Facilities Committee Meeting tonight, November 30, at 7:00 at the Falls School
Facilities Committee Meeting
November 30, at 7:00
at the Falls School
Every morning I get onto our PA system and reinforce one of our core values by introducing a meaningful quote from somebody, well... meaningful. Truth be told, we do not need somebody "meaningful" to teach us about one of our core values, compassion. I see it here at the high school daily, especially around the holiday season, and I am so proud. Students and Staff are raising funds for food baskets and collecting toys for local residents as well as the Maria Fareri Children's hospital. It is heartwarming to see what our Mahopac Community does to support each other. Thank you Mahopac and enjoy the holiday season! #GoPac!
Matt Lawrence, Ed.D.
Mahopac Middle School seventh and eighth graders recently got to spend some time thinking about the age-old question "What do I want to do when I grow up?" At the Middle School Career Fair, held in November, the students got to meet professionals who work in a dozen diverse careers and hear what day-to-day life is like in all sorts of jobs.
“Rather than a fair where students wander from table to table, this year’s middle school career fair was held via Zoom,” said Aaron Kleinman, Director of School Counseling K-12 for the Mahopac Central School District. “It actually worked better, I think. There were no distractions. All of the children got to hear what the professionals had to say.”
The professionals included an architect, chiropractor, veterinarian, police officer, firefighter, librarian, banker, marketing executive, Putnam County Youth Bureau representative and a media person.
It was not the middle schoolers’ first exposure to career choices. They start taking career inventories in the sixth grade, via the district’s Naviance computer system. When they get to high school, career choice is among the first subjects discussed in the freshman MHS Life class, which every student is required to take.
“We want to have these conversations earlier so the students will start thinking about what classes to take that will help prepare them for their future,” Kleinman said. “Research has shown that the more information and exposure students have to career choices, the more directed they will be when it comes to what they plan to do after graduation.”
As if she weren’t already accomplished enough, Jennifer Degl, an Earth Science teacher at Mahopac High School, just added another achievement to her portfolio.
Degl, who has taught at MHS since 1999, was first inspired to activism when her daughter was born prematurely in 2012 and spent months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla.
Since then, Degl has written three books about the experience, testified in front of Congress twice, been named to the leadership team of the International Neonatal Consortium, and founded Maria’s Hope, a support group that mentors parents who have babies in the NICU at the children’s hospital. In October, she had another first: Degl was the lead author in a scientific research paper published in the Journal of Perinatology that grew out of her weekly volunteer work in the Maria Fareri NICU.
“We wanted to look at how doctors, nurses and parents communicate with each other in the NICU,” Degl said. “I put together a survey of 323 neonatologists, neonatal nurses and NICU parents from around the globe, and we found ways that communication could be improved. When research scientists speak to parents, they speak at a completely different level, with their own scientific vocabulary. Parents, who are under a lot of stress at the time, often do not speak out and say that they do not understand. So there’s a lot of miscommunication.”
Degl, a mother of four, remembers being overwhelmed when her daughter Joy was born extremely premature, weighing just one pound four ounces. Joy spent 121 days in the NICU. The experience set Degl on a mission to improve healthcare for preemies.
“All of the research and volunteering I do helps me to be a better teacher and the opposite is true as well,” said Degl, who also teaches Living Environment and the MHS Life class for freshman at the high school. “Both experiences help me to better the lives of children. My experience as a NICU parent mentor has helped me immensely as a teacher of the MHS Life course at the high school. I have been mentoring NICU parents for years as they process fear, confusion, conflict, sadness and grief. I'd like to think that all of those experiences shape me and I know they provide me with additional tools to support my students at MHS.”
Mahopac High School’s Fall Music Concert marked the first time many of the talented musicians had performed on the school stage in front of a live audience.
