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FALL 2016

From the Heart Mount Pleasant — The Heart of Westchester County

The Mount Pleasant Central School District Newsletter

Volume 16, Issue 1

Facilities Bond Facts In July 2016, the Board of Education trustees voted unanimously to ask the Mount Pleasant voters to approve a $39.6 million bond referendum. This is the third attempt for the district to try to raise much needed funds for infrastructure and health and safety improvements. This bond addresses only the most urgently needed upgrades as identified in the 2015 Building Condition Survey. There are no building additions or modifications to academic programs included in this referendum. This bond strives to bring the schools’ infrastructure and many health and safety issues up to date and up to code. The district and board listened carefully to the voting public and focused this bond on addressing the most critical needs of our existing facilities. The funds raised, if this bond passes, would be used for facilities upgrades which are long overdue. Westlake Middle and High Schools Replacing the boiler and roofs at the Westlake campus are most pressing. The current boilers were installed when the schools were built in 1962 (WHS) and 1970 (WMS) and after nearly 50 years, have reached their end of useful life. They provide inefficient and uneven heating in the winter, leaving some classes uncomfortably warm while others are too cold. A new boiler system would be energy efficient and allow technicians to control areas independently. The roofs have more leaks than the maintenance crew is able to keep up with. The typical life of a roof is 20-25 years. The roofs at WHS and WMS have surpassed that mark and are a patchwork of repairs that are conducted on an as needed basis. Many teachers are required to use strategically placed buckets around the room on a rainy day. This is an unsustainable situation.

Other upgrades include, but are not limited to, providing unit ventilators to circulate fresh air in the unequipped classrooms, improving ventilation in gyms and office spaces, replacing original inefficient windows, upgrading outdated electrical panels and HVAC controls and providing ADA access where it is not currently available, a requirement under NY State law. Campus sitework includes a plan to restructure the entrance to provide a two lane exit to relieve traffic congestion and the installation of a sidewalk extending from Westlake Drive to the school to provide a safe walking path for those entering the campus on foot. An expanded parking lot is also planned to address the issue of limited parking for students and visitors. Columbus and Hawthorne While many of the elementary facilities needs were addressed with construction several years ago, there are currently items at both schools that need to be rectified. The most pressing of those is making both schools completely ADA compliant. The plan also calls for installing air conditioning in the CES library, upgrading the fire alarm systems, installing proper drainage for fields used for recess, providing more parking and improved dropoff and pick-up at Columbus, improved bus and car circulation at Hawthorne and installing fireproofing material in the attic at Hawthorne. For a more complete list of the upgrades planned, please visit the Mount Pleasant website at www.mtplcsd.org/ bond_facts Financing The cost of the proposed facilities re-

pairs and upgrades is $39.6 million to be paid over 19 years. This will spread the cost over the useful life of the improvements. It is estimated that 90% of the proposed work is eligible for State Building Aid which pays about 37% of the cost of approved repairs. What does this mean to the taxpayers? For homeowners with an approximate home value of $500,000 the estimated additional annual cost will be $369 (about a dollar a day) from 2020 to 2025. Existing debt will begin to decline in 2026. Residents are strongly urged to come out and vote on October 18th. If you are registered to vote with the Westchester County Board of Elections at your current Mount Pleasant CSD address and have voted in the past four years, you do not need to re-register. If you need to register to vote, please go to http://citizenparticipation.westchestergov.com/register-to-vote to download the Westchester County Board of Elections voter registration form and return it to the County. If you wish only to be registered for school district elections, you may register at the District Clerk’s office on any school day between the hours of 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Don’t forget to encourage recent high school graduates to register as well. They can submit an absentee ballot if they will not be in the area on voting day. Please take the time to learn as much as you can about this current bond proposal by visiting our website at www.mtplcsd.org/bond_facts or mtpleasantbond. com.

