At SMS, WWII veteran calls for tolerance

posted Mar 26, 2015, 10:01 AM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 26, 2015, 10:07 AM ]

[March 26, 2015] You could hear a pin drop in the Suffern Middle School auditorium on March 19. Eighth-grade students were transfixed by World War II veteran Alan Moskin and his account of the bigotry and atrocities he encountered during his tour of duty.

Moskin was a young draftee in General George Patton’s Third Army. Having grown up Jewish in an ethnically diverse, New Jersey community, he experienced intense culture shock and prejudice during basic training in the segregated South. Throughout his presentation, Moskin spoke plainly and passionately about his experience as a concentration camp liberator and the human cost of war.

Moskin’s visit was part of an annual program for sixth- and eighth-grade students at Suffern Middle School to promote tolerance and understanding through the history of the Holocaust. Each year, educators from the Holocaust Museum & Study Center spent two days on-site at the school conducting lectures and interactive exercises designed to raise awareness through engagement.

“I’m so proud of the relationship we’ve established with the Holocaust Museum & Study Center of Rockland,” said Suffern Middle School 6th Grade Counselor Travis Jackson. “This is a unique and powerful opportunity for our students and faculty to experience the Holocaust through the eyes and hearts of those who lived it. We’re very fortunate to have such a valuable resource in our community.”

Photo caption: WWII veteran Alan Moskin spoke with Suffern Middle School eighth-graders on March 19 as part of a two-day program to promote tolerance and understanding.

Science Olympians medal in 11 categories at regional tournament

posted Mar 23, 2015, 5:34 AM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 25, 2015, 7:41 AM by Ramapo Central ]

[March 23, 2015] Suffern High School students earned 14 medals in 11 categories at the 2014-15 Hudson Valley Regional Science Olympiad Tournament. Among Rockland teams, Suffern’s A and B teams placed third and sixth, respectively.  

Rigorous Science Olympiad competitions are held at the regional, state and national level to improve the quality of science education, create a technologically literate workforce and recognize outstanding student achievement in science and technology. This year’s tournaments are comprised of 23 categories, ranging from Air Trajectory to Write It/Do It. Each team must select 19 categories in which to compete. Medals are awarded for the top 10 finishers in each category. 

Suffern High School’s Science Olympiad teams are coached by science teachers Colleen Stritmater, Bill Ballerine, Natascha Bota, Jim Marina and Michael Purdy. 

Congratulations, Regional Science Olympiad medalists:

Air Trajectory, 1st Place: Peter Manos and Julia Szurnicki
Astronomy, 10th Place: Katie Sadoff and Brooke Greenstein
Disease Detectives, 1st Place: Samir Dutta and Eytan Rubenstein
Green Generation, 2nd Place: Eytan Rubenstein and Catriona Keane
Invasive Species, 3rdPlace: Eytan Rubenstein and Samir Dutta
Entomology, 4th Place: Joe Girard and Brandon Donato
Game On, 5th Place: Nicholas Nguyen and Neel Sood
Mission Possible, 5th Place: Hanna Consiglio and Casey Chu
Green Generation, 6th Place: Peter Manos and Ryan Sedwick
Wright Stuff, 6th Place: Juliette vanSchaik and Brooke Greenstein
Cell Biology, 7th Place: Casey Chu and Cameron Martel
Entomology, 8th Place: Snehith Abraham and Ryan Sedwick
Fossils, 8th Place: Joe Girard and Hannah Consiglio
Fossils, 10th Place: Snehith Abraham and Ryan Sedwick

Photo caption: Suffern High School Science Olympiad teams medaled in 11 separate categories at the 2014-15 regional tournament.

Needleman, Newman and Woo medal at NYS DECA competition

posted Mar 23, 2015, 5:21 AM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 23, 2015, 5:22 AM ]

[March 28, 2015] Suffern High School juniors Nicole Needleman, Tyler Newman and Steve Woo medaled at the 2014-15 New York State DECA Business Competition in early March. These students earned honors in the following three categories: Principles of Marketing (Needleman), Travel and Tourism (Newman) and Business Financial Services (Woo).

