From the Superintendent
We are very fortunate to have high achieving schools that are staffed with exceptional professionals. At every level of our District, we have dedicated staffs who strive to meet the individual needs of your children. Everyone works to ensure that each student achieves his or her fullest potential.
This year we will expand our goal of integrating instructional technology at all levels. We will begin to have Chrome Books available in our schools so that students can explore the internet under the guidance of their teachers.
As we integrate educational technology into our core academic programs, care will be taken to ensure that our students understand their digital citizenship responsibilities. Thus, we will educate our students on the many benefits and dangers found on the internet.
Thank you for your support of our schools and for your active partnership in the education of your children. Together we build the future of Mahopac and our nation.
Dennis W. Creedon, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
News & Headlines
Fulmar Students Learn What Animals Do in Winter
How do animals survive in the winter? That’s what Fulmar Road students learned when Colin Remick, a naturalist from the Center for Environmental Education at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES visited their classrooms recently. Remick not only explained the different ways animals deal with cold temperatures—he also brought along some live examples.
“There are four ways animals deal with cold weather,” Remick told students. They can hibernate, or sleep for three months in the winter; they can migrate and go to a warmer location, as many bird species and butterflies do. Or, like humans, they can stay active in the winter, meaning they go on with their lives as normal, Remick explained. Wolves and deer are also examples of active animals.
Animals that belong to the fourth category, called torpor, “stay awake sometimes and sleep sometimes,” according to Remick. Racoons and skunks, for example, sleep for two weeks and are awake for two weeks when the temperatures drop.
The most interesting moment for students came when Remick displayed furs, a giant snakeskin and—best of all—some live animals. While the hissing cockroach made some students cringe, the tortoise and the hedgehog more than made up for it.District News & Headlines
Senior Citizens Dance to a Happy Tune at Prom
About 200 seniors citizens were dressed to the nines and ready to party at the 16th annual Senior Citizen Prom, held at Mahopac High School on November 19. Hosted by the Student Athletic Council, the event bridged any gap between teens and local seniors in the community.
“The prom went really well,” said Adam Fetzer, Student Athletic Council co-advisor. “The students of the athletic council had a great time getting an opportunity to interact with the seniors.”
The students set up, cleaned up, danced and deejayed for the event, according to Fetzer.
“We had a great response from all who attended. It’s very nice to be able to give back to the community, especially during the holiday season.”
“This event is so important because it provides our high school students with the opportunity to demonstrate to our community their wonderful nature and leadership,” said Mahopac High School Principal Matthew Lawrence. “I am very proud of our students for their participation in this event!”District News & Headlines
Mahopac School District Awarded for Cutting-Edge Professional Development in Technology
District Administration magazine has named Mahopac a 2017 district of TechXcellence for its Choose Your Own Adventure professional development program, in which educators create their own collaborative teaching projects using the latest technology. Eleven schools and districts from eight states were honored with the award.
“Empowering our teachers and administrators to have more voice and choice with regard to their professional growth has been exciting and motivating for everyone,” said Mahopac Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Staff Development Adam Pease. “We’ve embraced this model and use it to collaborate with each other and stretch our professional practice as we develop innovative learning experiences for our students. We could not be more satisfied with how this unique way of delivering professional development has propelled us forward as a district.”
TechXcellence was created by District Administration magazine in conjunction with Hewlett Packard and Intel to recognize schools that have implemented innovative, effective and replicable technology programs that contribute meaningfully to student or operational success. The Mahopac Central School District initiative underscores the importance of embracing technology as part of the education process moving forward in the 21st century.
“Over the past two years, Mahopac Schools have made more progress in educational technology than they have in the previous 10 years,” according to Mahopac Schools Superintendent Dr. Dennis Creedon. “With this growth in using educational technology, we shifted to our teachers as leaders in facilitating the professional development for each other so that our schools are professional learning communities.”
Mahopac is a pioneer in teacher-led conferences. “We don’t know of any district doing this,” according to Pease. “We have broken the mold of the traditional conference day to better model what we expect teachers to do with students. We have allowed them time, space and support to collaborate on innovative projects of their choosing.”
Mahopac teachers have implemented more than 150 innovative and collaborative lessons as a result of these conference days, including STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) art-bots in high school art class and ozobots (toy robots that blend the digital and physical world) for geography classes at the elementary level.
“These achievements are in great part due to the leadership of Dr. Adam Pease and Dr. Gregory Stowell,” said Creedon. “Under their leadership, we will now see Chromebooks in the hands of all of our grade 4 to 12 students this coming winter. Mahopac Schools are on the cutting edge when it comes to innovation and usage of educational technology for our students and staff.”
JD Solomon, editorial director at District Administration magazine, which bestowed the award, said, “We hope our readers are inspired by the creativity demonstrated by these honorees to launch similar initiatives in their own schools.”District News & Headlines
District Administration, HP and Intel honor Mahopac Central School District as a 2017 School of TechXcellence
[Mahopac, New York] (December 1, 2017) — District Administration magazine is honoring eleven schools and districts in reading and writing instruction and professional development initiatives as part of its Schools of TechXcellence program. This is the second round of honorees for this national recognition program.
TechXcellence was created by District Administration magazine, in conjunction with HP and Intel, to recognize schools that have implemented innovative, effective and replicable technology programs that contribute meaningfully to student or operational success. The December 2017 honorees were selected by the program’s judges from numerous nominations, and reflect programs that demonstrate effective and replicable success.
The eleven schools and districts honored in this round of TechXcellence—from eight states—have launched reading and writing instruction programs and professional development initiatives that incorporate technology powered by Intel, including laptops, tablets and 3D printers.
Mahopac Central School District is being recognized for its “Choose Your Own Adventure” professional development program, in which educators create their own collaborative teaching projects. The initiative fosters creativity and innovation as well as teamwork; it also encourages teachers to shape their own career path and instruction skills.
The Mahopac Central School District initiative underscores the importance of embracing technology as part of the education process moving forward in the 21st century.
“Now that technology is an aspect of every classroom, teachers, principals and district leaders are finding more and more exciting and innovative ways to successfully implement it into learning,” says JD Solomon, editorial director at District Administration magazine. “We hope our readers are inspired by the creativity demonstrated by these honorees to launch similar initiatives in their own schools.”
To view a full list of honorees and to learn how to apply for future rounds of TechXcellence, visit www.districtadministration.com/techx.
About District Administration
District Administration provides K12 leaders with critical news and information for school district management, through its monthly magazine, website, e-newsletters and the District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendent Summits. For more information, visit www.districtadministration.com.District News & Headlines
High School Students Make Learning Fun at Austin Road
American systems of government were never rendered more exciting than when Mahopac High School students visited Austin Road third graders recently, bringing lessons they designed themselves for the younger students to view on their Chromebook laptop computers.
“I think it is a great idea to have our students serve as role models,” said Mahopac High School social studies teacher Michael Hunt, who in prior years has taught American History lessons to Austin Road students himself. “The Mahopac district commitment to technology really allows us to bring this all together.”
Each high school student visitor prepared a lesson on Google Slides for the third graders, complete with photos, songs and vibrant content.
“This really is a unique opportunity for our third graders to learn from the high school students,” said Austin Road Principal Jim Gardineer. “It is a very special event for us.”
The high school students agreed. “I think this is a good way for kids to learn—especially with the songs and graphics,” said Mahopac High School junior Sam Colatruglio.
Senior Jillian Sedran echoed that sentiment. “This is going to help the children be better prepared for the future and will help them get ready for high school.”
The Austin Road students will continue to keep in touch with their high school visitors through the use of technology. “The third graders will send the high school students thank you notes through Google docs, so they will be like virtual pen pals,” said third grade teacher Marisa Horvath. They can also use Google Hangout to message each other about the lessons.
The third grade teachers were impressed with the high schoolers’ teaching abilities. Said third grade teacher Kerri Bilyeu, “Some of the high school students teaching today used to be in our third grade class!”District News & Headlines
No-Shave November Fundraiser Ends in Style for Mahopac Teachers
Cosmetology students from The Tech Center shaved Batman, monkey-tails, and other designs into the beards of 25 Mahopac Middle School teachers this week, a stylish ending to the school’s cancer fundraiser. No-Shave November is a month-long event that encourages people to refrain from shaving for the month to raise cancer awareness, since many cancer patients lose their hair.
Middle School students got to vote on four designs to shave into the beards of the participating teachers and administrators, in exchange for a donation. Cosmetology students from The Tech Center at PNW BOCES provided the shaves. “I thought it was a great thing for my students to be able to do for a good cause,” said Tech Center teacher Debbie Busatti, adding that she encourages students to be creative with their designs when she teaches shaving techniques.
Mahopac Middle School Assistant Principal Starla Ciarelli and teacher Richard Kozera spearheaded the event, and Principal Tom Cozzocrea and Assistant Principal Alex Levine were among the faculty who grew—and shaved—their beards. “It was a little itchy,” said Cozzocrea, of growing the beard, “but it was worth it to see the students so amused by our staff.”
Cosmetology student Brianna Davis, from Mahopac High School, said she and fellow students had shaved designs on bearded mannequins prior to this event. “It was cool to be able to do something like this for a good cause,” she said.
Cosmo student Alexa Byrnes, from Brewster, shaved a Batman design into Assistant Principal Levine’s beard. “It was fun to do,” she said, “and I was happy to be able to do something for such a good cause.”District News & Headlines