News Around The District

  • A fond farewell, district celebrates recent retirees

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 6/17/2024 10:00:00 AM

    There was an abundance of emotions during the June 12 Board of Education meeting as the community celebrated and congratulated its retirees. The audience was grateful for their years of service, and those being celebrated admitted it was tough to move on, but it was time. Three women


    “What Ms. Joseph has done in her illustrious career is bound the community and the school together,” Alexander Hamilton High School Principal Joseph Engelhardt said of Special Education Teacher Cheryl Joseph, who is retiring after 44 years as a teacher.


    He recalled when he first arrived at the school, it was Ms. Joseph who gently grabbed him by the arm and told him to walk and talk with her through the building, telling him she wanted to share what she knew about Elmsford.


    “I appreciate that Ms. Joseph. I appreciate your years of service, and the hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands of students who’ve you mentored and taught and who will never forget you,” Mr. Engelhardt said. “You will be missed.”


    Ms. Joseph, who grew up in Elmsford, told those in attendance her commitment to the district and her students was inspired by the many people she knew who came before her.


    “There were so many people when I walked into this district who had the heart of Elmsford, they had the heart of the children,” she said. “I will always, and continually lift up the banner of Elmsford.”


    For the next honoree, Mr. Engelhardt said he was relieved that when he called this person up, it was not for an emergency. He was referring to school nurse, Nancy Cordero, RN.

    “She’s been an absolute star for Hamilton,” Mr. Engelhardt said. “She is more than a typical school nurse. She really, really cares for the students’ even when they are not sick or injured, they still see Nurse Cordero just to check in with her.”


    Alice E. Grady Elementary School Principal Andrea Hamilton shared her kind words about the work of school psychologist Rose Hoey, who has worked in the district for 34 years.


    “Anyone who has had the pleasure of engaging with Ms. Hoey, knew she was committed to her work and the students she served.
    She took great pride in serving generations of students here,” she said.


    “Ms. Hoey is always going to be a part of Grady,” Dr. Hamilton continued.


    “I miss everyone already,” Ms. Hoey, who is currently working towards her doctorate, said.


    Dr. Hamilton also shared her congratulations and appreciation for Dr. Pamela Davis, who also retired earlier this year.


    “As a passionate educator, she knew how to get students excited about technology,” Dr. Hamilton said, noting that she introduced technical programs to students including the FIRST Lego League.


    She said too that her own passion for reading encouraged students to find their own joy in reading too and during her more than 25 years in the district, she helped to begin the Grady literary magazine.


    Director of Facilities, Jim Frees, also recognized the members of his cleaning staff who are retiring, Wilson Cabrera, Anthony Patterson and Jose Zhinin.


    “I’m thinking of how many people these gentlemen made life better for,” Mr. Frees said. “We rejoice and celebrate this milestone in their life. They will no doubt continue to grow the list of people who are grateful for them for helping out.”



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  • AHHS celebrates recent inductees into the National Honor Society

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 6/13/2024 8:00:00 AM

    Several students at Alexander Hamilton High School were recognized and celebrated for their academic achievement. The inductees were sworn into the National Honor Society during a special ceremony held on June 4. People standing on stage

    Throughout the ceremony students were reminded of the NHS principles that members uphold — knowledge, scholarship, service, leadership, and character.


    “I’d like to plant a seed this evening for them to consider — that this is just the beginning of your journey,” Interim Superintendent James Ryan told the honorees. “I challenge you to continue to take a look at the qualities that were considered to have you here this evening, including leadership something on every level we enjoy here at Hamilton.”


    Principal Joseph Engelhardt acknowledged the parents, guardians and friends who supported, and continues to support, their child in helping them achieve this milestone in their academic career.


    “All of you made this happen for the students in front of us,” he said. “So, thank you for your guidance, thank you for your support and thank you for your love.”


    Man lighting candleHe went on to say that approximately 30 percent of students at AHHS are part of the NHS.


    Mr. Engelhardt also quoted basketball player Michael Jordan, who once said “some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, but others make it happen,”


    “Our students made it happen with their hard work, dedication and reaching the standards that are set nationally by the National Honor Society,” Mr. Engelhardt said.


    He said too that the students exemplify the NHS’ principle of service and that members of the broader Elmsford community have noticed the willingness of AHHS students to lend a hand. It is something the principal said evolves from the community and their support that encourages an attitude of “all hands-on deck” among students.


    NHS senior members were given a special pin in recognition of their achievement before a candle was lit in recognition of the NHS principles and the new inductees were called up to receive a certificate, following members recited the NHS pledge.


    To be considered for membership in the NHS, students must maintain an average of 85 or above in core courses and complete required courses. To maintain membership, the average must be maintained, and 30 hours of community service completed.