FROM THE HEART • Fall 2016

Looking forward to another successful year

Susan Guiney Ed. D. Superintendent

The leaves are just beginning to turn as our Tenure Eligible students complete the first month of the 201617 school year. Enthusiastic about all that a new The following staff are eligible for tenure in the school year brings, children joined their classmates upcoming year. Comments on their eligibility are and met their teachers; successful back to school welcome and can be made on the district’s nights have been held in all of our schools and an ‘Feedback Form’ at www.mtplcsd.org exciting Homecoming was enjoyed by many! Tenure There is much to be proud of and excited about in Date Name School Position the Mount Pleasant schools. As you may be aware, 1/30/16 Christina Andromidas WMS Mathematics Westlake High School was named one of the top Gina Benz HES ENL 500 high schools in America by Newsweek maga- 9/1/17 Justin Dupree WHS Special Education zine. A well deserved honor, it reflects the dedication and commitment of everyone in our schools Minda Glynn WMS Special Education who strive to help our students achieve success. At Krystal Haight WMS English Westlake Middle School, we are happy to continue Dara Joseph District Supervisor of Sp.Ed. our work toward the IB Middle Years Program and Sarah McFadden WHS Mathematics look forward to the “Community Project.” Students Donna Murphy WMS Remedial Reading giving back to our community while stretching their Timothy O’Dwyer WHS Guidance Counselor thinking as learners will be an enriching experience. Anne Taylor WMS English At Columbus and Hawthorne Elementary Schools, Kristina Walraven HES School Psychologist students are actively engaged in classrooms where the focus remains on challenging them to grow as The plan creates a roadmap for us to continuously successful learners. improve both as an educational organization as well As a member of the TriState Consortium of high as a school community. Importantly, the strategic achieving school districts, Mount Pleasant will wel- plan also continues the district’s forward thinking come a team of “critical friends” from other high about the facilities and how we as a district support achieving districts in the tri-state area to our schools the community’s investment in our school buildings. this December. We are assessing mathematics in- With that said, the lead story in this issue of From struction during this visit. Particularly, our thought the Heart provides important information about the provoking essential question, “To what extent do we upcoming bond referendum that the board is preprovide opportunities for all students to construct vi- senting to the community on Tuesday, October 18, able arguments, justify conclusions, and critique the 2016. I encourage you to learn more about what reasoning of others while solving challenging prob- this infrastructure and health/safety bond presents. lems in mathematics?” will allow us to reflect in a Information is available on the school district’s webvery academic and meaningful way on how math in- site, www.mtplcsd.org. If you have any bond related struction and curriculum impacts students’ learning. I questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to any member look forward to sharing the results of the Consortium of the board of education or to give the district office visit with you in the spring of 2017. a call. We are always here for you! Over the next few months, you also can expect to With so much learning and excitement going on in see a new strategic plan presented to the board of our schools, this year portends to be a wonderfully education. Crafted with input from students, teach- successful one. I look forward to seeing you at the ers, administrators, parents, and the community, the many events in the district and on October 18 at the plan will guide our district over the next five years. Westlake gymnasium for the bond vote.

New faces in our schools and classrooms


Brianna DiRoma

Jessica Greene

Jaclyn Hagey

Deirdre Kelly

Simone Loeffel

WMS Spanish

WMS Special Ed

WMS Math

WHS Spanish

CES/HES Librarian

Tina Long

Vita Materasso

Laura Matthews

Erin Sica

Alyson Walsh


WHS Spanish

HES Special Ed

WMS Band

District Communications

It’s a new school year and at each of our buildings there is something to get excited about. Our teachers, students and administrators are looking forward to a great 2016-17. WHS As the middle school successfully continues on the path of becoming an IB World School offering the Middle Years Program (MYP), the district administration along with WHS Principal Keith Schenker are focused on bringing the IB distinction to the high school. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year educational program for students in 11th and 12th grade which provides an internationally accepted curriculum and is recognised by many universities worldwide. The IB program emphasizes “learning how to learn” over content memorization. Equally important, the IB MYP would be extended through the 10th grade allowing for a continuation of the curriculum from the beginning of middle school all the way through graduation. While incremental changes over the past few years have paved the road to

making the change, there is much to be done to reach the goal of being recognized as an IB program. The switch to the block scheduling, allowing a longer, more in depth instruction period and the implementation of the Capstone project for 9th graders (in conjunction with the Envisions program) are just two such changes. The typical timeframe from application to approval is about 24 months, during which time teacher training and curriculum alignment with IB expectations takes place. The hope of the district is to be able to submit a letter of intent of application by the end of the 2016/17 school year. Becoming an IB approved school opens students to a myriad of curriculum options in addition to the high level courses that are already being offered at WHS. The goal of helping to mold the leaders of tomorrow into independent, open minded thinkers is motivation indeed.

