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Rye Neck High School

300 Hornidge Road
Mamaroneck, NY 10543

Tina Wilson
HS Principal



2018 NYSSMA Registration




Please click HERE for information.


ORIENTATION: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 8:00 PM, Dining Hall

Driver Education can help provide the foundation for safe driving behavior and has a number of other tangible benefits including a senior license at age 17 instead of age 18 and insurance discounts that more than pay for the cost of the program (discounts vary by individual insurance companies).

The program starts the week of February 12th and runs for 16 weeks. PAS Auto School has been contracted to provide the in-car portion of the program. Students will be taught by trained and state certified instructors using specially equipped cars (e.g. dual brakes, dual mirrors) to ensure maximum safety. You must have a permit by February 9th to take Driver Education this spring. Please click HERE and complete the application or pick up an application from in the HS Main Office. Course details are available on the application. If you have any questions, please call PAS Auto School at 914-332-7700. Please return the application to the HS Secretary, as soon as possible. Choice of driving time is on a first come-first served basis. The cost of the program is $495.00. Payment is required with the application. Please click HERE for the flyer.

Please note, if you are a Rye Neck Athlete you must sign up for the AM session as this is the only one that does not conflict with the athletic department schedule.


Please visit our Nurse Services page for the most recent health requirements and forms.


The 2017-2018 PAC Members are:

Karla Aber (High School PTSA VP) 
Mary Ellen Dorfman
MaryAnn Germani
Alison Heaton

Theresa Spencer (President - Booster Club)
Jamie Tanaka-Boulia
Elizabeth Thurer 
Stephanie Victor
Barbara Weinstein

Rye Neck Parent & Student Portals

Information about the Parent & Student Portals may be found on the About Your High School page.




Rye Neck High School to Present ‘Damn Yankees’ as Spring Musical

Rye Neck High School will present the classic Broadway production of “Damn Yankees” as its spring musical from March 1-3. Having worked on the production for months, the dedicated group of performers will bring energy and enthusiasm to the stage.  

“It’s a musical about baseball and the love of the game,” theater director Scott Harris said. “If you're a sports fan, you've got to see ‘Damn Yankees.’ Everyone has suffered at one point or another when their favorite team wasn't doing well. This show takes that frustration to a fantasy extreme, and we get to see all the fun and pageantry of our great American pastime played out in musical form.”

Harris said the show features wonderful characters, great songs and a strong, smart script. Choreographer Francesca DeAngelo has been teaching spectacular dance numbers to the students, and music director Kathryn Krull has been instrumental in helping them improve their singing. 

“I'm so proud of the work they've all put into this production,” Harris said. 

As a special treat to its youngest audience members after the Saturday matinee performance, Rye Neck High School will invite children to meet the cast in the lobby and take photos with the ballplayers. Then, children who are interested will be treated to a backstage tour, where they'll be invited onstage to see how the musical is put together. 

“Student cast and crew members will lead children on short theater tours and teach them some backstage magic,” Harris said. “It should be a really fun experience, and will hopefully ignite a love of musicals in all our young attendees.” 

Performances are Thursday, March 1 through Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. Tickets to the performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children. For more information, visit

Rye Neck High School to Present ‘Damn Yankees’ as Spring Musical photo

Four Rye Neck High School Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Four distinguished Rye Neck High School seniors – Olivia Dunne, Allie Liebmann, John Masciopinto and Bennett Taylor – were selected as finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program competition.

“We congratulate Bennett, Jack, Olivia and Allie for being designated National Merit Scholarship finalists,” Principal Tina Wilson said. “This is a tremendous honor for these students and their families. We wish them success as they move into the scholarship phase.”

The four students, who have shown outstanding academic talent, entered the competition along with approximately 1.6 million students nationwide by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as juniors in 2016. Students with the highest scores were chosen to advance to the semifinals and required to submit a detailed scholarship application, demonstrate an outstanding academic record, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirmed their high performance on the qualifying test.  

The pool was further narrowed down to 15,000 finalists, who remain in the competition for 7,500 prestigious scholarships. 

National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.

Four Rye Neck High School Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Finalists photo


Rye Neck Community Approves Bond Referendum Propositions

The Rye Neck community has voted to approve the district’s capital improvement bond referendum. Proposition #1 was approved by a vote of 733 to 153. Proposition #2 was also approved by the community with a vote of 608 to 278.

“Thank you to all residents who participated in the vote,” Board of Education President Patty Nashelsky said. “Through your approval, we will be able to greatly enhance the educational experience and development of our students. The improvements to our academic and athletic facilities at the combined middle/high school campus will benefit generations of kids and families in our community. We will also be able to make urgent roof replacements at all of our schools. We truly appreciate everyone who took the time to learn about the proposal and offer feedback. Your feedback created a referendum that balanced improvements for our community with fiscal responsibility. We will continue to keep the community updated as we move through the project approval and construction process.”


Rye Neck High School Recognized as Reward School 

Rye Neck High School is among 155 schools across New York State to be identified by its Education Department as a high-achieving Reward School.

“The reward school designation for the high school is a tribute to all district staff for creating a classroom environment where students learn, achieve and lead, as evidenced with the learning outcomes cited by the New York State Department of Education,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. “The accomplishments of Rye Neck High School students begin in elementary school and continue through the grades to graduation.” 

Reward Schools have the highest performance on the English language arts and math tests for two consecutive school years or have shown the biggest gains on those tests during one school year. Another eligibility requirement is that these schools have a 95 percent or more participation rate in the state English language arts and math assessments. Additionally, they must not have significant gaps in achievements between different groups of students and must have graduation rates above 80 percent to be a high-achieving school. 

“The teachers and administrators at these Reward Schools work hard each day to raise the bar and give their students opportunities to achieve their dreams,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said in a statement. “The proof is in the results these schools have obtained, and I am thrilled to celebrate their success.”

Each Reward School will receive a certificate of recognition from Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. 

“All of these schools serve as models to others in the state to inspire them to achieve a high level of accomplishment and improvement,” Commissioner Elia said. 

Rye Neck High School Recognized as Reward School photo

Students Named Finalists in eSchoolData Art Contest

Rye Neck High School junior Pamela Chiera and senior Emma Finkenberg have been named finalists in the 2017-2018 eSchoolData Login Page Art Contest, an annual contest that challenges students to submit works of art on a specific theme relative to current educational topics.

This year’s theme required students to submit either a photograph or scanned image of a drawing that illustrates how the principles and aesthetics of art are incorporated into and reflected in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. 

“Emma’s boats use a triangular shape that draws the viewer’s eye into the piece,” art teacher Jennifer Dallow said of her photograph. “It is well-composed and a great use of art elements showing a functional piece of engineering – the boats. Pamela’s photograph shows the magnificent engineered bridge over a peaceful body of water under a moody cloudy sky. With cool colors and angled lines it was the perfect combination of geometric and organic line.” 

Online voting for winners will be announced on eSchoolData’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. For more information, visit and

‘The Biology of Friendship’ at Rye Neck High School

Juniors and seniors at Rye Neck High School recently welcomed Dr. Michael Platt, a professor of interdisciplinary knowledge at the University of Pennsylvania, as a special guest speaker at their school. During his college-level lecture, “The Biology of Friendship,” Dr. Platt discussed the brain’s functions and one’s ability to increase social connections and friendships.

Through years of research, Dr. Platt said that he has found that one’s perceptions are centered in the neurons and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetic makeup, outside social relationships and increased social interaction. He told the students that although one’s ability to form social connections rests partly upon genetics, chemical and hormonal makeup, people could improve, build and strengthen their brain neurology simply by using it in social settings. His studies have also shown that reading novels, traveling and mingling with different people can increase one’s perspective on the world and understanding for the way others think, as well as build empathy. 

