Tappan Zee High School Events & Highlights



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2014-2015 HIGHLIGHTS

Students State Their Opinion on Books Using Book Trailers

Tappan Zee High School Library Media Specialist, Lois Parker-Hennion presented a workshop on Book Trailers to 36 Rockland County School Library Media Specialists during the morning session of the Superintendent’s Conference Day on March 13th.

At Tappan Zee High School students enrolled in 10H classes have been creating book trailers for several years now and the trailers can be viewed in our online catalog, OPALS. Just type book trailer in the anywhere search box, click on the title (in blue) of any of the books that come up and then look for the book trailer links on the right side. Students can also rate the books they have read (using a 5-star rating system) and write brief reviews to encourage others to read!






TZ’s DECA Club Competes in NYS DECA Competition

Last week, seventeen Tappan Zee DECA club members traveled to Rochester, NY to compete in the New York State DECA Competition. The students had already won awards at the regional level, which qualified them to move on to the next phase of competition. DECA members competed with over 2,000 New York students in their knowledge of business in varying sub-categories such as Marketing, Hospitality, Finance, and Fashion Merchandising. Weeks before the competition, the students completed an online exam that would be combined with their competition scores at the State level.

Three students from TZ won medals in their categories and the Tappan Zee High School chapter received two plaques for their fundraising efforts. One plaque was given to all schools that raised funds for the DECA’s charity of choice, Make-A-Wish Foundation. The second plaque was solely awarded to TZ for raising the most money out of all the schools; 25% of the total proceeds raised by New York State.



TZHS Places 1st in Lower Hudson Valley Regional History Day Contest

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, Tappan Zee High School social studies teacher Matt Robertson and nineteen students from the History Honor Society attended the Lower Hudson Valley’s Regional History Day Contest. Senior Sandra Goldstein Lehnert placed 1st for her historical paper entitled “Redefining Leadership: Ella Baker, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Legacy of Youth-Led Participatory Democracy in Activism.” Junior Livy Bartels placed 1st for her outstanding documentary about Albert Goering, a German businessman who helped save the lives of Jews and other dissidents during Hitler’s reign in Germany during World War II.

Other projects of commendation included a group-documentary on Derek Jeter, as well as exhibits on filmmaker Steven Spielberg, Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii, and Margaret Thatcher and her influence on the modern punk-rock movement. Each of these projects highlighted the theme of Leadership and Legacy in History, which was this year’s focus for the contest. The students’ hard work and dedication to crafting their projects was truly exemplary and the 1st place winners are now eligible to compete in the State Contest in late April.

The participating students will be speaking about their projects later next month at the high school's History Honor Society Induction where they will also be on display for the evening.



TZHS Students Enlightened in a Sobering Reality Check

One could literally hear a pin drop in the TZHS auditorium during an assembly in which motivational speaker Chris Memoli shared with the assembled students how his automobile accident in 2002 which caused traumatic brain injury changed forever life as he knew it. At age 17, Chris was riding in a vehicle with one of his friends the morning after a night of drinking and partying. He explained that he was not wearing a seat belt and that they were not driving responsibly, which led to an accident that left Chris critically injured and in a coma. Once he regained consciousness, he remained in the hospital for a year and began what would be only the beginning of his painful path to recovery.

After having been told he would never walk or talk again, years of therapy, numerous additional surgeries, and family and medical support, Chris has regained the ability to walk, but must “talk” with the assistance of his hand held computer. He encouraged students to make good choices. His mother encouraged students to think about their families when making the choices that we all face every day. For Chris, a split-second changed the course of his life, and he is reminded of those consequences every day. For more information, please visit Chris’s website: http://chrismemoli.com/

Special thanks to the Rockland County Traffic Safety Board for bringing Chris’s powerful message to TZHS.




TZHS Students Lobby in Albany for Stricter Tobacco Legislation

On Wednesday, Feb 25, three members of the TZHS Health Service Club; Finola Ryan, Carli Festa and Andrew Heuler, traveled to Albany for private meetings with four New York State Legislators. Meeting were arranged with New York State Assemblymen James Skoufis, District 99, and Kenneth Zebrowski, District 96; Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, District 97; and Senator David Carlucci for Rockland and Westchester counties. The students were on a mission they started last year which included copious amounts of research and planning for their presentations. During each of the private meetings the students presented reasons why, a NYS law should be passed forbidding the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, and, encouraged E-Sigs to be treated as tobacco and included into the Clean Air Act.

After their meetings the students took a tour of the Capitol building and had the opportunity to observe part of a session in the NYS Senate.







