In the News
“The questions are based on curriculum,” explained seventh-grader Luke S., who tied with classmate Eric R. for 2nd place in the region and 25th statewide. “You only have 30 minutes to do the whole thing. I ran out of time, so I just guessed on the last three questions.”
“The test is challenging; all the questions have a twist—just like the SAT,” added seventh-grade math teacher and Math League coordinator Patricia Boswell.
Results were recently released and report Suffern Middle School’s performance against other competitors in the region (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties) and the state.
Although none of Suffern Middle School’s three top-performing students claimed to “love math,” they agreed on what makes the subject appealing to them.
“ELA teachers say that their subject is best because you can be creative in coming up with any answer you like as long as you support it with evidence,” said eighth-grader and regional NYC Math League co-champ Alex A. “I like math better because there’s just one answer.”
Photo caption: Suffern Middle School Assistant Principal Dr. Andre Lawe and seventh-grade math teacher Patricia Boswell congratulated Alex A., Luke S. and Eric R. on their performance in the NYS Math League competition.
On May 21, a Cambridge film crew visited the school to tape classroom activities and interview students and staff. Footage will be used to create professional practice resources for new teachers and to raise awareness of the Global Perspectives program.
“Cambridge reached out to us and asked,” explained social studies chair Jared Gelb. “It’s pretty cool in the sense that we’re the only North American program being featured.”
Gelb teaches the rigorous, two-year course in collaboration with English and social studies teacher Dr. Robert Wilson and library media specialist Dominick Martiniello.
“Suffern High School has done a good job for many years in discussing and debating issues that relate to the United States, and that perspective should remain primary. However, I thought that we could do even more in exposing students to contemporary international perspectives,” Wilson commented. “The Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives Program helps to achieve that goal.”
Gelb added, “Most courses are driven by content and develop skills secondarily. With the Cambridge GPR course, students are focusing on developing cognitive and analytical skills while having the freedom and latitude to pursue topics of global significance for which they have a passion. Each student can focus on what’s most important to them.”
Principal Patrick Breen and Assistant Principal and Cambridge Coordinator Dr. James Douglass helped to introduce Cambridge Pre-U to Suffern High School during the 2011-12 school year. At the time, Suffern High School was one of just 11 U.S. high schools selected to pilot the elite program.
Photo caption: The Cambridge crew filmed a May 21 presentation by Suffern High School senior Hannah Consiglio on government regulation of the global fast food industry.
Annual Siegelbaum Literary and Visual Arts Competition.
“Breaking the Bonds of Hate” was the theme of this year’s competition, which drew submissions from middle and high school students across Rockland, Orange and Bergen counties. First place prizes were awarded in the categories of Prose/Poetry and Visual Arts at each grade level.
Chen won first place in the Prose/Poetry category and Vanderwaal placed first for Visual Arts. Winners were honored at an evening reception at the Holocaust Museum & Study Center on May 12.
Social studies teacher Joan Weiner commented on the good news, “Suffern Middle School, and especially Team Delta, is very proud to have TWO winners!”
Photo caption1: Suffern Middle School eighth-grader Sarah Chen was awarded first place in the Grade 8 Prose/Poetry category of the 19th Annual Siegelbaum Literary and Visual Arts Competition.
Photo caption2: Eighth-grader Olivia Vanderwaal earned top honors in the competition’s Visual Arts category for her powerful collage.
[May 27, 2015] Five Suffern High School students were named May Artists of the Month by the Suffern High School Art Department on May 20. Congratulations to: Kiandra Antenor, Katherine Krasinski, Dheivanai Moorthy, Emily Piescki and Natalie Smith.
Each month, art teachers nominate students based on their commitment to creating art, effort and motivation, skills and problem solving. Artists of the Month are selected from all grade levels and across more than two dozen visual arts classes.
Works by Artists of the Month, along with teacher nominations, are on display outside the Suffern High School auditorium.
Photo caption1: Senior Kiandra Antenor was nominated as May Artist of the Month by art teacher Tom Okada for her exceptional photography work.
Photo caption2: May Artists Kiandra Antenor and Dheivanai Moorthy were among the artists honored by the Suffern High School Art Department on May 20.
May 19 marked the opening of the 2015 show, themed “POP Goes the Hero.” Sloatsburg artists, decked out in their Pop art, crime-fighting finest, proudly toured parents and community members through the building to point out extraordinary works in a wide range of media created by K-5 students this school year.
After the big event, art teacher Theresa Dolan took time to talk about the inspiration behind his year’s show.
Where did the superheroes theme come from?
“I wanted to use an era of art that evoked what is endearing and familiar to each one of us: the movies, food and heroes who save the day and always come to the rescue, whether they be real or imagined. It was also to celebrate the fact that we can all be a hero as well as just admiring them.
“I told the students that it was time to focus on the heroes and what attracts us to them; courage, honor, integrity and perseverance. Sometimes completing an art project requires all of those elements as is in everyday life.
“And that no matter how hard schoolwork, a project or life may seem, there is always hope that one can do it! For their parents it was a reminder of those comforting, ‘feel good’ memories and that hope lies within each of their children.”