Dr. Platt encouraged the students to interact with other people, listen to them closely, make eye contact, work in teams and reduce power distinctions within a group, all of which strengthen the neurological network that makes our social connections stronger.

Following the lecture, the students – who had studied some of Dr. Platt’s research papers prior to his visit – had the opportunity to share their ideas, make contributions and ask him questions. 

Dr. Platt’s visit was arranged and sponsored by the Rye Neck PTSA High School/Middle School STEAM Committee, chaired by Susan Banker. 

“His personal charisma and acute intelligence, together with an easy style of delivery, made him a most approachable and attractive model for social interaction, and a speaker of impact for Rye Neck PTSA’s STEAM enrichment program,” Banker said. “We are asking students to go beyond their departmentalized knowledge and strive for ‘out of the box’ innovative thinking, obtainable in this case through Dr. Platt’s studies in the interrelationship of biophysics, psychology and sociology, and economics.”


Engineering Students Design Chair Prototypes at Rye Neck High School

Rye Neck High School students in Lori Penesis’ Advanced Engineering classes are creating prototypes for new chairs in their creative learning spaces. They’re applying the concepts they’ve learned in their physics classes for a structural engineering application to solve a real-world problem.

Penesis said that her students have been working in groups to brainstorm ideas about how they can improve the furniture in their classrooms. Using PVC piping for the desk attachment, plastic for the fittings and synthetic wood for the desktops, the students are designing their own prototypes. 

“One group is working on creating a symmetrical desk,” Penesis said. “They will rotate the desk all around and lock it for a left-handed user.” 

Throughout the course of the semester, the students have been researching different types of engineering designs and thoroughly studying the role of an engineer. They’re also learning how various mechanisms work, and how to troubleshoot and safely build a functional product.  

“If you look at something simple, you get surprised at how much thought goes into it because you take it for granted,” Penesis said. “The idea that the students are able to use what they know, through physics and science, to solve a problem that they see around them, like the chair, that’s an interesting thing. They’re learning as they go.” 

Penesis’ classes will create two different prototypes for chairs and continue to gather feedback about the users’ experience. 


Middle School, High School Students Encouraged to Make Smart, Healthy Choices

Students at Rye Neck Middle School and Rye Neck High School welcomed special guest Tony Hoffman to their school on Dec. 6. Hoffman, a former BMX pro, U.S. Olympic coach and recovering addict, shared his personal experiences and struggles with substance abuse and discussed how he was able to turn his life around.

“Tony was incredibly lively and engaging,” Rye Neck Middle School guidance counselor Meegan Lawlor said. “He had [our students] completely spellbound. You could have heard a pin drop. The students immediately connected with his energy, enthusiasm and his honesty and were truly excited to hear his message.” 

With addiction now behind him, Hoffman has dedicated his life to bringing awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and shares his story with young people from across the country. 

Rye Neck High School student representatives from Student Senate, the Student Athlete Cabinet and Students Against Destructive Decisions previously heard from Hoffman during a Project WORTHY Youth Leadership Summit in October. During the summit, students from high schools across Westchester County listened to guest speakers and participated in panel discussions to learn about the dangers and underlying causes of opioid and drug use.  

“The students found [Hoffman]’s presentation and story so riveting that they felt the whole student body at Rye Neck could benefit from hearing his personal experience,” Rye Neck High School Principal Tina Wilson said. 

Using Hoffman’s story of how alcohol and substance abuse led to a downward spiral in his life, the students will continue to keep his message alive through school campaigns, along with SADD and guidance department workshops. 

“As a result of the ongoing efforts of our staff and the leadership of our students, we are confident that Rye Neck students will have the tools needed to make smart and healthy choices,” Wilson added. 

Hoffman’s visit was generously sponsored by the PTSA.


Middle School Students ‘Paint a Winter Scene’ to Raise Money for Junior Class

Rye Neck Middle School students created their own winter scene masterpieces during Paint Night, which was held on Dec. 1 at the high school’s art room. Using a white canvas, acrylic paint and brushes, the students followed step-by-step instructions from art teacher Dara Goodman to paint the winter scene, which included trees, snow and the northern lights.

“The students were able to be as creative as they wanted to,” said art teacher Trisha Appel, who, along with fellow teacher Karen Fontecchio, answered with students’ questions about different art techniques. “Each student got to take their work home at the end of the night.”

Meanwhile, Rye Neck High School junior class officers and their adviser, Linette Milo, helped the students with their supplies and the overall organization of the event, and art teacher Jen Dallow provided the students with aprons she had designed. At the end of the night, event organizers raffled off prizes, which included a small canvas and paints for students to continue to paint at home. 

The art department’s Paint Night raised money for the high school junior class. The fundraiser is held twice a year to benefit students as they raise money for their respective classes. 


Students Create Own Chemistry Lab to Determine Molar Mass of Lighter Fluid

Rye Neck High School students in Kelly Cappa’s Advanced Placement Chemistry class recently conducted a laboratory experiment to determine the molar mass of lighter fluid. The hands-on learning experience served as a review for gas stoichiometry, the quantitative relationship between reactants and products in a chemical reaction, which the students studied earlier in the school year.

The inquiry-based project challenged the students to apply the knowledge they learned in class and create their own lab without any direction from their teacher. Having access to all of the equipment in the classroom, they made observations and tested out different ideas before constructing their procedure. One group of students used graduated cylinders and pneumatic troughs to collect gas through the displacement of water.

“At first students were uncomfortable with the ambiguity or lack of direction as they were much more accustomed to being told what to do,” science teacher Kelly Cappa said. “Ultimately, they figured out what data points they needed to measure, which led them to the procedure. Having ownership of the process gives the students a greater understanding.”

The experience allowed students to take ownership of their own learning and encouraged them to collaborate with their peers and think critically to solve a problem.


Rye Neck High School Students Donate Food to Local Families in Need

Rye Neck High School Student Senate members held their annual food drive from Nov. 6-17. They collected more than 4,000 nonperishable food items and donated them to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Food Pantry, which assists local families in need.

“In addition to assisting people in our immediate community, our annual food drive teaches students the value of giving to others and helping the less fortunate,” said Karen Parisi, a social studies teacher and Student Senate faculty advisor. 

The food drive was part of the students’ community service efforts for the month of November. 


Rye Neck to Host Screening of ‘Screenagers’ Documentary

Students at Rye Neck Middle School and Rye Neck High School will be treated to a free screening of the documentary “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age” on Nov. 22.

The award-winning film focuses on the effects of growing up in the digital age and explores the struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. In her film, Delaney Ruston discusses whether children spend too much time on their electronic devices and provides insights and solutions on how parents and educators can empower students to best navigate the digital world. 

“The film is relevant for both students and adults,” Middle School Principal Eric Lutinski said. “We all struggle with the temptations of multitasking and are facing the effects of technology on our personal relationships.”

In addition, parents are invited to attend a screening of the documentary, which will take place at the Performing Arts Center on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

The screenings are made possible thanks to the generous support of the PTSA. 

For more information and to watch a trailer of the documentary, visit

screenagers poster



23 Juniors and Seniors Inducted Into International Thespian Society

Twenty-three Rye Neck High School juniors and seniors were inducted into the school’s Thespian Society troupe during the annual International Thespian Society induction ceremony on Nov. 6.

The International Thespian Society, a division of the Educational Theatre Association, is an honor society for high school students who are recognized for their dedication and participation in the theater and performing arts. Inductees are required to earn points and complete at least 100 hours of service in the field. They earn points either by participating in theater productions at the high school, taking theater classes, attending theater enrichment opportunities or a combination of all three. Once a student has earned enough points, he or she can be inducted into the International Thespian Society during their junior or senior year.

“I’m so proud of how well they have performed over the past few years, sometimes under intense pressure, and through it all they’ve thrived, achieved and learned so much,” said Scott Harris, theater director and Thespian Society troupe director. “Rye Neck’s theater students are wonderful, and as a theater teacher, it’s really my pleasure to be able to work with such fine young students.”

International Thespian Society inductees include seniors Anne Alcin, Sabrina Angulo, Emma Finkenberg, Joshua Goldin-McCarthy, Margaret Kohler, Omar Laguerre-Lewis, Danny Morningstar, Raven Parham, Alyssa Rainaldi, Keeley Stuff, Leo Swatski, Rebecca Taylor and Yoli Zarate; as well as juniors Sydney Bisceglia, Jazzy Cores, Stella Ewen-Tanaka, Kathleen Fox, Ryan Germani, Jake Guagnini, Milo Haviland, Ris Igrec, Grace O’Rourke and Zoe Schuman. 

Mock Trial Team Delivers Outstanding Performance at Yale Princeton Debate

Members of the Rye Neck High School Mock Trial team outperformed Yonkers High School during a debate at the annual Yale Princeton Debate, which took place at Ardsley High School on Nov. 3.

The topic the students were presented with was whether or not all American citizens who do not vote should pay a fine. Senior debaters Allie Liebmann and Rachel Rubin presented the affirmative side on the topic. 

“Both girls delivered convincing points that led to a unanimous decision by the judges,” said Marcella Scalise, the Rye Neck High School Mock Trial team coach and a social studies teacher. 

Sponsored by the Yale and Princeton Alumni Associations of Westchester, Rye Neck was one of six teams from Westchester County who participated in the competition. Mock trial is an academic competition in a courtroom setting that allows students to prepare and argue both the prosecution and defense sides of a case and compete against students from across the state. 


‘Noises Off’ at Rye Neck High School

Rye Neck High School presents the hilarious comedy production of “Noises Off” as its fall play from Oct. 26-27. The spectacular production features a talented cast of students and a beautiful two-story revolving set for the first time in the school’s history. 

Written by British playwright Michael Frayn, “Noises Off” was a hit on Broadway in the 1980s and again in a recent revival. The play was also made into a feature film in the 1990s, starring Carol Burnett and Michael Caine. It tells the story of a hapless company of actors attempting to stage a British farce when everything goes wrong and falls apart. 

“The students have been working very hard on this extremely funny and very challenging piece,” Theater Director Scott Harris said. “I chose ‘Noises Off’ because after doing a legal drama and then a murder mystery, I thought it was time for the students to work on a genuinely funny comedy. This play is not only hilarious, but it’s full of zany characters and situations and is truly a love letter to theater and the business of putting on plays.”

Harris said “Noises Off” is a fast-moving play that requires comic timing, speed and physicality from the students, who had been working extremely hard for several weeks to perfect it and find creative ways to solve problems. 

“I’m proud of them and their willingness to keep working at it,” he said. “The play is almost completely homegrown. Students run nearly all aspects of the production, including lights, sound, props, costumes and more. There’s been a flurry of activity at rehearsals every night since early September as students have been learning lines, assembling costumes and props, making signs and basically putting the whole thing together.” 

The cast features Ryan Boron, Kristina Dignelli, Evan DiNome, Kathleen Fox, Omar Laguerre-Lewis, Sean McCaffery, Grace O’Rourke, Rachel Rubin, Juliana Silva, Bennett Taylor and Stella Wunder Ewen-Tanaka. Assistant director is Sara Aulfinger, stage manager is Nate Lynch and assistant stage managers are Sydney Bisceglia and Margaret Kohler.

Performances are Thursday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rye Neck High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets are available at the door. 


Sixth-Grade ‘Buddies’ Partner with Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Rye Neck High School seniors partnered with Rye Neck Middle School sixth-graders for a day of team-building activities on Oct. 13 as part of the Big Brother, Big Sister mentoring program.

Throughout the day, the older and younger students collaborated on a variety of activities, including kickball, relay races and games. They also enjoyed lunch together and ended the day by participating in a number of skits in the Performing Arts Center.

“The program is designed to help the sixth-graders feel comfortable with the older students,” guidance counselor Meegan Lawlor said. “It is one of our longest-standing Rye Neck traditions. It was a wonderful, fun day and the students really enjoyed it.”

Throughout the year, the sixth-graders will continue to create relationships with their mentors in the tight-knit school community. The event is organized by Melinda Merkel, senior class advisor, and Allison Reynolds, sixth-grade advisor. 


Freshman Challenge Unites Rye Neck High School Students

Rye Neck High School ninth-graders worked together through a number of team-building activities during the Freshman Challenge, which took place at the gymnasium on Oct. 11.

“The purpose of the event was to encourage students to get to know one another better, work together and achieve a sense of unity among the grade,” social studies teacher Marcella Scalise said. 

Throughout the day, the students participated in a variety of activities, including volleyball, free throw, limbo and musical chairs, which were organized and run by Freshman Class Officers. 

“The students of each homeroom worked together in each of these activities and had to rely on one another to succeed,” Scalise said. “The event was successful and I believe it was a great day for the freshmen.”

Throughout the year, the students will continue to build a sense of community and unity among the grade through a number of planned activities and fundraisers. 

Rye Neck Students Donate Money to Hurricane Victims

Members of the Rye Neck High School Student Senate have collected $400 to help those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They’ve been raising money since the beginning of the school year during homeroom and back-to-school nights, and students continue adding to the donations jar in the school lobby.

“We all wanted to come together and benefit everyone else,” said Rebecca Tenner, a junior and Student Senate secretary. “We’re not a selfish community. We like to give. We always have fundraisers, whether it’s for food drives or hurricanes. We always have something going on and it just shows we’re a community that likes to help others.”

Student Senate President Conor Flood, a senior, said the students wanted to get involved after seeing the devastating impact of the hurricanes, which flooded schools and houses in communities throughout Texas and Florida. 

“We’re a very collaborative community and we like helping others,” Flood said. “If that were to happen to us, we would want other people to help us as well.”

The students will continue to collect donations through Sept. 29, after which they will donate the money to the Red Cross for relief efforts.

hurricane donations image


Rye Neck Panthers Celebrate School Spirit at Pep Rally

Rye Neck Panthers capped off Spirit Week and showcased their school pride with a traditional pep rally, which brought the entire middle school and high school to the gymnasium on Sept. 15. The students cheered as their peers introduced their sports teams and captains acknowledged varsity players.

The pep rally kicked off two days of homecoming games on Sept. 15-16, attended by students, parents, alumni and community members. Athletic Director Joe Ceglia said that homecoming is a celebration of the school community and an outstanding opportunity to support student-athletes and their coaches. 

Students had participated in a number of themed days throughout the week, culminating with Spirit Day on Friday when they wore black and blue for Rye Neck pride.

“My favorite part about homecoming is the entire school coming together,” said senior and soccer player Jack Sheldon, who co-hosted the pep rally with senior Joey Tenner. “It’s a good way to start the school year on a good note.”

Tenner added that he loved going to the games, which are filled with energy and serve as an opportunity for students to support one another. 

For more information about the athletic department and for a full schedule of the fall sports games, visit the district’s website at 


Photos: First Day of School Brings Excitement, Energy to Rye Neck Schools

Rye Neck Union Free School District students joyfully entered their classrooms on the first day of school on Sept. 5. With new books and school supplies in hand, they were eager to see their friends, organize their lockers, compare schedules and meet new teachers who greeted them with smiles.

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 and meet their teachers. The halls at Rye Neck High School were buzzing with chatter as seniors 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 start of a new school year is filled with anticipation and excitement,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. “My best wishes for an engaging, productive and joyful school year. Rye Neck is a special place where students learn, achieve and lead.”