TZHS’s Colin Hallock Receives Award for Original Traffic Safety Logo Design

On Tuesday March 3, 2015, County Executive Ed Day, Sheriff Louis Falco, III and Jay Hood the Legislative Chairman of the Public Safety Committee honored 11th grade TZHS student Colin Hallock for his original logo design submission to the Rockland County Traffic Safety Board contest. Colin’s submission was chosen from over two dozen other creative designs. His design will be displayed on all TSB communications such as the Traffic Safety Board website, Facebook and letterhead. The Traffic Safety Board is hoping to make this an annual event.






TZHS Students Meet With Writer, Director Michael Berry









Students at Tappan Zee High School were invited to a talk with Michael Berry, writer and director of the epic movie, Frontera, starring Ed Harris, Michael Pena, Eva Longoria and Amy Madigan. The close to 100 students who attended, mostly juniors and seniors, are taking courses in either issues and government, law and literature, or TV studio production. They all had the opportunity to view the film before the visit.

Berry shared with the students his motivation to write Frontera stemmed from his childhood. He co-wrote the script with his best friend who grew up in the border town Douglas, Arizona to help shed more light on issues such as immigration, prejudice, and gun control in the United States and Mexico. He said that one of his goals while writing was to develop the characters in a way that depicts the humanity and harshness that exists on both sides of the border.

Students and teachers asked Mr. Berry questions about his career as an actor, writer, and film director, and of course, what it was like to work with such famous movie stars. Mr. Berry admitted that he was nervous telling Ed Harris where to stand when they started filming, but that he was able to overcome his fear knowing that they had similar backgrounds in theater. Students also asked many questions about immigration laws, gun control, and various aspects of the film, including how long it took to write the script.

Mr. Berry was described by students and teachers as honest, articulate and insightful as he covered a wide range of topics that our students are learning about in school. He told them that he admittedly waited too long in his career to write about something he cared about and encouraged them to do so sooner.

Mr. Berry is a South Orangetown resident and parent.



A Night at the Opera

The Tappan Zee High School Italian classes and Italian Club recently sponsored its 15th Annual Night at the Opera. After studying Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata in their Italian classes, students and their families were given the opportunity to attend an evening performance of the opera in the prestigious Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The group met at the high school for a pre-opera reception before embarking on this cultural journey. The trip was a tremendous success. The following day, students shared their experience with their classmates discussing the similarities and differences between the stage production they had just seen and the production they had been watching in class. The Italian classes and Italian Club were so motivated by the experience, they have already begun planning next year’s trip.



TZHS Science Olympiad Team Advances to State Competition

The TZHS Science Olympiad Team has advanced to the state competition following an outstanding performance at the Lower Hudson Valley Regional Competition held at Byram Hills High School on Saturday, February 2. The team competed in 23 different events including building cars and bridges, designing computer games and timing devices, studying insects, fossils, cells, astronomy and invasive species, analyzing disease and geologic patterns, and many other events. The team had an unprecedented 25 individual students who won medals, many of whom won in two, three, or even four different events. Due to their excellent performance at the regional competition, the team will advance to the state championship to be held at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York on March 13-14, 2015. Advisors Ms. Kristin Distante, Mr. Michael Emmert, and Ms. Frances Duffy were extremely pleased with the team’s effort, enthusiasm, and success.

Team Participants: Sienna Perry, Ellen Xing, Amy Huang (club president), Sandra Goldstein-Lehnert (recipient of 4 medals), Sinduja Sriskanda, Riya Gandhi, Kaylee Liang, Max Fernandez, Kyle Fuller, Kaitlyn Trusty, Michael Morales, TJ McKiernan, Alex Chin, Rivu Ghosh, John Chin, Mitchell Jacobs, Ruben Sriskanda, Skylar Karzhevsky, Stephan Schoenbeck, Patrick Scollan, Meghan Castellano, Alex Li, Daesob Lim, David Lustig, Aditya Patel, Changseob LIm, Ean Waetjen, Amit Krishnan, and Shawn Shapiro.


TZHS Students Recognized at RCC Black Achievement Award Ceremony

TZHS sophomore Kaitlyn Trusty and senior Desiree Scretching earned recognition at Rockland Community College’s Black Achievement Award Ceremony on February 4, 2015. This award celebrates students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 who have earned a cumulative Grade Point Average of 90% or higher and who consistently demonstrate excellence in at least two of these areas: leadership, the arts, community service, athletics, or personal triumph and success.


