School Pride: Local High Schools’ Recent Accomplishments and Achievements
Public and private schools here in Westchester told us their proudest achievement of the year, and we’re bringing them to you in this month’s web exclusive.
Alexander Hamilton Junior/Senior High School
Alexander Hamilton Junior/Senior High School (AHHS) adopted a continuous-improvement model: Our staff uses tools to conduct root-cause analysis and develop initiatives that respond to the needs of our students. This information is reviewed by a think tank that consists of 18 teachers, the assistant principal, and the principal. The collaboration led to a homework initiative entitled Zeros Aren’t Permitted (ZAP). AHHS also recently began a book study of The Leader In Me and is now focusing on the implementation of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Ardsley High School
Our proudest achievement is the success of our students each and every year. Our goal is to create a school environment in which students of all abilities are challenged. The high school program allows students the opportunity to excel in academics, the arts, athletics, and extracurricular activities. We love when students return to tell us of their positive experience and post-high-school success.
Blind Brook High School
This year, 52 students earned AP Scholar Awards, including four who were named National AP Scholars. We continue our outstanding science research program, including second place winner in National NASA Contest and semifinalist in the INTEL Contest. New York News and World Report ranked Blind Brook High School No. 123 in the United States and No. 24 in New York State.
Bronxville High School
Bronxville students are strong achievers academically, in extracurriculars, and in athletics. They win many awards and they use summers and school breaks to supplement academics. But what really distinguishes our students is their service. They travel to Nicaragua to build homes annually, and to Tanzania, where they have developed strong connections to the JBFC Orphanage and school. They are role models to children in Zambia and Kenya; have gone to Cuba and New Orleans; and have reached out to the needy in New Mexico, Hawaii, and Costa Rica. They serve locally as well—Midnight Runs to Manhattan, tutoring in poorer communities, mentoring and tutoring younger students in the school, and assisting with transition of students as they move from middle school to high school through the Freshman Transition Program.
Byram Hills High School
The college admission results of our graduating seniors were incredible, with 77 percent of our graduates being accepted at Tier I and II (Barron’s) colleges and universities. Equally impressive were the results of our annual graduate survey, which indicate that not only are our students being accepted at outstanding institutions, but they are well prepared for success once they are there. Recently, our Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program was honored with three more students earning selection as Intel semifinalists. These students join the 77 semifinalists and 18 finalists that Byram Hills has produced in previous years. At Byram Hills High School, we also have a long-established and supported goal of developing responsible citizens and effective student leadership through programs like mentoring and science teaching assistantships.
Dobbs Ferry High School
The school's commitment to academic excellence, professional development for teachers, and equity/access for all students has resulted in top national rankings. In 2012, US News & World Report ranked DFHS No. 83 nationally and No. 16 in New York State. The Washington Post followed with a similar ranking of No. 17 in New York State. The 2012 IB results were recently posted on the high school website, and they indicate that student performance continues to increase. In addition, DFHS had nine National Merit Scholars in the Class of 2012.
Eastchester High School
Similar to other Westchester schools, our students have a rigorous academic program including 22 different AP and college-credit-bearing courses, more than 30 extracurricular activities and clubs to choose from, and 38 interscholastic athletic teams on which to participate. While the academic and co-curricular programs are strong, an emphasis on benevolence and philanthropy is woven throughout our entire school. Our students, through the guidance and modeling of our staff, intentionally seek to help others. Most recently, they completed a toy drive, sponsored the education of children in Swaziland, collected funds for Hurricane Sandy Relief, contributed to the Wounded Warriors Project, and organized a benefit concert to raise money for life-altering surgery for children born with cleft lips and palates.
Edgemont Junior/Senior High School
Last year, two students who participated in the Science Scholars program at Edgemont were awarded semifinalist status in the Intel Science Talent Search. The Science Scholars program enables students to practice authentic and original scientific research independently, starting in the 10th grade. Students are required to work with scientists and professionals within their field of research. Students conduct general and summer laboratory research, participate in science competitions, make presentations, and maintain a portfolio of their work. Students present their work to the community at a symposium in January.
Hastings High School
Among our current students, there are eight National Merit Semifinalists and a semifinalist in the Siemens Competition for Math Science and Technology. In addition, recent graduates have been recognized for their achievements in journalism and both documentary and fiction filmmaking that include both Cannes and Sundance Film Festival awards. Still, our proudest achievement may well be the fact that so many of our graduates choose to pursue careers in education, hoping to recreate and build on the experiences they so valued as students at Hastings in their own classrooms.
Harrison High School
According to the Washington Post Challenge Index, Harrison High School ranks among the best in Westchester at preparing all of its students for college success. This outcome is aligned with the district’s mission to provide equity, access, and rigorous academic opportunities in its course offerings. The high school offers an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Advanced Placement courses, Syracuse University dual-enrollment in multi-variable calculus, computer software engineering, journalism, and an expansive fine and performing arts program. HHS is proud of its award-winning dance program; nationally recognized band, which represented New York State at the 2012 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade; nationally ranked debate team; and scholar athletes who compete in more than 30 interscholastic sports.
Horace Greeley High School (Chappaqua)
Forty-one percent of the student body is enrolled in AP courses taking 1044 exams; 67 percent of exams scored a 4 or 5 and 88 percent scored a 3 or higher. In the Sieman’s Science Competition, we had a second-place national winner (who received $50,000). Nine students received $1,500 each for their Academic Excellence Awards at the Intel Sciences Awards. Five students won National Merit Scholarships of $2,500. There was also a perfect score on the National Latin Exam and many other awards and accomplishments.
Mamaroneck High School
Last year, 64 AP Government students spent three days in New Hampshire during the primary elections and engaged in retail politics. Students volunteered for one of the Republican candidates and learned what it is like to be involved at a grass-roots level in the election process. Elsewhere in the school, four PACE (Performing Arts Curriculum Experience) students were chosen to have their plays performed at the New York State Theater Education Association’s annual conference in January. Given that a total of five plays will be presented at the conference, this is a huge honor for Mamaroneck High School
Mount Vernon—Mount Vernon High School
In June 2012, Brian Nyarko was awarded the Ronald McDonald House Charities of New York scholarship of $17,000. The award was based on academic achievement, community and school involvement, and financial needed. He created a club at MVHS last year that he called “Club Success,” which paired students with successful adults to serve as an inspiration. Chanel Thomas, Class of 2012, also graduated with an advanced Regents diploma and received a full-tuition scholarship to Columbia University, where she is majoring in International Relations.
Mount Vernon—Nellie A. Thornton High School
Thornton High School is a modern, comprehensive, four-year high school in good standing with a learning community that represents a variety of backgrounds in culture, education, occupations, and income. Our valedictorian was a Bill Gates Scholarship winner, and, in the last three years, we have increased the number of students in our AP and Honors classes.
New Rochelle High School
Among other accomplishments, New Rochelle High School can boast of four national Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, a state championship in football, an ongoing academic program consisting of more than 300 courses including over 40 honors, Advanced
Placement and dual-enrollment college courses, five students selected to participate in the New York State School Music Association All-State Conference, and a Science Olympiad Team perennially ranked in the top echelon of schools in the County and state.
Pelham Memorial High School
For the second year in a row, Pelham was selected for the annual AP Honor Roll, an honor received by 539 districts in the US and Canada based on three years of data showing, simultaneously, an increase in access to AP coursework and an increase in the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. We also had an Intel semifinalist and a first-place state winner in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. We received a School Merit Roll in the American Math Competition 12. Only 17 schools in New York State achieved at this level. There were two National Merit finalists, 14 National Merit Commended Students, five National Hispanic Recognitions, and two National Achievement Students. One student got fifth place in the National Forensic (Speech) League Championship and another first place in the New York State Championship in Dramatic Performance and Original Oratory. We also had state winners in the National History Day competition, and a New York State Runner Up team in Varsity Volleyball and Top Four in Varsity Ice Hockey.
Pleasantville High School
Last year, Pleasantville High School achieved several national and state-wide distinctions. We were named a Top Performing School (Gold Medal) by US News & World Report, Newsweek magazine, and the Washington Post. We also were named a New York State Department of Education Reward School for outstanding academic performance. We received these and other local honors last year due to the inclusiveness and breadth of our academic and extracurricular and co-curricular programs, our belief that students should take a broad array of classes, our open enrollment admissions for accelerated classes, our high level of student support, and our community-based environment.
Port Chester High School
The appearance of our boys’ varsity soccer team in the New York State Class A championship game this past November highlighted the best of Port Chester High School. This diverse community and the school’s teachers, staff, administration, students, and parents came together through the long playoff season in support of not only the team’s accomplishments, but also in celebration of the pride in being a Ram.
Rye High School
Rye High School has been nationally recognized for its academic strengths, placing in the top 100 high schools in the rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Newsweek. RHS students have historically earned recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Program; this year, nine students were named Commended Students and five earned semifinalist status. Additionally, two students were honored by the National Hispanic Recognition Program and one student was named a National Achievement Scholar. Several of our music students have been selected for All-State ensembles, and the Parson Street Players continue to present excellent drama and musical productions. Many of our athletic teams compete at the state level, and, recently, one of our seniors was named a Con Edison “Athlete of the Week.” Community Service continues to encompass the entire High School with activities such as Save-A-Suit, Toy Drive, and outreach to neighboring communities.
Rye Neck High School
Over the past year, students have excelled as Westchester County Mock Trial Champions, Cross-Country State Champion, and a football team that went undefeated and unscored upon during the regular season. Additionally, 96 seniors participated in mentored internships in business, law, medicine, physics, and the arts.
Scarsdale High School
In 2012, Scarsdale High School arranged for student exchanges with schools in China, France, Spain, and Italy; conducted (for the sixth year) a service and home-stay summer program in Cambodia and a two-week service trip to Ghana focusing on providing mosquito nets to homes in Accra; and arranged for students to attend a world science symposium and youth leadership summit in Singapore.
Sleepy Hollow High School
SHHS recently was selected to be the focus of an update to the classic educational text The Good High School by Sara Lawrence Lightfoot (1983). Pace University Professor Mary Rose McCarthy selected Sleepy Hollow because it was identified in the state and nationally for its high graduation rates, rigorous programs, commitment to personalization, and ability to serve all of its students well. An educational historian, Dr. McCarthy is detailing the story behind the data to chronicle Sleepy Hollow’s success and establish it as a model for teaching and learning that works best with high school students.
Somers High School
This year, Somers High School students included 73 members of the National Honor Society, two National Merit Finalists, six National Merit Commended Scholars, and two Presidential Scholarship Achievement Candidates.
Tuckahoe High School
The most outstanding achievement has been the transformative accomplishments of our students and staff. Academic rigor and college preparation are synonymous, and achievements have included a 26-percent increase in Regents mastery. Teachers are now using technology to extend instruction and assessment on a 24-hours-a-day basis. We have successfully implemented four new AP courses, leading to a 59-percent increase in AP participation and greater college opportunities for our students. The academic improvements have coincided with students increasing their time serving others. The recently implemented Habitat for Humanity program is another of several venues for community service. The successful launching of a new Debate Club and the revival of the Tiger’s Roar newspaper reflect the well-rounded experiences our graduates will build upon for their futures.
Valhalla High School
Our class of 2012, while small, was extremely successful with regard to academic recognition. Most notably, Julian Guy, who is currently attending Harvard University, was named a 2012 US Presidential Scholar, an honor bestowed to only 141 students in the nation out of 3,300 who qualified. Selection is based on academic success, essays, school evaluations/transcripts, evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Julian was recognized in Washington, DC, in June along with his chosen “most influential teacher,” Mrs. Irene Torrieri.
Westlake High School
Westlake High School has begun two very successful programs that are fairly unique among high schools. The first is our “Senior Experience,” which is an opportunity for all seniors to spend the fourth quarter working on an internship with job shadowing experience. This past year, we sent more than 100 seniors out into the “workforce” to experience a field of their choice. Almost all career fields were represented, and one senior actually worked on the Tony Awards and was given a credit in the final program. Westlake also became the official host and sponsor of the Westlake Science Fair. This regional science exhibition is the only one of its kind for sophomores beginning the Science Research process. With well over 200 student entries representing all areas of science, Westlake High School became the hub for scientific inquiry.
White Plains High School
In addition to our Intel Finalist last spring (fifth in the nation), award-winning music and drama programs, and various recognitions for our diverse student population, White Plains High School takes great pride in many programs that make us special. One of these is our Academic Challenge Team, which again was a national Semifinalist in New Orleans, with six such rankings since 2004. The team has finished second, third, and fourth in the nation, and was 191-20 in the past two seasons. Throughout the history of the group, most team members have been National Merit Award students.
Woodlands High School
Woodlands’ 2011-2012 school year was replete with many achievements academically, athletically, and artistically. Two of the awards that the students and faculty are most proud of are our Gold Medal winners in the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics. In addition to the aforementioned, our competing students scored 100 percent on their New York State School Music Association Auditions.
College readiness is strongly promoted through the Academy of Medical. Gorton is a proud recipient of the Smart Scholars Early College Grant by the New York State Department of Education. Smart Scholars Early College Program allows students the opportunity to take college courses that will enhance their academic and critical-thinking skills, and provide them an opportunity to reason, work effectively, and make informed decisions based on factual analysis. We will empower every student to become productive citizens through the three smaller medical/healthcare communities within the school: Patient Management, Medical Technology Services, and Medical Research and Development. The academic program is based on the National Consortium of Health Science Education’s National Healthcare Foundation Standards.
Lincoln High School continues to offer enriched, rigorous curricula that are focused on
personalization and preparing students for both a post-secondary education and the world of work. The students in each of our academies accomplished many successes, including
16 students receiving grants from the Young Science Achievers Foundation; 13 students completing internships in prestigious science laboratories such as Albert Einstein and U-MASS at Lovell; one student from the Academy of Finance being a global finalist in the NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) competition; members of the graduating class receiving more than $6 million in scholarships; the Honors Choir receiving several awards at the Heritage Festival Competition in Annapolis, Maryland; and three students receiving Gold Medals at the ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) Competition.
We are proud to announce Palisade Prep graduated our first senior class, which received more than $1.6 million in scholarship money. Graduates went on to SUNY Binghamton, Cornell, SUNY Stony Brook, Oneonta, Oswego, New Paltz, and Manhattan College, among others.
Ikechukwa Chima is a senior at Riverside High School of Engineering and Design. Ike is a member of Riverside’s robotics team “Envirobotics Team 3059.” He has been a lead mentor to younger members of the team and lends his expertise and commitment throughout the season. He attended the New York City team leadership assembly for the 2011-2012 year, a training that helps FIRST organizers improve the competition. Last year, as a junior, Ike was presented the Dean’s List Award. This award is one of the most prestigious introduced by FIRST. This accomplishment is achieved by only 10 students selected from more than 600 teams representing 32 countries that competed last year. We are proud to showcase Ike as part of the Riverside High School Family.
Roosevelt High School nurtures leaders of tomorrow through the SkillsUSA program,
and the Roosevelt SkillsUSA team performed exceptionally in 2012. At the New York
State competition, Roosevelt placed first in Prepared Speech and third in Community
Service, earning our students entry into the SkillsUSA National Competition. For the
first time in over 10 years, Roosevelt students medaled at the national level, receiving
third place for Community Service. Through the school’s College Link Program, students have earned college credits, and post-secondary scholarship funds have increased.
Saunders Trades and Technical High School has an integral commitment to academic/vocational education and is proud of its 100-years-plus history. We have built a tremendous relationship with parents and business/community members. Events such as the Architectural Open House, Fashion Show, and Coffee/Cake and Conversation with the Principal are examples of our commitment. In 2012, the school received America’s Best High Schools Silver Award by US New & World Reports, one of the many accolades Saunders has received.
Yonkers Middle High School is a large urban school located in Southwest Yonkers. We are accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organization for both the Middle Years and the highly regarded Diploma Programme. Recently, we have been recognized by the College Board and have been awarded a grant to integrate more Advanced Placement science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses into our academic program. This will allow us to continue to create greater learning opportunities for under represented student groups.
Archbishop Stepinac High School
Our students received distinctions as National Merit commended students and AP scholars. Members of the Class of 2012 were accepted into such prestigious universities as Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and Yale. The school’s curriculum added its 17th Advanced Placement course to its roster. In addition, the school continues to be on the forefront with its use of e-texts and online homework, tutorial, and assessment programs. Our extracurricular program continues to thrive with student athletes recruited to UPENN, Holy Cross, Syracuse, and Yale. And our theatre program received the Metropolitan Award for Outstanding Overall Production for 2012.
EF International Academy
EF International Academy has been selected to participate in the Hult Global Case Challenge. Each year, Hult International Business School partners with the Clinton Global Initiative to select a global social crisis, hand-chosen by former President Bill Clinton, to pose to MBA students. Students from Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, etc., are given the task of coming up with a viable solution to the crisis selected. After a series of competitive rounds, winners are selected to present their plans before various NGO leaders and leaders of social not-for-profit groups. Past judges at the final round stage have included former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The winning team is granted $1 million dollars in seed money to implement their solution. EF International Academy has been selected as the only high school to participate in this challenge, and will be represented by student teams from all three EFIA campuses in Oxford (UK), Torbay (UK), and New York.
French American School of New York
In 2012, our great accomplishment as a French-American school was to have the highest percentage of students of all French-government-recognized schools in the USA pass the French Baccalaureate exams with some level of honors (97 percent of the class), with a third of the class receiving the highest level honors commendation. In 2012, FASNY had in its junior class a National Merit Finalist and a National Merit Letter of Commendation. FASNY students from the Class of 2012 matriculated to prestigious colleges and universities, such as Columbia, Cornell, UPenn, NYU, McGill, and many others in the USA, Canada, UK, and France.
Keio Academy of New York
Keio Academy of New York’s boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer teams were recipients of the 12012 Referee Association Sportsmanship Award. This was the first time that both awards were awarded to the same school. With much gratitude to the support we received in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Keio Academy’s volunteer club students organized relief efforts for the victims of Superstorm Sandy.
Solomon Schechter School of Westchester
Sarah Landau won first place, beating out 150 other projects at the 2012 Westchester-Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Her work was a culmination of original cancer research she conducted at New York Medical College in Valhalla with Dr. Jan Geliebter, as well as two years of independent study with mentor and high School science teacher Dr. Elena Gizang-Ginsberg. Also, Schechter Westchester’s Chess Team won the 2011 National K-12 Championship, and team member Michael Bodek placed 18th in the World Youth Chess Championship.
Soundview Prepatory School
As a school based on the idea that a non-competitive environment offers the best environment for students to develop their potential and reach their own goals, both academic and personal, Soundview does not offer or seek awards and prizes. Our students pursue their passions inside and outside school, often to a pre-professional level, whether music, dance, a sport such as skating or swimming, or a personal academic interest such as computer science. Our students achieve not to outpace others but for their own personal success—and Soundview believes that this non-competitive approach best prepares them for the “real world.”
Westchester Hebrew High School
Our current focus is enhanced educational technology. We are using iPads to enrich our core curriculum. We proudly note that Rivke Pianko was awarded the 2012 JEP Young Pioneers in Jewish Education Award, the sole day school recipient. Rivke was selected as a fellow in the Educational Leadership Advancement Initiative, a yearlong fellowship from the Lookstein Center. We are equally pleased to report that one of our seniors has been named a National Merit Finalist by the College Board. Another was one of 80 female high-school students accepted into the NASA WISH Program (Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars).