Spring 2023 vol. 3
Dear Harrison Families,
The school year is ending with a flurry of celebrations for all your children have achieved, six graduation ceremonies culminating in a farewell to our magnificent, resilient senior class on Friday. Before we say goodbye for the summer, enjoy, reflect, and share our pride in the many accomplishments of our students.
Our seniors continue to soar! Ariella Blackman was awarded the National Merit Scholarship, a distinction earned by 870 students in the country. Jack Eiff won the Metro Award for Outstanding Acting Performance for his role in the musical Into the Woods, and Alyssa Carrasquillo placed among the top at the statewide EMT competition. The high school debate program was recognized as one of the top five nationwide.
Before year-end, I would like to thank our extraordinary faculty, support staff, leadership team, board of education, and you. Together we have created a place for students to uncover and cultivate their strengths and talents. We hope to see your children in our summer programs.
Superintendent of Schools
Ariella Blackman Named National Merit Winner
Senior Ariella Blackman is a National Merit Scholarship Scholar and Award Winner. She is among only 840 high school seniors across the nation selected for this honor among Finalists based on their performance on the PSAT test taken during junior year. As a winner, Ariella received a scholarship, and is considered “to have the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.”
Debate Program Recognized Among Top 5 in Nation
Debate Team members Jack Borman and Charles Zenhausern placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at NCFL Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, a national championship which featured 177 Lincoln-Douglas debaters from around the country. At this tournament, the Harrison Debate Team also received the Eleanor E. Wright Award of Excellence in Debate, which recognizes the top 5 speech and debate programs nation-wide. Debate coach Mr. Hertzig earned a 3rd Diamond degree of membership in the National Speech & Debate Association's Honor Society due to the team’s outstanding performance over the past 5 years. Senior Jessie Pein was ranked the #1 Lincoln Douglas debater in the nation, the 6th time in 12 years that a Harrison debater has earned that distinction. This year, the team was also recognized by Emory University's Barkley Forum as a Member School in recognition of sustained quality performance. At the New York State Forensic League’s state championship, Harrison was recognized as the top Lincoln-Douglas Debate team in the state of New York. Jack Gessner and Jack Borman closed out the varsity Lincoln Douglas division of the University of Kentucky’s inaugural Digital e-Championship, a national championship hosted online, and Elizabeth Nicaj was the novice Lincoln Douglas champion.
Jack Eiff Wins Best Acting Metro Award
Senior Jack Eiff won the Metro Award for "Outstanding Acting Performance in a Male-Identifying Role” at the annual ceremony held on June 12th at Tarrytown Music Hall. The award recognizes Jack's outstanding portrayal of The Baker in this year's HHS Musical production, "Into the Woods." In his acceptance speech, Jack recognized the impact directors, Ms. Test and Ms. Toteda, had in his artistic development, and his fellow cast mates for "creating a community where everyone excels and shares a love of performing with the audience." The ceremony brought students from 56 high schools together to recognize and celebrate musical theater performances; Harrison High School received five Metro nominations this year.
Alyssa Carrasquillo Takes 2nd at Statewide EMT Competition
Senior Alyssa Carrasquillo placed 2nd in the EMT - Trauma Assessment category at the State Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) competition. HOSA is an organization that supports student training to become future leaders in the health profession. School Counselor Shari Heine shared, “Alyssa is a strong and motivated student who participated in the EMS-EMT program at BOCES. I am so proud of her accomplishment.”
Husky Herald Earns First Place Award
The Harrison High School Student newspaper, The Husky Herald was awarded 1st Place from the American Scholastic Press Association and ranks among the best school newspapers in the country. The association evaluates publications using criteria including page design, story layout, graphics, headlining, cover design, photography, and top rated Newspapers are identified based on total points scored. Read the award winning Husky Herald!
Student Writers Recognized & Celebrated
The Annual Writers Among Us celebration at Harrison High School welcomed administrators, faculty, and family members to celebrate student writing, creativity, voice and collaboration. High school students who are Writing Fellows, published artists and illustrators of our literary magazine Imagine, and journalists for our newspaper the Husky Herald were recognized, and shared their thoughts about the value of writing. Students read selections of original poetry, followed by Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Wool, sharing thoughts about the power of the written word, value of original thought, and importance of supporting and providing opportunities for young writers to share their ideas.
- Writers Among Us Program
- Watch the Writers Among Us Ceremony
- Read the Husky Herald
- Read Imagine Literary Magazine
New Writing Center a Success!