TZ’s January Rotary Student of the Month

Congratulations to TZ’s January Rotary Student of the Month, Carli Festa. Carli is an AP and Honors student and a member of the National Honor Society at Tappan Zee High School. She has been accepted to University of Albany and is awaiting good news from the other schools to which she has applied. She plans to major in biology and prepare for a career in which she can help children diagnosed with Type I diabetes.

Since 10th grade, Carli has been heavily involved in the advertising, organizing, and running of the TZHS blood drives, which are now held four times a year. She distributes posters throughout the community and collaborates with the Journal News and Channel 12 News. During the actual drive, Carli oversees the full 12 hour event, helping with paperwork, organization, and otherwise, as needed.

Carli keeps busy outside the school day as well. She participates on our TZHS Cheer Teams and is a member of our SADD club. She also plans to visit the NY Senate in Albany to speak with senators about banning pharmacies from selling tobacco products.




TZ CTEC Students Compete at Skills USA

On Tuesday, January 13, Rockland BOCES hosted the regional level competition for Skills USA, where top students in Career and Technical Education programs from around the region demonstrate their mastery of various components of their fields of study. Students competed in many categories, including 3D and Animation, Action Skills:  Food Services, Basic Health Care, Carpentry, Commercial Baking, Cosmetology, Digital Cinema Production, Job Skills Demo:  Electrical, Medical Math, Motorcycle Repair Residential Systems Installation and Maintenance, and Web Design.

The following Tappan Zee High School students competed in these respective fields:

Nikita Privalov and Brendan Zohar (Culinary Arts) Brendan Dennehy (Residential Wiring) Alysia Borgos (First Aid/CPR) Kerri O'Rourke and Haley Powers (Nurse Assisting)



TZ DECA Club Aces Regional Competition

On Friday, January 9th, thirty Tappan Zee DECA Club members traveled to Rockland Community College to participate in the annual Regional DECA Business Conference. Prior to the competition dates, students took online tests corresponding with the category they chose to compete in. At RCC, DECA members participated in mock-interviews, sales pitches, and other business related role-plays, where business executives scored them on their performance. This score combined with the test score determined whether or not a student could move on to the state competition level, a three-day conference in Rochester, NY. At the Regional Competition, 21 out of 30 TZ students received awards and medals, qualifying them to compete at States. In March, these students will travel to Rochester representing not only Tappan Zee High School, but also the region in New York State. If the students place at the competition at States, they will move on to the week-long International DECA Conference in Orlando, Florida.


TZHS Students Helping Children Worldwide

The Tappan Zee High School Italian Club recently sponsored a “School in a Box Challenge” to raise money to help fund classrooms in war-torn areas of the world where children are being denied an education. Italian Club Officers were inspired by both David Muir’s news report on ABC on Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon, as well as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. All funds raised were donated to UNICEF’s School in a Box Program.

To get started, students in the Italian Club set an initial fundraising goal of $30.00 which is enough to buy classroom supplies for 60 children. However, they did not stop there. They wanted to give the rest of the student body the opportunity to make a difference, so they decided to make this a Challenge! After raising $30.00, the Italian Club challenged three other TZHS Clubs and Sports teams, asking them to raise at least $30.00 for the School in a Box Program. Once a group accepted and raised the funds, they were allowed to challenge another three groups.

By the end of the Challenge, the Italian Club, along with the National Honor Society, the Tennis Team, the Football Team, the Track team, the Spanish Honor Society, the Japanese Club, the Italian Honor Society, the Leo Club, the Interact Club, and the English Honor Society made a total donation of $720.00 to UNICEF’s School in a Box Program. It was a great start to the holiday pay it forward season.



TZHS December Rotary Student of the Month

TZHS congratulates Georgia Schindele for being selected as the Rotary Student of the Month. Georgia a superb student who is a member of the National, Spanish and History Honor Societies, and is also one of TZ’s most outstanding students in regard to extra-curricular activities. She is an excellent athlete who plays Varsity Basketball and Lacrosse and has won both the Sportsmanship Award as well as the Coaches Award. She is Co-Editor of the Yearbook and the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver Award. Georgia volunteers with sick children at the Westchester Medical Center as well as with students in the COVE program. In addition, Georgia coaches youth athletic teams and teaches at Sunday School. Georgia has a gift for helping sick and developmentally disabled children and is planning on making it her life’s work.