And perform they did! The Philharmonic Orchestra, String Sinfonietta, Chorus, Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band each took the stage on Wednesday, Nov. 17 and dazzled a highly-receptive, if smaller than usual, audience.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to perform, so it’s really cool to get back out there,” said Ella, a 10th grader, whose last on-stage performance took place when she was just a middle schooler. “It’s exciting to get to play the pieces we’ve worked on for so long.”
Ella, who sings alto in chorus and plays flute in the band, said her favorite choral number was Finale B, from the musical Rent, and her favorite band piece was Highland Legend by John Moss.
“I think it shows the potential of the band,” Ella said. “I think we bring it all together very nicely.”
Band Director Rich Williams noted that the Fall Music Concert was the first in-person, in-house concert since February 2020, in the pre-COVID times. Tickets were limited to two per household, but the concert reached a larger audience via live streaming.
“Music is a performing art and ultimately meant to be shared with an audience," Williams said. “Last year we played on the field, but that was after never having rehearsed together. It was fun, but we were each about 12 feet apart. It wasn’t like this where the kids hear one another and respond.”
Nonetheless, Mahopac was honored this spring as one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants, or NAMM, Foundation. The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.
Chorus teacher Jacob Rhodebeck said the upcoming school year will be a busy one for musicians. There are four concerts scheduled and several small ensemble events.
“It was exciting to get the kids ready for it,” Rhodebeck said. “They were certainly ready to have a performance and show what they’ve been doing.”
James, a 10th grader, who plays percussion was ready for his debut. He joined band in high school at his mother’s urging.
“I started on pots and pans,” James said. “I was just always picking them up and banging on them. I really wanted to play drums.”
The students will have many more opportunities to perform this year.
A dozen Mahopac High School athletes signed commitment letters with colleges during the Senior Signing Day ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
As student fans, parents, siblings and grandparents cheered them on, the athletes signed letters of intent to play the sport they love at the collegiate level.
Stephen Luciana, Mahopac’s athletics director, told the group they had good reason to be proud.
“Playing college sports is not easy,” said Stephen Luciana, director of health, physical education and athletics for the Mahopac School District. “You are the top of the heap, the best of the best. You represent a very small percentage of the student athletes across the nation.”
The players were recruited across many sports, the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, women’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and baseball.
“As you move forward, you’re elite in terms of your commitment to your sport,” Mahopac High School Principal Dr. Matthew Lawrence said. “But nobody goes to college just to play sports.”
Lawrence noted that in going to college students would have to concentrate on their academic and professional careers as well.
Michael Mongon, the president of the Mahopac Board of Education told the students: “You personify the highest standard of leadership and character.”
Then he read the list of the student athletes who had signed commitment letters.
• Audrey Colucci, Lacrosse, Lynn University
• Julie DeBrocky, Basketball, Manhattanville College
• Madison DeCola, Soccer, Seton Hall University
• Melanie DeMeo, Basketball, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
• Chris Evans, Lacrosse, Springfield College
• Michael Harney, Lacrosse, United States Military Academy at West Point
• Ava Jennings, Lacrosse, University of Cincinnati
• Mia Lanter, Softball, Wesleyan University
• Sean Massett, Lacrosse, Monmouth University
• Madeline McCrosson, Soccer, The College at Brockport
• Chris McKeon, Baseball, Siena College
• Avery Przymylski, Lacrosse, Coastal Carolina
• Ally Savino, Lacrosse, University of Indianapolis
There will be another senior signing day ceremony in the spring for students who have not yet decided, football players and some others.
Mahopac High School senior Anthony DeMatteo has been named Con Edison's Athlete of the Week.
Quarterback and captain of the team, Anthony earned the award for his performance in last week's game, said the Con Ed Panel of athletic directors and coaches who chose him.
"Anthony DeMatteo led the Mahopac HS Football Team to a 44-6 victory over Panas to secure the #2 seed in the Section One Playoffs for Class A North,” the panel wrote in a press release. “Anthony was 8-10 passing for 249 yards and 5 TDs. What is most compelling is that he achieved these numbers in the 1st Half and did not play in the 2nd Half.”