Rye Neck Welcomes New Staff for 2017-18

Rye Neck Union Free School District welcomed new staff and faculty members during a two-day orientation, held Aug. 28-29. The group, which brings an array of experience to the district, met with administrators; worked with their teams and departments; discussed technology initiatives, policies and procedures; and received a tour of the district and village.

“Rye Neck is such a special place to live in and learn at, and understanding its culture and values was at the center of the staff orientation,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro said. 

Ferraro described the faculty members as knowledgeable, creative and caring individuals who possess the ability to personalize the learning environment for students.

“As our newest staff members launch their careers within our district, I am confident that each one of them will become an integral part of our learning community.”   

The new staff members at Rye Neck are: 
Tara Goldberg, principal at Daniel Warren Elementary School 
Tina Wilson, principal at Rye Neck High School 
Karen Reynolds, Languages Other Than English (LOTE) teacher at Rye Neck High School 
Kristin Bonnici, science teacher at Rye Neck High School 
Vincent Scozzari, eighth-grade social studies teacher at Rye Neck Middle School 
Leanne Cipolla, reading teacher at Daniel Warren Elementary School
Darnell Davis, cleaner at Rye Neck High School
Carolyn Mahar, treasurer at Rye Neck Union Free School District
Bozena Sidorowicz, world languages teacher at Rye Neck High School, leave replacement
Allen Grant, sixth-grade teacher at Rye Neck Middle School, leave replacement
Diana Carvalho, special education teacher at F.E. Bellows Elementary School, leave replacement
Nicole Crispinelli, psychologist at Rye Neck High School, leave replacement
Brian Iacovelli, physical education/health teacher at Rye Neck High School 
Ashley Synowiez, English teacher at Daniel Warren Elementary School 
Amy Bushnell, physical education teacher at Rye Neck Middle School and Rye Neck High School 
Nadia Whiting, world language teacher at Rye Neck High School
Theresa Gray, special education teacher at Daniel Warren Elementary School, F.E. Bellows Elementary School and Rye Neck Middle School 
Kristian Wasdick, teaching assistant at Rye Neck Middle School 
Erin Unis, teaching assistant at F.E. Bellows Elementary School
Kelly Addorisio, English teacher at Rye Neck Middle School 
Ashley Worley, teaching assistant at F.E. Bellows Elementary School 

rye neck staff image

Class of 2017 Ready for New Opportunities

The 127 members of the Rye Neck High School Class of 2017 celebrated the completion of their high school experience when they took hold of their diplomas during their commencement ceremony on June 22.

The ceremony began with the school’s orchestra performing “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates proceeded into the ceremony to the applause of their friends and family. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Barbara Ferraro paid tribute to the students’ impressive accomplishments, which include 75 scholar-athletes, Eagle Scouts, Metro theater award winners, recognitions at the Science Olympiads, as well as a class who gave more than 20,000 hours of community service and earned $52,500 in local scholarships.

“Most of all, I will remember you as the class that had a special bond with each other and always made sure that everyone was included in every aspect of the high school experience,” Dr. Ferraro said. “Your actions supported the idea that when individual talents and interests are blended together the entire group benefits.”

She also encouraged them to follow their passions, be proactive individuals and embrace every opportunity that comes their way.

In his remarks, Interim Principal Scott Mosenthal thanked the graduates for their generosity and friendliness while he served as interim principal for the last six months.  

“The Class of 2017 is impressive by any possible measure – scholastically, artistically, athletically and service-wise,” he said. “This group of young people is articulate, intelligent, focused and compassionate.”

The graduates also heard from guest keynote speaker Isabel Richardson, a RNHS Class of 2007 graduate, as well as valedictorian Fraser Shaw, who reflected on his classmates’ accomplishments and experiences throughout high school; and salutatorian Emily Crook, who urged her peers to follow their passions and not to let anyone else define success for them.

“No matter where life takes us, if we put our minds to a task and put in the work, we can achieve great things,” Shaw said. “Class of 2017, I can see we are ready. High school is only the beginning of our lives’ successes. As we continue to push ourselves, as we continue to confront the world in front of us, we will begin to formulate the answers to the great questions that our generation faces.”

The ceremony ended with the traditional tossing of their caps before the students took their first steps as Rye Neck High School alumni.  



Rye Neck High School Senior Isaak Meier Named Best Comedic Actor

Rye Neck High School senior Isaak Meier has been awarded the prestigious 2017 Metro Award for Best Comedic Actor for his performance as Kyle O’Boyle in the high school production of “Legally Blonde.” He received his award during the annual ceremony, which was held at Purchase College Community Arts Center on June 12.

The Metro Awards shine a spotlight on exceptional musical theater productions, talented actors and actresses and creative teams from Rockland, Westchester, Putnam and Bergen counties.

"Isaak Meier, quite simply, was hilarious as Kyle B. O'Boyle in our production of ‘Legally Blonde’ this year,” theater director Scott Harris said. “He has a wonderful sense of comedy and a perfect deadpan expression that made him ideal to play the role of the unwittingly handsome UPS delivery man. Although his time on stage was short, Isaak made the most of the part, keeping a straight face while the characters around him – not to mention his own jazz horns and theme music – helped inform the audience of just how funny his strut and delivery were."

Principal Scott Mosenthal also praised Meier’s comedic talent, adding that he created the most unforgettably humorous role and award-winning character.

In addition, seniors Jillian Hurlbut, Bria McClain, Justin Sturgis and Rachel Wurzburger were nominated for Metro Awards for their contributions to “Legally Blonde.” Hurlbut, stage manager, was nominated in the technical merit category. McClain was nominated as best actress in a supporting role for her role as Paulette; while Sturgis and Wurzburger were nominated for best outstanding duet.

"This year's graduating class are among the most talented, dedicated, hardworking students I've had the pleasure of teaching in my time at Rye Neck,” Harris said.


Rye Neck Students Achieve High Scores at NYSSMA Festivals

Forty-seven Rye Neck Union Free School District students participated in this year’s New York State School Music Association spring festivals.

All of the 16 students in the Level 5-6 category achieved scores in the “A” range. Two of those students, Rye Neck High School sophomores Enora Lauvau (cello) and Elena Tisnovsky (violin) earned their scores at the All-State level. Rye Neck Middle School sixth-grader Ena Kitoh and F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader Tomoka Kawasaki scored a 98.

In the Level 1-4 group, Daniel Warren Elementary School second-grader Aya Nishimura scored a 28 (out of 28) on the piano; while F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader Alexander Kahn scored a 28 on the classical guitar. Three Rye Neck Middle School students – Brady Chamberlain on the jazz guitar, Erin Gjyrezi on the piano and Asha O’Reilly for voice – scored a 27. Rye Neck High School freshman Kayla Hollmann scored a 25 on the piano.

“Rye Neck students once again represented the district well, demonstrating the strength and diversity of the music program, as well as the dedication and hard work of the student musicians,” said John Mattera, middle school and high school music teacher and band director.

Rye Neck High School Names Class of 2017 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

Rye Neck High School seniors Fraser Shaw and Emily Crook have been named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2017. Both accomplished students said it was validating to receive the recognition and were honored to represent their class.

Shaw and Crook said they have worked incredibly hard throughout their high school careers and taken advantage of the numerous academic and extracurricular opportunities at the high school. They attributed their success to their drive to pursue their passions both in and outside of school, and were grateful to their parents for their support. 

“It’s an honor to be the valedictorian,” Shaw said. “I always tried my best and I tried to push myself as much as possible. It shows me that the work I have been putting in at school has paid off. All the late nights, all the hard work has all accumulated to something larger, which is being valedictorian.”

Shaw has been class president for four years and a member of the Science Olympiad team for three years. In addition to taking a demanding course load consisting of Advanced Placement and honors levels classes, he has been a member of the soccer team for four years and has received All-League, Honorable Mention and the Coach’s Award. 