TZHS LEOS Zumba for Charity

Over sixty TZHS students, community members and LEO Club members joined together for an hour of Zumba at the LEO Club Zumba for charity night on December 4th in the TZHS Gymnasium, raising over $600 for Hospice of Rockland. Zumba instructor Judith Richards led the group in an hour of dance and exercise. “Everyone had a wonderful time and came away with a tremendous sense of satisfaction in having burned all those calories while having contributed to a wonderful cause”, said LEO Club Advisor Tricia Castelli. “Everyone is already looking forward to the next Zumba for Charity night to be held on March 5, 2015 to benefit the Penguin Plunge”, she added.





Spanish Club Members Celebrate El Dia de los Muertos

Spanish Club members enjoyed a variety of activities to celebrate the Mexican holiday El Dia de los Muertos by decorating paper skulls and creating papel picado, which are colorful cut-out tissue paper designs. Students also had fun preparing and eating very tasty quesadillas, guacamole, and sangria; they also had an opportunity to order a full Mexican meal in Spanish during the Spanish Club’s restaurant outing in December to Fiesta Mexico.






Forty-One SOCSD Students Accepted to Junior All County Music Festival

The SOCSD Music Department has announced 41 student musicians have been accepted to perform at the Junior All County Music Festival. Sponsored by the Rockland County Music Educators Association (RCMEA), the festival includes students in grades 7, 8, and 9 who have been accepted based on teacher recommendation and by a selection committee reviewing scores and comments based on performance at the NYSSMA Solo Festival last spring. The students listed below will come together to rehearse over the weekend of January 9/10 with students from around Rockland County.

Cassandra B., Zoe B., Alexa C., Nika C., Jenna C., Abigail D., Joanna G., Nicole G., Catherine O’K., Keira P., Allison R., Stephanie V.
Orchestra: Patrick D., Victoria F., Alexander G., Kevin H., Lois K,, An N., Liam N., Palak O., Kavitha S.
Band: Hannah A., Ben F., Jacob G., Rebecca H., Estelle L., Isiah O. -C., Firoze S., Mark S., Yena S.

Chorus: Jennifer Baum, Marlena Dimichino, Allison Lehrer, Marissa Mathew
Orchestra: Francesca Battelli, Trinity Lundemo, Sarah Pan, Ruben Sriskanda
Band: Erich Ahlf, Walter Ahlf, Sandra Olszewski



TZHS Italian Honor Society Spreads Holiday Cheer to Seniors

Italian Honor Society members from Tappan Zee High School brought some holiday cheer and Italian culture to the residents of Sunrise Senior Living in Old Tappan, NJ on Wednesday, December 10th. Close to 20 students spent a very pleasant hour with many of the residents, teaching and playing Tombola, the Italian version of Bingo which is traditionally played on Christmas Eve and throughout the rest of the season. Students worked side by side with their Sunrise friends, some of whom were repeat participants at what has become a bi-annual activity. Seniors and students alike had an enjoyable afternoon and look forward to the next tombola afternoon in the spring.






TZHS Japanese Culture Club Entertains COVE Students

Last week, the TZHS Japanese Culture Club hosted an after school event together with the COVE students. Culture Club students read the story, Kamishibai Man by Allen Say. The book tells of a Japanese man who made his living as a storyteller using a special kamishibai stage. The Club was able to borrow a kamishibai stage from the WOS Library. The stage is used to show the pictures that provide a visual accompaniment to the story.

After the first story was read, refreshments of baked sweet potatoes, which are a favorite Japanese treat, along with other snacks and green tea were served. While the COVE students and club members enjoyed their snacks, the officers of the Japanese Club read a second story of Momotaro, The Peach Boy, using the kamishibai stage. The event turned out to be both pleasurable as well as educational for all involved.





TZHS French Club 4th Annual Movie Night

On the evening of Thursday, December 11th, the Tappan Zee High School French Club held their fourth annual French Movie Night. The club viewed Le Dîner de Cons, the 1998 French language film that served as inspiration for the 2010 Steve Carell movie Dinner for Schmucks. In the farcical comedy, a wealthy Parisian publisher, Pierre Brochant, participates in a weekly “dinner for idiots,” where he and his affluent friends each bring the biggest dimwit they can find, and whoever brings the best idiot wins. However, karma comes into play when the dimwit ends up ruining Brochant's life, teaching him a valuable lesson about compassion. Soirée du Cinéma Français drew a mix of students from all four grades, everyone from curious freshmen to seniors who attended the very first Movie Night. Since then, French Movie Night has become a beloved institution at Tappan Zee High School. Past films viewed by the club include Casablanca and Intouchables. When asked for his thoughts on the ways French Movie Night enhances the students’ grasp of French culture, junior Andrew Galanter said, “Events like French Movie Night are essential to fostering a deep appreciation of France. By exposing us to different values, beliefs, and customs, we can become more attuned to the different cultures around us.”