“DECA serves as a direct link between the business program at Suffern High School and our community, as well as other business programs in the region,” explained DECA advisor and business teacher Gary Weed. “In competitions at the local, regional and state level, students apply what they have learned in the classroom to real world scenarios. Role play events require decision-making related to marketing, finance, hospitality and management and provide students with valuable skills to succeed in college and career.”

Photo caption: Eight members of Suffern High School’s DECA chapter, including medalists Nicole Needleman, Tyler Newman and Steve Woo, competed at the New York State DECA Business Competition in Rochester March 4-6. 

Transportation service guidelines presented to nonpublic schools

posted Mar 23, 2015, 5:10 AM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 23, 2015, 9:07 AM ]

[March 23, 2015] On March 18, Assistant Superintendent for Business Kelly Seibert and Transportation Coordinator Rena Gesner convened a meeting at the Administrative Offices in Hillburn for representatives of the private and parochial school community to which the District transports students to review transportation policies and procedures. 

Bus accident policy, student discipline, emergency dismissal information, registration, expectations and important deadlines were discussed. Attendees were informed that the updated District Transportation Handbook is available online.

Among the key points highlighted was that the district has moved their transportation request forms to an electronic format and stressed the importance that parents submit their requests by the State mandated April 1st deadline. Forms and instructions are available under Transportation on the District website.

Attendees were reminded that, consistent with the District’s practice for public school students, private school parents are asked to work directly with their child’s school administration regarding transportation questions and concerns.

The District transports approximately 5,207 students to and from school each day. In addition to its own seven public schools, Ramapo Central provides pupil transportation to 74 private and parochial schools and 34 vocational/special education programs located in and around Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties.

“How to Succeed” opens at SHS on March 19

posted Mar 18, 2015, 7:40 AM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 20, 2015, 7:09 AM ]

[March 18, 2015] “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” promises to be another must-see musical for Suffern theater fans. The production is set to take the stage later this week, but has already made headlines! Check out the story, photos and Running Lines video here.

Performances are scheduled for 7pm on March 19 and 21, with a 1pm performance on March 21. The original March 20th performance has been rescheduled for Sunday at 4pm. Tickets are $15 and will be sold at the door and online.

SHS wins county Academic League championship

posted Mar 16, 2015, 7:25 AM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 16, 2015, 7:25 AM ]

[March 16, 2015] You may be able to name the Maryland native who starred in Foul Play, but can you also identify the commercial use of ethylene glycol AND the value of a queen of spades in the game Hearts? This sort of vast knowledge base is what’s required to win an Academic League competition. 

On March 12, Suffern High School took top honors in the Rockland County tournament. Nyack High School placed second, with Clarkstown South High School finishing third.

“I am so proud of this year’s team,” said Academic League advisor and science teacher Colleen Stritmater. “Students were dedicated to practice and their practice paid off. I look forward to seeing a lot of returning members next year—and hopefully, some new faces!”

The annual county-wide tournament, hosted at Suffern High School, is the culmination of a nine-week series of school-to-school academic competitions. Teams representing Rockland’s public high schools compete in three, 20-minute rounds of competition. Each round, four members from each team work together to correctly answer questions spanning current events, world history, geography, science, pop culture, foreign language, literature and math.

Click here to read the “5 Questions” interview with SHS Academic League advisor (and science and AVID teacher) Colleen Stritmater in today’s Journal News.

Photo caption: Suffern High School’s Academic League team (with advisor and science teacher Colleen Stritmater) celebrates their big win.

Tonight is Family Night!

posted Mar 16, 2015, 5:03 AM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 16, 2015, 5:03 AM ]

[March 16, 2015] Just a reminder that tonight is Ramapo Central's first-ever Family Night! 

