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Port Chester Students Awarded Prestigious National Honor Society Scholarship

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Port Chester High School seniors Ava Osorio and Melody Sapione, who are members of the National Honor Society, have been selected as recipients of NHS scholarships. They earned the scholarships for demonstrating work that supports the four pillars of NHS: scholarship, service, leadership and character.

“I am so incredibly proud,” NHS adviser Emily Macchia said. “They both truly work hard and serve their communities well. The scholarship is very well deserved.”

Since the program was founded in 1921, it has been recognizing some of the most exceptional student leaders who have made a difference in their schools and communities. The scholarship program is supported by the parent organization of NHS, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and awards scholarships to outstanding students to support college access and student success.

Osorio is the senior vice president of the Student Council, president of the Debate Club, senior editor of the Port Light school newspaper, president of the Film Club, a history and sociology tutor in the Peer Tutoring Club, and treasurer of the local chapter of the National Honor Society. In addition, she is a member of multiple clubs and honor societies, including Key Club, Model United Nations, Mu Alpha Theta and National Spanish Honor Society. In her community, she volunteers at her high school and local church. She has also attended conferences and programs at local universities focused on law and leadership. Recently, she interned in the local court to assist the judges and court clerks. She plans to study prelaw in the fall.

Sapione is the president of the Peer Tutoring Club, an executive editor of the Port Light school newspaper and co-founder of the Port Chester Sound A Capella Group. Within the community, she is a founder of the food pantry at the Chinese Alliance Church of Westchester, where she has trained 25 volunteers. She is a coauthor and researcher at a local nonprofit that studies diversity in data science and a Seeds of Fortune: Yale Women in Economics Scholar and an online tutor for students in under resourced areas. Sapione has also volunteered at a refugee camp in Georgia and is a recent recipient of the highly competitive Coca-Cola Scholar Scholarship. She plans to study international relations and economics in the fall.

Date Added: 2/20/2024

Talented Port Chester Students to Perform at All-County Festivals

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Sixteen students from the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District have been selected to perform with All-County music ensembles by the Westchester County School Music Association for its 2024 festival concerts in March.

“Being selected to perform in Westchester’s All-County Music Festivals is a momentous musical honor,” Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Katherine Sinsabaugh said. “Students go through a rigorous selection process. Our students competed against the best music students in Westchester County. We are very proud of our students and their hard work.”

John F. Kennedy Elementary School fifth graders Valentina Tiu and Sarah Salcedo, Thomas Edison Elementary School fifth graders Michael Calle and Gabriella Diaz, King Street Elementary School fifth graders Emma Weinstein and LJ Sherwood, Park Avenue Elementary School fifth graders Ethan Horwitz and Jacob Perez, and Port Chester Middle School sixth graders Olivia Klauck and Isabella Sanchez, seventh grader Scarlet Virella and eighth graders Melquisedec Gonzalez and Annalise Gouedy have been selected to perform with the All-County choir.

Port Chester Middle School eighth graders Laila Builes and Ryann Onofrio-Franceschini have been selected to perform with the Intermediate All-County band, and Port Chester High School junior Camilo Mamani has been selected to perform with the All-County Jazz band.

The All-County Band concert will take place on Saturday, March 9, at 5 p.m. at New Rochelle High School. The All-County Chorus concert will take place on Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m. at New Rochelle High School. The All-County Jazz concert will take place on Friday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Hammocks Middle School.

Date Added: 2/20/2024

Senior Earns Coca-Cola Scholars Scholarship

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Port Chester High School senior Melody Sapione is the recipient of a Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship. She is among 150 distinguished students who were selected from a pool of 103,800 applicants to receive a $20,000 scholarship.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to high school seniors. They are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. As part of the selection process, Sapione participated in an interview with the regional interview committee, which was comprised of a Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation staff member and previous scholarship recipients.

According to the program, the Foundation has provided 6,900 students with more than $84 million in scholarships in the last 36 years. As a winner, Sapione will attend a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in April with the other scholarship winners.

Date Added: 2/16/2024

Port Chester Students Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

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Students from across Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District’s elementary schools participated in the unique global event World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 7. Throughout the day, administrators, teachers and community members visited their classrooms to read stories aloud as a way of promoting literacy.

Among the guest readers was Superintendent of Schools Dr. Aurelia Henriquez, who read from a variety of books, including “Giraffes Can’t Dance” and “The Best Place to Read.”

“There’s always been such joy in reading to children,” Dr. Henriquez said. “It is not just about imparting knowledge, but about igniting a lifelong love for learning. When we read to children, we open up a world of imagination, curiosity and discovery. It is in those precious moments that we witness the sheer joy on their faces, as they embark on adventures, explore new ideas and connect with characters. Reading to children is a gift that keeps on giving. This experience nurtures their minds, strengthens their bond with us, and lays the foundation for a brighter future.”

In addition to Dr. Henriquez, guest readers included Deputy Superintendent Colleen Carroll, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Tina Wilson, Port Chester Middle School Co-Principal Bryant Romano, Port Chester Middle School Assistant Principals Kristin Pascuzzi and Christine Rascona, Literacy Instructional Support Specialist Heather Rinello, Director of Bilingual Education Valerie Lakestream, Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts Katherine Sinsabaugh, Park Avenue Elementary School Principal Rosa Taylor, Director of Special Education Tatiana Memoli, as well as other individuals in leadership positions within the district, local politicians, retired teachers, police officers, community members and Board of Education trustees Chrissie Onofrio and George Ford.

Special thanks to all staff members who made World Read Aloud Day possible.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 2/13/2024

JFK Administrators Perform Fourth Grader’s Original Book

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A talented fourth grader from John F. Kennedy Elementary School had her original book read and performed in front of her entire school when students, teachers and administrators packed the school’s gymnasium on Feb. 7.

Giuliana Muñoz won a schoolwide competition for her book, “The Show: A Story About Friendship,” which was inspired by Mo Willems’ best-selling “Elephant & Piggie” book series. She was among 40 fourth and fifth graders who entered the competition for a chance to have their work performed during the World Read Aloud Day kickoff performance.

“Giuliana’s book had all the components a good ‘Elephant & Piggie’ story needs – appealing characters, a relatable conflict and a satisfying resolution,” Principal Judy Diaz said. “We particularly liked the theme of friendship and conflict resolution through compromise and creative thinking. We appreciated that the story would be relatable to her fellow students and provide the positive message that being a good friend means listening to others and finding a way to play together.”

Complete with costumes and a set design, the gymnasium was filled with enthusiastic cheers by students who showed their support for Muñoz. Diaz took on the role of Piggie, while Assistant Principal Jennifer Mundo took on the role of Elephant, Assistant Principal Colleen Moore portrayed Snake, and K-5 District Literacy Instructional Support Specialist Samantha Calvert took on the role of Cat. In addition, Ingrid Gomez served as director, costume and set designer; Michelle Capparelli, Jeanine Maiolini, Diana Pennino and Miriam Valdovinos served as stage crew members; and Jamie Rubino served as World Read Aloud Day coordinator. Prior to the performance, Muñoz worked alongside Gomez to focus the storyline and transform it to theater.

“She embodies all we encourage our students to be and do: to take risks, put forth their best effort, apply feedback, and fearlessly share their creativity and genius with the world,” Moore said. “The poise and confidence with which she narrated her published piece was just the icing on the cake. Guiliana is a newcomer to the country, having just arrived to Port Chester from her native Ecuador a year ago, thus making her ability to craft and confidently narrate her story in her second language quite impressive.”

Diaz said she was proud of Guiliana’s talent for crafting an exceptional story that originally had several different subplots and a complex story line. While this was the first year that administrators performed a book that was written and narrated by a student, they have been performing “Elephant & Piggie” books as part of World Read Aloud Day celebrations since 2017.

“The performance could not be possible without the dedication of several JFK teachers and staff who work relentlessly behind the scenes to provide our students and staff with the best possible performance and World Read Aloud Day experience every year,” Diaz said.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Date Added: 2/9/2024