    Senior member Jacqueline Dutan concluded the ceremony by then passing the torch to current junior Matteo DeBerto.


    “May you and your classmates carry forth the traditions of the Class of 2024. Best wishes to you on your future endeavors,” Jacqueline said to the newest members.


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  • AHHS students celebrate Asian and Caribbean heritage in energetic assembly

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 6/12/2024 8:00:00 AM

    They danced, they sang, they clapped and ultimately learned.


    Students at Alexander Hamilton High School found a unique way to celebrate both Asian American and Pacific Islander and Caribbean American Heritage months in a high energy school assembly on May 31. Group dancing


    For weeks, student volunteers have been practicing their music and dance moves to perform for their classmates in the first of a kind assembly that showcased their Asian or Caribbean heritage.

    Throughout the event students learned about the origins of an Indian song, performed by Angel Mathew, they witnessed a Filipino dance, were introduced to Mandala art, enjoyed an Asian Fashion Show, cheered on Caribbean style dances, sang along with some Reggae tunes and some even took the stage to learn the Jamaican Bogle Dance.


    “It was fun,” said a breathless Carlyle Roberts, a senior who took to the stage with friends Dylan Guerra and Dean Guerra who together sang several Reggae songs.


    Freshman Kayla Bonifacio said she was happy to sing some Reggae songs even though it is not part of her culture, but she said, “Singing is what I do.”


    “Everyone did really good,” she added about her fellow performers.

    “I loved it,” said junior Dean Guerra. “I got to share with everyone part of my home,” he said of the Reggae medley he performed with friends.


    “I liked how everyone was here and just having fun,” said Nasir Lopez, who surprised the audience with his song “No Games,” entering the auditorium from the seats.


    “I just wanted to have fun and do it with my friends,” junior Dylan Guerra said.


    Girls dancingComputer Science/Math teacher Firoza Rahman and World Language teacher Haughton Brown worked as supervisors assisting students as they rehearsed and prepared.


    “Our goal was to build up our community, especially after COVID,” Ms. Rahman said, adding that she was surprised by the number of students who came out to participate.


    Initially there were only five students ready to share their culture, but as word spread, a total of 37 students participated or worked behind the scenes.


    In addition to being a cultural celebration, Mr. Brown said the assembly provided students and opportunity to be leaders.


    “I believe that students who host their own programs and events become empowered and more confident which are important qualities that will help them in the future,” he said.


    “I was not surprised by the number of students who participated because students tend to respond positively and enthusiastically when asked to share and display their unique cultural aspects and experiences,” he continued.


    He said too that he anticipates the assembly will become an annual event.

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  • AHHS Valedictorian and Salutatorian are excited to say “thank you”

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 6/11/2024 11:00:00 AM

    Friends Jacqueline Dutan and Daisy Cuenca have both gone through the Elmsford Union Free School District together and on June 25, they will enjoy one more activity together — graduation. Two girls


    The two have been named the Class of 2024 Valedictorian and Salutatorian respectively.


    “I really am looking forward to graduation, I will get to thank my mom publicly,” Jacqueline said.


    “I will get to thank everyone who helped me,” agreed Daisy.


    Jacqueline said when she found out about her class rank at the end of last year, she was so excited that she immediately called her mom.


    “It was a big goal of mine,” she said, adding that while in elementary school she was, in her words, “not at the top academically.”

    “I wanted to push myself,” Jacqueline said. “My parents are immigrants, I’m the first to go to high school. All the teachers here, they don’t want to see you fail.”


    Jacqueline noted too that her younger brother, who is in sixth grade, motivated her as well.


    “I’m trying to be that support system for him,” she said, adding that she is very proud of the effort he put into his studies, which helped him be inducted into the National Elementary School Honor Society earlier this year.


    Daisy also called her mom when she found out about her class standing earlier this year at the end of the second semester.


    She said she was motivated, in part, because of her younger sister, who is in elementary school.


    “I feel like the most important thing is being a role model and helping her set goals,” she said.


    Both young women were called to service and throughout their time here have volunteered and participated in several activities both in and out of school.


    Jacqueline helped to start the International Student United Club, an organization that provides outreach to Spanish speaking students, encouraging them to get involved in school activities. She said the group took trips to New York City to help them learn more about the area in which they live.

    Jacqueline is also a volunteer at the White Plains Hospital and with the Sleepy Hollow Ambulance Corps. She also ran Cross Country for Hamilton.


    Daisy kept busy as an active member of the AHHS Student Government. Although she is no longer serving in an elected position, she continues to volunteer and assist with their activities.

    She was also a founder of the school’s Mock Trial Club. In her junior year, motivated by her wish to go to law school, Daisy said she was looking for an activity that reflected her interests. She is on the  volleyball team, plays clarinet in the band and volunteers with Project Morry, an organization that provides camping opportunities and other supportive programs for underserved youth.


