Making a World of Difference Close to Home

John Jay High School’s A World of Difference Club recently met with clients of North East Westchester Special Recreation at the Bedford Community House for an evening of fun activities.

North East, a nonprofit organization that provides recreational services to adults and children with special needs, welcomed JJHS students, and together the two groups enjoyed Zumba, arts and crafts, baking and a pizza dinner.

“The members of A World of Difference were happy to become more involved with the local community,” said AWOD student member Lauren Connolly.

MS Celebrates Intergenerational Exchange Day

John Jay Middle School celebrated Intergenerational Exchange Day on May 8, during which students welcomed a group of local senior citizens to spend a day at school. Sixth-grade students served as guides and toured the guests around the school, while seniors shared their own experiences with their younger counterparts. The day resulted in new friendships and culminated in a musical performance by the jazz band and a reception in honor of the seniors.

HS Tennis Complex Breaks Ground

Thanks to the efforts of the Katonah-Lewisboro Community Tennis Association, ground broke on May 18 for the new six-court tennis complex on the John Jay High School campus.

The KLCTA was formed as a nonprofit organization to aid in the funding and building of this new complex, which will include courts, lighting and related tennis amenities on the campus for use by the district’s athletic teams, physical education classes, and the community at large.

“It has been about three years since the inception of the idea,” shared KLCTA President and JJHS varsity boys tennis coach Robert Labriola at the groundbreaking. He also thanked the Board of Education and district administration for their support throughout the process.

“It really began as a grassroots effort,” said Katonah-Lewisboro School District Assistant Superintendent for Business Michael Jumper. “They are gifting us the installation of the courts and we have just helped facilitate all of the requirements associated with school construction.”

The KLCTA has so far raised $520,000 toward the project and is still accepting donations that will assist with underground preparation of the site, bonding and insurance.

The United States Tennis Association has also shared its support for the complex, stating in a letter to Labriola: “We could not help but to be caught up with the excitement of what this tennis center would mean to the community. We believe building courts is a great ambition, but building a tennis ‘community’ is what is really happening here, and we are 100 percent behind your passion and efforts.”

Labriola said he is excited to see the high school tennis teams and their supporters enjoying practices and matches on the new courts, as well as middle school students utilizing the space during physical education classes.

In addition, “I see USTA leagues, junior team tennis, conference tournaments, parents of students and community members using the facility. Our JJHS campus will be nicely rounded out by having another sport and facility for all to use.”

Construction is slated to begin this week.

“In about 12 weeks, we will do a ribbon cutting,” said Labriola.

May 19, 2015 Official Results


HS Art Gallery Debuts with ‘Rite of Spring’

John Jay High School students proudly showcased their artwork – ranging from drawings, paintings, ceramics, photographs, short films and animation – in the school’s annual Rite of Spring art show, but this year, the artwork had a new venue. The exhibit was the first to be shown in the new JJHS Art Gallery and was celebrated with a grand opening in March.

Student Jessie Blumberg, who is currently enrolled in the Drawing and Painting II and Ceramics classes, said she was excited to see her work on display in the new gallery. “I like the art classes because you get to be creative and there are fewer guidelines than in other classes,” she said. “It’s more free.”

For Elena Wickersham, her Drawing and Painting I assignment inspired nostalgia, as it depicts a number of her favorite childhood games. “These are three board games I used to play with my family,” she said of her drawing. “It brings back a lot of memories.”

The John Jay High School Art Gallery is made possible through a partnership with ArtsWestchester.

KES Is Kind to the Environment

Katonah Elementary School marked Earth Day throughout April. During the school’s monthly assembly, a group of fifth-grade students showcased what they’ve learned about saving the environment and read “Michael Recycle.” They advised their fellow classmates to recycle cardboards, electronics and paper and to save energy by turning off the lights. They also said people should take shorter showers or turn off the water while brushing their teeth in an effort to conserve water and use dish rags instead of paper towels.

Assistant Principal Terry Costin also recognized a few kindergarten students for cleaning up on Earth Day, along with several second-graders who took it upon themselves to clean up during recess. To observe Earth Day, students in every grade were involved in activities that focused their attention on the environment throughout the month, such as walking to school on Fridays, Costin said.

The school also composts food waste, which for the month of April amounted to 1,065 pounds compared to the trash total of 508 pounds. Another contribution to the environment is the reduced amount of water bottles used at the school thanks to a water dispenser that’s placed on the second floor. School officials said they’ve saved a total of 712 water bottles in April.

“We took inventory a number of years ago and began to target the reduction of the sale of water bottles,” Costin said. “The dispensers, which have been installed throughout the district, chill and filter the water and keep count electronically.”

Lewisboro Elementary School will no longer be a budget polling location


Student-Musicians Shine at All-County Music Festival

Select students from John Jay Middle School and High School recently performed in concerts for All-County Band, Chorus and Orchestra at the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center.

The All-County Music Festival gives outstanding students in Westchester County opportunities for music performance at a level beyond that usually available in the individual school. Students also have the unique privilege of working with highly esteemed guest conductors for each ensemble.

