skip to main content

Students Spread Kindness With Peace Dove Paintings

Students Spread Kindness With Peace Dove Paintings photo

Sixth-graders at Rye Neck Middle School are spreading kindness, peace and positive messages throughout their school, thanks to an art project they recently completed in teacher Trisha Appel’s art classes.

Inspired by Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and his famous antiwar painting called “Guernica,” the students created their own original paintings that incorporated the international symbol of peace – a white dove – at the center of their work. 

“The students used the dove as a means to carry their message throughout their work,” Appel said. “Many expressed how their doves were being used to show a positive message and bring that message to others as they view their work.” 

Using pencils and paper, the students first sketched out their ideas before painting their compositions with watercolor paints. Then, they painted their dove white with tempera paint to make it stand out, and later outlined it in black oil pastels or black pencils to either smooth out the edges for a softer look or create a crispier edge. They also incorporated different words of encouragement, scenes of nature, landscapes, people and city skylines to help express their messages of peace, kindness and positivity. As a final step to the project, the young artists added borders to their finished works and reflected on the experience. 

“In my project, the dove is rising with the sun – with the rays of different words that describe peace, such as hope, love, peace, joy, life, grace, unity, pride,” said sixth-grader Samina Quli, who added that her dove is rising to bring hope to a new day. “When people look at my painting, I hope they feel a bit happier. In darkness, you can always find a speck of light.”

The students’ work also directly aligns with the No Place for Hate program at Rye Neck Middle School, which was spearheaded by sixth-grade guidance counselor Meegan Lawlor as a way to promote kindness within the school community. 

“The peace dove art project will be used as a visual means for all students to remember to be kind and to stand up for what is right in order to make our school a safe and fun place to be for everyone,” Appel said. “The students liked the idea of being able to brighten up the halls of the middle school with positive messages expressed through their own works of art.”

As sixth-graders work on this project each trimester, their paintings will decorate the middle school halls with messages about peace and kindness throughout the year. In addition, several paintings will be chosen to be displayed at an upcoming exhibit at the Mamaroneck Library, to be held in December. 

Seventh-Graders Work Together Through Obstacle Course Challenges

Seventh-Graders Work Together Through Obstacle Course Challenges photo
Seventh-Graders Work Together Through Obstacle Course Challenges photo 2
Seventh-graders recently bonded over a variety of outdoor teambuilding activities, which were designed to promote a sense of community, trust and collaboration. They learned how to work together, solve problems and enhance their communication skills when they took their annual field trip to the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES campus in Yorktown Heights on Sept. 21. 

“This trip taught students the necessary skills to complete certain physical and mental challenges as a group, and these skills are now being used at school to help create a supportive classroom environment,” English teacher Christopher Tinnirello said.

Seven Seniors Honored as Commended Students

Seven Seniors Honored as Commended Students photo
Seven Rye Neck High School seniors were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation as Commended Students in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. It’s an honor given annually to outstanding students who achieve exceptional scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. 

Curtis Alter, Joseph Catanzariti, Doris Igrec, Ema Jovanovic, Grace O'Rourke, Margaret Vicotry and Rafael Zyngier, who received the National Letter of Commendation award, are among 34,000 students throughout the nation to be recognized for their exceptional academic achievements. They placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students nationwide who took the qualifying test in 2017. 

Congratulations to the students on being recognized for demonstrating outstanding potential for academic success.

Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists photo
Three Rye Neck High School seniors – Risa Liebman, Delaney Park and Elena Tisnovsky – have been named semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program. 

The students are among 16,000 high school students nationwide who were awarded the distinction by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. They represent the top 1 percent of students from across the country with the highest scores on the qualifying Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. They took the qualifying test in 2017 along with 1.6 million other juniors from more than 22,000 high schools.

“On behalf of the faculty and administration, I congratulate our students and families on this accomplishment,” Principal Tina Wilson said. “We wish them luck as they move forward in the process.” 

Rye Neck’s semifinalists are in the running for approximately 7,500 scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. About 90 percent of the semifinalists will advance to the next round and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship. To become a finalist, the students must submit a detailed scholarship application, demonstrate an outstanding academic record, write an essay and earn scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

National Merit Scholarship finalists will be announced in February, while scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.
 

First Day of School Brings Excitement and Enthusiasm for Learning

First Day of School Brings Excitement and Enthusiasm for Learning photo

Smiles and excited chatter filled the halls across all Rye Neck Schools on Sept. 4 for the first day of school. With new books and school supplies in hand, students joyfully entered their classrooms, eager to see their friends, meet new teachers and organize their lockers.

“Our opening day was filled with positive energy, enthusiasm and big smiles,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. “Upon entering the buildings on the first day, the students walked into classrooms that were bright and rearranged to create the kinds of active learning spaces needed in 2018 and beyond.”

Kindergartners at Daniel Warren Elementary School had an exciting day of firsts as they attended orientation sessions with their parents and introduced themselves to their new teachers. Meanwhile, F.E. Bellows Elementary School students spent a half-day of classes organizing their school supplies, learning the rules of their new classrooms and getting to know new friends. 

Throughout the day, Rye Neck Middle School students attended a variety of presentations and moved around the building to find their new classrooms. They also met their teachers who greeted them with smiles and guided them through their expectations for the year. The halls at Rye Neck High School were buzzing with chatter as upperclassmen Peer Leaders teamed up with ninth-graders for various first-day-of-school activities that were designed to help the younger students make a smooth transition into high school.

“The beginning of a new school year is filled with excitement as students look forward to reconnecting with friends and teachers,” Dr. Ferraro said.

 

Rye Neck Schools Welcome New Staff for 2018-19

Rye Neck Schools Welcome New Staff for 2018-19 photo
Rye Neck Union Free School District welcomed new staff and faculty members during a two-day orientation, held Aug. 27-28. The group met with administrators, discussed organizational items and received a tour of the community, which was led by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro and physical education and health teacher Brian Iacovelli. 

“We welcomed new staff across all of the schools, as well as at the district office,” Dr. Ferraro said. “The energy of the new staff, combined with the experience and proven success of those who have been part of our family in the past, will undoubtedly contribute to our reputation for strong learning outcomes.”

The following are new staff members at Rye Neck: 

Darian Bica, physical education and health teacher at Rye Neck Middle/High School.
Stefania Binasco, teaching assistant at F.E. Bellows Elementary School. 
Jamie Bragg, elementary school teacher at Daniel Warren Elementary School (leave replacement).
Robert Brevetti, social studies teacher at Rye Neck High School. 
Jessica Calvini, English teacher at Rye Neck High School.
Samantha Chu, guidance counselor at Rye Neck Middle School. 
Matthew DeBellis, science teacher at Rye Neck High School.
Allison Fields, speech and language teacher at Rye Neck Middle/High School.
Elizabeth Haughton, secretary at Rye Neck Middle School.
Christina Lee, special education teacher at Rye Neck Middle/High School.
Ardijane Mahmud, nurse at Rye Neck Middle/High School. 
Jane Murtaugh, special services secretary.
Anne Reiser, world languages teacher at Rye Neck Middle/High School.
Christina Roufanis, personnel assistant, district office. 
Eric Rudolph, social studies teacher at Rye Neck Middle School.
Colleen Slattery, social studies teacher at Rye Neck Middle School.
Ashley Sullivan, teaching assistant at Rye Neck Middle School.
Douglas Thorn, special education teaching assistant at Rye Neck Middle/High School.
Victoria Valentine, teaching assistant at F.E. Bellows Elementary School.
Zachary Zamek, world languages teacher at Rye Neck Middle/High School.