HS Students Impress with Recited Poems

Twenty-five John Jay High School students recently took to the stage to participate in the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest.

Many English classes introduced poetry recitation earlier in the year, holding classroom competitions, with the winners moving on to the Dec. 4 schoolwide event organized by Jeanetta Bryant and Chandler Lewis

For the JJHS competition, each student selected a work to recite from an anthology of more than 800 classic and contemporary poems. Five judges listened to each student deliver their poems, evaluating the recitations in areas of voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, level of complexity and accuracy.

The national Poetry Out Loud competition, a partnership of the Teachers and Writers Collaborative, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is in its 10th year. School winners advance to a regional competition, with opportunities to continue on at the state and national levels. Over the past decade, nearly 2.5 million students at more than 7,300 schools have participated.

“[The contest] is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition,” said English teacher Jeanetta Bryant.

Following the John Jay High School contest, the top five performers were named by the judges: juniors Daniel Berger, Sean McCarthy, Gwen Freudenheim and Sarahann Rozsa, and sophomore Jenny Sokol.

“All of the students did a fabulous job,” Bryant said.

Stress Relief at John Jay HS

John Jay High School held a Pajama Day on Dec. 17, the middle of College Acceptance Week.

Seniors came to school wearing comfortable clothing as part of an initiative to help them relieve stress during what can be a trying week, said Principal Jessica Godin. “They are grateful,” she added.

Meadow Pond’s Sweet Holiday Treats


Meadow Pond Elementary School’s PTA hosted its annual Make-a-Gingerbread House event on Dec. 5.

Students and their parents enjoyed crafting unique homes out of milk cartons, graham crackers and an assortment of candy decorations.


Winter Parenting Series


Office of State Comptroller: District NOT in Need of State Guidance or Services

On December 10 the District received a letter from the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) indicating that a risk assessment of the District’s internal controls, conducted over a three-week period in October and November, resulted in a determination that District is not in need of further services from the State at this time.

The letter from the OSC identified no adverse findings or need for corrective measures.

This outcome is the result of interviews with District personnel, observations, and inspection of financial records pertaining to reserves, resource allocation and budgeting, among other things.
The Board of Education and administrative team has thanked the OSC for its work and is pleased with its findings.

School Spirit Shines at Sharing Assembly

Katonah Elementary School students proved they are still thankful, even after Thanksgiving, during the sharing assembly on Dec. 5.

After fifth-graders led the school in the Pledge of Allegiance and “My Country Tis of Thee,” Mrs. Lynn Garofolo announced the parade floats celebrating the school’s 75th anniversary – which included drawings of the school, pictures of trivia-related items from the time of the school’s inception and even hand-drawn depictions of Principal Mrs. Cristy Harris and Assistant Principal Mr. Terry Costin.

First-graders performed Thanksgiving songs and fifth-graders announced the school’s December birthdays.

Before the December word of the month – generosity – was revealed, Mr. Costin shared the month’s student recognition:

•    Fifth-graders Kate Buckley, Zoe Eliades, Claire Gaza, Emily Keifer and Erin Phillips for spearheading the parade efforts,
•    Fifth-graders Danielle Blacher and Zoe Feldman, who encouraged peers to provide examples of what they were thankful for during Thanksgiving.
•    Katherine Becker and Farah Ganesan of Bus 11 were recognized by the transportation department.
•    William Cardona, Kealyn Colindres and Jennifer Malpartida inspired the school’s new “No Bully Zone” signs.
•    Shelby McCaine was recognized for being “incredible kind and considerate” during November, Mr. Costin said.

HS UN Delegates Converge at John Jay


Model United Nations delegates from 10 area high schools came out to John Jay High School for a day of learning and lively discussion as part of the John Jay Model UN Conference on Nov. 15.

“John Jay delegates used the day as an educational experience to prepare for some of the larger conferences we attend,” said JJMUNC secretary-general Jeffrey Steckler.

Last year, JJMUNC attended five conferences, some of which were multi-day functions at venues including the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University.

This November’s single-day conference at JJHS allowed newer members to learn more about Model UN and debate topics ranging from how dangerous materials should be labeled and transported to the tuberculosis epidemic.

“We wanted to provide a stellar one-day conference to help other schools either expand their Model UN programs or bring in new members,” said Steckler, who has served as the club’s president for the past three years.

The approximately 200 participants came from Berkshire School, Brewster High School, East Side High School, Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School, Horace Greeley High School, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Storm King School, Tappan Zee High School, Trinity School and Wooster School.

Over the past few years, JJMUNC has grown from five members to 65, making it the school’s largest club.

Five Seniors Are NCAA-Bound

Five John Jay High School seniors signed on to continue their athletic careers at National Collegiate Athletic Associate colleges next fall.

Congratulations to:

Amanda Flayhan (lacrosse) — University of Michigan
Ryan Lee (lacrosse) — University of Richmond
Jillian Schell (lacrosse) — San Diego State University
Theresa Swertfager (softball) — University of Florida
Jack Weiller (baseball) — University of Virginia

The student-athletes recently met for ceremonial signings of their Letters of Intent at the high school.

SEPTA Helps Students Celebrate Differences


The Katonah-Lewisboro Special Education PTA held its annual Differences Day for second- and fifth-graders at each elementary school on Nov. 19, 20 and 21.

Students participated in hands-on activities designed to simulate learning disabilities and differences to better understand the challenges children with special needs face every day.



IMES Families Feast for Thanksgiving

Decked out in Pilgrim and Native American garb, Increase Miller Elementary School first-graders entertained their parents at the annual Thanksgiving feast on Nov. 24.

Students sang a number of Thanksgiving-themed songs for a crowd of delighted parents before settling in to enjoy holiday treats including cookies, popcorn, apple cider and pumpkin bread.

Girls Lacrosse Hosts Dodgeball Fundraiser

In anticipation of a team trip to Florida this spring, John Jay High School’s girls lacrosse team held a dodgeball tournament, open to all students, on Nov. 7.

“It was so much fun,” said Principal Jessica Godin.

The event attracted about 160 participants and 200 fans who cheered for the spirited and competitive teams from the stands.

The fundraiser was a major success, bringing in more than $1,000 for the team to put toward its trip.

From the Nurses of KLSD Regarding the Enterovirus