As the panel noted, Anthony is also the third generation of DeMatteos to win the award. His grandfather Tony won it in 1959, his father, Dominick, won it in 1989. Dominick is the team’s coach.
“To be selected as Athlete of the Week is a great honor,” Mahopac Superintendent of Schools Anthony DiCarlo said. “Congratulations to Anthony, his teammates, the football program and Coach DeMatteo. Anthony, we wish you all the best for you and the team on Friday night.”
The Con Edison Athlete of the Week award recognizes students in Westchester and Putnam schools who excel athletically and academically. Leadership, citizenship, and school and community activities are also taken into account. The winner is chosen each week by a panel of athletic directors and coaches who review ballots submitted by each athlete’s athletic director or coach.
"In my short time at Mahopac, I have been very impressed by the character Anthony DeMatteo has shown, '' Mahopac Athletic Director Stephen Luciana said. “He is the true definition of a student-athlete who has excelled on the field and in the classroom. We are very proud of Anthony for this well deserved honor.“
Anthony, who has been starting quarterback since his sophomore year, has received All League and All Conference honors. A three-season athlete, Anthony also plays on Mahopac’s basketball and baseball teams.
In addition to sports, Anthony is President of the Spanish Club, a member of the National Honor Society and volunteers with community youth camps.
"Anthony has evolved into a mature and responsible leader for our Mahopac community,” Coach DeMatteo said. “He has proven himself time and time again as a student, athlete and most importantly as a person. Ultimately, Anthony serves as an excellent role model for all of the young children in our community."
The VEX V5 robots raced across the table, grabbed plastic cones and returned them to the teams of students competing to collect the most cones in a two-minute stretch.
The robotics race may have looked like a game, and the students’ cheers and laughter certainly made it sound like one, but there was serious science behind it.
“We start with a friendly challenge and then move on to solve complex design problems,” said Thomas Mellin, who teaches the Principles of Engineering class at Mahopac High School. “Later, the students’ Chromebooks will connect to a coding platform that links to the robots. We use VEX VR, a virtual program, to introduce them to coding and machine control.”
Mellin, who holds degrees in physics and education, teaches three engineering courses for students in grades 9 through 12. He works closely with another engineering teacher,
Jennifer Johnston, whose experience as a chemical engineer includes work at IBM and several other companies.
The classes are held in the high school’s new STEM area, which is designed to cultivate student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and prepare them for college and careers.
“This is so much fun,” said Anthony Pfeifer, 16. “It helps me learn what I want to do. If someone is thinking about engineering, I’d say definitely take these classes.”
Though only a junior, Pfeifer is already certain he wants to study engineering.
Victoria Longo, a senior, juggled her schedule to make sure the engineering class fit.
“I’ve been trying to teach myself coding and I know how to write a basic if-then statement,” said Longo, describing a programming command for making decisions. “But, if I want to be a chemical engineer, do I still need coding?”
To which her teacher answered: all types of engineers need computing and coding skills now.
Thus began the coding part of the class, where the dozen or so students each created code to maneuver an on-screen robot to pick up a cone, mimicking their real-world robot challenge.
It was just another day of fun, games and high-tech learning in a STEM classroom.
“The students are engaged and excited about every challenge we give them,” Mellin said. ”I’m so privileged to have the opportunity to apply physics to engineering and focus on problem solving and design with students.”
Come spring, visitors to the Town of Carmel Airport Park in Mahopac may notice a flowering dogwood tree thanks to the efforts of Mahopac High School’s Environmental Club.
The tree, donated by Whispering Pine Nursery in Yorktown Heights, will only stand about two feet tall this spring. But it should grow to 20 to 40 feet tall and thrive for many years to come.
“We tried to water it every other day for the first month that it was planted,” said Matteo P., president of the environmental club. “Its leaves are changing now. We hope it will grow again next year.”