TZHS Italian Honor Society Inducts Thirty Four

On December 2nd, thirty-four Tappan Zee High School students of Italian were inducted into the Tappan Zee High School Dante Alighieri chapter of the Società Onoraria Italica, the National Italian Honor Society, in the Tappan Zee High School Auditorium. The annual candle-lighting ceremony was attended by over 400 people. New inductees recited the oath, promising to continue the study of Italian as well as to promote friendship and harmony amongst all people. To be invited into the Honor Society, students must maintain a 90 average in the study of Italian, as well as an 80 overall average in other academic areas. To maintain membership and be re-inducted, students must maintain the same average, as well as perform 12 hours of community service per year and participate in the induction ceremony. Sixty second year members and thirty-four third year members were re-inducted. The Dante Alighieri chapter also recognized Dr. Ken Mitchell for his dedication to the South Orangetown Central School District, as well as for his support of Foreign Language study. Dr. Mitchell was made an honorary member, and was presented with a plaque. Tricia Castelli and Maria Stillo, Italian teachers at TZHS and co-advisors of the Dante Alighieri chapter, congratulated the students for demonstrating not only excellence in the study of Italian, but much enthusiasm for both the language and culture.


TZHS National Honor Society Inducts Seventy Seven

The Tappan Zee High School Honor Society inducted 77 new members in a candlelight ceremony held at the high school on December 15th. Inductees, selected by the chapter's faculty council, met the criterion of high standards of scholarship, service, leadership and character. "We are very proud to recognize these outstanding members of our student body. National Honor Society members are chosen for their exemplary contributions to the school and community." said Nicole Farish, a chapter adviser.

The Tappan Zee High School chapter also recognized the contributions of its 98 seniors who received a senior pin. Seven seniors who have demonstrated particularly outstanding commitments to the NHS ideals were recognized with special certificates. In addition, the chapter acknowledged two teachers, Mr. Seth Resnikoff and Mr. Matthew Robertson, for their influence on the students' lives and recognized Superintendent Dr. Ken Mitchell for his strong support for the students and programs of South Orangetown.

The National Honor Society ranks as one of the oldest and most prestigious national organizations for high school students. There are chapters in more than 16,000 high schools. Since 1921, millions of students have been selected for membership.




TZHS DECA Club Helps Wishes Come True

On December 7th, the TZHS DECA Club members held a fundraising event outside of both Marty's Bagels and Gino's Bagels from 8am - noon to help raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition to the event, the club for the past several weeks has been selling Make-A-Wish paper stars for $1. each that contributors can write their names on to be displayed on a wall in the High School. Through the fundraising, DECA members have raised $600, which the club will match for a grand total of $1200. That will be sent to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help create a dream for children suffering from childhood illnesses.






Leos Out On the Prowl - Helping Others

Wherever there is work to be done, the Blauvelt Lions Leo Club at Tappan Zee High School is there to assist. The Leo Club was asked by Mayor Chris Sanders to help clean out the Garden Beds in the Piermont Library Parking Lot. On November 8th close to 20 Leos, along with advisor Tricia Castelli, Piermont Landscape architect Dan Sherman and Community Garden member Colleen Duffy Céile Leidy worked hard pulling weeds for two hours, that had suffocated the beautiful grasses in the parking lot beds. The Leos were extremely satisfied at the work done, and were happy the community will once again be able to see the lovely grasses that will flourish in the beds.

On December 1st, Leos and Lions once again joined forces to help out at Soup Angels in Nyack, serving dinner to over 60 persons in need while the day after thanksgiving brought over 25 Leos in a joint effort with the Immaculate Conception Church on a Midnight Run bringing clothing, toiletries, food and good will to the homeless of New York City.








TZHS November Rotary Student of the Month

The South Orangetown Rotary Club honored TZHS’s Anthony Ricci as November's Student of the Month. An accomplished member of the TZHS class of 2015, he demonstrates a strong sense of duty towards his community. A trained volunteer for the South Orangetown Ambulance Core and soon to become a certified EMT, Anthony devotes many hours to riding the ambulance and providing first response care. He also volunteers with the Orangeburg Fire Department and serves there many hours each week. He assisted in extinguishing the Clausland Mountain fire last fall. A strong student-athlete, Anthony is a brave, selfless and honorable young man, who sees community service as a vital part of his life.






TZ Model UN Successfully Initiates 2014-15 Campaign

The TZHS Model UN club kicked off its 2014-2015 campaign by attending the first annual John Jay Model United Nations Conference (JJMUNC) hosted by John Jay High School in Cross River, NY. Sixteen students attended the full day conference on November 15th, which began with keynote speaker, Dr. Ronald Jansen who is a long time employee of the United Nations Secretariat, where he now serves as Chief of the Trade Statistics Branch at the United Nations Statistics Division.

Afterwards student delegates broke off into various committees for the day. These included the World Health Organization, NFL Executives Meeting, WWII Prevention, Cold War 1962 Crisis Committee, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Topics discussed by delegates ranged from historical scenarios like the flaws of the Treaty of Versailles, to 21st century issues including global drug trafficking, domestic violence in the NFL, and the outbreak of the Ebola virus. TZ delegates worked tirelessly all day in unison with delegates from other schools around the northeast to solve these problems. Two TZ delegates, Ryan Zohar and Livy Bartels, received the award of “Outstanding Delegate” for their efforts.

Delegates will be back in January at Columbia University’s annual conference and exposition.



TZHS’s Nicolette Natale Wins Teen Ink Editor’s Choice Award

Teen Ink, a national Magazine and website has announced TZHS’s Nicolette Natale article, “I’m Still Learning”, has been give an Editor’s Choice Award designation on their website. Teen Ink is devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos, and forums. They offer teens the opportunity to publish their own creative work and opinions on all issues that affect their lives.

Teen Ink is distributed through classrooms and available in libraries nationwide. They are completely dependent on submissions from teenagers worldwide. Teen Ink magazine offers work generated by today’s teen.

The article and special designation can be viewed at: http://www.teenink.com/poetry/free_verse/article/730277/Im-still-learning/




Leos and Lions Working Together for Others – A Perfect Match

The Blauvelt Lions LEO Club at Tappan Zee High School and the Blauvelt Lions have been working together to help others in a seamless arrangement of cooperation. So far this Fall, Leos and Lions have volunteered at two Soup Angel soup kitchens in Nyack, prepared and baked close to 100 apple pies which were sold at the Blauvelt Lions Applefest in September raising over $6000 for charity. Over 100 Leos and Lions manned the event, which included activities and inflatable rides for children and close to sixty vendors. The groups volunteered at the Fall Work Day at Visions Camp for the Blind on Oct. 11th, and a Road Cleanup in Blauvelt on October 25th. Leos also volunteered at the Orangeburg Family Picnic, the AT Children’s Project Fundraiser, OMM opening day ceremony and the Fragile X Syndrome Fundraiser. The Leos are presently running a toiletry drive to collect items needed for their Breakfast and Midnight Runs to bring food, clothing and toiletries to the homeless of New York City. They are collecting men’s and women’s deodorant, shaving cream and razors, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, small sized shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, hand lotion. They will also be collecting men’s socks, undershirts and underwear, hats, gloves, scarves and men’s pants, sweatshirts, coats and shoes. Donations can be dropped off in the Tappan Zee High School lobby collection box.





TZHS’s Tones Magazine Brings Home the Awards

TZHS advisors Donna Grasso (art) and Sarah McMane (literature) have announced that the TZHS literary magazine, Tones, had another exceptional year at the Empire State Scholastic Press Awards (ESSPA) sponsored by Syracuse University. Awards are given as Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honorable Mentions. The magazine won in 8 different Literary magazine categories.  Winners were announced on October 24, 2014.

Award winners were:


- Sarah McMane, Advisor, Tones, Tappan Zee HS

– Gold - Hannah Kim, Tappan Zee HS - “Untitled I”; HM - Judy Zhang, Tappan Zee HS -“Untitled III”

– Silver - Hannah Kim, Tappan Zee HS - “Tones cover

– Silver - Nicolette Natale, TZHS - “Firefighter”; Bronze - Lily Alig, TZHS - “Sunday” - Jessica Stahl, TZHS - “Better Than Me

LAYOUT (Double Page Spread)

Yuna Shin, Erin Scott, Nicolette Natale & Savannah Lyons, TZHS, -“The Lunar Eclipse - What If... “

Honorable Mention
Ryan Zohar, Ceara Genovesi, Erin Scott, Rachel Maggiore & Nicolette Natale, TZHS, “Wishing Well - Apple Tree”
Lily Samett, Bailey McElderry, Erin Scott, Nicolette Natale, John Hartnett & Shannon Ehmsen, TZHS “Seeing Things Differently - Baby Blue Eyes