Enjoy a school night off together at home or take advantage of family-friendly activities and discounts, thanks to our outstanding Family Night Community Partners. Click here for details.

Related story: Mark your calendar – Family Night is March 16

Put on a happy face: Bye Bye Birdie opens March 12

posted Mar 12, 2015, 2:49 PM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 2:50 PM ]

[March 12, 2015] The musical comedy Bye Bye Birdie opens at 7pm on Thursday, March 12 at Suffern Middle School.Set in 1958, this year’s 7th/8th-grade production features retro costumes, period sets and exuberant singing and choreography.Performances are scheduled for 7pm on March 12, 13 and 14. Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at the door or online at

Thanks to the following Ramapo Central faculty for making this musical a hit:

Alice Biss Adams, Director

Constance Shearer, Music Director

Melanie Ibsen, Assistant Director

DaynaMarie DiSiena, Choreographer

Gary Blake, Set Painting & Stage Crew Director

Steve Bower, Set Construction

Stern, Mazariego and Acosta selected for NYS leadership competition

posted Mar 12, 2015, 2:41 PM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 2:42 PM ]

[March 12, 2015] Suffern High School sophomore Nicolas Acosta and seniors Gail Stern and Will Mazariego have been selected to compete at the final regional qualifier for Somos El Futuro, a three-day Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute in Albany. The March 16 Hudson Valley competition will be hosted by Suffern High School; Somos El Futuro is scheduled for March 21-23.

Throughout the year, PR/HYLI participants study the state legislative process, parliamentary procedure and selected bills pertaining to youth issues in preparation for Mock Assembly presentations at the qualifying events. 

"I am extremely proud of the three Aspirantes that have made it to the final round of an extremely competitive debate over pertinent legislative issues,” said Suffern High School ASPIRA Chapter Director and ESL teacher Rob Mariani. “This is a wonderful opportunity to implement the ideology of the ASPIRA process, which is action, awareness and analysis. This is a historic year for Suffern High School, as we will host students from all over the Hudson Valley for the final, March 16 debate.”

Those who advance to the statewide Institute will take part in a Mock Assembly session in the New York State Assembly chamber, in addition to teambuilding, networking and leadership exercises.

Photo caption: (From left) Suffern High School students Gail Stern, Nicolas Acosta and Will Mazariego will compete in the final regional qualifier for the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute on March 16.

Related stories: SHS collaboration drives four-year college hike

Artists of the Month recognized at SHS

posted Mar 12, 2015, 2:34 PM by Ramapo Central   [ updated Mar 12, 2015, 2:35 PM ]

[March 12, 2015] The Suffern High School Art Department celebrated its five Artists of the Month on March 12:  Luke Dorian, Alexis Miller, Dunahay Pereyra, Christina Philip and Rhea Singhal

Honorees are nominated by their art teachers based on their commitment to creating art, demonstration of great effort, strong skills and understanding of how to problem-solve, and obvious personal enjoyment and satisfaction from creating art.

“I’m also in the National Art Honor Society and art is a really good way to get involved at school,” noted Pereyra, who is currently completing her 24-piece portfolio for AP Studio Art. “Especially this year, we’ve done a lot of work connecting with other clubs.”

Suffern High School offers more than two dozen visual arts classes each year, ranging from art as therapy to advanced computer graphics, including five college-level courses. 

Throughout the month of March, the National Art Honor Society and K-12 Art Department is celebrating National Youth Art Month with an art activity during lunch every Wednesday. This month-long celebration will culminate in the Districtwide Art Show on March 26 from 5:30-7:30pm at Suffern High School.

Works by Artists of the Month are on display outside the Suffern High School auditorium.

Photo caption: Senior Dunahay Pereyra was nominated as a March Artist of the Month by art teacher Tracy Berges for her unique style of expression. Berges said that Pereyra’s compositions “frequently appear as if you are looking through a filter that creates a softened view of her subject.”

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