The environmental club planted the tree in June as a memorial to those who lost their lives to Covid-19.
The club, which has about 25 to 30 members, was created as a provisional club two years ago and became an actual high school club just this year. One of the environmental club’s goals is to set up a system to compost cafeteria waste to use in the garden behind the middle school, Matteo said. Another goal is to establish a competition that encourages students to create something sustainable in the community.
Chemistry teacher Szilvia Tobak is the only new teacher to begin at Mahopac High School this year. She joins a 120-plus teaching staff.
“I feel very lucky,” Tobak said. “Everyone here has been so friendly and so helpful.”
On a recent Wednesday morning, she had students come up to a whiteboard at the front of her class and draw Bohr diagrams, which show electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom.
“I think that Ms.Tobak is a really good teacher,” said Brianna F., a junior, who drew the carbon atom. “She makes sure everyone participates in class and makes sure that we understand the material we are learning.”
A New York City native, Tobak moved to Westchester County a few years ago and developed a love of the great outdoors. She was drawn to Mahopac because of its open space, picturesque lakes, reservoirs and rolling hills.
“I grew up in the city, so this is a big change for me,” Tobak said. “I had to buy my first car. I never owned a car before.”
Though country life is new for Tobak, teaching science isn’t.
She taught for seven years at Central Park East High School in Manhattan, where she earned a STEM Education Leadership Certificate.
“I was always interested in chemistry, it is the fundamental science,” Tobak said. “Chemistry bridges the knowledge between biology and physics.”
After majoring in forensic science in college at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/City University of New York, Tobak received a master’s degree in science teacher education at Hunter College.
Tobak said that she knows chemistry will not be every Mahopac High School student’s favorite subject, but she hopes that all of her students learn something that gives them a new appreciation for the building blocks of life.
“I hope they have a memorable experience and that the experiments we do in the lab teach them about the scientific method,” Tobak said. “The best thing would be if I was able to inspire some of my students to go on to study science in college.”
Mahopac High School Art Teacher Sean Flanagan has been busy this summer! He announced this week the publication of a children's book called “Sam’s Unboring Adventure” which he wrote and published.
“This labor of love is finally complete,” said Flanagan. “I started on it when my son was in his early stages of bedtime reading and have now (finally) completed it with the arrival of my third child!”
In the story, the main character, Sam, rediscovers his imagination after setting out on an urban adventure through Manhattan and visiting a buddy in Suburbia (or "upstate" to most N.Y.C. Dwellers). An ordinary trip to the ‘burbs turns into a wild adventure of ingenuity from morning to night.
“The story has a strong local connection, you'll see I used lots of iconic imagery
from Central Park, Grand Central and The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” he said. Flanagan’s goal was to depict Sam’s desire to explore, be brave, and learn to look at his surroundings differently in a way that was infectious and would ultimately push young readers to be creative and to “see more.” “It has been an exciting experience that would have never come to fruition without the support of my family and friends!
The book is available on Amazon and anyone wishing to obtain a signed copy of the book should email Flanagan directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday June 23 was the was perfect night for a high school graduation! The temperature was mild, the sky was clear, and the bleachers and end zones were filled with family and friends as the entire class of 2021 sat together on the turf.
Class president Katherine Abbruscato welcomed the crowd and introduced classmate Jessica Caputo who delighted everyone in attendance with her rendition of the National Anthem. Abbruscato commiserated with her classmates by quoting Charles Dickens and describing the past 18 months as the best of times, the worst of times. She admitted that change used to scare her, but now she knows it’s necessary encouraging them to, “Take the chance, try things!”
Principal Matt Lawrence reminded the class that they were connected in a special way, “We came to MHS together, you leave having mastered it. This Principal is still figuring it out.” He then assigned summer reading to the class (not really!) but he did recommend that they read David Goggins’, Can’t Hurt Me. He encouraged them to know that daily grit can help you accomplish anything. “Make every single moment count. Be fully present.” He continued, “You have lived in a way our future selves will applaud. We are surrounded by greatness. I’m grateful to have shared these last four years with you. Live brightly, powerfully and with great passion.” He ended with a hearty: “We are MHS!”
Valedictorian Max Semegran thanked parents, his brothers Ben and Thomas, teachers and administration, and his classmates in the class of 2021. “You’ve been with me every strep of the way! The challenges of this year have prepared us. It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, it’s how you play your hand. Let’s all be the change we want to see in the world!”
Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo closed out the evening’s speeches, “Flexibility is a testament your inner strength as individuals and as a class. Commencement is the start, today marks the end of your Mahopac schooling but also a beginning! After tonight we greet you as graduates and citizens of the world. Congratulations!”
The night ended with our MHS assistant principals Matthew Calabro, April Ljumić, and Gary Ziegelhofer calling each student’s names as he or she received a diploma before a picture perfect cap toss under the flag and the lights. Congratulations MHS class of 2021!
The Mahopac Central School District believes that Art education is an essential component of human development. Through Visual Art, students are empowered to be creative, “out of the box” thinkers and conscious designers; they are able to discover and express who they are, communicate their ideas, understand the visual, cultural, and virtual world, take risks, work collaboratively, make connections in their learning, innovate, develop an increasing sense of their own aesthetic, and authentically engage in their education.
The inaugural District-wide Art Show centralizes all the a talent district wide from Kindergarten to 12th Grade. Click the link below, explore, and enjoy!
Congratulations to our National Honor Society Inductees for your hard work and dedication to service.
Watch the virtual ceremony:
Good luck to the cast and crew during your presentation of WORKING!
Mahopac Central School District has been again honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
“This truly is a district effort,” said Evan McGregor MHS Orchestra Director and K-12 Music Department Chairperson. “From the support at district office for funding, accessibility, and curriculum development; the daily guidance and coordination from our building administrators; custodial staff making sure the facilities are in the best shape for our students to succeed; and the tireless efforts of our dedicated music teachers from K-12, working with our students everyday in every way, shape, and form.”
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, detailed data was analyzed about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. The details of Mahopac CSD’s Music Program were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs and found that in this time of a national pandemic music provides a valuable way to keep students engaged in school.
Michael Tromblee, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Learning, best articulated the district’s commitment to its music education program: “Our Strategic Road Map states that one of our goals as an educational community is to support students in becoming collaborative and creative critical thinkers. There is a well known link between high quality music education supporting students develop and refine critical thinking skills. Additionally, we seek to educate the whole child at Mahopac and engaging in the study and creation of music benefits our students in so many ways. I want to thank the faculty of our music department and our community for their dedication to and support of our music education programs.”
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational, cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students’ everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech, pay attention, and aural memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound: young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
Echoing these benefits of Mahopac’s music program, Mahopac High School senior, Max Semegran, who was selected as one of the best violinists in the state to perform with the NY All-State Symphony Orchestra, stated that "...Mahopac High School's orchestra has been such a major part of my high school experience, I can't imagine my time at Mahopac without it. Educationally, orchestra has given me self-control, brain development, and teamwork, important things for any student to have. Arguably more important however, are the memories that I have made in orchestra. I recall entering the stage my first day of school filled with nerves. These nerves were quickly put to rest with the humorous yet confident leadership of Mr. McGregor and the comradery of my fellow musicians. Little did I know how many incredible times I would have with this wonderful group of people... I will forever cherish the memories that I have made in MHS' orchestra."