How do you come up with fresh ideas every year?
“This year, we added wire portraits of our graduating class of fifth-graders, graphic novels/comics, multidimensional art, and introduced new areas of art history.”
Anything else you’d like to add?
“I also have to thank the PTA…they just increased our budget in support of next year’s show. I started planning it last night!
“Lastly, Principal Joe Lloyd has given me such freedom and trust. He told me to let it rain art.”
Photo caption: Sloatsburg Elementary School students explored their inner superheroes as part of this year’s Annual Art Show.
Corini joined the Ramapo Central School District 15 years ago and currently teaches ninth-grade honors social studies and Syracuse University Project Advance, a college-level American History course. He was nominated for the award by English and social studies teacher Dr. Robert Wilson.
“Mike and I continually exchange ideas concerning past and recent legal and political issues that arise in our respective classes,” noted Wilson. “He is proactive in promoting department members and students when they engage in tournaments or give presentations at conferences. Indeed, Mike is a major factor why Suffern High is held in high prestige by both students and parents.”
“To be nominated by Bob was the best part. To have someone of his caliber think that I should receive this recognition IS the award,” Corini said. “Walking around this building every day, every teacher is performing at or above this level. So, I’m accepting this award for them.”
Photo caption: Michael Corini (second from right) was joined by Suffern High School Social Studies Department colleagues Matthew Biggar, Dr. Robert Wilson and Jared Gelb as he received the Westchester Lower Hudson Council for the Social Studies’ 2015 Outstanding High School Social Studies Teacher Award on May 20.
As participants in the Harry Chapin Practice-a-Thon, these musicians signed up sponsors for minutes spent practicing in the month of April. Then, they practiced. A lot.
“I have been experimenting with practice this year,” noted orchestra teacher Tara Goozee. “At this time, there is no ‘official’ word on practice but I'd like to change that and make at least a clearly stated expectation.”
The statewide event aims to strengthen instrument practice habits while helping families in need. In Rockland County, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley supplies dozens of member organizations, such as food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters.
Photo caption: These Suffern Middle School musicians (and several others) collectively raised nearly $1,900 for the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley by practicing 18,265 minutes during the month of April!
[May 21, 2015] Suffern High School Economics Club teams placed 2nd, 4th and 5th in the David Ricardo Division of the New York State Economics Challenge. Reserved for first-time competitors, the division was comprised of 21 teams. The annual event is sponsored by the National Council for Economic Education.
Suffern High School’s club was launched two years ago by then-sophomores Steve Woo, Zac Pearlman, and Nick Tomiello, who were interested in starting an economics debate club. Members meet weekly to the high school to discuss and debate various economic and financial literacy issues—such as the merits of public education, healthcare and taxes—and their impact on everyday life.
Suffern I (2nd place): Steve Woo, Cameron Martel and Jeremy Dohmann
Suffern II (4th place): Cyrus Behzadi, Lenard Halim and Josh Rosenthal
Suffern III (5th place): Nick Tomiello, Zac Pearlman and Johnny Riskin
Photo caption: Suffern High School’s Economics Club (pictured with business teacher and advisor Gary Weed) competed in the New York State Economics Challenge for the first time this year.
Earth BEAT (Basic Environmental Awareness Training) is a Keep Rockland Beautiful program that uses fun, hands-on learning to promote understanding local ecology, waste reduction and energy conservation. Activities included Nature Bingo featuring local wildlife, Garbage Relay Stations to help students differentiate between types of trash, recyclables and hazardous waste and Nature Trail Exploration to identify native plants on school grounds.
“Two major components of our mission are positive character development and healthy living,” explained Principal Joe Lloyd. “With this in mind, Earth BEAT inspires students to be both responsible stewards of the environment and caretakers of their own health.”
As first-graders wrapped up the Garbage Relay Station activity on May 14, they learned small things they could do—such as packing a waste-free school lunch—to make a big difference in what goes into landfills.
“Even at a young age, we can plant the seeds and open children’s eyes to the natural world around them,” noted Earth BEAT educator Kerry Moran. “They may not be able to make some of these changes, but they can ask their parents to help.”
Photo caption: Earth BEAT educator Kerry Moran discusses how to pack a waste-free school lunch with Sloatsburg Elementary School first-graders on May 14.
Suffern High School Principal Patrick Breen commended students on their accomplishments, noting that highlighting outstanding academic achievement was a fitting start to the flurry of year-end events.
Seniors were personally congratulated by Breen, Assistant Principal Andrew Trust and Ramapo Central Superintendent Dr. Douglas Adams, and each briefly shared their college plans.
From applied mathematics to environmental science, more than half of the soon-to-be grads plan to pursue studies in a STEM field, with many entering engineering programs.
Institutions welcoming top-performing Mounties this fall include: College of William & Mary, Cornell University, Franklin & Marshall College, Georgetown University, Hamilton College, SUNY Fredonia School of Music, MIT, New York University, RCC Honors Program, SUNY Binghamton, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Washington University and Yale University.
In closing, Breen thanked parents for their support and expressed great pride in students’ success. “It’s exciting to hear where you all are headed,” he said.