HS Students Compete at State Science Olympiad

Fifteen John Jay High School students made a strong showing during the New York State Science Olympiad, held at Le Moyne College in Syracuse from March 11-12.

John Jay students finished 30th out of the top 54 schools that competed in the state event.

Congratulations to the following students who medaled in their events:

•    DeeAnn Guo and Katie Ricca — Bridge Building, 2nd Place  
•    Nick Aoki and Justin McGowen — It’s About Time, 2nd Place
•    Sam Chen and James Lucassen — Game On, 2nd Place  
•    Nick Aoki and DeeAnn Guo — Astronomy, 6th Place  
•    Angela Huang and Justin McGowen — Fossils, 9th Place  

Team members Nick Aoki, DeeAnn Guo, Justin McGowen and Katie Ricca each won a $2,500 scholarship to Le Moyne College for their extraordinary performances.
Other participating team members included Lane Carbaugh, Alexandra Hall, Amanda Huang, Danielle Kulick, Evelyn Mullaney, Athena Ohnemus, Callista Ohnemus and Thomas Pickup. Building assistance was provided by David Sorkin and Matthew Sorkin.

The team is coached by faculty members Linda Burke, Emilia Camporese, Matt Funnell, Micki Green, Ann Marie Lipinsky, Jennifer McLean, Amy Shimberg, Caroline Weldon and Steven Zoeller, as well as parent Victor Aoki.

Third-Graders Explore Chinese Culture

Increase Miller Elementary School’s third-grade students recently visited the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah for a day of immersion in Chinese culture.

Third-grade teacher Jillian Abisch accompanied the students. “They began the day with a tour of the Rosen House, followed by a presentation on Chinese instruments,” she said. “After lunch, they participated in a Chinese brush painting workshop, where they created Chinese calligraphy using ink and brushes.”

Students concluded the trip by learning about the Chinese lion dance and ribbon dancing. They had an opportunity to use materials to act out the dances.

Harlem Wizards Entertain for a Good Cause

The Harlem Wizards brought their unique mix of awe-inspiring tricks and impressive comedy during the annual John Jay Boosters Club fundraiser on March 5.

“Everything worked out perfectly,” said event chair Theresa McAvey. “The kids were happy and everybody enjoyed the show.”

During the game, the world-famous Wizards took on Katonah-Lewisboro School District administrators and faculty, including Superintendent of Schools Andrew Selesnick.

“It was nice to see [Selesnick] come and play along with the principals and teachers,” said McAvey. “The proceeds from the game benefit the John Jay Boosters Club, which in turn benefits the students.”

MS Destination Imagination Team Wins First

John Jay Middle School’s Imaginationers and Ignite teams represented the district at the New York Destination Imagination Eastern Regional Tournament at Mercy College on March 5 and 6.

Team Ignite earned first place in its category and will now represent the school in the statewide competition.

“All made an outstanding showing, and we are so proud that they represented our school so well,” said DI advisor Elizabeth Egan. “Congratulations to all who participated!”

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Katonah Elementary School third-grade students delighted their peers and their parents with a special presentation of world cultures during International Day.

“Throughout the year, the students are learning about various cultures around the world,” said third-grade teacher Lynn Garofolo. “Culture is the way of life for a group of people, including their language, beliefs, holidays, music and food.”

Before exploring some of the world’s many cultures, students studied the make-up of the United States.

“To kick off the unit, we discussed the many different cultures that make the United States a special place,” said Garofolo. “To reinforce the concept of diversity and to learn to appreciate our country’s diversity, we created a grade-level Country Crest display.”

The studies culminated with an International Day celebration and special presentation about the cultures students studied during the school’s monthly sharing assembly. Students also sang tunes encouraging acceptance and peace.

HS Launches Tri-M Music Honor Society

John Jay High School students have rallied to create a chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, an international music honor society designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements, reward them for their accomplishments and service activities, and inspire other students to excel at music and leadership.

The founding members of Tri-M at JJHS have encouraged their peers involved in music to join, in addition to hosting meetings and planning events for the society’s inaugural year. The group is advised by Steven Morse.

So far, the Tri-M members are looking to organize chamber ensemble performances in the community, teach and inspire young musicians at the elementary and middle schools, assist at this year’s NYSSMA festival (which will be held at John Jay Middle School), organize student recitals and take a trip to see the New York Philharmonic.

Updates about the JJHS Tri-M Music Honor Society may be found on the group’s website, http://3mjjhs.weebly.com.

100 Days of Learning


Increase Miller Elementary School first-graders recently marked the 100th day of school with a “Peanuts”-themed celebration.

The first-grade wing was decked out in decorations and included 14 booths of games and activities related to the number 100.

“The parents really made everything possible,” said first-grade teacher Laura Frisco, pointing out the decorations, murals and other volunteer-led efforts.

Students wore cards that read, “Good grief, it’s the 100th day of school” and checked off boxes for every activity they completed during the day. The booths included a balloon-stuffing station where students tried to fit as many inflated balloons as possible into a large pair of pants. Other activities included a “Peanuts” gang thumbprints station, Sally’s Hula Hoop Swirl, the Flying Ace’s Amazing Ring Toss and Woodstock’s Wonderful Chutes and Ladders.

A Message from the Health Office at John Jay High School

The High School has been informed that we have a confirmed case of Pertussis among our student population.  There is no cause for alarm, however the Board of Health has asked that we ask everyone to please review the Signs and Symptoms of Pertussis that are listed on our web pages under Health Services.  If you have any concerns please consult your healthcare provider.

Mock Trial Earns Win

John Jay High School’s mock trial team earned a victory against Sleepy Hollow High School during a March 3 matchup at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains.

Congratulations to participants Tobias Beattie, Justin Gelwicks, Sam Hinkley, Francheska Kola, Will Palmieri, Ashley Ramsay, Katie Ricca, Jennie Sokol, Sasha Suser, Marisa Tagliaferro and Giovanni Wolfram.

The team will compete in the next round of competition on March 10 versus Nyack High School.

Collins to Compete in National Geographic Bee

John Jay Middle School Geography Bee champion Matthew Collins has qualified to compete in the state level competition of the National Geographic Bee on April 1.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 28th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the state Bees.

Collins was crowned the school champion during the Jan. 21 competition, which included eight over seventh- and eighth-grade JJMS students. Champions at the state level will be invited to participate in the National Geographic Bee at the National Geographic Society headquarters from May 22-25.

Model UN Competes at Ivy League Conference

Written by Simrit Uppal

Sixteen students from the Model United Nations Club at John Jay High School had the honor of traveling to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to attend the 32nd session of the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference, or ILMUNC. ILMUNC, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, welcomed 3,000 delegates to the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel. As one of the largest and most reputable conferences in the United States, ILMUNC prepared a weekend of stimulating debate and invigorating discussion and presented the opportunity for students to deliberate and solve various pressing issues that the world faces today. The conference offered some of the most competitive and exciting committees to its delegates.

JJHS Model UN President Daniel Gordon affirmed, “The weekend at ILMUNC was amazing. Everyone got the opportunity to walk around Philadelphia and explore the city. Our delegates enjoyed their debate on a myriad of topics ranging from transparency in government to the Pontiac Rebellion.”

Additionally, the delegate experience was enhanced with the academic, recreational and social events that ILMUNC provided, such as the Summer Opportunities Fair, Delegate Festival and Delegate Dance. The secretariat worked tremendously hard to prepare for the conference and to ensure the quality of the conference with its 24 committees. The dedication and enthusiasm of the secretariat and staff created an enjoyable weekend for all. ILMUNC XXXII exceeded many expectations and created a conference of collegiate quality for high school delegates.