The music program in Mahopac has a strong heritage and is continuing to grow recognition for a remarkable culture of excellence. In recent years, Mahopac has been well represented by the middle and high school ensembles (band, orchestra, and chorus) at regional competitions, receiving superior ratings and the MHS Philharmonic Orchestra has received multiple best overall orchestra awards. For the past few school years, members of the MHS Symphonic Band were selected as best in the state for the New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA) Honor Band and Jazz Band. In 2020, two Mahopac students were section leaders of the NYSBDA Jazz Band. The MHS Jazz Band continues to be recognized as the “Showcase Band'' at the Sleepy Hollow Jazz Festival, along with numerous other individual recognitions in the competition. Last year, sixth grader Sarah Kayler was one of two elementary student composers selected for the All-State Conference Composers Showcase.
Current senior, Mark Dusociv said, “I feel like I've improved a lot as a musician because of this music program. I've also made some of my best friends through it. I love how many opportunities we get to perform in and out of school.” Indeed, within the Mahopac community the MCSD music program hosts a multitude of events every year. Fulmar Rd, Lakeview, and Austin Rd Elementary put on multiple band, orchestra, jazz, and chorus concerts each school year. The middle school groups do the same, along with a hit, spring musical production and an end-of-year Steel Drum concert with Mr. Flynn. At the high school, there are many great events. A late-winter Pops Concert is always a packed community event, hosted by the Mahopac Friends of Music parent group. Mr. Rich Williams and Mr. Steve Wands, directing the Jazz Bands, put on a swing dance night every winter which has professionally-led dance lessons and an evening of upbeat swing tunes. The Jazz Bands also put on an always sold-out spring show at the St. George Winery in Mohegan Lake. The high school rock experience, Illusion, annually holds three straight nights of arena rock and top 40 pop, to a packed and energetic audience. Illusion, directed by Stas Przymylski, also recently performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A true community staple, members of the marching band can be seen at every home football game and in Mahopac parades.
A member of the MHS Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras, class of ‘21 senior Olivia Vataj said that "being a part of orchestra and the wider music community here at Mahopac has been such a rewarding experience. Making music with my friends and peers is one of the defining components of my high school career, and I am so lucky that we still have such a vibrant and welcoming music program during distance learning."
When the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, and New York went on lockdown, that did not stop Mahopac CSD Music from being there for the students. A quick look at the Virtual Performance playlist from Mr. Williams and the MHS Bands shows that music education remained a vital part of the student experience, and the weekly installments gave the community a regular bright spot to look forward to. Vincenzo Pascarella, in the junior class at MHS, said that “even during this pandemic we have been able to rehearse and perform in ways that have helped restore a bit of normalcy during these crazy times."
Fellow bandmate, Dylan Ellrodt (class of ‘21), put it best, saying, "The Mahopac Music program has and continues to change my life for the better every day. I have no idea where I would be now if not for this music program." Through the continuous trials of the COVID crisis, Mahopac’s music program continues to work hard for the students, and the spring performances are highly anticipated. “I want to say that I've really enjoyed being a part of the orchestra these past few years. The music program helped me love performing and I'm honestly super impressed by the hard work and musical successes of the music community here, especially during the pandemic,” said Alexa Tyberg, Class of ‘21. The music program in Mahopac Schools continues to be a hallmark of the community and with a hope towards normalcy, the student musicians of Mahopac High School will be eventually welcomed by completely renovated rehearsal spaces and classrooms as a part of the ongoing Capital Bond Project.
Mahopac CSD’s Program provides a robust offering from beginning instruction to college and AP coursework. There are opportunities for all students at all levels to be involved and learn from the top-level educators of the music department. The Mahopac CSD music program is staffed by Elizabeth Day (Austin Rd), Marcia Webb (Lakeview), Jennifer Gilbert (Fulmar Rd), Joseph Seeley (Middle School), Steve Wands (Elementary Band), Don Flynn (MS Band), Rich Williams (HS Band), Heather Palkewick (MS Chorus), Jacob Rhodebeck (HS Chorus), Stas Przymylski (Music Technology), Rob Loprinzo (Elementary Orchestra), Katelyn Tai (MS Orchestra), Evan McGregor (HS Orchestra).
