South Orangetown Central School District

This morning, Tappan Zee High School ninth-graders visited South Orangetown Middle School classrooms – fielding questions from eighth-graders about academics, coursework, extracurriculars and what incoming students can expect when arriving to the high school come next fall.

Beginning with a virtual assembly, eighth-graders tuned in from their classrooms via Zoom to hear from TZHS administrators, counselors and teachers regarding ninth-grade courses. TZHS science teacher Brian Newburger, math teacher Dino Doremus, social studies teacher Matthew Robertson, and English teacher Mark Stanford each spoke individually about the variety of courses offered to students within their departments.

Joined by a team of TZHS administrators and faculty members, over 30 freshmen ambassadors spoke with rising ninth-graders in small groups about the abundance of opportunities available at the high school – offering advice about how students can ease their transition to a different schedule, courseload and school environment while also discussing the many opportunities they have to connect with their peers and explore their interests:

● “Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself when it comes to Honors and AP courses – it truly prepares you for college and real-world skills application.”
● “Participating in the arts, as well as a number of extracurricular activities, will allow you to explore your interests, make new friends and connect with others.”
● “Time management is an invaluable skill you will be able to develop and improve throughout your time at TZHS and it will benefit you throughout high school and beyond.”
● “Getting involved in athletics is a great opportunity for all students – balancing schoolwork and practice takes dedication.”
● “It’s important that you find out what studying methods work best for you. You can get the grades you want if you put in the hard work and effort.”

“Each student has to find the right balance in their schedule and we want our students to challenge and stretch themselves without becoming overwhelmed,” said TZHS Principal Rudy Arietta. “Passions or sources of joy can be a useful indicator of where they should push themselves.”

Students discuss high school