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Fall 2023 vol. 2

Dear Harrison Families,

Students continue to excel in all they do in the classrooms, in the community, on the stage, and on athletic fields.  Our newsletter, Highlights, offers a look at their myriad of accomplishments.

Eight seniors were recognized as National Merit Scholars; Emma Jonisch and Alissa Remeza were named semifinalists. Jack Borman ranked #8 in the nation and #1 in New York in debate; Harrison debaters took six of the top 10 spots in the state.  Twenty-six student musicians were recognized among the most talented in New York and Westchester and will perform in the All-State concerts later this year. Our Husky varsity teams advanced to postseason play this fall, and several continue to compete. 
Explore classroom opportunities; our youngest learners engaged in the scientific process, and 7th-grade students explored an author's use of language and how it impacts meaning. At our annual College Fair, high school students met with more than 70 college representatives as they contemplated the next steps in their education.
Over the past several weeks, I have attended PTA meetings at all six schools to present information on the bond referendum and respond to questions about the plans designed to ensure the safety and success of your children. A detailed explanation of each school's plan and financing is found on this dedicated webpage.
Once again, our newsletter showcases students' achievements and the expertise and dedication of faculty and staff.  Together, we have built an extraordinary place for our children to learn and grow, and as always we are grateful for your support.


Louis N. Wool, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools

Bond Referendum Addresses Safety, Space, Infrastructure at All Six Schools

On Thursday, November 16, Harrison residents vote on a bond referendum to improve safety, infrastructure and meet space demands due to unprecedented enrollment growth in all six of our schools. The bond referendum will improve safety, expand and update instructional spaces, address infrastructure to meet current and future needs of students in a fiscally responsible manner. Voting will take place at neighborhood elementary schools from 7 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, November 16th. Details about plans for each school, the bond financing plan, and voting information is available on the bond referendum webpage.

Seniors Recognized as National Merit Scholars; Two Students Named Semifinalists

Seniors Emma Jonisch and Alissa Remeza were named as semifinalists by the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Corporation. They are among semifinalists nationwide who eligible to advance to the finalist round and compete for national merit scholarships. Six additional seniors were named Commended Students, recognized for exceptional academic promise: Benjamin Gold, Samuel Potkin, Korbii Reiff, Jacob Robinson, Alec Udell, Alexandra Wong.  Students are recognize based on their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT test during junior year.

Harrison High School Debate Team Starts Season Strong

The Harrison High School Debate Team is off to another strong start. The National Speech & Debate Association currently ranks Jack Borman as the #8 Lincoln-Douglas debater nationally, with Jack Gessner at #10. In New York State our students are ranked #1 (Borman), #2 (Gessner), #4 (Reese), #8 (Samantha Ramirez), #9 (Brooke), and #10 (Jouseline Alvarez). The team has earned 4 bids to the Tournament of Champions (TOC) and cleared debaters to elimination rounds at every tournament they've attended. Jack Borman has earned three qualifying bids to the TOC so far, placing 5th at the national Season Opener tournament and at Valley's national tournament in Iowa, in addition to being 2nd speaker at Greenhill's national tournament in Dallas. Jack Gessner placed 10th at Yale's tournament, where he was 6th speaker; Brooke Schiano-Gonzalez earned her first TOC bid at Valley, and Reese Potash reached elimination rounds at the Season Opener and Bronx. Additionally, Andrew Gaffin and Adeena Naeem both reached elimination rounds at Yale, and Beverly Kang and Elizabeth Nicaj were 2nd place in their divisions at the Lexington JV Round Robin. At the Bronx NYCFL tournament, Andrew Gaffin was 1st place and top speaker, Adeena Naeem placed 2nd, Liz Nicaj placed 3rd, and Beverly Kang placed 5th n the varsity division. In the novice division, Atharv Gandhi placed 9th, Flynn Williams placed 15th, and Kayli Kyu was 9th speaker. 