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.
Dear MHS Community,
During these difficult times we are all experiencing a wide range of emotions and reactions. We understand that you may be feeling scared, confused, overwhelmed, angry, alone, or isolated - sometimes all at once. Together, the Mahopac High School Climate Committee in collaboration with Mr. Zides, Mahopac Secondary Ed Tech Specialist, and Mr. Vanno, MHS School Counselor: We are launching the Mahopac High School Virtual Calming Site! We created this site to give our students, staff, and families a virtual space to turn to when you need a break, or just want time to repair and rejuvenate.
What is a Virtual Calming Site? A virtual calming site in an online collection of tools and strategies designed to help our students and staff manage challenging emotions and build resilience to face life’s challenges in healthy ways.
At the Mahopac High School Virtual Calming Site, you can find a variety of resources from mindfulness and guided meditation, visual relaxation, exercises and yoga, sounds and music, mantras and motivation, live animal cameras, art, coloring and creativity, puzzles and games, health, wellness and nutrition, Mahopac community resources, Smartphone Apps, and even calming resources created and curated by our own MHS faculty, staff, and students.
Please take a moment of exploration and enjoy the Mahopac High School Virtual Calming Site.
Find your calm!
April Ljumic, Assistant Principal
Attachment: FINAL MHS VCS FLYER
Congratulations to Seniors Jessica Caputo and Andrea Jenkins and Junior Marisa Caputo for being recognized by State Senator Peter Harckham for their leadership and commitment to bettering their communities. These courageous Mahopac students, along with members of Mahopac for Racial Justice, hosted the Rally and Protest against Racism that drew hundreds of residents and served as a forum for people to openly share their stories of racism that they have experienced here in Mahopac. We applaud these students and all of the award recipients for their Compassion, Problem Solving, Risk Taking, and Resilience!
Congrats to the seven Mahopac High School students whose work was recognized at the Westchester Science & Engineering Fair (WESEF) and to all our students who participated!! 564 students from around the region participated in the virtual fair this year. MHS sent seven projects and were awarded a total of six awards!
“Please join me in congratulating all of the MHS Science Research students on their participation in the WESEF. These students all upheld the MHS Core Values as they completed scientific research despite a global pandemic and I am so proud of all that they accomplished,” said MHS’ Science Research Advisor Elizabeth Stephens who worked with Mahopac’s Science Research program and credits shares her students’ success this year with all of Mahopac, “Thank you to MCSD for continuously supporting the scientific endeavors of our students, and to the entire Mahopac Community for consistently pushing our students to be the best that they can be.Congratulations to our winners and to all our seniors!”
Alexander Gaspar and Andrea Settembrini: Recipient of the Leason Ellis Team Project Award
Victoria Longo and Olivia Saturn: Recipient of the Critica Behavioral Science Achievement Award
Renuka Muralidhar: Recipient of the United States Air Force Award
Alexa Tyberg: Recipient of a 2nd Place Award in the category of Computer Science
Maxwell Semegran: Recipient of the American Meteorological Society Award AND Recipient of the Teatown Young Environmentalist Award
Additionally, MHS was the lucky recipient of a brand new, top of the line Stereo Microscope thanks to a generous donation by Carl Zeiss Microscopy!
