Dear Harrison Families,
I am excited to share the latest edition of Highlights, the District newsletter. As you will learn, our students continue to challenge themselves, care for our community and achieve at the highest levels. They make our schools welcoming, exceptional places to learn, and fill us with pride in all they do.
Over the past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to enjoy their talents at Winter Concerts at our elementary schools and Harrison High School. If you were unable to attend, please enjoy the performances on the HCSD-TV cable channels Optimum 74 and FiOS 961. Winter Concerts at LMK Middle School will be held in January.
Join me in celebrating our students in this edition of Highlights. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.
Superintendent of Schools
Five Seniors Recognized by National Merit Scholarship Program
Five Harrison High School Seniors were named Commended Students in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. Students are considered for the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the PSAT/NMSQT last October. The program recognizes students for exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT qualifying test. The following Harrison High School seniors were recognized by the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program - Commended Students: Jonathan Choi, Jack Eiff, Nicholas Harty, Dimitrios Meimeteas; Semi-Finalist: Ariella Blackman.
HHS Debaters Named Academic All Americans; Jessie Pein Ranked #1 in Nation
Congratulations to Senior Jessie Pein, ranked the #1 Lincoln Douglas Debater in the nation. She is the 6th Harrison High School debater in the past 13 years who has been ranked #1.
Jessie Pein, Thomas Berg and Charles Zenhausern were named Academic All Americans by the National Speech & Debate Association. Fewer than 2% of the 141,000 student members of the Association earn this distinguished award which recognizes academic rigor, competitive speech and debate success, and personal excellence. The award recognizes students who have completed at least five semesters of high school; earned the degree of Superior Distinction in the association’s Honor Society; achieved rigorous criteria for GPA and/or test score requirements; and demonstrated outstanding character and leadership.
HHS Seniors Jack Eiff, Fjord Deda Selected to Perform at NY All State Concert; Fjord Earns First Seat in Trumpet Section
Congratulations to Jack Eiff (Chorus) and Fjord Deda (Symphonic Band) who represented HHS in the New York All State Concert. Fjord earned the distinguished position of first seat in the trumpet section. Both musicians previously participated in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) solo festival, and performed musical selections that were adjudicated and evaluated by NYSSMA judges. Jack and Fjord were among 565 student musicians who earned seats in the elite ensembles of high school musicians out of thousands who auditioned across New York State.
Youth Volunteers of Harrison Embrace the Spirit of Giving
Youth Volunteers of Harrison (YVH) is an extracurricular club that gives back to our community through volunteer service projects within Harrison High School, the Harrison community and Westchester County, most recently collecting several boxes for Toys for Tots. YVH students have conducted several projects since the start of the school year: a food collection drive and card-making event to benefit US troops serving overseas, a Thanksgiving food drive to benefit the Harrison Food Pantry, a book drive to benefit underprivileged children in Westchester, postcard/card making event to support refugees living in the Lower Hudson Valley, in addition to the holiday Toys for Tots collection drive. Students advertise needs by hanging flyers in the school, announcements in the daily bulletin, and emails shared by the PTA; members of the entire HHS community are invited to participate.
LMK Service Club Collects Toys for Tots
The LMK Service Club collected more than 300 toys for Toys for Tots this year. The Service Club includes members from all three grades who meet weekly to research, advocate for and promote initiatives in the local community. The Toys for Tots drive is the second school-wide effort this year; the first was a food drive for the Harrison Food Pantry. Donation boxes were distributed to each Homebase, in the Main Office, and by the Security Desk. To communicate with students and the school community about this initiative, Service Club members created and shared a Powerpoint presentation in Homebases and posted flyers and posters throughout the building. Additionally, Service Club members were Homebase advocates, reminding their peers about the needs in our community and how they could make a difference in the lives of others this holiday season.
Shweta Nadagouda Receives Organization of Chinese Americans Student Leadership Award
Senior Shweta Nadagouda received the 2022 Student Leadership Award presented by the Organization of Chinese Americans - Westchester and Hudson Valley Chapter. The award is presented to students who demonstrate strong academic achievement, leadership, and perseverance. In her essay Shweta described her future self as “a multifaceted woman who never ceases to work hard. A woman who learns from her mistakes and stands up when she falls.” The award was presented at the organization’s 42nd Anniversary & Dynamic Achiever Awards Gala.
Senior Ariella Blackman Performed in Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade
Harrison High School Senior Ariella Blackman marched with the Great American Marching Band at the NYC Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ariella was selected for this opportunity from hundreds of applicants by submitting an audition video that was judged on technical proficiency, tone quality, and overall general musicianship.
Students Create Original Mural on Display at HHS
A group of HHS student buddies worked together to design and create a mural on permanent display at Harrison High School. Student buddies offer an inclusive opportunity for students with developmental disabilities to meet with school peers and build meaningful connections through a wide range of activities. Senior Dimitrios Meimeteas shared his idea for a project to promote “collaboration among different students at Harrison High school using art as a medium for communication” and “provide an opportunity for anyone to participate regardless of their abilities or skills.” The student artists brought Dimitrios’ vision to life using a variety of techniques to design various components; every step of the process was accessible to all who were interested in participating. The final activity included everyone coming together to paint the pieces which then were assembled to create “an exciting and colorful piece that amplifies the voices of students.” Dimitrios credits the students’ artistry for the mural’s creation, and recognizes Ms. Moore and Ms. Rowe for their guidance and support. The mural was unveiled at a celebration on Tuesday, November 1st with the student artists, teachers, and administrators in attendance.
Model Congress Team Competes at Yale
The HHS Model Congress team traveled to Yale to compete in person in their first Model Congress Conference of the year. Founded in 1993, Yale Model Congress hosts high school delegates who assume responsibilities of elected officials to debate real world issues. Alec Udell was named Best Delegate, Ben Gold and Lucy Neureuther both received honorable mentions. Everyone on the team was happy to return to in person competitions this year.
HHS Playhouse Performs Puffs (Two Act for Young Wizards)
The Harrison High School Playhouse presented Puffs by Matt Cox. Puffs is the story of a boy who discovers that he is a wizard and goes to Wizard school. Called an “alternate narrative for the underdog” by the Wall Street Journal, this play chronicles the boy’s adventures through wizard school with his best friends as they navigate their way through magic school, and redefine what it means to be a hero. Audiences were on the edges of their seats as they watched the story unfold in the Performing Arts Center at the high school.
LMK Drama Club Presents Newsies JR.
The LMK Drama Club presented Disney’s Newsies JR. Known as a “timeless story full of spirit and heart,” the LMK production did not disappoint with students performing show-stopping song and dance numbers that brought down the house at performances in the Performing Arts Center at LMK Middle School.
Elementary Winter Concerts Ring in a Season of Celebration
Without exception, students were excited to welcome family and friends to Winter Concerts on our elementary school stages. Festive decorations adorned the stages at Parsons, Purchase, Harrison Avenue, and Preston Elementary Schools, and programs with original student art on the covers invited audiences to enjoy performances of the band, orchestra and chorus.
Harrison High School Performers Dazzle Audiences at Winter Concerts
Harrison High School Musicians entertained family and friends with two Winter Concerts – Chorus and Dance on December 13th, and Band and Orchestra on December 20th. Audiences were awed by the amazing performances of our students.