WMS How do you define community? This is a question the 8th graders at WMS will be asking themselves this year. WMS principal, Dr. Adam Bronstein, conducted two 8th grade assemblies in the month of September to set students on the path to discover the answer. The “community leadership project” is one more step on the path of becoming designated as an IB Middle Years Program school. It aims to get kids to develop an awareness of the needs in various communities, either at the local or global level, and to take action to make a difference in the world. Each 8th grader will work either individually, or in a group of up to three, to define a community in need, identify a challenge in that community, investigate solutions to resolve the problem and then spend about 20 afterschool hours to implement their plan. Students are able to choose a project of special interest to them within the context of several broadly defined categories: Identities and Relationships, Orientation in Space and Time, Personal and Cultural Expressions, Scientific and Technical Innovation, Globalization and Sustainability or Fairness and Development. They will meet regularly with a project supervisor (a teacher) to help them develop their plan. Some examples of the projects the students may undertake could be using music therapy in a nursing home, joining an historical society to maintain and restore local history, conducting a play to raise awareness on bullying, campaigning to reduce paper use and promote recycling, or creating a community garden.

As the culmination of all their hard work, an evening celebration is planned for students and their families next June to present their work and share in their successes. CES With so much emphasis on science, math and ELA, Social Studies tends to receive less fanfare. However, this year

at Columbus Elementary, Principal Cunzio explained that the Social Studies program is getting a boost thanks to a grant through the Southern Westchester BOCES called “Building a Strong Elementary Social Studies Program: the Integration of Inquiry, Technology and the New Social Studies Framework”. Students will be taught to actively seek knowledge through inquiry and technology rather than passively receive it. This will encourage the

FROM THE HEART • Fall 2016

Starting the year: What’s new around our schools

students to ask compelling questions and develop better critical-thinking skills. Two classroom teachers and the librarian will attend professional development workshops to learn how to integrate technological resources into inquiry-based teaching (enabling children to learn through their own investigation). They will then share their knowledge with other teachers in the district. Workshop attendees receive a Google chromebook, subscriptions to professional resources and money to purchase social studies apps. With the training slated for the month of October, students will be well on their way to appreciating history in a whole new way. Another focus at CES this year will be intervention/enrichment (I/E) periods. While the schedule currently supports two 30-minute I/E periods throughout the day, often the focus of this time has been to give extra help to children at risk of falling behind while other students use the time to attend music lessons. While this will continue, teachers will also focus on utilizing this time to enhance the learning of all students by enriching their experiences. This refocusing will provide small group instruction to all students, allowing everyone to challenge their skills and learning. HES Technology continues to be a focus at Hawthorne Elementary. Principal Anne Stern is excited to discuss two new classroom-based technology initiatives. The first is DreamBox, a responsive math learning tool which helps students gain a deeper understanding of math concepts while working in a fun, game-like applicaContinued on page 4


FROM THE HEART • Fall 2016

Investing in our Future

Chris Pinchiaroli BOE President

On behalf of the board of education, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the staff and students back to school. They are well into the semester at this point and everyone seems to be back in the swing of things. This past summer the board of ed welcomed our newest member, Vincent Graci. He jumped in enthusiastically and has been working diligently with the rest of the board to make sound policy and fiscal decisions for the Mount Pleasant School District. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and well wishes to departing board member Terry Fowler. She dedicated countless hours for the good of the district and she will be missed. Of all the decisions the board is required to make during the school year, the most time consuming and critical decision voted on this summer was that of unanimously agreeing to bring a $39.6 million bond referendum to the voting public. This was a decision not entered into lightly. Findings from two separate Building Conditions Surveys (2010 and 2015) conducted by two different architectural firms highlight the need to replace failing infrastructure before we face catastrophic consequences. Both surveys concurred that the roofs and boilers at the Westlake campus have long ago reached their useful end of life, windows at WMS are inefficient and need replacing, and ventilation systems need to be added in many classrooms. Externally, brick, mortar and lintels around the windows are in need of repointing and repair before they become compromised with water leaks causing potential safety issues. Additionally,

What’s New

continued from page 3


tion. The program analyzes hundreds of data points as the students work allowing the software to tailor the lesson to each individual child’s performance. Teachers are able to assign a focus area to support the curriculum being taught in class. The lessons are aligned with the common core standards and the Eureka math program already in place making it a great supplemental tool for a deeper mastery of the subject. There are also some new tools for ELA. While teachers have been using Raz Kids in their repertoire for the past several years, they now have access to RazPlus. Raz Plus includes the resources of Raz Kids and Reading A-Z, which are reading programs providing thousands of print and online books for teachers and students to access for guided and independent practice. RazPlus takes learning a step further combining the two resources with teacher-led whole class discussions and small group instruction. It strengthens the connection between what is being taught in the classroom and what the students are working on at home. Finally, in the kindergarten and first

there is the need to replace asbestos containing floor tiles in numerous areas. Once work commences in any of our buildings, we are required by NY State law to bring all areas of that building up to ADA requirements. There are many instances where our facilities do not meet code and need to be addressed. We also hope to address the dire parking situation at all schools and the issue of traffic congestion at Westlake at dismissal time. The board worked diligently to include only essential repairs and upgrades in this current bond. The items contained within are essential to maintaining the integrity of our infrastructure and creating an environment of health and safety for our 1,936 students and over 300 teachers and staff. Time is of the essence to make these repairs, as the integrity of such items only continues to decline as the years go on. While we have been able to address some infrastructure upgrades and repairs over the years using funds from the operating budget, we cannot continue do so on the scale necessary without compromising other budget items which have come to define Mount Pleasant as the great district it is. We have the opportunity to make essential changes which will have a direct affect on the thousands of people who are on our campuses on a daily basis all for about a dollar a day to the average taxpayer. I urge you to come out on October 18 and vote. Your vote can be the one that makes the difference.

grade classrooms, a literacy program called Fundations has been implemented. It is a multi-sensory approach to learning words and teaching letter sounds in a developmentally appropriate method. The program makes it fun for the students to learn to read while at the same time it lays the groundwork for long term literacy skills. District-wide Technology The technology department was hard at work this summer upgrading classroom equipment and adding new chromebooks for student use. Each class throughout the district received a brand new Dell

“teacher station” to allow for better use of the SMART interactive whiteboard. The previously used computers were rotated

into student workstations and the oldest machines were retired. Many of the older SMART boards which were unreliable, were upgraded to SMART flat panels. The newest technology does not use a projector to show images, eliminating costly repairs and maintenance. These upgrades allow teachers to optimize their teaching time with the best tools of the trade. Additionally, the department was able to purchase 172 new chromebooks with charging carts. This helps increase device access and reduce the studentdevice ratio. Dr. Nasrin Rouzati, Director of Technology, stated that her “goal is to make technology as available as pencil and paper in the classroom”. Having the extra devices allows the teachers to incorporate technology into their daily teaching without worrying about availability of the computer lab. After last summer’s project of upgrading the Wi-Fi infrastructure, the system can easily support the new traffic. These projects, as well as implementation of various instructional technology programs, highlight the district’s commitment of making Mount Pleasant students successful 21st century learners.

Daniel Novak Assistant Principal WHS WHS welcomes Daniel Novak as its new Assistant Principal. With a background teaching science and engineering at the secondary level, as well as being an experienced AP, Mr. Novak is well positioned for his new role. He comes to Westlake after 9 years at the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering in NYC. While serving as AP at CSS, Mr Novak helped establish relationships with colleges like Columbia University and The City College of New York, allowing students to take college courses on different campuses and preparing them for both academic and social success in college and beyond. Since coming to Westlake, he has been able to set up programs with St. John’s University and Westchester Community College. His long-term goal is to “expand our campus” so that students can get even more college level experience before they leave Westlake. Mr. Novak holds an MS in Secondary Science from City College of New York, and is pursuing his educational doctoral degree from Teacher’s College at Columbia. He taught science, engineering and technology for 13 years and served as an AP for the last 4 years. He is very focused on helping students achieve postsecondary success by gaining 21st century skills and looks forward to putting his experience to work helping Westlake students realize their maximum potential.

Eric Strack Director of Facilities Please welcome our new Director of Facilities, Eric Strack, to the Mount Pleasant School District. After an extensive search, Mr. Strack joins us most recently from the Valley Central School District in Montgomery, NY where he served as Director of Facilities. Prior to that he spent more than 20 years working for NY State, first in the Department of Corrections, then for The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). In both organizations, Mr. Strack was employed as the Plant Superintendent in charge of construction, maintenance and grounds. He also has a background in plumbing, steam fitting and HVAC. Additionally, he currently serves as an officer in the Air National Guard. Mr. Strack is excited to be continuing his career in the Mount Pleasant Central Schools. He is looking forward to helping bring the infrastructure up to 21st century standards and working with our experienced and talented custodial staff. His office will be located in the central district offices, but you will surely be seeing him out and about in and around the school buildings.

Traci Holtz Director of Pupil Personnel Joining the district as the new Director of Pupil Personnel is Traci Holtz. Ms. Holtz comes to the position with a wealth of experience in special education and social work. Most recently, she worked as one of the Directors of Special Education in the Yonkers Public Schools serving more than 5000 classified students. Part of her focus was post-secondary transition planning, helping children be successful as they left the school district. She worked with children with a wide variety of issues, including mental health and developmental disabilities. Prior to that post, she served 11 years as the school social worker for grades 6-12 in the Tuckahoe UFSD. Ms. Holtz holds an MS in Educational Leadership and Administration from the College of St. Rose, an MS in Social Work from Columbia University and a BA in Psychology from New York University. Ms. Holtz is looking forward to working with the students, their parents and the staff in Mount Pleasant with a goal to increase communication between the department and the community. She aims to implement a consistency in procedures and practices to enable a clarity of expectations for everyone involved. She also expresses that she is focused on looking at long term outcomes for each student. The goal is to help provide students with the skills, strategies and interventions needed in order to become self-sufficient, independent, successful learners as they transition to life beyond Mount Pleasant SD.

FROM THE HEART • Fall 2016

Mount Pleasant welcomes new administrators

Lori Centeno Supervisor of Elementary Sp. Ed. Lori Centeno joins the Mount Pleasant School District in the newly created position as Supervisor of Elementary Special Education. Ms. Centeno’s role will be to support the needs of the Special Education Department and will include chairing CSE meetings and working with teachers, parents and students to provide services that lead to student achievement. Ms. Centeno has spent the past 16 years working in special education in New York City. Prior to teaching she worked as a behavior modification specialist for adults with disabilities. She holds a master’s degree in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is certified as a school building and district leader from Stony Brook University. Ms. Centeno’s office will be located at Hawthorne Elementary school but she will be an equal presence at Columbus as well. She has a unique understanding of the necessity for parent/school collaboration and consistently keeps that relationship in mind for all decision making at the school level. She is excited to be a part of a dedicated community of parents, faculty and student learners.


FROM THE HEART • Fall 2016


and understanding.

Donna DiMaio Rooney, WHS Class of 1986, has just published a new juvenile fiction chapter book called DANI and the Day the Bully Changed Everything. It aims to empower bystanders to replace fear with power to end bullying. It tells the story of a young girl who is deeply upset after witnessing a popular classmate being bullied and how she learns to cope with it through compassion

In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, Mrs. Rooney will be doing a book signing on Saturday October 22 from 12-2 at Scattered Books in Chappaqua, NY. For more information please visit http://outskirtpress.com/ DaniandTheDayTheBullyChangedEverything

Brian Bennett

Haseeb Azhar

John Bastone

Chloe Burns

Deanna Forella

Jessica Mia Angela Kaplan Malandruccolo Mangione

Caleigh Carr

Grace O’Brien

John David Cristantiello DeLoughry

Julia O’Connell

Matthew Orlander

Kyle Donnery

Brian Eng

Alexandra Falkenberg

Peter Psaltakis

Jacqueline Siry

Valeria Venturini

Westlake High School congratulates 57 AP scholars


Fifty-seven students at Westlake High School have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement (AP) Exams taken in May of 2016. This number continues to increase every year, reaching an all time high this year. According to the College Board, about 18 percent of the nearly 1.8 million students worldwide who took AP Exams performed at a sufficiently high level to also earn an AP Scholar Award. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement: NATIONAL AP SCHOLAR AWARD. Earning an average score of at least 4 (out of 5) on all APs taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more exams was 2016 graduate Will Sweeny. AP SCHOLAR WITH DISTINCTION

AWARD. Earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams were graduates: George Anastasiou, Joseph Andrews, Eleanor Caston, Brianna DiLiberti, Michael DiNardo, Christopher Donnelly, Sophie Epstein, Lauren Hutnik, George Ittan, Kate Pinchiaroli, William Sweeny and Keira Torpie. AP SCHOLAR WITH HONOR AWARD. Earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams were graduates: Jonathan Alania, Steven Brunetto, Ryan Lewis, Megan O’Connor, Rebecca Poole, Noelle Santos, Daniella Scampone, Jessica Sirico and Daisy Yunga and current seniors Haseeb Azhar, John Bastone, Alexan-

dra Falkenberg, Matthew Orlander and Peter Psaltakis. AP SCHOLAR AWARD. Completing three or more AP Exams with grades of 3 or higher were graduates Ilir Asllani, Brendan Birkelbach, Analisa Caso, Vito Ciraco, Samantha DiMaio, Kathryn Facelle, Nicole Grossman, Sean Kelly, Anthony Laricchia, MaryAnne Murray, Alex Pasieka, Stephanie Rizzo, William Snyder, Robert Soderquist, Danielle Walpole and current seniors Brian Bennett, Chloe Burns, Caleigh Carr, John Cristantiello, David DeLoughry, Kyle Donnery, Brian Eng, Deanna Forella, Jessica Kaplan, Mia Malandruccolo, Angela Mangione, Grace O’Brien, Julia O’Connell, Jacqueline Siry, and Valeria Venturini.

National Merit Commended Student Westlake has a National Merit Commended Student this year - Ally Falkenberg. Of the 1.6 million students who took the PSAT last year, Ally was one of 50,000 who were selected to move onto the competitive National Merit Scholarship program. Congratulations! Students of the Month Mia Malandruccolo and Manuel Corona have been chosen as “Thornwood Lions Club Student of the Month” for September and October respectively. Students are chosen for putting “service above self”. The two seniors were nominated by their teachers and guidance counselors who cited exceptional service to their school and/or community. Students will be feted at a celebratory dinner in January. Read more about their accomplishments at www.mtplcsd.org. Delving into Engineering Congratulations to Chloe Burns, one of 50 students chosen to attend Manhattan College this summer for the Women and Minorities in Engineering Program. She gained laboratory experiences in chemical, electrical, environmental, and mechanical engineering, and attended lectures in green building design, and civil, chemical, environmental, electrical, and mechanical engineering. She also participated in a team structural competition and visited the Thorton-Tomasetti engineering firm. Chloe (center) is pictured with Dr. Saukin (right) and Dr. Ward (left), the Dean of Engineering, receiving her certificate of completion for the program.