Here's a complete list of Mahopac's WESEF Categories and Project Title submissions:
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Veronika Bilinkski and Kiarra Condon: "Analyzing the Change in Crime Rates Among Different Areas in New York Due to the Outbreak of Covid-19"
Alexander Gaspar and Andrea Settembrini: "The Relationship of the Platforms Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram with Depression, Stress, and Anxiety in High School Students" (Recipient of the Leason Ellis Team Project Award)
Victoria Longo and Olivia Saturn: "The Effects of Artificial and Natural Ambient Light on Short Term Memory" (Recipient of the Critica Behavioral Science Achievement Award)
Nicole Silvagni: "Effect of Owners' Personality on Dogs' (Canis Lupus Familiaris) Behavior"
Renuka Muralidhar: "Modeling for Identifying Methane Emissions" (Recipient of the United States Air Force Award)
Alexa Tyberg: "Investigating Channel-Adapted Bacon-Shor Quantum Error Correction Codes in a Realistic Setting" (Recipient of a 2nd Place Award in the category of Computer Science)
Maxwell Semegran: "Aquatic Invasive Species Survey of Lake Mahopac" (Recipient of the American Meteorological Society Award and Recipient of the Teatown Young Environmentalist Award)
April Ljumic, High School Assistant Principal, and Kelley Posch, High School MHS LIFE and Math teacher have been selected to present a breakout session for the Putnam|Northern Westchester Curriculum Council’s Virtual Learning Regional Conference, which will be held via Zoom on Friday, December 4, 2020. April and Kelley are co-facilitating a break-out session entitled: “More Than Screens: Forming Lasting Relationships in a Virtual World” with Dan Novak and Catherine Leist from the Center for Environmental Education at PNW BOCES. In this session, teachers and administrators will focus on creating and fostering relationships built on trust in a hybrid and virtual setting. Mahopac High School’s “MHS LIFE” 9th grade program will be showcased for its work in building positive long-term relationships and its collaboration with the Center for Environmental Education of PNW BOCES to continue this great work in a virtual setting. Showcased practices are designed to build empathy, facilitate communication, and encourage lasting personal development and healthy relationships even through a screen.
#WeAreMHS and we are problem solvers ! The MHS Interact Club partnered with Mr. Schmitt from the Town of Carmel to help clean some of the bike paths.
On November 20, parents, coaches, District administration, and teammates gathered on the turf - masked and socially distanced - to celebrate our student-athletes’ commitment to playing at the collegiate level. The event was broadcast on LocalLive.
Congratulations Shannon Becker (University Of Notre Dame/Softball), Brett Shane Crecco (Mercy College/Lacrosse), Krista Dietz (Pace University/Field Hockey), Gigi Genovese (Pace University/Lacrosse), Vincent Mariella (Susquehanna University/Baseball), Tatiana Moran (Mercy College/Lacrosse), John T. Nolan (Pace University/Lacrosse), Caitlyn O’Boyle (Tufts University/Basketball), Jack O’Connor (Suny Oneonta/Baseball), and Hailey Pereira (Bryant University/ Soccer)!
Please enjoy this Spotlight especially for MHS Families about the reopening.
This Calendar includes school breaks, holidays, and color cohort days for the entire 2020-2021 school year. *Please refer to specific communications from schools for building specific changes and updates.*
Max Semegran has been chosen to participate in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Festival. The festival will be held virtually.
Over 7,000 student musicians from across the state compete for a spot in one of the eight All-State ensembles. Being named as a violinist is the result of an arduous process including performing scales, a solo or ensemble piece of choice from the designated NYSSMA repertoire, and a sight reading piece. The judges score and comment on the students' performances according to defined guidelines set by NYSSMA.
“Participating in such a prestigious event significantly benefits students,” said Mahopac High School Orchestra Director Evan McGregor. “I truly wish Max could meet fellow musicians and perform to an in-person audience, but the experience still offers an opportunity to learn and play challenging material. Last year, Max was selected as an alternate but ultimately did not get selected to participate, so this year being able to participate as a full member of the All-State String Orchestra is particularly gratifying. I'm proud of the work he's done and I think a fine example of Mahopac's potential.”
“In addition to earning a perfect ACT score, being named a National Merit Semifinalist, being a three season athlete, and now NYSSMA All-State, Max is a peer leader, brother, and community member,” said MHS Principal Matt Lawrence. “Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of watching him grow and flourish. We look forward to his All-State performance.”
Psychologist Eva Hecht and social worker Kristel Halton participate in the important conversation about high school students and mental health.