    “My goal is to uplift voices that are not often heard,” Daisy said.


    Daisy, who will be attending Boston College in the fall and plans to study political science, said she felt Hamilton provided a very welcoming atmosphere and she appreciates its size.


    “I knew I’d be with the same people, that was really helpful,” she said. “The events are super fun like the Raider Games and dances. I feel it’s a close-knit community. I’ve created a lot of memories.”


    Jacqueline, who plans to study neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, said she had an amazing support system at Hamilton, something she contributes to her personal success.


    “All the teachers uplift you,” she said. “They don’t want to see you fail.”


    As the two prepare for their final weeks of high school, the friends said they were excited to share these last few memories with one another.


    “I’m glad I’m doing this with Jacqueline,” Daisy said. “We have been friends for a long time. I’m proud of you,” she told her classmate. “She’s one of the people I’d want to do this with.”


    “I am really proud of her,” responded Jacqueline. “We’ve grown up together.”


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  • Cracking the Code: Coding Club teaches new ways to look at the world

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 6/6/2024 9:00:00 AM

    It was not slang, but listening to a group of students one afternoon, it did make one wonder what they were talking about. Woman talking to students


    “Double equals, zero, colon, print, num, colon . . .” was one phrase that was used.


    “Do the first if block for five,” was another.


    What the students were talking about, or rather, how the students were talking makes sense if you know that the students in question are members of the Coding Club at Alexander Hamilton High School. On this day they were using Python, a type of coding language.


    The club is new this year and was born out of student’s interest in learning to code. Club Advisor, Computer Science, and math teacher Firoza Rahman, explained students in her AP Computer Science class had learned another coding language, Java, and she wanted to give her students experience in a second coding language. When scheduling another class was not an option, Ms. Rahman decided a club was the next best thing.


    The purpose of the club is to teach students how to program in Python at all levels, beginner, intermediate, and expert,” Ms. Rahman said, adding that the club began with three founding members Sameena Arachchi (Club President), Joshua Samuel (Club Vice President), and Joshuanaveen Navaneetharaja (Club Treasurer), who were able to bring some friends into the club, for an additional 11 students.


    Ms. Rahman said she had heard students talk about coding outside of her class. When more members kept showing up on Wednesday afternoons, when the club meets, she was not surprised.


    “I think this is also due to the fact that we started entering into competitions this year,” Ms. Rahman said. “Students in both my Coding Club and AP Computer Science AP class entered into different competitions this year for the first time.”


    Senior Sameena Arachchi was one of the students who participated in the 2024 High School Programming Contest, hosted by Cornell University. Participants competed at Cornell Tech in Manhattan.


    Ms. Rahman said that there were 100 teams from around New York in the competition, consisting of three students each. Teams answered the same set of questions and had to complete them in three hours. They were allowed to select what coding language they wanted to compete in, JAVA, Python or C++.


    “This competition was definitely eye-opening in the sense that teamwork is extremely crucial, and experience is heavily needed,” Ms. Rahman said. “There were high school kids competing who have been coding since fifth grade and some of our students just started coding this year. Overall, this was a wonderful experience and helps us put into better perspective our goals for the individual students who are a part of the club as well as the club as a whole.” 


    The contest consisted of participants creating prompts based off a series of nine questions in order to make an algorithm to solve a specific program, Sameena further explained.


    “We want Cornell to see us again,” Sameena said of one of the club’s goals for next year.


    “Python,” she said, “is easy to learn and it’s a good skill to have,” Sameena said as to why she joined the club.


    Junior Joshua Samuel said he is interested in the field of computer science, specifically Artificial Intelligence, and the club is way to get a start in the field.


    Several club members said that learning a computer language is not that difficult.


    “It’s more about organizing how you are writing,” sophomore Sofia Sandoval said. “She makes it simple and easy,” she added of the club’s advisor.


    Joshuanaveen, a sophomore, said he’s taking the AP Computer Science class next year and he was looking for an activity to get involved in that was something besides soccer.


    Alan Eras, said one of his friends suggested he join.


    “It’s something new and it’s always nice to do something and learn a new skill,” he said.


    While learning Python is the goal for now, Ms. Rahman said she hopes the club also helps students “build up their leadership, communication, and teaching skills. You can develop yourself as a great coder individually, but the real magic is being able to work with other people successfully,” she said.


    On a recent club meeting day, students worked in groups, each contributing their thoughts on what each prompt should be. When Ms. Rahman had to step out of the room for a few minutes, the students took over and guided one another through the code.


    “They learn from each other,” Ms. Rahman said.


    Already plans are in the work for the club next year, where she hopes the coding and Robotics clubs can work together and also go to competitions.