The 24 committees that took place at ILMUNC generated competitive debates and resolutions on the world’s most vital issues. The General Assemblies, ECOSOC and Specialized committees guided delegates in solving a myriad of crucial controversies. The eight crisis committees covered numerous topics that ranged from historical to modern simulations that tested the ability of delegates to react to crises in an effective manner. All the delegates had the ability to expand their perspective on global affairs and gain understanding of these problems surrounding the world. While ILMUNC allowed experienced delegates to grow and engage in challenging topics and crises, it also focused on permitting less experienced delegates to prosper, regardless of prior Model United Nations experience.

The John Jay delegates represented the countries of Iraq and Montenegro in the Disarmament and International Security Committee, the Economic and Financial Committee, the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Office for Project Services and the Political Security Committee (1963). Two delegates had the opportunity to represent Mascouten in the Pontiac Rebellion and Xu Heng in the Court of Kublai Khan. These delegates all actively participated in their respective committees and created some tremendous resolutions throughout the weekend.

Congratulations to Lucy Siegel and Kailas Amin for winning the verbal commendation in the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee as Montenegro, and to Daniel Gordon for winning the verbal commendation in the Court of Kublai Khan as Xu Heng. ILMUNC was a wonderful and enriching experience for all the delegates who attended.

JJMS Sixth-Grade Game Show Night

More than 200 sixth-grade students joined in the fun during the John Jay Middle School Game Show Night on March 2. Participants paired into two teams – Red and Blue – and played games to earn raffle tickets for prizes. There were physical challenges, academic questions, name-that-song, Simon Says, dance-offs and more.

“Students had a wonderful time showing off their school spirit,” said Assistant Principal Monica Bermiss.

Museum of the American Revolution Opens at JJMS


Members of John Jay Middle School’s Team Persevere shared their knowledge of topics relating to the American Revolution during a special museum opening on Feb. 23.

Students prepared for the opening by researching topics related to the time period, ranging from individual battles, to historical figures like Thomas Paine and the role of other groups, such as women and African Americans, during the war.


Science & Humanities Symposium

John Jay High School recently hosted the Westchester-Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, a regional qualifying symposium for the Upstate Junior-Science and Humanities Symposium. It was a great day for research students and teachers. There were 50 judges from universities, hospitals, medical schools and scientific industries to evaluate student project and they were once again impressed with the high school research students and program.
Several John Jay students qualified to compete at the Upstate Junior Science and Humanities Symposium:

Zury Cutler placed first in Engineering and Georgia Galligan placed second in Medicine and Heath – both will go onto the Upstate JSHS to present their work in a 12-minute PowerPoint presentation and compete for a spot at the National JSHS.

Emma Boden and Gabe Zuckerberg finished fourth and thirrd respectively in their categories and will go on to the Upstate JSHS as poster presenters. Ryan Kramer will be presenting a poster in Albany. Julia Hagan placed third in the poster competition and Gianna Rappa placed second.

Congratulations to all!

Harlem Wizards Return to John Jay


The John Jay Boosters Club is bringing back the Harlem Wizards for a special show and fundraiser at John Jay High School on Saturday, March 5.

Students at all three elementary schools and John Jay Middle School got a sneak peak of the show and an opportunity to meet some of the Wizards on Feb. 4. The visiting Wizards captivated the students with their impressive tricks and quick wit on the court.

The 1 p.m. game, which will feature district teachers and administrators facing off against the Harlem Wizards, is open to all, with tickets available on the Boosters Club website, johnjayboosters.org. All seats are $20. Proceeds from the event help fund future projects for the district’s student-athletes.


KES Mitten Tree Offers Winter Warmth

Katonah Elementary School kindergartners carefully counted the scarves, mittens, gloves and hats the school community collected as part of its annual Mitten Tree effort.

The opportunity allowed students to practice their math skills before they shared the totals from the drive with their fellow students at the February Sharing Assembly.

In total, the Mitten Tree netted 84 hats, 79 pairs of mittens and gloves, and 10 scarves, weighing 28 pounds. The winter weather items were donated to the Community Center of Northern Westchester.