Board of Education Meeting, May 22, 7:30pm
Please be advised there is a Board of Education Meeting on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:30pm.
Dear Mahopac Community,
In conjunction with the ‘Mahopac Way,’ the Mahopac Central School Board of Education adopted in February a strategic direction that will continue to support the high-quality instructional and extracurricular activities that make our schools and community an outstanding place to live and raise a family.
This capital projects proposal was developed with much thought and deliberation. In the fall of 2018, the Board of Education and the Buildings & Grounds Committee directed a group of school leaders, parents and community members to create a plan that addresses the most pressing facilities needs in our district. Over several months, this diverse group of Mahopac community members created this capital improvement project plan based on:
The District opts to fund capital projects such as this through a bond because it maximizes our eligibility for state aid and because costs are spread over a long period of time.
A vote for the bond supports our belief that that stronger schools equal stronger communities.
The voting takes place on Tuesday, May 21 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Mahopac High School at the same time as the annual school budget vote.
Over the past number of years, the District has made great progress in improving our academic programs. We continue to prepare our students for the global workforce and the challenges a career and college will have to offer in the 21st century.
Upon voter approval of the capital improvement project plan, work will be conducted in each of the District’s six schools and the bus garage. This work will address:
Districtwide, we continue to build experiences in all curricular areas that offer real-world application of learning. This includes Maker Spaces, which encourage students to analyze, problem-solve and work together.
Students are also learning computer coding skills from an early age, as this has become an essential component of a K-12 education.
With technology transforming the way students gather and process information, the library of the 21st century has become a multimedia center allowing for multifaceted investigation and student collaboration. Under the proposed plan, Mahopac libraries will be enhanced to offer these resources to our students.
We can be justly proud of Mahopac’s excellent music program. Last year, the district was named among the Top 500 National Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants. Renovations to aging music rooms in the middle and high schools, proposed in this plan, will allow our students to continue to excel.
Maintenance of district buildings and improvements to energy efficiency will provide long-term economies and quality learning spaces. Lighting, roof maintenance, heating, ventilation and air conditioning will all be addressed.
The plan also includes a phased approach for campus improvements for the Middle School, High School and Mahopac Falls property, including building a water treatment plant.
Athletics has always been a big part of the Mahopac school community and we are proud of our outstanding athletes. Improvements to athletic facilities, including construction of a multipurpose turf field and updates to the boys’ locker rooms, will help to ensure Mahopac athletics continues to be the pride of the community.
The district has planned a number of information sessions, open to all, so residents may see the instructional and facility challenges our buildings face.
Superintendent of Schools
Sports Medicine students at the Tech Center at PNW BOCES not only study anatomy and physiology and do hands-on training, but they do internships to help them determine specific areas of medicine they are most interested in. Many of this year’s second-year students received scholarships and will work toward health-related degrees.
Kevin Valdes, Mahopac, worked at Northern Westchester Hospital both with the operations manager and in the ER. He said both the Sports Medicine class and his internship helped him decide what to major in in college.
“Studying anatomy and physiology and learning to do orthopedic assessments no doubt helped give me the confidence to work with people,” said Valdes, who was accepted into an accelerated physician’s assistant program at DeSales University. Valdes said teacher Dr. Will Brightman is also instrumental in inspiring students to pursue their passion in the field. “He is amazing, inspiring and accommodating. He really wants us to succeed.”
Jessica Reiner, from North Salem, interned in Brightman’s Chiropractic and Sports Medicine office recently. “I was able to interact with patients and learn more about healthcare,” said Reiner, who will major in public health and physician’s assistant programs at Nova Southeastern University. “The Sports Medicine class gave me so much insight into different fields of medicine.”
Mahopac High School student Tess Bartman interned with Cove Care, Carmel, in the psychiatric outpatient department as well as with a child psychiatrist. “When I came to the Sports Medicine program I wanted to be a naturopath,” said Bartman. “But after learning about all the different fields, I fell in love with western medicine.” Bartman will study biology and psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Luca Petriello, Mahopac, interned at Aon Physical Therapy in Brewster. “I learned different therapy techniques. I knew I wanted to be a physical therapist, but this class helped me discover that I like the hands-on aspects of athletic training.” Petriello will major in athletic training at Sacred Heart University.
Colleen MacNeil, Mahopac, is interning at North Westchester Restorative Therapy & Nursing Center. “I am going to further my education at College Of Mount Saint Vincent as a nursing major,” she said.
Matthew Vassallo, Mahopac, interned at Northern Westchester Reconstructive Nursing Center in Mohegan Lake. “This class and the internship really prepared me for a major in the healthcare field,” said Vassallo, who will attend Iona College. “What we learned in class is totally relevant to the real world. When I was interning, they were so impressed that I already knew how to read an EKG machine. We learned that here.”
Joseph Muratore, Mahopac, also interned at Aon Physical Therapy. “This class really showed me what is out there in the field,” Muratore said. “It helped me focus in on what was interesting to me.” Muratore will study human performance and health promotion at SUNY Morrisville.
Photo: from left: Kevin Valdes and Matthew Vassallo (Mahopac); Jessica Reiner (North Salem); Luca Petriello, Joseph Muratore, and Tess Bartman (Mahopac).
Donn Tobin was named National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award by SHAPE America — Society of Health and Physical Educators. Tobin’s selection is the highest honor a physical education teacher can receive in the country. He was also named the 2019 District Teacher of the Year in Elementary Physical Education in the Eastern District earlier this year which geographically includes Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virgin Islands.
“To be the recipient of the national Teacher of the Year Award SHAPE America is a distinguished honor. It is an acknowledgement of his commitment to professional excellence and to his students. Donn and his family should be exceptionally proud of his accomplishment,” said Colleen Corsi, executive director, New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYSAHPERD).
Although not confirmed, due to archive information not being available past 2004, it is believed that Tobin is the first elementary teacher in New York to win the national teacher of the year award.
“I am humbled and truly honored by this recognition. It is an absolute privilege to teach the children in the Mahopac community. Our students are eager to learn and I cherish getting to watch them grow. It’s wonderful to be part of a place which parents and caregivers truly support our students’ education and livelihood,” Tobin said.
Since his youth, teaching and working with children have been a big part of Tobin’s life. When he was young, he was involved in martial arts where he learned the notion of breaking down skill instruction into simple steps; this is something that he still uses with his students today. As a teen, he worked as a counselor with children at summers sports camps.
Tobin’s father was the true motivator for encouraging him to become a teacher which resulted in a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York College at Cortland in Physical Education with a concentration in elementary education. Tobin earned his master’s degree in school administration also at Mercy College.
“My philosophy to teaching is to keep instruction as simple and as positive as possible so I can help create a lifelong commitment to health and fitness with my students,” says Tobin. His favorite part of teaching is seeing students grow and improve, especially when they reach the “aha” moment of skill mastery.
“Mr. Tobin’s dedication to inspiring students, nurturing their natural abilities, and encouraging them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle makes it no surprise for us that he was awarded this prestigious national honor,” said Jennifer Pontillo, Lakeview Elementary School principal.
“We are so proud of Mr. Tobin and his recognition as national teacher of the year is duly deserved. He serves as a positive role model for all students and is an inspiration for us all to be healthy, fit and active for a lifetime,” said Anthony DiCarlo, superintendent of schools.
Bowling season maybe over but we're still over the moon about our junior student-athlete Jess Kasper and coach James Carroll.
Kasper finished 10th at the Section 1 tournament (1,145 series) and qualified for states through her average.
Coach Carroll was named Lohud Sports coach of the year. He led the team as the top Westchester/Putnam finisher at the Section 1 tournament, placing sixth overall. Mahopac had three bowlers average at least 156 this season, and all three placed in the top 30 at sectional.
Matthew Martirano, Mahopac High School senior, traveled to Syracuse to participate in the 2019 New York State Band Directors High School Honors Jazz Ensemble.
In the spring of 2018 students from the entire state auditioned for the New York State Schools Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Ensembles at the annual NYSSMA Spring Solo Festivals that are held around the state. Mathew performed a level VI (the highest level) solo on drum set and received a perfect score of 100. As a result, he was selected as the drummer for the 2019 New York State Band Directors High School Honors Jazz Ensemble. Only one drummer from the entire New York state is selected.
“Matthew intends to pursue music as a career. He has already auditioned at four of his top choice colleges and has been accepted at all of these schools. In some of his auditions he was accepted on the spot,” said Richard Williams, Mahopac High School Band Director.
Keeping with tradition, Mahopac's elementary school kindergartners, along with faculty and staff, celebrated 100 days of school!
Fulmar Road Elementary and Lakeview Elementary School, along with schools throughout the nation, participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, January 28-February 1. Organized by the school’s Building Coordinator, Leigh Galione, and Assistant Principal, Elizabeth Blessing, this challenge was devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible in and out of the classroom. “From generously donating to a local food drive, to creating a kindness checklist at home, to reading kindness-focused literature, the students, teachers and staff all participated. You could really feel the kindness spirit throughout the schools,” said, Blessing.
Evidence of this kindness spirit was found in Jacqueline DiRusso’s third grade Lakeview class. During a group discussion, one of her students asked DiRusso if the class could do something to help other children. This immediately sparked enthusiasm from the entire class and they were on board.
DiRusso turned the idea into a teachable moment. She worked with the class on selecting a cause that benefited children. Collectively, the students discussed charity options and agreed to fundraise for the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York City. The hospital serves the tristate area, including Putnam County, for children with serious diseases, and those whom need surgery.
The students decided to host a “Valentine’s Day boutique” on February 13 to sell items to the Lakeview student body during their lunchtimes. Students spent their recess time creating items for sale, such as rainbow loom bracelets, student made books, and “slime”. A few of the student’s parent also donated small-gift items. Card Smart in Mahopac also donated items for the sale. DiRusso and her students also practiced their “sales pitch.” “We wanted our Lakeview peers to know that we were inspired by the Great Kindness Challenge and are raising money to help the lives of children who are very ill,” said DiRusso.
A total of $656.00 was raised. The check was delivered to Hassenfeld, along with hand-written stories and cards for the patients.
“Throughout the whole journey leading up to our fundraiser, the students and I had meaningful discussions about being aware of the needs of others, how to care for one another, and the true meaning of kindness. The students mindset was the idea of creating a little miracle - that is bigger than them to make a difference” said DiRusso.
For more information and to donate to Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, go to https://nyulangone.org/locations/hassenfeld-childrens-hospital-34th-street
Notice from our District Clerk, Melody LaRocca
2019-2020 Annual School Board Member Election Vote will be held on May 21, 2019 at Mahopac High School from 6:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
The candidates for the 2019-2020 Mahopac Central School District Board Election are as follow: