News & Updates
October 8, 2021
Board of Education Launches Town Halls;
Attend First Session Tuesday In Person or on Zoom
You're invited to participate in the first of what will be monthly Town Halls hosted by the City School District of New Rochelle Board of Education.

The initial session will be Tuesday, Oct. 12 at the New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Your questions will be answered in real time. The session also will be viewable via Zoom at this link. Learn more about the Board here. Your thoughts, comments and insights are welcome.

From left, front row: Board Member Valarie Williams, Board Member William Iannuzzi, District Clerk & Board Secretary Millie Bonilla, Board Member Roshanie Ross and Board Member Adam Cooper. Back row, from left: Board Member Katie Castellano Minaya, Board Member Margaret Bavosa, Board President Julia Muggia Ochs, Board Vice President Adina Berrios Brooks, and Superintendent Jonathan Raymond. Not pictured: Board Member Amy Moselhi.
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrates Rich History, Culture, Contributions, and Pride
Students throughout the District have been participating in activities in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. Clockwise: Barnard Early Childhood Center, William B. Ward Elementary and Columbus Elementary. Below, right: Jefferson Elementary School.
National Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Sept. 15 is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Several City School District of New Rochelle schools mark Hispanic Heritage Month through lessons, events and ceremonies.

Some highlights:
Barnard Early Childhood Center
Barnard students have been reading stories in their classrooms and during library time about the victories and struggles of Hispanic people. Students also have created artwork inspired by Latinx artists during art classes. During the morning announcements, Assistant Principal Candice Lee reads a fun fact about the contributions of famous and ordinary Latinx people to the world and American culture. Deatra Bailey, a Barnard second-grade teacher, celebrates with her students “because in 2005, when I learned that Hispanic Heritage month existed, I was so excited because we have a large population of Hispanics at Barnard. I then explored Hispanic people who contributed to American culture and they deserved recognition, acknowledgment and celebration.”

Columbus Elementary School
Art teacher Leah Bernabei and Antoinette Koehler’s second-grade class partnered to create a display about famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Bernabei painted Frida’s portrait and signature facial features, while Koehler’s students created the tissue-paper flowers framing the display. Students learned and wrote a shared writing piece about Kahlo’s life. Bernabei said, “I love collaborating with classroom teachers to create projects like this. Not only does this particular display celebrate our diversity, but it sparks conversations throughout the whole school.”

Jefferson Elementary School
Students partnered with Spanish teacher Hilaire Escaladas to do a writing activity, then to create a poster honoring well-known people of Hispanic heritage, including Selena Quintanilla, Cesar Chavez, Juan Herrera, Roberto Clemente, Sonia Sotomayor, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Ellen Ochoa. Students learned about their importance and impact, as well as where they hail from.

Daniel Webster Elementary School
Students have been busy learning about the many countries around the world where Spanish is the primary language. As part of this study, students have been exploring and researching those countries and drawing and learning the meanings of their flags. Debra Kohn’s kindergarteners, and first- and second-graders, are also learning some songs associated with those countries, such as “Que bonita bandera,” a song about Puerto Rico. In addition, the international dance ensemble, Accent Dance, will perform virtually for our third-, fourth- and fifth-graders. There will be elements of tango, Mexican folk dance, ballet, salsa and more to celebrate Hispanic culture.  

William B. Ward Elementary School
Students in teacher Robert Flanz’s class celebrated by exploring music in cultures such as in Peru, Brazil and Mexico. Topics included the indigenous instruments, the feeling a song will convey, the story or significance behind each piece of music, and an appreciation toward discovering music and cultural awareness. The video shared here is the National Dance of Mexico, also known as the Mexican Hat Dance and includes students participating by clapping to the infectious rhythm of the song.

Ann Briscoe’s fifth-grade social studies classes celebrated by reading “Trouble Dolls” by Jimmy Buffett and Savannah Jane Buffett. Worry dolls (also called trouble dolls; in Spanish, muñeca quitapena) are small, handmade dolls from Guatemala. According to legend, Guatemalan children tell their worries to the Worry Dolls, placing them under their pillow when they go to bed. By morning, the dolls have gifted them with the wisdom and knowledge to eliminate their worries. Afterward, students created their own Trouble Dolls.

In addition, kindergarten students from Marie Belinquete’s and Jennifer DeGiacomo’s art classes were inspired by Mexican-born artist Gabriel Dawe, who creates rainbow installations that look like light beams, but are thousands of multicolored threads. Students focused on how Dawe used the colors in the rainbow to create their own masterpieces.

Isaac E. Young Middle School
Isaac E. Young Middle School implements an inclusive curriculum in which students learn about the histories and perspectives of people from different cultures and backgrounds throughout the year. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, English Language Arts teachers focused on Hispanic authors and texts that many students were unfamiliar with. Students also read familiar works by Sandra Cisneros. Students participated in “write-like” activities where they tried to mimic her writing style via voice, tone, and figurative language. “The House on Mango Street” consists of vignettes.

