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Reformed Church Nursery School Junior-K Class Donates to Bronxville Public Library PDF Print Email

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By Irena Choi Stern, Co-Vice President, Friends of the Bronxville Public Library

Jun. 26, 2019: Teaching her class about the three “R’s,” Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, at the Reformed Church Nursery School is one of Tevon Troja Palermo's favorite lessons. But she never imagined her five-year-olds would take the lessons to heart and initiate a drive that resulted in a donation of more than 1,000 used books, toys, and games to the Bronxville Public Library and the Vietnam Veterans of America.

“My class participated in project-based learning, in which their essential question was ‘how can we reuse our toys and books when we’re finished with them?’” Palermo said. “The children got stuck on the reusing idea. Our church does a clothing drive and they thought of a drive of their own.”

The children also had the opportunity to meet with a veteran, Bronxville resident Captain John M. Murtagh, who had been deployed with the marines to Afghanistan and spoke to the children about his service.


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The Junior-K class with Captain John Murtagh.

“On the actual day, the children worked the stands, helped sell baked goods, and sorted the books, toys, and games,” Palermo said. “In the following weeks, they helped write thank-you notes to the donors.” 

On May 30, the children made their donation to the Bronxville Public Library.

“They donated a total of $100 to the FOBPL to reach ‘Faulkner Friend’ status and donated over 300 books to the library,” said Jessica Veissy, the library’s head of youth services. “This was a project the children decided to do themselves and got their teacher on board. It was such a lovely surprise!”

Palermo is proud of the work her students have done to give back to their own community while also learning the important lesson of giving to others.

“I truly hope that this spirit of giving inspires them and others for years to come,” she said.

Pictured at top:  The Junior-K class with Ms. Jessica and Ms. Maureen in the children's room at the Bronxville Public Library.

Photos courtesy the Reformed Church Nursery 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.






 


 
Destination: College Seniors Off to College; Organization Launches New Fund in Honor of Jeff Cooney PDF Print Email

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By Nancy McKenna, Chair, Board of Directors, Destination: College

Jun. 26, 2019:  On a gorgeous June evening with a sellout crowd at the Bronxville Field Club, Destination: College held its annual dinner, this year honoring longtime board member and program head Fern Watters, who is moving with her family to New Orleans.

The event was also a celebration for the DC students, their coaches, their hardworking volunteers, and the wonderful cadre of Bronxville High School students who volunteer their time to help the students reach the goal of college.

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Destination: College volunteers and students

The mission of Destination: College is to assist the nearly 200 students it serves every year at Woodlands, Gorton, and Mount Vernon High School find a college best suited to their educational abilities and financial needs. The 50 seniors in this year’s 2019 Destination: College Senior Class did well. They were accepted at over 60 colleges and universities across the United States, including Morehouse College, Spelman College, the most competitive SUNYs, Syracuse University, the University of Rochester, and USC. See below for a full list of the colleges of DC students. 

Linda D’Arcy, Destination: College’s newly appointed director of college access/college retention, told the audience that while the national average for the six-year college graduation is below 60% for all income levels, so far, DC’s  persistence (continued enrollment) rate for the most recent high school graduating classes of 2017 and 2018 was a very strong 86%. She also noted that thanks to the efforts of the hardworking volunteers, 28 of the seniors had qualified for Educational Opportunity Programs in New York State, which provide additional academic and financial support for students who are economically disadvantaged and require special admissions consideration.

Student speaker and DC alum Brenda Alves, a rising junior at Manhattan College, spoke movingly about the role DC played in her path to college by stating, “Destination :College provides you mentors for life.” 

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Student speaker Brenda Alves

Board chair Nancy McKenna announced with great pride that this year, thanks to the efforts of his family, friends, and the Destination: College board, $500,000 had been raised in honor of former beloved board member Jeff Cooney, who passed away last year. The money has been earmarked for an endowed fund for the Destination: College scholarship students, 22 of whom proudly received this year’s Jeff Cooney’s Memorial Scholarship Award.