Participating Students

All-County Intermediate Orchestra:
James Chen, Cello, Grade 8
Nora Collins, Oboe, Grade 8
Isabella Gibaldi, Cello, Grade 9

All-County Intermediate Band:
Yoni Leiderman, Percussion, Grade 8
Evan Neu, Clarinet, Grade 9
Elias Waill, Percussion, Grade 8

All-County Intermediate Chorus:
Cielo Howell, Soprano, Grade 8
Fayth Wisehart, Alto, Grade 8
Daniel Zitomer, Baritone, Grade 7

All-County Elementary Orchestra:
Althea Cisneros, Violin, Grade 6
Sophie Guo, Violin, Grade 6
Owen Hughes, Double Bass, Grade 6
Eliza Wein, Cello, Grade 6

All-County Elementary Band:
David Lovejoy, Trumpet, Grade 6
Amelia Walsh, Flute, Grade 6

All-County Elementary Chorus:
Riley Bryggman, Soprano, Grade 6
Madeline Jahaly, Alto, Grade 6
Charlie Simonsen, Alto, Grade 6
Kiya Zander, Soprano, Grade 6

Honoring Eagle Scouts

Two John Jay High School students, Alex Wagner and Ben Weinstein, were celebrated on May 10 as they received their Eagle Scout awards.

The two seniors received proclamations from Lewisboro Town Supervisor Peter Parsons and Westchester County Legislator Peter Harckham in honor of their achievements at a special Eagle Court of Honor ceremony.

For his Eagle Scout project, Wagner created a mile-long hiking trail at the Leon Levy Preserve in South Salem. The avid hiker hopes the trail will benefit those near and far who come to enjoy the outdoors. He was able to complete the trail before the snow arrived in December and plans to continue being an active scout as his troop’s Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. Wagner will be attending SUNY Maritime College in the fall.

Weinstein worked to construct and design a geocaching and orienteering course at Mount Lakes Park in North Salem for his Eagle Scout project. This special course will benefit the park’s Camp Morty, a summer camp benefitting underprivileged children in Westchester County. Weinstein is passionate about the outdoors and continues to serve as an Assistant Scoutmaster for his troop and an adult leader for the Trail-to-Eagle program as the instructor for the cooking merit badge. He plans to attend Paul Smith College in the fall.

Jay Fest 2015 is Underway

John Jay High School’s athletic program is celebrating the 19th annual JayFest Spring Celebration on May 8 and 9.

The two-day-long celebration includes the Jayfest softball tournament, along with baseball and boys and girls lacrosse games. Click the below link for a full schedule of JayFest events.


Meadow Pond Students Showcase Projects at Science Fair

It turns out that you can’t touch a cloud, the best carpet stain cleaner is a homemade solution, and you shouldn’t use milk to water plants. Those are some of the lessons Meadow Pond Elementary School students learned through their science experiments conducted at home.

The grade K-5 students displayed their projects on April 30 as part of the school’s first science fair in nearly a decade. The PTA-sponsored event invited parents and friends to view the projects and share the students’ scientific accomplishments. Each student received a ribbon for his or her participation, and volunteer judges critiqued each project.

According to Principal Carolann Castellano, while the science projects were not a curricular requirement, school officials gave students the opportunity to conduct their own experiments at home and showcase them at school. Students worked independently or with partners. Close to 60 projects, some of which were undertaken by multiple students, were submitted.

“Science is really something that someone in the 21st century needs to get a sense of and think, how does this work?” Castellano said. “We’re looking to support creativity and scientific thinking and to engender a love of learning. When you see all of the projects, you feel a sense of enjoyment and enthusiasm. All of the projects are very thoughtful.”

Fourth-grader Sydney Rossi, who partnered on her project with classmate Sydney Sarner, said she thought a brand-name carpet cleaner would remove stains better than a homemade solution. But she was surprised at the outcome.

“I learned that science is really fun and it’s easy if you have the right tools,” Rossi said.

Third-grader Samantha Donnelly said her curiosity about the world around her was what triggered her interest in conducting a science experiment. She wanted to find out what kind of liquid was best for plant growth. In the end, water beat out vinegar and lemon water.

Madeline Galgano, Julia Newmann, Mikaela Parker and Riannah Wallach enjoyed collaborating on a project titled “Familiar Fingerprints.” The third-graders wanted to find out if their fingerprints are similar to those of their parents and other family members, including a family cat. They used ink pads to leave their fingerprints on balloons and compare the results.

“You really think you’re a scientist,” Newmann said. “It’s really fun.”

JJHS Part of Spring Daffodil Driving Tour

Thanks to the efforts of the Lewisboro Garden Club and John Jay High School student volunteers, JJHS is poised to bloom this spring. The high school is part of the Lewisboro Garden Club’s Golden Roads Driving Tour, which includes approximately 4,000 daffodils planted throughout the area.

For more information about the tour, click the below PDF.


Science Shines at HS Symposium

John Jay High School spotlighted its science research students during the April 23 Science Symposium.

Seniors, whose topics ranged from Alzheimer’s disease treatment options to cross-generational use of social media websites, each presented their research and project posters to a gathering of sophomores, juniors and seniors in the cafeteria.

View more from the Science Symposium in the video below.