Here is a sample of a student's attempt to write like Cisneros: My name is Lisa, short and sweet. It is special and unique and writes like a dancing ballerina. It is like a cool spring day, or daydreaming. I like being Lisa, after all I don’t know anyone else named Lisa. It is dainty. It is elegant. A sweet tone.” In grade 6 social studies, students learned about important leaders such as Cesar Chavez and Simon Bolivar. Students also studied the Aztecs and their contributions to the development of modern Mexico. Students will continue to learn about the histories, stories, culture, perspectives, and influences of Hispanics on the world throughout the year.
School District to Observe Indigenous People's Day
The City School District of New Rochelle will now observe the second Monday in October (which is next Monday, Oct. 11) as both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The Board of Education approved a resolution Tuesday in response to requests from community members supporting the concept.
The action provides an opportunity for the school community to recognize both the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and the contributions of Italian Americans, while honoring the Native Americans who first inhabited the lands that would become the United States of America.

In addition, the Board is establishing a citizens’ advisory group to help identify other ways to acknowledge the contributions of New Rochelle’s indigenous ancestors. Board members Margaret E. Bavosa and Katie Castellano Minaya will be Board’s liaisons to the advisory group.
Board members spoke eloquently in support of the resolution, often citing their own heritage. President Julia Muggia Ochs said, “This resolution is about seeing the indigenous people of the Americas and acknowledging indigenous people’s history and land upon which we have the layers of our own history … each of us contribute to this beautiful, diverse tapestry called the United States of America. To me, this resolution is about affirmation, not negation. It lays the groundwork for future discussions that are deeply emotional for us all. It provides a framework to be inclusive, as that is the only way to build acceptance and understanding for all people.”
Now Pitching to Stomp Out Bullying: Emma Farley, at Dodger Stadium
It was ceremonial, but you can now count New Rochelle High School junior Emma Farley among those who have thrown pitches at Dodger Stadium. (The photo shows Farley's image projected on the scoreboard.)

Farley traveled to Los Angeles as a student representative for STOMP Out Bullying. To kick off World Bullying Prevention Month, she threw out the first pitch Sunday at the Dodgers’ game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers.

Despite initially being nervous, Farley quickly bonded with the other STOMP Out Bullying youth leaders.

“They were all so kind, and such amazing public speakers,” she said. “I liked being able to talk to them about how they got involved with the organization and the work they have done or plan to do. They inspire me to do even more!”

Before leaving for Los Angeles, Emma and her father Christopher practiced at a local baseball field, and Emma also got tips from a New Rochelle neighbor who had played baseball in college. Why? Her commitment to excellence, Christopher Farley said.

“I think that shows her commitment to STOMP Out Bullying and the group’s mission,” he said. “It was rewarding to all of us to see Emma’s hard work on display on such a big stage.” When the time came to throw the pitch, all went well.

“I was really nervous at first because I was afraid the ball would go flying in the wrong direction when I threw it, or that it wouldn’t even make it to the person I was pitching to at home plate,” she said. “But the person who I was throwing to caught the ball, so everything worked out!”

“She was nervous, but I knew she’d practiced and was ready to represent the organization and its mission to the best of her ability,” said Emma’s mother, Sharon Epperson. “And she did! It was an amazing experience! I am so proud!”

With World Bullying Prevention Month now officially underway, Farley has this message to other kids about the importance of bullying prevention and support: “Bullying prevention is important because it makes school communities safer and more enjoyable to be in for everyone. I think that kids should be aware of what they post on social media and how that could affect the feelings of other kids who look at their posts. If anyone is getting bullied, they should also reach out to a parent, teacher, or someone else that they trust."

She added, "I also think that because of the ongoing pandemic, kids are feeling more isolated than they ever have. So, it’s important for kids who are struggling to reach out to their friends to support each other, whether it’s through a phone call or text so that they don’t feel alone.”
2 Vaccine Clinics Set, Including at Columbus School
The City School District of New Rochelle has scheduled additional free COVID-19 vaccination clinics in partnership with the Westchester County Department of Health. Registration is preferred but walk-ins will be accepted.

New Rochelle student athletes particularly are encouraged to get vaccinated. The school district advocates vaccinations as the most effective way to end the pandemic and keep children and the community safe. Vaccinations are open to District staff and students 12 or older. Parents must accompany their children.

Vaccinations will be offered:
  • Oct. 13 in the Albert Leonard Middle School gym, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Register here and see the flyer here.

  • Oct. 27 in the gym at Columbus Middle School, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Register here and see the flyer here.

In addition, Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital offers vaccines for the public, weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Bring photo ID and insurance card (not required for students). For the second dose, bring your vaccine card. Visit For information about being tested for COVID-19, visit this Westchester County Department of Health website
High School Musician Goes to State Competition
Congratulations to New Rochelle High School Junior Aviva Segal, selected to participate in the New York State School Music Association All-State Festival!

Segal plays the oboe in the New Rochelle High School Symphonic Band and in PAVE Winds and Percussion, and has been playing in her school groups since fourth grade. She was selected after performing a solo.

"I'm so grateful for the opportunity to perform with such talented instrumentalists, and I'm looking forward to making new friends in addition to creating awesome music together,” Segal said.

Band Director Mark Cooper said this is the first time in several years that an instrumentalist from New Rochelle was selected. Another talented New Rochelle High musician, junior Reine Kim, a cellist, was selected as an alternate.

The New York School Music Association Conference All-State Orchestra will perform at the Eastman Theater at the University of Rochester Dec. 2-5. 
Big Wins for the Swim and Dive, and Varsity Soccer Teams
The Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team defeated Mamaroneck 110-72 on Tuesday. The meet was held at Mamaroneck's Hommocks Middle School. This was also the team's Senior Day; our thanks to Mamaroneck's Swim and Dive Team for its hospitality in hosting our Senior Day.

Highlights from the meet:
-- Jaelynn Taylor and Ania Traynor were double winners, with Taylor winning the 50 Free and 100 Fly and Traynor victorious in the 100 Breaststroke and 200 IM.
-- Daniella Condon won the 200 Free and Sophie Rende won the 500 Freestyle.
-- The 200 Medley Relay Team of Izzy Balachandran, Ania Traynor, Jaelynn Taylor, and Ella Harshman and the 200 Free Relay Team of Jaelynn Taylor, Ella Harshman, Izzy Balachandran, and Daniella Condon were also victorious.
-- Congratulations to Kenya Clark on qualifying for the Section One diving championship.

The Boys Varsity Soccer Team defeated Mount Vernon 4-0 Tuesday. Goals were scored by Jayden Barragan, Jonathan Fragoso, Daniel Santos, and Andrew Martinez. Jayden Barragan and Jonathan Fragoso each had two assists for the Huguenots. The team's next game is Saturday, Oct. 9 vs. John Jay East Fishkill at 10 a.m. at McKenna Field.
This Week's Athletics Schedule
Please note: Schedule is subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. A = Away. H = Home.

Monday, Oct. 11
Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Port Chester (A) 11 a.m.
Boys JV 'A' Soccer vs. Mount Vernon (H - McKenna Field) 10 a.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 12
Albert Leonard Middle School Boys Soccer vs. Isaac Young (H - Albert Leonard Middle School) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Football vs. White Plains (H - Isaac E. Young Middle School) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Volleyball vs. Pelham (Gold Team) (A - Pelham M.S.) 4:30 p.m. (Please note site change)
Girls JV Soccer vs. Mamaroneck (H - McKenna Field) 5 p.m.
Varsity Volleyball vs. Ursuline (A) 4:30 p.m.
Girls Varsity Swim and Dive vs. Croton (A - Mildred Strang M.S.) 4:30 p.m.
JV Volleyball vs. Ursuline (A) 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 13
Albert Leonard Middle School Football vs. Hastings (A - Reynolds Field) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Girls Soccer vs. Port Chester (White Team) (A - Columbus Park) 4:30 p.m.
Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Scarsdale (A) 4:30 p.m.
Girls JV Soccer vs. Scarsdale (H) 4:30 p.m.
Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Mamaroneck (H - McKenna Field) 5 p.m.
Boys JV 'A' Soccer vs. Mamaroneck (A) 5 p.m.
Boys JV 'B' Soccer vs. White Plains (A) 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 14
Isaac E. Young Middle School Boys Soccer vs. Rye (Black Team) (A - Sterling Field at Disbrow Park) 4:30 p.m.
7-8 Cross Country vs. Hastings (A - Burke Field) 4:30 p.m.
Girls JV Soccer vs. Pearl River (A) 4:30 p.m.
Freshman Football vs. Arlington (H - McKenna Field) 5:15 p.m.
Girls Varsity Swim and Dive vs. Lakeland (A - Copper Beech M.S.) 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 15
Albert Leonard Middle School Boys Soccer vs. Rye (Black Team) (H - Albert Leonard Middle School) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Girls Soccer vs. Albert Leonard (H - Isaac E. Young Middle School 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Volleyball vs. Albert Leonard (H - Isaac E. Young Middle School) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Boys Soccer vs. White Plains (Black Team) (A - Highlands M.S.) 4:30 p.m.
Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Mount Vernon (A) 4:30 p.m.
Boys JV 'B' Soccer vs. Scarsdale (A - Quaker Ridge) 4:30 p.m.
Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Mount Vernon (H - McKenna Field) 4:30 p.m.
Varsity Volleyball vs. Scarsdale (A) 4:30 p.m.
JV Volleyball vs. Scarsdale (A) 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 16
Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country - Section One Invitational at Bowdoin Park 9:15am
Girls Varsity Soccer vs. Mamaroneck (A) 1:30 p.m.
Varsity Football vs. Yonkers Force (A - Roosevelt H.S.) 1:30 p.m.