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Past and present Jeff Cooney Memorial Scholarship winners.

Finally, students read a tribute to the night’s main honoree, Fern Watters, followed by a video highlighting Fern’s work and her many contributions to the organization. It was a meaningful tribute to a wonderful woman who will be sorely missed by all at Destination: College.  

































 

Pictured at top:  Fern Watters, honoree and board vice chair.

Photos by Lonnie Webb Photography

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 5th-Graders Celebrate Moving Up to Middle School PDF Print Email

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Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

Jun. 26, 2019:  Bronxville Elementary School fifth-grade students, who were described by their principals and teachers as a strong community of learners and friends who care about one another, celebrated their achievements and the successful completion of their elementary school days during a moving-up ceremony on June 20.

Assistant Principal Adrienne Laitman welcomed the guests and honorees before student council representatives led the Pledge of Allegiance. The ceremony continued with an address by Principal Tricia Murray, who reflected on the students’ kindness and acceptance of each other’s differences and ability to appreciate them.

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“We celebrate a very special group of students,” Murray said. “As they leave elementary school and begin a new chapter in their lives, they will most likely reflect on all of the wonderful opportunities that they have had here with us. They will remember the fun that they had, the learning experiences they participated in, the strong friendships that they built along the way, and the supportive teachers that they had.”

Murray acknowledged that the students are ready to meet new challenges because they are a group of learners who are open to trying and willing to fail as part of the learning process. She said they have consistently thought critically about topics and ideas, have engaged in meaningful discussions with each other, and have been curious and thoughtful in their learning.

“Whether you were building a cardboard structure in MakerSpace in second grade, creating a public service announcement on fair trade in third grade, designing a wigwam in fourth grade, or building a friendly monster in fifth grade, you encountered challenges, made mistakes, and came up with a final product in the end that you were proud of,” Murray said. “This exemplifies your learning process, and it was your willingness to fail that led you there.”

 

Murray expressed gratitude toward the teachers for their dedication to the students and to Laitman, who is retiring after 22 years of service to the district, for all of her contributions to the school. She also thanked all parents for their support of the Bronxville School and encouraged the students to always remember the strong community they have built together.

“We are so very proud of all that you have learned and accomplished here at Bronxville Elementary School,” Murray said. “As your teachers said, ‘You have big personalities and big hearts.’ And that’s how we know you will do great things.”

Signifying the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of another, the students were called one by one to accept their certificates, which were handed out by their fifth-grade teachers, to the applause of friends and family. The ceremony concluded with a performance of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” under the direction of Marina Brown.

Pictured at top: Bronxville Elementary School fifth-grade students celebrated their achievements and the successful completion of their elementary school days during a moving-up ceremony on June 20.

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 High School Seniors Receive Diplomas at 97th Annual Commencement: See Photos PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter     

Jun. 19, 2019: One hundred twenty-five Bronxville High School seniors, one with perfect attendance since kindergarten, received their diplomas at the school’s 97th annual commencement ceremony. On Saturday evening, June 15, families, friends, faculty and administration, as well as local officials gathered on the school’s front lawn to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2019 and wish them well on the next part of their journeys.

In her remarks, class President Sophia Sulimirski observed, “This is not the end, but simply the closing of one chapter and the opening of another. We may have made it through high school, but there is more to work towards, more to achieve.” She noted that, while the most difficult challenges lay ahead, the task is to embrace them and remain open to the many opportunities that will arise. “Next year we will all find a new normal, she said. “We must remember that this is just the beginning.”

“Right here, right now will be the last time our cohort all stands together,” Student Faculty League President Bridget Sands said. “The open-ended question stands before us, who will we become?” She thanked the community of Bronxville for shaping class members through giving them a strong foundation of life lessons, academic growth, personal experiences, and supportive relationships “We will carry you with us wherever we go next.”

Receiving Departmental Awards for Excellence were: 

  • Anna Normand for English
  • Anton Tarazi for Mathematics
  • Alisa Fominykh for Science
  • Sophia Sulimirski for Latin
  • Kirsten Ircha for Social Studies
  • Camila Blikstad for Spanish
  • Jack Kochansky for French

Jack Kochansky received the award for Overall Outstanding Excellence

The Gwinn Awards for Excellence in the Arts, given in memory of Ralph Gwinn, a former board of education trustee, were presented to

  • Sophie Geer for Instrumental Music, Orchestra
  • Sophia Sulimirski for Instrumental Music, Band
  • Lilly Martin for Fine Arts
  • Lois Vorbach for Vocal Music
  • Camila Blikstad and Madeline Hanley for Drama

Lois Vorbach was awarded the Bronxville Teachers Association Scholarship. The scholarship is given to a student who has shown enthusiasm for lifelong learning, a willingness to help others, a positive attitude, and an interest in entering the field of education.

Anna Normand received the David Quattrone Award for Engaged Citizenship, established to honor the retired superintendent and to recognize dedication to collaboration and service, one of the four dispositions of The Bronxville Promise.

“You don’t accept the invitation to give a graduation speech if you don’t feel immense affection for those receiving their diplomas,” parent speaker Andrea Abbott told the graduating class. Mother of graduate Lyric Abbott and chosen by members of the class to give the address, she described class members as energetic, witty, self-aware, kind, clever, self-deprecating, well-mannered and unwavering in their support for each other.

“You have been raised under extraordinary circumstances, at a school where excellence is the norm, with access to extracurricular activities that most people can’t even fathom.” She reminded the graduates that they have lived in a true community, something increasingly rare. “As you move through life, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had,” she advised “A graduation, she noted, is a mark along the long arc of life, a chance to pause together to witness the universal passage into life’s next stage. “It is an awe-inspiring moment.”

 

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Photos by A. Warner











 
Bronxville High School Seniors Perform at Baccalaureate 2019 PDF Print Email

By Staff

Jun. 19, 2019:  Members of Bronxville High School's Class of 2019 gathered on Friday, June 14, for their baccalaureate in the Bronxville School auditorium.   

A capacity audience of family members, friends, teachers, and administrators enjoyed the annual celebration of the performing and visual arts, a Bronxville tradition.   

The event began with opening remarks by Catie Burnell. The baccalaureate speaker this year was English teacher Franco D'Alessandro, who was introduced by Sarah Goodell. The program consisted of

Emmanuel Yimer performing “Expression” by Helen Jane Long;

Bailey Barton and Samantha Huss performing “In My Life” by the Beatles;

Michelle Coppola performing a magic show;

Andrea Shephard performing “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles;

Liam Grealy, Zip Malley, Jack Palermo, Anton Tarazi, and Seamus Watters performing “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys;

Eliza Elder performing “Waves” by Dean Lewis;

Isabella Dibbini performing “Vengeance by Lionel Yu;

Vance Wood performing “Samson” by Regina Spektor;

Paul Magaud performing Etude in A Flat Major, Op. 25, No 1, by Frédéric Chopin;

Catie Burnell performing “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret; 

Arisa Hara performing “Dance to the Music Mr. Sandman”;

Norah Foley performing “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac;

Matthew Pytosh performing “Who I'd Be” from Shrek;

Jack Parzick performing “Fool in the Rain” by Led Zeppelin;

Clio Dakolias, Alex New, Katie Quigley, and Andrea Shephard performing “Don't Stop Believin'” by Journey;

Eliza Elder and Vance Wood performing “That's What's Up” by Lennon and Maisy;

Lily Vorbach performing “Se tu m'ami” by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi; and

Tim Cushman and Paul Magaud performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Freddie Mercury.

The closing remarks were by Jon Klibonoff.

In addition to the performances above, there was also an art exhibition that had works by 36 seniors.

Below are photos from the baccalaureate:

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Pictured at top:  Bronxville students who performed at the baccalaureate.

Photo by A. Warner





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