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Schools and Camps
Schools and Camps

Bronxville Middle School Production of 'Honk! Jr.' a Big Hit PDF Print Email


Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

May 22, 2019:  Bronxville Middle School students presented a special production of Honk! Jr., a contemporary and comic retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” on May 10 and 11. The show is based on the award-winning musical Honk! by composer George Stiles and author Anthony Drewe, and it featured a dedicated group of middle school performers and crew members.

“The students worked incredibly hard and did a spectacular job,” said Pamela Simpson, who directed the show. “We hope everyone enjoyed the show, which was not only entertaining but also carried important messages subtly woven into the fabric of the songs and performances.”


With the theme of acceptance running throughout, several cast members performed poignant numbers about being different and ultimately being accepted for their uniqueness. Throughout the performance, showstopping moments included a joke-telling bullfrog joined by a chorus of fluorescent green frogs, as well as singing felines, a synchronized squadron of dancing geese, and a closing number with the entire cast and crew performing against the bucolic country setting. The students playing the lead characters, Ida, Drake, and Ugly, each contributed comedic and moving performances, supported by a talented cast and crew.


Several young musicians from the middle and high schools made up the orchestra pit onstage, providing musical accompaniment throughout the show. In addition, there were more than two dozen high school students who mentored middle school students or helped in other ways.


Honk! Jr. follows the story of Ugly, who hatches looking a bit different from his duckling brothers and sisters. The other animals on the farm are quick to notice, and despite his loving mother’s protective flapping, Ugly’s odd, gawky looks instantly incite prejudice from his family and neighbors. When Ugly is separated from the farm and pursued by a hungry Cat, he must find his way home. Along his journey, he not only discovers his true beauty and glorious destiny but also finds love and acceptance in all its forms.

Photos by D. Fenner

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


Bronxville School Budget Vote and Trustee Election is Tuesday, May 21, 2019 PDF Print Email


By Staff     

May 19, 2019:  On Tuesday, May 21, there will be a vote in Bronxville on the 2019-2020 Bronxville School budget, the fund transfer proposition, and the re-election of three trustees to the Bronxville Board of Education.

Voting Details

Tuesday, May 21

7:00 am - 9:00 pm

Bronxville School, 177 Pondfield Road

Blue Gym (use Meadow Avenue entrance)

On The Ballot


The Bronxville School 2019-2020 proposed budget is $49,506,462, a 2.66% increase over the current year budget. 

In the May 9 Bronxville Board of Education meeting and budget hearing, Assistant Superintendent Dan Carlin explained that the two biggest budget items for the Bronxville School are, first, salaries and benefits, which represent approximately 75% of the budget, and, second, contractual costs, which represent approximately 12% of the budget. Contractual costs include, among other things, facility services, cleaning, and security. 

The proposed 2019-2020 budget includes additional positions for elementary school social/emotional learning, which is required by new regulations, middle school science, and high school social studies. It also includes money to improve security, including a full-time director of security and an upgraded public address system.

The proposed 2019-2020 budget will be funded by property taxes of $49.5 million, other revenues of $5.5 million, and $500,000 from the Bronxville School fund balance, which the board of education will allocate to reduce the tax levy. The Bronxville Board of Education has made such allocations for several years.

The other revenues of $5.5 million include, among other things, New York State aid of $2.6 million, special education tuition of $1.3 million, and $450,000 from health services provided to private schools within the Bronxville district, including the Chapel School and St. Joseph School. According to Superintendent Carlin, "Per statute, the Bronxville School is required to provide health and development-related services to private schools within Bronxville." The Bronxville School then bills the "home district of the students at those schools who are not from Bronxville for the services provided." 

The proposed budget represents a 2.64% increase in the tax levy, which is below the calculated New York State tax levy cap for the Bronxville district.  

Click here to read more about the 2019-2020 proposed budget.

Fund Transfer Proposition

In the upcoming vote, Bronxville residents will also be asked to vote on the Fund Transfer Proposition2019 Construction ProjectThis will “enable the board to transfer up to $1,500,000 from the debt service fund to the capital projects fund to provide additional funds for the remaining capital projects approved by the school district’s voters on March 13, 2018.” 

It was explained that these additional funds are needed because the bids for the capital projects came in higher than expected. These capital improvement projects fall into two categories: basic infrastructure improvements such as roof and window repairs, masonry, ceiling work, and air conditioning, and program-related infrastructure enhancements such as cafeteria expansion, classroom and health suite renovations, and counseling center and basement renovations. Click here for the list of the capital improvement projects approved on March 13, 2018.

Election of Trustees

In the upcoming vote, three current school board trustees are seeking re-election: Jack BierwirthTom Curran, and Arleen Thomas (pictured below).

Jack Bierwirth has been a teacher, district administrator, and superintendent. He is now retired and is serving as a "distinguished educator” at the request of the New York State commissioner of education to help the Hempstead School District. He and his wife have three adult children, two of whom attended the Bronxville School. Tom Curran has had a career in law and has been in both the public and private realms. He is currently a partner at Peckar and Abramson, P.C. He and his wife have three children in the Bronxville School. Arleen Thomas has had a career in consulting and accounting and currently is senior vice president of management accounting and global markets at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Arleen and her husband have two children, one at the Bronxville School and one in college.

Click here for more information on these candidates.

Pictured at top:  Bronxville School Board of Trustees (photo by N. Bower).

Photos of the trustees seeking re-election courtesy Bronxville Committee for the Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees


Connor Morris of Bronxville Awarded National Merit Scholarship PDF Print Email


By Staff

May 15, 2019:  The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced this year’s National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners and Connor Morris of Bronxville is among them.

Being selected a National Merit Scholar is a rigorous process. As explained in the May 8, 2019, press release by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the initial screen of the program entrants is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test, which approximately 1.6 million students take each October in their junior year (2017, for the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Competition). The highest-scoring participants on this test in each state are named semifinalists on a state-representational basis in the fall of their senior year (2018, for the 2019 competition). There were 16,000 semifinalists named in the fall of 2018, less than one percent of the nation's high school seniors.

Approximately 15,000 of the semifinalists advanced to the finalist level of the competition this year. The press release explains that the 2,500 winners were then "selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools. ... National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies." 

Connor described receiving the scholarship as “a nice reward for the work both I and my teachers, parents, and mentors have done ever since I entered Bronxville School in kindergarten with Mrs. Dianne Grandefeld.”

Connor went to the Bronxville School for elementary and middle school and to Horace Mann for high school. In addition to being an outstanding student at Horace Mann, he was captain of two sports teams (tennis and squash) and the leader of a very successful Model UN team and mentoring program. He also wrote for the school newspaper and literary publications and is fluent in Italian. 

Connor is heading to Princeton in the fall and plans to study at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs; he plans to study languages, economics, and finance.

His advice for young people coming into high school is to work hard and especially “pursue the things you love to do.” 

Connor’s parents, John Morris and Suzi Power-Morris, are understandably very proud of their son. They are especially happy that “he worked hard to achieve his goals while enjoying his high school experience and contributing to his school community.” They are also “so grateful to the amazing teachers at Bronxville and at Horace Mann for instilling in Connor a love of learning.”

Pictured here: Connor Morris.

Photo courtesy the family


Bronxville School 8th-Graders Build Machines to Be Displayed at Innovation Expo PDF Print Email


Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

May 15, 2019:  Bronxville Middle School eighth grade students, who are studying energy, motion, and forces as part of an Introduction to Physics unit in Jean Windels’s and Jennifer Zopp’s science classes, are building their own original devices that accomplish an everyday, ordinary task in an innovative way.

“Students use simple machines in their everyday lives all of the time without ever realizing it,” Windels said. “This particular task gives them the opportunity to work with their design team to solve problems, attain background knowledge, and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the team as they move on to designing their culminating project.” 

During a recent lesson, the students worked in groups to deepen their knowledge of simple machines, which include pulleys, levers, inclined planes, screws, wedges, wheels, and axles, and understand how they change the direction and magnitude of forces required to complete a task. 


First, they researched the six different types of simple machines to see how they are used in everyday life. Then they tested inclined planes of different lengths to see if they made a difference in the magnitude and direction of force required to lift an object to the top of a pile. They also tested a lever to see if the placement of the fulcrum affected the magnitude of force required to lift an object. In addition, they calculated the mechanical advantage for these machines to see if it correlated with the amount of force required to complete the tasks.

“Practicing with these tasks will give the students some background knowledge and spark some ideas as they begin to design their device for the assignment,” Zopp said.

The students’ final device is required to include three simple machines in the design with calculations of mechanical advantage for each simple machine. Their culminating projects will be displayed at the Innovation Expo on May 21. 

Pictured here: Bronxville Middle School eighth-grade students learning about simple machines before building their own original devices that accomplish an everyday, ordinary task in an innovative way. 

Photos courtesy The Bronxville School 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Bronxville Sophomores at NYS National History Day Competition Advance to National Competition PDF Print Email


By Guest Contributor 

May 8, 2019: A team of Bronxville High School sophomores composed of TJ Curran, Ben Davis, Earl Gretzinger, Connor Randall, and George McCormick took second place in the website category at the National History Day (NHD) competition for New York State at Cooperstown, NY. As a result of their victory, the team advances to the national competition, which will be held at the University of Maryland in June.

The boys submitted a website, bibliography, and process paper on King Menelik II of Ethiopia as part of this year’s NHD theme, “Triumph and Tragedy.”

“NHD allows for students to do the work of historians. The work produced by the boys on Menelik II of Ethiopia takes the viewer of their website through the triumphs and tragedies of his reign,” said Dana Landesman, who oversees the program at Bronxville High School along with teachers Christina Reidel and Bill Meyer.

NHD gives us the chance to explore something that we would have never known about and have fun with history,” said Davis, who was one of thirty Bronxville students who had advanced to the New York State competition.

I could not be more proud of what they accomplished, and I know they will represent Bronxville well at the national competition at the University of Maryland,” added Landesman.

Curran, Davis, Gretzinger, Randall, and McCormick will travel to College Park, MD, to compete against winners from fifty states and U.S. territories.

Pictured here (L to R): Connor Randall, Ben Davis, Earl Gretzinger, TJ Curran, and George McCormick.

Photo by Susan McCormick

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


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