her writing. ACE winners Congratulations to Kelly Andrews (7th grade), Brian Bennett (12th grade), Kathleen Bennett (7th grade), Brian Eng (12th grade), Olivia Eng (9th grade), Angela Mangione (12th grade), Christina Mangione (11th grade), Michael Mangione (7th grade) and Jillian Walpole (8th grade) for accomplishing County Executive Rob Astorino’s Challenge in Education (ACE) last school year. If students have a 3.8 GPA, perfect attendance for the entire year or bring their previous year GPA up by a point they are rewarded with a free season pass to Rye Playland. All the Westlake students had GPAs of 3.8 or higher. Additionally, Brian and Kathleen Bennett both have had perfect attendance since kindergarten! Future Scientist? Kudos to 10th grader Sarita Servidio for receiving recognition for attending the National Academy of Future Scien-

tists and Technologists conference this summer in Boston, MA. Students are nominated to represent their schools and states by teachers, counselors and principals. Nominations are based on academic excellence, leadership potential and commitment to entering careers in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Outside of school, Sarita competes with First Tech Challenge, a robotics team made up of middle and high school-aged students that are challenged to design, build, and program robots to play floor games against other teams’ creations.

FROM THE HEART • Fall 2016

And kudos to …

See “Featured News” Quick Links on the school websites for full stories. Celebrating our Students

Has your current student or Westlake graduate received a recognition or award? Let us know! Email details to awalsh@mtplcsd.org

Teachers Going the Extra Mile Gabriella Castillo - WMS/WHS Science Ms. Castillo attended the LIACTS (Long Island Association for Chemistry Teacher Support) Summer Institute for Regents Chemistry Teachers at Stony Brook University from August 22nd26th. It was run by eight chemistry certified NYS Master Teachers from Long Island, interested in sharing best practices, pedagogical techniques, and current chemistry topics. Ms. Castillo not only learned from the host of Master Teachers, but also from other novice Chemistry teachers with 0-5 years experience teaching Chemistry. She is excited to share her new knowledge with her students this year.

Writing Accolades Raymond Szczerba - WHS Science Congratulations to Katie Burns, one of Mr. Szczerba attended a two-week 40 students selected to attend Skidmore teacher professional development College’s NY State Young Writers Instiworkshop in Kansas City, MO called tute this summer. Katie The Project Atmosphere offered by participated in poetry the American Meteorological Socireadings from various ety’s Education Program. This projauthors, attended fiction, ect is specifically designed for K-12 non-fiction, and poetry teachers who teach science courses classes in order to refine with atmospheric content. It introher writing skills. She also duces teachers to the latest techcollaborated with various published authors. Her work will be pub- nologies and techniques for sensing, analyzing, and forecasting weather and lished in May 2017 in the Young Writers explores and suggests ways in which these technologies and techniques can Anthology. Katie is pictured presenting be employed in the classroom.


FROM THE HEART • Fall 2016

Mount Pleasant Central School District

Non-Profit Organization US Postage Paid White Plains, NY Permit No. 9415

West Lake Drive, Thornwood, NY 10594 Board of Education Chris Pinchiaroli, President Thomas McCabe, Vice President Laurie Donato Vincent Graci Colleen Scaglione Neglia John Piazza Eric Schulze

Nov. 18-19 at 8 p.m. Nov. 20 at 1 p.m.

(Senior luncheon at noon)

J.S. Whearty Theater at WHS Tickets $12/$10 online at westlakeplayers.com

Superintendent Dr. Susan Guiney


Correspondence Phone: 769-5500 • Fax 769-3733 Web: www.mtplcsd.org Editor/email contributions Alyson Walsh/awalsh@mtplcsd.org

Fall Sports...Good luck with your season, athletes!

Follow your Wildcats! The new Westlake Wildcat calendar app for smartphones and tablets lets you be in-the-know about when, where and even how to get to your favorite varsity, JV or modified games. Users can download single or multiple team calendars. And, the app is updated in real time to reflect any changes to game times or venues. The map feature gives you directions to all away games too! The Wildcat calendar app is a convenient and fast way to get up-to-date information on your teams when you’re on the go. To get the calendar app, visit westlakewildcats.org.



Profile for Mount Pleasant CSD

From the Heart Fall 2016  

From the Heart Fall 2016