Crook has been a member of the Science Olympiad team for two years and was named captain this year. She has been the editor of the school paper for three years and has played in the school band since sixth-grade. Outside of school, she volunteers at Sunday school and pursues creative writing. 

“It’s really an incredible accomplishment [to be the salutatorian],” she said. “It’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work that we had to put in in order to achieve the level that we did and to be singled out for your efforts or your diligence is something I am proud of, but to have it recognized feels good.”

The soon-to-be graduates said if they could give any piece of advice to the incoming freshmen, it would be to take a variety of classes, pursue their interests and always do their best. 

“I’d tell them to keep an open mind about all classes in general, and to take a variety of different classes because even though we’re a small school, we do offer a lot of different electives and classes you can take to explore a lot of different interests,” Crook said. 

In the fall, Shaw will attend Northeastern University, where he plans to major in mechanical engineering. Crook plans to pursue a major in physics and a minor in astrophysics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.



Internship Program Prepares Seniors for Life After High School

With graduation just a few weeks away, Rye Neck High School has ensured that all seniors are ready to embark on the next journey of their lives with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. Through the school’s internship program, all members of the Class of 2017 are participating in internships for the remainder of the school year.

Karen Parisi, a social studies teacher and coordinator of the internship program, said the program provides students with an opportunity to experience a career of their choice while further exploring their interests and passions. Through the enriching experience, they’re able to learn important life lessons about responsibility and accountability, and apply their skills to real-life situations. The students have been exploring a number of fields, including medical research, physical therapy, education, real estate, architecture, engineering, public service, construction and more.

“The internship program allows students to explore an area that they would not have been exposed to in a traditional classroom setting,” Parisi said. “In addition to making new connections with people who can provide advice and guidance in future job searches, interns see what it is really like to work in a certain field. By the end of the internship, students have a clearer idea of whether they want to enter a profession and how to plan their future career goals.”

Since 1995, Rye Neck High School has been providing students with an opportunity to participate in an internship or complete an in-depth research assignment during their fourth-quarter marking period as a graduation requirement. This year, as well as last, all seniors participated in an internship of their choice.

“The program began with a handful of students and now, every senior participates in the internship program,” Parisi said. “In order to be eligible for an internship a student must be passing all classes. A student’s fourth-quarter grade in social studies and English is based on the internship assessment.”

Parisi said each student works with an internship mentor to gain professional knowledge and expertise, receive guidance and constructive feedback and complete assigned responsibilities. Throughout their internship, students are required to submit mentor evaluation forms, time sheets, an on-site interview and journal entries about their experience.


Rye Neck Students Take Top Honors at Tri-County Science and Technology Fair

Rye Neck Union Free School District students had outstanding performances at the Tri-County Science and Technology Fair, held on April 22 at White Plains High School. The science fair showcased exhibits from students in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland counties.

The students presented before a team of three judges in their respective categories. Congratulations to the following students who received awards for their projects in the following categories:

High School Health and Medicine
•    Matthew Ponticiello, third place, “Preparing and Testing Immunomagnetic Beads for Cancer Hyperthermia,” Rye Neck High School senior

Middle School Biology
•    Peter Nicholas, second place, “The Bioremediation of Plastic,” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader
•    Anne “Julie” Van Roijen, third place, “Do People’s Heart Rates Change When They See Different Colors?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader

Middle School Chemistry
•    Derek Ryan, first place, “Which Type of Carbohydrates is Best Metabolized by Yeast and How Does the Concentration Affect the Rate of Fermentation?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader

Middle School Engineering and Technology
•    Dayana Bubb and Anna Maulucci, third place, “Will the Type of Fin Affect How a Bottle Rocket Will Fly?” Rye Neck Middle School eighth-graders

Middle School Environment
•    Kyle Ryan, second place, “How Do Nutrients in Fertilizers Affect the pH and O2 Levels of Aquatic Systems?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-grader

Middle School Health and Medicine
•    Constancja Litwak and Isabel Palacios, third place, “Whose Skin Becomes Wrinkly the Fastest?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fifth-graders

Middle School Math and Computers
•    Amadea Toutoungis, second place, “How Does Air Resistance Affect an Active Cannonball?” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader
•    Linus Ringstad, third-place, “The Effects of Frequency on Visible Light,” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader

Middle School Psychology
•    Naomi Young, second place, “The Relationship Between Mindset, Praise and a Student’s Decision to Challenge Themselves,” Rye Neck Middle School eighth-grader
•    Julia Flood, “Does Gender Affect Mathematical Ability?” Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grader

Elementary School Biology
•    Thehara Ubayawardena, Excellent award, “How Best to Make Plants Grow” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Chemistry
•    Samina Quil, Outstanding award, “How Does Soda Affect Your Teeth?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Earth/Space Sciences
•    Ella Grann, Excellent award, “How Does Warmer Climate Impact Sea Levels?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Engineering and Technology
•    Carys McGrory, Outstanding award, “What is the effect of the Temperature of Butter on Baked Cookies?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Environment
•    Natasha Gozlan, Outstanding award, “How Do Greenhouses Help Plants Grow Taller?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-grader

Elementary School Health and Medicine
•    Marco Griffo and Boden Sivere, Excellent award, “How Much Methane Do Different Foods Produce?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-graders

Elementary School Physics
•    Michael Messina and Mark Di Maggio, Outstanding award, “Do Ferrofluids Work Differently from Water?” F.E. Bellows Elementary School fourth-graders



Rye Neck High School Students Sign ‘I Am An Ally’ Pledge

Rye Neck High School students and staff members participated in Ally Week from April 17-21 in support of the LGBTQ community. Throughout the week, students watched videos and participated in meaningful discussions and various activities to bring awareness to the topic.

“Ally Week is a week for students to identify, support and celebrate allies against anti-LGBTQ language, bullying and harassment,” said Janine Rocchio, a teacher and interim advisor of the Gay Straight Alliance club. “This year, we are extending that definition to be against harassment of any kind, whether it be against race, gender or disabilities. Rye Neck’s GSA message is about tolerance.”

Members of the Gay Straight Alliance club handed out “I am an ally” signs to students and teachers and discussed how they can show their support and let everyone know they support a safe school environment.

Ally image



Five Juniors Earn Honorable Mention at National Math Competition

A team of five Rye Neck High School students used their knowledge and critical thinking skills to solve an applied mathematics problem when they competed in Moody’s Mega Math Challenge, a national online math competition.

Juniors Olivia Dunne, Allie Liebmann, Jack Masciopinto, Marisa Santoli and Bennett Taylor, under the guidance of teacher David Grazioli, were presented with a problem, which had to be solved within a 14-hour time limit. During the competition, the students studied the issue, gathered data, stated assumptions and devised mathematical models before reporting their results in the form of a solution paper.

“After being scrutinized by more than 225 Ph.D.-level applied mathematicians, their solution paper was chosen as one of 78 to receive an Honorable Mention award, putting them in the top 8 percent of all submissions,” Grazioli said. “As a reward for their hard work and their exemplary solution, they were awarded a $1,000 scholarship to be shared equally among them.”

Rye Neck High School was among 1,121 high schools nationwide to compete in the competition. Principal Scott Mosenthal congratulated the students and commended them on their ability to work together under trying circumstances.

“Their teamwork speaks volumes about their willingness to listen to each other and recognize each other’s talents,” he said.

math competition image


Rye Neck High School Mock Trial Team Wins County Championship

Rye Neck High School’s Mock Trial team won the coveted Westchester County Championship title after outperforming Horace Greeley High School at the finals, held at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains on April 6. As a result, the team earned a spot to compete in the regional competition at Pace University School of Law on April 22.