LAYOUT (Single Page)
Ellen Xing & Erin Scott, TZHS - “Obsessive Compulsive

Brittany Grandville, Zoe Szmulewicz & Nicolette Natale, Tappan Zee
HS “Sinking

Ali Calegari & Nicolette Natale, Tappan Zee HS - “Those Nights

Elena Kruse, Caitlin Taduran & Nicolette Natale, TZHS “An Unwelcome Visitor

Nicolette Natale, Katie Kim & Ceara Genovesi, TZHS “Granda

Honorable Mention
Quiana Iacobellis & Nicolette Natale, TZHS “Hands
Sandra Goldstein Lehnert, Joseph Desilus, Nicolette Natale, TZHS “I Don’t Think of Her
Sandra Goldstein Lehnert, Cameron Satin-Boerner & Nicolette Natale, TZHS “Indelible Amnesia
Nicolette Natale & Hannah Kim, TZHS “How I Want to be Loved
Nicolette Natale & Connie Hari Park, TZHS “Somewhere

POETRY (Division A)
Nicolette Natale, Tappan Zee HS - “How I Want to be Loved

Anna Stern, TZHS “Small Routines”
Maura Monaghan, TZHS, -“Eccedentesiast”

Erin Scott, TZHS, “Sand

Honorable Mention
Nicolette Natale, TZHS , “Somewhere


RCC Honors 12 SOCSD Students at Hispanic Heritage Awards

Rockland Community College honored students from around the County for their strong academic performance and community spirit at the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Awards. Tappan Zee High School receiving the award were: Grade 10 - Jamie Aguilar, Giselle Castro, Cynthia Chaves, Max Fernandez, Rafael Madera, Michael Morales, and Ethan Traveras; Grade 12 - Kristin Adams, Hansel Almonte, William Carrera, Amanda Figueroa, and Victor Ramos.

Students and their families were invited to attend the awards ceremony at RCC, where words of encouragement from RCC President Dr. Wood and keynote speaker Aimee Vargas, the Mid-Hudson Regional Director of NYS Empire State Development and Executive Director of the MidHudson Regional Economic Development Council were spoken.

TZHS congratulates students and their families on this prestigious recognition.



SOMS & TZHS Italian Language Students Combine to Celebrate Italian Heritage Month

Over 150 families of students of Italian in the South Orangetown Central School District joined South Orangetown Middle School Italian Club and class members and Tappan Zee High School Italian Club and Italian Honor Society members and Italian teachers Roberta Avantifiori, Tricia Castelli, Christina Nilson and Maria Stillo, for the groups’ first annual Italian Potluck Family Night held on October 24, 2014 in the Tappan Zee High School Cafeteria. The Potluck dinner, organized as a celebration for Italian Heritage Month, featured over 50 Pasta and Main dishes brought by each family group attending, desserts provided by the two clubs as well as families, and an hour of entertainment which included the dancing of the Tarantella, a traditional Italian folk dance, a sing-along of Italian songs and a round of Tombola, a form of Italian bingo. The evening was a huge success, and everyone left eager to participate again next year.

- View Slideshow of Event



October Rotary Student of the Month
– TZHS Brianna McCleary

Each month, the South Orangetown Rotary honors a senior from Tappan Zee High School based on their contributions to both our school and the broader community. Congratulations to Brianna McCleary, our October Rotary Student of the Month.

Brianna is a hardworking senior with over a 95% average. An accomplished three-sport student-athlete, Brianna is captain of her soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams. Following high school, she plans to pursue a career in nursing. She has served as class treasurer for the past two years and is a member of several honor societies and clubs. She has also dedicated herself to her community service, participating and volunteering in the following activities–working at Good Samaritan Hospital, Youth for Hospice, Helen Hayes, Special Olympics, Buddy Ball Sports, St. Catherine’s Church CYO Rec Basketball and the Tappan Zee Youth League Lacrosse Program. She participated in the MS Walk, Pancreatic Cancer Walk, and our own Tappan Zee HS COVE program.




Tappan Zee High School Class of 1965 Celebrates 50th Reunion

The Class of 1965 was the first class at Tappan Zee High School to start 9th grade in the current high school building in Orangeburg, NY. Alumni from the Class of ’65 regrouped from around the country this weekend to celebrate their 50th Reunion, thanks to the work of classmate Jean Ann Tarbox Ford. Fifty-nine of the 184 graduates returned to Orangeburg this weekend, coming from as far as Alaska, Texas, and Arizona, to rekindle friendships with their classmates. The celebration started with a Re-Meet-and-Greet on Friday night, a tour of Tappan Zee High School on Saturday morning, and a dinner/dance on Saturday Night. Our very own South Orangetown CSD colleague Kenny Brown is a member of this graduating class, and he and his classmates shared how they were the first class to paint the rock on Clausland Mountain and other fond stories of their classroom and extra-curricular experiences. They share with one another their life journeys since graduation from Tappan Zee High School. Congratulations to the Class of '65!