Harrison High School’s first ever Student Writing Center opened this year. The student led center was launched after extensive research and collaboration among a team of teachers and administrators. Student Writing Fellows were trained in best practices in communicating, offering feedback and providing support to peers with their writing. The center provides a safe nurturing space where Writing Fellows support students in evaluating, editing and improving writing. Many thanks to the first cohort of Writing Fellows who were integral to the center's success.
Sophomore Zoe Coric Earns Scholastic Gold Key Writing Award
Sophomore Zoe Coric received the Scholastic Writing "Gold Key" Award for her novel entitled, In Theory. Zoe’s was among 2,247 submissions in the 2023 Hudson-to-Housatonic Writing Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Original student works are scored by literary experts who consider voice, vision, creativity and originality in their evaluation. Introduced in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has been celebrating creative expression among teens for 100 years.
Brooke Schiano-Gonzalez Receives Leadership Award
Brooke Schiano-Gonzalez, a sophomore at Harrison High School, was named a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award (HOBY) recipient. A long-established youth leadership development organization, HOBY programs are designed to empower young people to positively impact their communities. Brooke was among 138 students selected to attend the regional conference and one of two students selected to receive a scholarship to attend the HOBY World Conference this summer. Brooke is a member of the Harrison Debate Team and will be an IB Diploma candidate.
LMK Poetry Slam: A Celebration of Creativity & Community
The LMK Paper Planes club sponsored a celebration of creative expression at a The Poetry Slam, showcasing original student writing. Students, invited by an ELA Teacher or Paper Planes advisor, took risks and presented their poetry in front of an audience. Many poems, created during writing workshop in ELA classes, align with IB MYP learner profile characteristics: open-minded, reflective, principled risk takers and inquirers. Several students also presented poems in their native languages including Spanish, Japanese, French and Portuguese.
D.A.R.E. Builds Self Awareness; Officer Budde Learns Sign Language
Students gathered with representatives from the District and the Harrison Police Department for the annual D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony. School Resource Officer Robbie Budde welcomed all to the ceremony and shared reflections about the year; part of his welcome was in sign language which Officer Budde learned to communicate with a hearing impaired student in the class. Sixth grade students at LMK Middle School participate in the D.A.R.E. program, which raises student awareness and understanding about being empowered, respecting others and choosing non-violent, substance free lives. At the end of the course, students write essays reflecting on all they learned. Twelve student essays were selected for best reflecting the DARE experience (pictured above); Ryder Margolies was chosen to read at the graduation. When asked to share one lesson from DARE that he uses in daily life, Ryder replied, “It’s ok to have pressure, but you need to learn how to deal with it….slow down, and take deep breaths.”
Husky Day: Making Connections, Meeting New Friends, Having Fun
The excitement in the HHS gym was electric as fifth grade students from Parsons, Purchase, Harrison Avenue, and Preston Elementary Schools gathered together for Husky Day. Throughout the day students participated in ice-breaker and team building activities developed by the District’s K-12 Physical Education and Health faculty and facilitated by student peer leaders from the high school. Husky Day is an integral part of the transition to middle school, and introduces 5th graders from across our four elementary schools prior to arriving at LMK in the fall.
Students Perform Room on the Broom
Students in the District K-5 FASE program in Ms. Sallustio, Ms. Poskar, and Ms. Rose's class participated in the performance of "Room on the Broom" adapted from the popular children's book by Julia Donaldson. The students were amazing and did a great job performing on stage! Ms. Monti, Harrison Avenue art teacher, supported the production with set design and Ms. Bennett with music. Many teacher assistants and teacher aides also provided support for students throughout the rehearsals and the production.
Authors Visit with Elementary Students
A grant from the Elementary Enrichment Committee along with the work of the District’s Library Media Specialists, brought the Visiting Author program to Parsons, Preston, Purchase, and Harrison Avenue Elementary Schools. Tad Hill, best known for his Duck and Goose Books, spoke with students in grades 2-5. Nina Crews, whose parents also author children's books, explained to 3rd-5th grade students how to combine words and images in telling a story. Library media specialists collaborated to develop instruction aligned with curriculum to prepare students for the author visits. The program provides a common, enriching experience for students at all four elementary schools. Students were excited to meet professional writers and learn about the writing process.
Summer Learning & Enrichment
There is limited space available in Summer Learning & Enrichment programs. Check the Summer Programs Website for more information and to register.