mr. Mahoney and Mr. Stephens are active beyond their classrooms.
Michael Mahoney earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Science Education from SUNY New Paltz, and has worked at Mahopac High School for 20 years. Mr. Mahoney has taught Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, AP Environmental and Living Environment, and Syracuse University Project Advanced Forensics. Mr. Mahoney is actively engaged with the Teachers Teaching Teachers program that trains educators in new content, skills and pedagogy. He also created a program to help new teachers transition into their profession. Admittedly, Mr. Mahoney says he learns as much from them as they learn from him. Mr. Mahoney is excited about his new project that allows students to work side-by-side with STEM researchers in Costa Rica to preserve the rainforest. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Mahoney is looking forward to joining his peers in various professional learning teams. His focus is learning and teaching others about reaching the new generation of students, the digital natives. His approach to learning can be summed up by Henry Ford’s statement, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
Elizabeth Stephens earned her bachelor of science degree in biology with a concentration in biotechnology from the University of Delaware, her Master of Science degree in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College, and a master of arts degree in Secondary Education from Mercy College. In addition to teaching Regents Living Environment, Introduction to Science Research and Advanced Science Research at Mahopac High School for eight years, Mrs. Stephens has been an active participant in various school-wide initiatives and committees, and is the acting science department chair. As a result of employing the “flipped classroom“ model, Mrs. Stephens provides students with a differentiated approach to learning, using class time to engage them with “minds-on“ activities such as simulation and role-playing activities that reinforce content. She enjoys the opportunity to build strong relationships with her students in Science Research, a multi-year program where they create, complete and present original STEM research of their interests. Outside of class, Mrs. Stephens enjoys horseback riding and camping with her husband and three children. Her professional interests include research on technology integration and its influence on child and adolescent brain development. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mrs. Stephens is a member of the Digital Native Professional Learning Team and participated in the Safety of Genetically Engineered Food, 3-D Printing and the Statistical Inference mini-courses.
Throughout their four-year participation in the Program, Master Teachers:
MHS News & Headlines
- Receive a $15,000 stipend annually.
- Engage in peer mentoring and intensive content-oriented professional development opportunities throughout the academic year.
- Work closely with pre-service and early career teachers to foster a supportive environment for the next generation of STEM teachers.
- Attend required regional cohort meetings, participate in and lead several professional development sessions each year.
Literacy is the building block of all learning. To instill lifelong learning and the love of reading, Mahopac High School is participating in Project #MHSREADS. The outdoor digital display board will feature a daily announcement with book titles that teachers, administrators and staff are reading. Here's a look at what some high school teachers are reading:
Mr. Millar is reading Facism
Mrs. Mahoney is reading A Column of Fire
Mrs. Carra is reading Zeitoun
Mrs. Chahalis is reading Warcross
Mr. Lewis is reading Freakonomics
Mr. Clements is reading School Culture Recharged
Mrs. Hagedorn is reading Outlander Book 6:A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Mr. Purr is reading Ready Player One
Mrs. Gecaj is reading The Other Hand
Mrs. Lingardo is reading Between the World and Me
Mrs. Harney is reading The Wife Between Us
Mrs. Daley is reading The Boys on the Boat
Dr. Lawrence is reading The Last Lion
Parents and caregivers can model literacy at home, too, by talking to your children about something you’ve read and having them witness you reading.MHS News & Headlines
Javier Colon, singer, songwriter and first winner of “The Voice” comes to Mahopac High School
Having been introduced to millions of TV viewers as the inaugural winner of NBC’s”The Voice,” singer-songwriter-guitarist Javier Colon conducted a master class for 10 Mahopac High School students from each of the vocal ensembles. Following the master class, Colon held a private concert for Mahopac Schools students and families.
Jennifer Vara, Mahopac MS Music teacher, is friends with Colon and responsible for orchestrating the class and concert. In the high school auditorium, he sang both covers and songs off his latest album, “Gravity.” His closing song was Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” accompanied by Mahopac High School choral group.
A little-known fact is Javier was going to be a music teacher until he found fame and a rising music career after winning the first season of “The Voice.”MHS News & Headlines
Take a Stand. Lend a Hand.
Along with schools across the country, the Mahopac Schools participated in a week-long celebration of making healthy choices and community connections with Red Ribbon Week. By helping students build a foundation of mindfulness to themselves and their community, the risk of substance abuse is lessened.
“Substance abuse prevention starts with the promotion of good mental health in kids and teens,” said Valarie Nierman, MCSD Health Coordinator. The District is committed to helping each individual student. Read more.MHS News & Headlines
Red Ribbon Week
Did you know?
Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.
Red Ribbon Week begins October 28, an opportunity for communities, schools and families to focus on prevention and to educate youth around substance use. There will be multiple awareness activities at MHS and throughout the district, including “Hidden Mischief”, a presentation for MS and HS parents on 11/1 at 7pm at MHS.
Below are some links to information that may help facilitate conversations in your family.MHS News & Headlines