Seniors to Perform with NYSSMA All-State Orchestra and Chorus

Congratulations to Harrison High School seniors Ai Yamamoto (Violin) and Justin Suozzo (Voice) for qualifying to perform with the 2023 All-State Orchestra and Chorus.  Ai performs in both the HHS Orchestra and Chorus, and Justin Suozzo is a member of the HHS Chorus. Senior Noah Birnbaum, who performs in the HHS Concert Band, Marching Band and Percussion Ensemble earned the position of alternate on Snare Drum.

Student Musicians Prepare for Area All-State Festival

Twenty-three Harrison High School students were selected for the 2023 NYSSMA Area All-State Festival, based on their excellent performance and scores at last spring's NYSSMA Solo Festivals. This honor identifies them among the best young musicians in Westchester County.  The honor ensembles, composed of 10th - 12th grade students from across Westchester, have begun rehearsals in preparation for their performances on November 4th and 5th at New Rochelle High School. Bravo to our student musicians! Concert Band: Rina Iwasaki, Hana Ashie, Hana Yamazaki, Noah Birnbaum, Mei Maehara, Alvin Wong; Mixed Chorus: Ella Zamek, Ai Yamamato, Kayla Sander, Elvis Njuguna, Justin Suozzo, Joey Lipple-Smetana; String Orchestra: Michael Krachenfels, Matthew Corsino, Mizuki Horiuchi; Symphony Orchestra: William Pflieger, Aidan Grant, Asahi Arai, Matthew Perez; Treble Chorus: Lucy Neureuther, Lucia Lammers, Stefania Verbitsky, Beverly Kang (Alternate).

What’s Next? Juniors & Seniors Consider Next Steps at HHS College Fair

Harrison High School hosted the annual College Fair for students in 11th and 12th grades. The Fair provided students an opportunity to speak with representatives from seventy colleges, universities, and the military. High school counselors prepared students on how to get the most out of attending a college fair and ask the right questions of admissions counselors. Volunteers from the HHS PTA provided refreshments and helped with set up and clean up.  Thanks to all who partnered to make this another successful event and opportunity for our students.

HHS Thespians to Perform Shakespeare Classic 

The Harrison High School Playhouse will present William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Harrison Performing Arts Center at Harrison High School on Friday, November 3rd at 6:30 pm, Saturday, November 4th at 7pm, and Sunday, November 5th at 2pm.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door. Reservations are not necessary. 

LMK Students Explore the Power of Language

Seventh grade students learn about the power and impact of language in English Language Arts classes. They evaluated the impact an author’s language and word choices have on meaning by closely reading a text, analyzing the author’s word choice, and then reading the text aloud to convey meaning to an audience. They also explored ways to use the speed, volume, and inflection of their voice to shape meaning. Students selected a poem to read, analyze, and present in class. The ELA department has aligned curriculum to build student knowledge and skills, to ensure students are prepared for the coursework ahead of them. 

Kindergarten Scientists Explore and Discover 

Harrison's kindergarten students at all four elementary schools celebrated the fall and explored science and math concepts during Apple & Pumpkins Learning Centers.  Students created a graph representing classmates favorite color apples and used comparative language to discuss the findings. Students observed attributes, labeled diagrams, and learned about the life cycles of apples and pumpkins.  During centers, students tasted apple & pumpkin products, made individual apple pies, completed math activities that involved estimating, counting, weighing and describing, observed and described gourds' attributes then sorted and categorized them based on specific characteristics.  Children used their observational skills to created artistic representations of apples, pumpkins and gourds.

Information and Announcements

CrisisGo App for Parents:  As part of an ongoing effort to enhance communication with parents and improve school safety, parents are encouraged to download the CrisisGo app, which will provide you with timely and reliable information in the event of a school emergency, such as an evacuation or an unscheduled early dismissal.  Please click here to download the free CrisisGo app and subscribe to one or more schools to receive school safety alert messages.  

Early Dismissal Drill Wednesday, November 22, 2023: The Harrison Central School District will conduct its annual emergency early dismissal drill on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, prior to the Thanksgiving break.  This drill is required by New York State and provides an opportunity for students, staff, and parents to practice the procedures associated with an emergency rapid dismissal, which may be necessary in event of inclement weather or due to the evacuation of a school.  Within the next two weeks. parents will receive a letter with more instructions for the early dismissal drill.