For five weeks, the team – under the direction of Marcella Scalise, the Mock Trial team coach and a social studies teacher – battled it out in the courtroom as they argued either for the plaintiff or defense sides of a case at each trial and competed against students from 22 other schools. In this year’s case, Robin Berkman vs. the County of Dover, the defendant was wrongfully prosecuted for the attempted murder of a store clerk and robbery of a convenience store.

“Our students are a diligent and motivated group who have put in a lot of time and effort to truly learn the logistics of the law,” Scalise said. “My goal was to make sure they had a new perspective about the legal profession and respected the legal process. I truly believe they learned a lot about the legal profession and have respect for all of the time and hard work it takes.”

At each mock trial, lawyers from the Westchester County Bar Association judged the students on their opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, witness preparation and credibility, closing statements and professionalism.

“This is one of the most dedicated and hard working group of students I have ever seen and it has been a pleasure to work with them,” Scalise said. “I can confidently say that we are one of the most poised and professional teams in the entire competition. We will continue to work hard for the regional competition and hope to continue this success.”

At the regional competition, the team of 20 freshmen, sophomores and juniors will compete in multiple mock trials, where they will argue both the plaintiff and defense sides of the case.

Mock Trial Image



‘Grim Reaper Day’ Urges High School Students to Make Responsible Decisions

Members of Students Against Destructive Decisions sponsored Grim Reaper Day at Rye Neck High School on April 7 in an effort to increase awareness about the dangers of alcohol and drug-related accidents.

Throughout the day, a SADD member dressed as the Grim Reaper roamed the hallways and randomly selected a student as a “victim” to demonstrate to their peers that every 33 minutes someone is killed as a result of an alcohol or drug-related accident. The Grim Reaper’s victims wore a sign with a prewritten obituary and were not allowed to speak to anyone for the remainder of the school day. Outside of school, SADD members placed tombstones around the building and lit candles each time a “death” occurred.  

The powerful and emotionally charged program was designed to offer real-life experiences to students without the real-life risks and teach them about the importance of making good decisions in order to prevent these tragedies. At the end of the day, the students who enacted their “deaths” gathered in a high traffic area of the school to remind everyone once again not to drink and drive.



Four Rye Neck UFSD Students Selected as Finalists in National Academic Competition

Four Rye Neck Union Free School District students have been chosen as finalists in the prestigious academic competition MathCON, which will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago on April 22.

F.E Bellows Elementary School fifth-graders Nicolas Ajram and Shuya Watanabe, Rye Neck Middle School eighth-grader Ruby Liebmann and Rye Neck High School sophomore Julian Allison are among the 576 finalists. The daylong event will bring together elementary, middle and high school students who will compete for various prizes, such as mini iPads, gift cards and national prestige, through various math questions and activities.

The competition began with 49,685 applicants from 43 states who took the initial exam to qualify for MathCON. The students who finished in the 99th percentile for their respective grade levels qualified for the finals.

Of the four Rye Neck students, Ajram and Liebmann will travel to Chicago to test their math skills against other students from across the country.

fe bellows image


‘What’s Next?’ for Rye Neck High School and Middle School Students

Rye Neck High School students and staff members will host TEDxRyeNeckHigh, an independently organized event that’s licensed by the non-profit media corporation TED on March 24, to provide students with an opportunity to engage with issues and ideas that are most meaningful to them.

The event will feature middle school and high school speakers, as well as audience participation in discussions and expressive arts activities that reflect on the theme of “What’s next?” Topics will include cybersecurity, climate change, religion, community service, the Syrian refugee crisis, the future of classical music, teen anxiety, biomedical engineering and more. 

To prepare for the event, the students recently participated in a professional presentation workshop, which was conducted by parent Tom Fox, a business consultant and founder of MyEureka Solutions. 

The event will take place on March 24 from 6:30 -10 p.m. at the Rye Neck Performing Arts Center. 

For more information and ticket order forms contact Co-Director of Counseling and Guidance Valerie Feit at

TEDx Photo



Medals for Rye Neck High School Science Olympiad Club

Members of the Rye Neck High School Science Olympiad club took home medals and placed 12th overall as a team when they showcased their skills at the annual Science Olympiad at Byram Hills High School on Feb. 11.

At the regional competition, the students competed in a number of disciplines against students from 43 other area schools, and were tasked with completing academic and engineering events. The topics ranged from building a hovercraft that needed to go a set distance in a certain amount of time to finishing a test concerning specific topics of earth science as it pertains to hydrogeology.

“We are proud of our Rye Neck High School students,” said science teacher Daniel Moy, who co-advises the club along with teacher Lori Penesis. “This year we built a wind turbine, hovercraft, rubber band powered helicopter, balsa tower, electric powered vehicle and a robot arm. The group was student-led by our four captains Emily Crook, Mia Dunn, Nadia Naeem and Catherine Yoo.”

Congratulations to the following students who received medals at the Science Olympiad:

•    Emily Crook and Michael Quartararo: third place in Hovercraft
•    Risa Liebmann and Bennett Taylor: fourth place in Robot Arm
•    Mia Dunn and Olivia Dunne: fifth place in Chemistry Lab
•    Evelyn Hong and Bennett Taylor: fifth place in Electric Vehicle
•    Grace O'Rourke and Emily Crook: seventh place in Hydrogeology
•    Grace O'Rourke and Sophie Gibson: eighth place in Dynamic Planet
•    Nadia Naeem and Catherine Yoo: tenth place in Invasive Species.


High School Students Display Artwork at Mamaroneck Public Library

More than 50 talented Rye Neck High School students, in grades nine through 12, have their artworks on display at the Mamaroneck Public Library art exhibit through March 31.

The exhibit showcases drawing and design pieces such as repetition, one and two-point perspective and still life drawings of students in Jennifer Dallow’s and Karen Fontecchio’s art classes. Throughout the year, the students have been applying elements and principles of design in their work and have mastered concepts in perspective. They’re continuing their work on realism and will build on previously learned skills for the rest of the school year.

More of their artwork is currently on display at the high school library and hallways of the front lobby. In April, the Mamaroneck Public Library will host a K-12 art show to highlight Rye Neck Union Free School District students’ work.



Rye Neck High School Students Present ‘Legally Blonde’

Rye Neck High School Students Present ‘Legally Blonde’

Rye Neck High School will present the modern, musical comedy production of “Legally Blonde” as its spring musical from March 2-4. The spectacular production features more than 100 talented students who are part of the cast and crew.

“Legally Blonde,” a lively stage performance with music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, is based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and a movie of the same name. It tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who enrolls in Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend.

“The musical has an extremely empowering message for girls,” theater director Scott Harris said. “Elle Woods is a character who at first thinks she can only be valued for her looks and aspires to be nothing more than someone's girlfriend or wife. But by the end of the show, she grows, raises her expectations and learns to value her own intelligence.”

The production features impeccable costume and set designs, which are based on the Broadway set design and licensed to the high school. It also features live dogs that appear as part of the story that will impress any dog lover. Rye Neck High School senior and stage manager Jillian Hurlbut and a number of other crew members have been vital to the production’s success.

“Every student involved in this production has surprised me with how talented, hardworking and dedicated they are,” Harris said. “I marvel over the collected abilities of them. They are continuing the tradition of professional-level theater at Rye Neck and I'm so proud of them all.”

Performances are Thursday, March 2 through Saturday, March 4 at 7 p.m. Tickets to the performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children. For more information, please click here.