Story by Dr. Amos






October’s Italian Student of the Month
– Stephanie Sweeney

Rockland Lodge #2176 of the Order Sons of Italy in America held its Student of the Month Ceremony on Wednesday, October 22nd. The ceremony honors seniors from local high schools for their dedication to the study of the Italian language and culture. Tappan Zee’s honoree for October was senior Stephanie Sweeney. Stephanie’s love of the Italian language and enthusiasm for all things Italian began in Middle School, and has grown throughout her high school years. She is an avid participant in class and shows a deep appreciation for the Italian culture and its people, which led her to participate in two trips to Italy with TZHS. Her enthusiasm extends beyond the classroom, and Stephanie has been an extremely active member of TZHS's Italian Club and Italian Honor Society throughout her four years at TZHS. She was Italian Club treasurer last year, and is President of the Club this year. She is also treasurer of the Dante Alighieri Chapter of the Società Onoraria Italica, the National Italian Honor Society.



TZ Athletes Continue To Pay It Forward

TZ teams were very busy over the past few weekends as they proved the most important wins are not always on the field. TZ Volleyball teamed up with Pearl River Volleyball to host the 5th Annual Orangetown Volley for the Cure game in the fight against Breast cancer. The teams raised over $1,000 for the cause........ (and TZ won the match!).

Last weekend TZ Boys Lacrosse and Middle School Volleyball took part in the Light the Night walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Boulders Stadium.

Back at home, the Middle School Girls Soccer took time out of their practice to donate and pack up packages for the troops. Each package included a personal note from the girls.



Tappan Zee Athletics Earns 2014 5-Star Leadership Honor

Over a year ago, the call went out to New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) member schools for a new initiative called the 5-Star Leadership School Program. This award recognizes schools dedicated to leadership and character development within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Champions of Character’s 5-Star Leadership Program.

With over 800 high schools in New York State, Tappan Zee High School is the only one in the County, and one of only four schools statewide to receive the 2014 5-Star Leadership School Distinction from the NYSPHSAA, the NAIA Champions of Character Program and Techline Sports Lighting. The other three New York State schools are Arlington HS, Cooperstown HS, and Penfield HS.

Tappan Zee Athletics earned this distinction through the professional development of its coaching staff, team community service, parental involvement, and ongoing character and sportsmanship initiatives.

Tappan Zee, recipient of the Coach and Athletic Director 2013 National Interscholastic Program of Excellence Award, received their personalized 5 Star Leadership banner at the 2014 NYSPHSAA Annual meeting in Section One on Monday, September 15th.



SOCSD Italian Clubs & Honor Society Dance at Italian Feast

An enthusiastic audience joined the South Orangetown Middle School Italian Club Members and the Tappan Zee High School Italian Club and Honor Society Members as they danced the Neapolitan Tarantella on Sunday, September 14th, at the Rockland Lodge Italian Feast which was held over the weekend at the Masonic grounds in Tappan, N.Y.. This is the 5th year that the combined groups have kicked off the entertainment on the last day of the ever more popular 4 day Feast. Following a demonstration of the Tarantella by the students, Italian Teachers Roberta Avantifiori, Tricia Castelli, Christina Nilson, and Maria Stillo, community members were invited to participate alongside the students in the second round of the dance. A large number then joined the group and both students and community members thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Click here for additional pictures of the festivities



Fifteen TZHS Students Score in the Top 5% in National Merit Scholarship Program

TZHS has just announced that of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT last October, 15 TZHS students scored in the top 5% and earned a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program. Congratulations on achieving that distinction go to: Addison Fowler, Sandra Goldstein Lehnert, Christy Joseph, Hyeonjun Kim, Devki Kothari, Amit Krishnan, Changeseob Lim, Benjamin Mart, Maura Monaghan, William Pan, Eli Rapoport, Annika Scilipote, Yuna Shin, William Sullivan, and Emma Wilkinson.

Additionally, of the fifteen Commended Students, two scored in the top 2% and are now celebrated as National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists. They are, Changeseob Lim and Eli Rapoport. These two students will continue in the program and have the opportunity to become Finalists. Semifinalists must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards as well as a number of other requirements.

In February, some 15,000 Semifinalists will be notified they have advanced to Finalist standing.