Below is a list of the “Legally Blonde” cast:  

Name Role
Zach Aber                Harvard Student
Philip Beebe             Aaron Schultz/Carlos
Ryan Boron              Grandmaster Chad/Harvard Student/TV Cameraman
Luigi Carolini            Winthrop/Courtroom Bailiff
Jazzy Cores             Serena            
Anthony DeRose       Colorist at “Hair Affair”/Harvard Student
Kristina Dignelli         Whitney
Evan DiNome            Pforzheimer/Harvard Student
Erin Drace                 Vivienne Kensington
Ryan Germani           Violinist, Guard, Harvard Student
Jessica Giordano        Enid Hoopes
Joshua Goldin-McCarthy    Warner Huntington III
Hunter Greenhill        Professor Callahan
Ris Igrec                   Pilar
Omar Laguerre-Lewis    Sundeep Padamadan/Nikos Argitakos
Risa Liebmann           Courtney (Saleswoman)/Harvard Student
Sean McCaffery         Dewey/Harvard Student/Diner
Bria McClain              Paulette Buonofonte
Luke McNiff               JetBlue Pilot/Harvard Student
Isaak Meier              Kyle B. O’Boyle/Harvard Student
Andrew O’Hanlon        Lowell/Harvard Student/Diner
Grace O’Rourke        Kate
Raven Parham          Cashier at “Hair Affair”/Harvard Student/Diner
Katelyn Sansotta        TV Reporter/Harvard Student
Zoe Schuman            Store Manager/Judge/Harvard Student
Christina Shin           D.A. Joyce Riley/Harvard Student
Ben Styler                Elle’s Dad/Harvard Student    
Keeley Stuff             Chutney Wyndham/Harvard Student/Diner
Justin Sturgis            Emmett Forrest
Mariko Sugaya          Brooke Wyndham
Luisa Tito                  Margot
Kaylee Unkenholz      Elle’s Mom/Leilani/Harvard Student
Rachel Wurzburger    Elle Woods

Delta Nu Greek Chorus
Haley Bruno (Dana)                
Kathleen Fox (Stenographer)            
Viktoriya Manolova (H&H Salesgirl)
Demi Pirrone (Bookish Client)
Anna Romani (2nd Salesgirl)            
Ellie Williams (Dance Captain and Gaelen/Girl)
Stella Wunder (Assistant District Attorney)

Below is a list of the “Legally Blonde” crew:

Stage Manager
Jillian Hurlbut

Assistant Stage Managers
Margaret Kohler
Matt Ponticiello

Technical Director
Ian Gabriele

Assistant TD
Michael Quartararo

Crew Chiefs
Tom Bermingham
Dan Garofalo

Vicky Violi
Danny Morningstar
Jamie Strazza

Stage Crew
Ollie Beecham
Lisa Bianco
Jack Carducci
Jahliv Cornelius
Jake Guagnini
Alex Kebbe
Tim Kelley
Noah Klur
Pierre Klur
Jose Latorre
Kathryn Loffredo
Edward Lopez
Gio Maffei
Jake McSweeney
Mitch O’Brien
Jonathan Shin
Nick Stenroos
Leo Swatski
Brendan Tuohy
Jack Van Buren
Vincent Violi
Amber Yang
Yoli Zarate

Lighting Crew
Steven Saputo - Head
Nick D’Errico - spot
Ben Galerne - spot
Joosep Jukham
Chris Ortiz

Sound Crew
Jessica Sevean - Head
Milo Haviland
Alex Jones

Kiara O’Day - Head
Jaycie Pillig - Head
Anne Alcin
Olivia Allison
Sydney Bisceglia
Colby Delarosa
Jazmin Fuentes
Nate Lynch
Yuri Nagafuchi
Sirsha O’Day
Isabella Vidales

Gabby Carducci - Head
Nicolette Sansotta - Head

Liz Violi - Head
Molly Weiner - Head
Paige Cefaloni
Giulianna Miceli
Alexandra Oaks

Sabrina Angulo - Head (H)
Gabby Maffei - Head (M)
Paola Becerra
Grace Cozine
Emma Finkenberg
Georgia Meyers
Liz Mioli
Anna Nakagama
Maya Richards
Rebecca Tenner
Sophia Wice



A Spanish Literature Lesson at Fordham University for Rye Neck High School Students

Rye Neck High School students, who are enrolled in Lina Carolini-Cannavo’s Advanced Placement Spanish class, participated in a college-level Spanish lesson during a recent visit to Fordham University.

They attended Dr. Jiménez Belmonte’s Approaches to Hispanic Literature course and discussed a piece of literature during a lesson of Gabriel García Márquez's “Crónica de una muerte anunciada” (Chronicle of a Death Foretold).

“The students were able to fully participate and engage in the lesson because they are studying the same literary work,” Carolini-Cannavo said.

As part of their trip to Fordham University, the students toured the campus, visited the Modern Language and Literature Department and discussed with professors college expectations and the importance of studying a foreign language and studying abroad.

“The students left more comfortable, confident and excited for college,” Carolini-Cannavo said. “It was a valuable and interesting experience that helped bridge the gap between high school and college. I also hope they walked away appreciating more the Spanish language and Hispanic literature.”



‘What’s Next?’ for Rye Neck High School and Middle School Students

Rye Neck High School students and staff members will host TEDxRyeNeckHigh, an independently organized event that’s licensed by the non-profit media corporation TED on March 24, to provide students with an opportunity to engage with issues and ideas that are most meaningful to them.

The event will feature middle school and high school speakers, as well as audience participation in discussions and expressive arts activities that reflect on the theme of “What’s next?” Topics will include cybersecurity, climate change, religion, community service, the Syrian refugee crisis, the future of classical music, teen anxiety, biomedical engineering and more.

"As the producer of this event, I am impressed by the level of commitment that the speakers and production staff have made to this project,” Co-Director of Counseling and Guidance Valerie Feit said. “The entire group has participated in providing feedback to the speakers, designing the audience experience and creating a forum for discussing ideas that matter. The generation that we are fostering in our schools is articulate, thoughtful, hopeful and inspiring."
In the spirit of TED, which promotes ideas worth sharing, TEDxRyeNeckHigh is divided into three parts: current trends, international issues and emerging forefronts. The audience is invited to participate in discussions, artistic activities and mindfulness meditation in between the talks. Additionally, the program will feature classical pianist Reed Petersen, a senior, and jazz guitarist Rebecca Taylor, a junior. Rye Neck's Booster Club will sell refreshments and spirit wear.

The event will take place on March 24 from 6:30 -10 p.m. at the Rye Neck Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information and ticket order forms contact

Below is a list of speakers and their topics:

•    Ruby Liebmann, grade 8, Feminism
•    Naomi Young, grade 8, Syrian refugee crisis
•    Jose Latorre, grade 10, Cyber security
•    Lucas Pasquina, grade 9, Future of religion
•    Elena Tisnovsky, grade 10, Is classical music relevant?
•    Juliana Silva, grade 9, Teens and stress
•    Beatrix Cress, grade 11, Social entrepreneurship
•    Olivia Dunne, grade 11, Biomedical engineering
•    Grace West, grade 9, Community service
•    Lisa Engelen, grade 9, Community service
•    Dasha Boswell, grade 10, Social media (poetry slam)
•    Ryan Francavilla, grade 11, Climate change and corporations
•    Reed Petersen, grade 12, Classical piano (performance)
•    Rebecca Taylor, grade 11, Classical guitar (performance)




Freshmen, Sophomores Apply Problem-Solving Skills in American Math Competition

Rye Neck High School geometry students participated in the American Math Competition on Feb. 7. They answered a series of multiple-choice questions in the national test, which were designed to evaluate their problem-solving and analytical skills during an enriching math experience.

“It’s a great opportunity for high school students to develop positive attitudes towards analytical thinking and mathematical skills that can assist in future careers by applying classroom-learned skills to unique problem-solving challenges,” math teacher David Grazioli said.

The 25-question, 75-minute exam tested the students’ knowledge of algebra and geometry, including the Pythagorean Theorem, area and volume formulas, number theory and probability.

“I like to encourage the students to push themselves beyond their comfort zone when it comes to their mathematics experiences,” Grazioli said. “You never know when something might pique their interest or when one student will finally get the ability to shine.”

The American Math Competition is the first in a series of competitions. If students perform well enough, they’re invited to participate in the American Invitational Mathematics Examination.



Mock Trial Team Argues Case of Wrongful Prosecution


Members of the Rye Neck High School Mock Trial team have been diligently examining the civil case of Robin Berkman vs. County of Dover and preparing to present their case in courtroom trials. They will act as attorneys and witnesses when they compete against Horace Greeley High School in a mock trial at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains on March 2.

Mock trial is an academic competition in a courtroom setting that allows students to prepare and argue both the prosecution and defense sides of a case and compete against students from across the country. In this year’s case, the defendant was wrongfully prosecuted for the attempted murder of a store clerk and robbery of a convenience store.

“The lead lawyers for each side have developed hard-hitting questions and incorporated substantial evidence to make their case stand out,” said Marcella Scalise, the Mock Trial team coach and a social studies teacher. “The witnesses have assumed their roles and taken their new persona very seriously. Legal researchers have helped both lawyers and witnesses prepare their questions, roles and provide feedback on areas for improvement.”

Scalise, who has enlisted the guidance of legal advisor Deborah A. Scalise, of Scalise & Hamilton, LLP, said she feels confident her team will be successful throughout the competition.

"The team has been working hard to break down and truly understand the issues in the case,” Scalise said. “Every member of the team has had a vital role in our preparation and it shows through the well-thought-out questions and answers for both sides. I am so proud of every student for their efforts and the progress I have seen since we began. I am excited to see us compete.”

The Rye Neck Union Free School District wishes the Mock Trial team good luck throughout the competition season.



Rye Neck High School Students Celebrate Kindness

Rye Neck High School students and staff members participated in No-Name Calling Week from Jan. 16-20, which was created by the Gay-Lesbian Student Education Network. Throughout the week, members of the high school’s Gay Straight Alliance club encouraged their peers to sign a pledge to support each other within the school community and prevent bullying.

“No-Name Calling Week is an annual event of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing schools with the tools and inspiration to launch an ongoing dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in their communities,” school psychologist Jayme Harjes said.

The week began with homeroom teachers playing a video clip describing the background, purpose and importance of No-Name Calling Week. Throughout the remainder of the week, GSA club members asked students to sign a pledge to celebrate kindness and reflect on names they have been called. They also handed out candy canes with facts about bullying attached to them. On the final day, GSA officers displayed the signed pledge to raise awareness about the issue.

“The GSA looks forward to leading the high school in participating in the No-Name Calling Week annually,” Harjes said.

Adopted by schools nationwide, No-Name Calling Week has grown into one of the largest bullying-prevention initiatives in the country. GLSEN strives to end discrimination, harassment and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in schools.



Ninth-Graders Project Virtual Objects into Real World Environment


Rye Neck High School students in Joseph Perlman’s ninth-grade accelerated geometry classes, who have been studying about the properties of trapezoids and exploring how to create projections using different angles, recently designed and successfully created holograms.

For their projects, the students used transparency paper, which they cut into four trapezoid pieces and taped together, to create a holographic projector before placing it directly on top of an iPad. As a result, the virtual image on the device was projected into their classroom.

“The purpose was to give the students a practical application of the topic,” Perlman said. “They were able to understand how these shapes are crucial to everyday technologies and why certain sizes work better than others.”

As a conclusion to their studies, the students were challenged to build a holographic projector that would create a bigger, clearer image and replicate it onto a larger scale.



Rye Neck High School Students Benefit Local Food Pantry

Members of the Rye Neck High School Student Senate held their eighth annual food drive and collected nonperishable food items from Dec. 6-12. All proceeds were donated to the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Food Pantry, which assists local families in need.

“Our students realize that hunger and poverty are issues present in their own community and this collection and donation speaks to the compassion, kindness and selflessness of them,” said Karen Parisi, the Student Senate faculty advisor and a social studies teacher.

Each month, Student Senate members organize a community service outreach through their “Leading by Example” project. The food drive was part of their community service efforts for the month of December.



Middle School, High School Students Collaborate During Hour of Code


Rye Neck middle school and high school students collaborated during the Hour of Code, an international event that is a highlight of Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 5-11.

The Hour of Code, which serves as an introduction to coding and computer programming, enabled the students to choose from a variety of self-guided coding activities, such as a “Star Wars”-based module called “Building a Galaxy with Code” that helped nurture their creativity and problem-solving skills.

“Computer science is such an important industry in our world today,” said Linda Costelloe, the middle school and high school librarian. “For our students to use their imagination and realize that they can be creators, not just consumers of what’s already out there, is an amazing set of skills.”

The partnership between the students – some of whom are enrolled in the Advanced Placement Computer Science course – encouraged them to collaborate with peers with similar interests and gain a deeper understanding for the applications of coding.

“I find it interesting that there is a ton of math involved [in coding], but also a bit of language arts because in order to make a command work, you need to word it properly,” said sixth-grader Lily Ferraro, who participated in a “Minecraft” coding exercise. “I like creating stuff. People should learn how to code…and if you start with something like [programming language] Scratch, it can be pretty easy.”

Costelloe added that the district is focused on teaching students to be self-directed learners and creators rather than users, which are skills integral to the students’ success.

For more information on the Hour of Code, visit  



Rye Neck Schools Appoint Interim High School Principal

The Rye Neck Schools Board of Education has named Dr. Scott Mosenthal to serve as interim principal at the high school. He was officially appointed during the Board’s meeting on Dec. 7.
Dr. Mosenthal will replace Dr. Barbara Ferraro, the current high school principal and assistant superintendent for curriculum, who will transition to the Superintendent of Schools position following Superintendent Dr. Peter Mustich’s retirement at the end of the calendar year.  

"I am pleased to have Dr. Mosenthal join us as the interim high school principal,” Dr. Ferraro said. “He brings a wealth of experience to the position. His strong curriculum background, passion for teaching and learning and commitment to working with high school students make him the perfect candidate."

Dr. Mosenthal formerly served in the Irvington Union Free School District as principal for 15 years and an English teacher at Irvington Middle School and Irvington High School for 23 years. During his time at Irvington, he was the English department chairperson whose responsibilities included classroom observation and teacher evaluation, curriculum development, staff development, student discipline and building management. He was also a coach of the varsity indoor track team and junior varsity basketball and football teams.

He will step into the interim position on Jan. 3, 2017.


Eighth-Graders Prepare for Rye Neck High School Experience

Rye Neck High School hosted an orientation for eighth-graders and their parents on Dec. 1 in the Performing Arts Center to start preparing them for their transition to high school next September. Members of the Class of 2021 had the opportunity to meet with teachers and ask them questions about classes, tour the facility and learn about the various enrichment opportunities that will be available to them.

During the information session with Dr. Barbara Ferraro, high school principal and assistant superintendent for curriculum, the students learned about the different course offerings, as well as the athletic and extracurricular activities that will help make their high school experience memorable and rewarding. They also listened to advice from current high school students and attended individual department exhibits in the dining hall.

“A Rye Neck High School student is expected to become an independent and self-directed learner,” Dr. Ferraro said. “The orientation meeting introduced them to the myriad programs that are offered and gave them the resources needed to make informed decisions about their high school experience.”

Eighth-grader Jonas Stoeckhert, whose older sister is a junior at Rye Neck High School, said he appreciated the opportunity to tour the building and visit different classrooms in the school.

The students will further discuss their academic options during a second meeting on Feb. 2. Members of the guidance department's Peer Leadership Program have also planned for additional transition events in the spring as well as on the first day of classes next September.