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  • A night of music and celebration

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 5/23/2024 11:00:00 AM

    Each spring the district school choirs and bands perform in the Milton A. Williams, Jr. District Concert. The late Mr. Williams was a longtime Elmsford staff member who taught music for 40 years. If he had been there, it’s safe to say he would have been proud. Choir singing


    Interim Superintendent James Ryan said he knew Mr. Williams, and his wife Helen, who was a music teacher in a neighboring district.


    “I was always so impressed with the work Mr. Williams did in Elmsford,” Dr. Ryan said. “It is just a wonderful thing that each spring he is recognized.”


    The Alice E. Grady Elementary School Chorus opened the evening, directed by Christopher Funke. They shared tunes such as “Top O’ the Music to You,” and “The Fox.”


    The Grady Elementary School Band, conducted by Michael Webb impressed the audience with several selections, including, “We’re on a Mission to Rock” and “Danza Africana.”


    Band being conductedIt was during their performance that Mr. Webb announced the school had received a $13,000 grant from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. The grant was made possible through funding from the Capital Theater. The grant covers the cost of needed instruments from a list they were given.

    Grady was awarded one Bass Clarinet, three trumpets, two flutes and two clarinets.


    The Alexander Hamilton High School Chorus, directed by Dawn Zampell entertained with such numbers as Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” and Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida.”


    The audience was treated to a special performance by the Select Choir with their rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”


    The evening wrapped up the AHHS Band. Director James Walton led them through several pieces, including “God Bless America,” and “All Glory Told.”


    He recognized the band’s seniors, some of whom have been playing for the past nine years and once again offered his congratulations to alto saxophonist Yuri Kryvoruchko, who was ranked in the top five in the state by the New York State School Music Association.



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  • Planning ahead, guidance counselors reassure parents of incoming freshmen

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 5/13/2024 2:00:00 PM

    It is always a good time to start planning ahead. That is exactly what Alexander Hamilton High School guidance counselors Monica Ahern and Stephanie Luccioni-Burns informed parents of incoming freshman.Group in library

    In their “Road to Success” presentation, the two outlined for parents what courses, and when, their child should take as they make their way through high school.


    “Making the transition from middle school to high school is difficult, things start weighing a little more,” Ms. Ahern said. “Every year counts.”


    Having said that, she did reassure parents that their student does not have to feel overwhelmed. She and her colleague are here to assist in any way and will help them to know what to expect and what is expected of them.


    Ms. Ahern said freshmen year is a year of transition for the students and teaching for them. They work with students to become more responsible and independent and how to be an advocate for themselves.


    Students will become familiar with Naviance, a college/career readiness program and they will begin to build a resume. This is also the time for students and parents to familiarize themselves with Google Classroom as it will be there good friend in the next four years.

    “If you take anything out of this, check the Google Classroom,” Ms. Ahern said.

    Google Classroom is a tool to help students keep track of their work, as it sets reminders, shares extracurricular and volunteer opportunities, summer programs, jobs and awards and scholarships.


    A students’ schedule will become more rigorous during their sophomore year as they begin to explore career options and take the PSAT, which is usually done in the fall. This is also a great time to begin to take AP classes too.


    The PSAT, Ms. Ahern told parents, is a practiced SAT exam and helps the students understand what the test is about and how it is taken so they know what they are in for when they take the SAT.


    “Parents should speak to their student about their interests, goals and future plans at this time,” Ms. Ahern said.


    Then the junior year, she said, “this is when it really picks up, the college process.”


    Again, students may opt to take the PSAT in the fall of their junior year in preparation of taking the SAT or ACT in the spring.


    This is also a good time to keep an eye on the Naviance program as it will inform students when colleges will be visiting AHHS and they can also update their resumes in the program. They should also begin to ask their teachers for recommendations to use as they begin to fill out college applications.


    “Parents, have a conversation with your child about possible colleges or majors,” she encouraged, adding that they should also plan to attend the Junior College Night hosted by the guidance department.


    Throughout the spring and summer she also encouraged parents to visit college campuses and, if possible, take tours. These are great, Ms. Ahern said, as it helps students see various types of campuses.


    As for asking a teacher for a letter of recommendation, Ms. Ahern advised that students ask someone they have a good relationship with and who is in the area they are considering studying.


    And finally, it will be here soon enough, senior year!


    Taking the SAT or ACT can be done in the fall of this year and it is also the best time for a student to meet with their guidance counselor to finalize a college list and begin to fill out the Common Application.


    “After COVID, many colleges went test-optional,” Ms. Ahern said, however, she explained more are increasingly returning to looking at test scores and she encouraged students to take at least one exam.


    Regarding the Common Application, it is accepted by most college and universities throughout the country and helps to make the application process more simple as they only need to fill out one, which is then submitted to all the colleges they are applying to.


    “We really do the Common Application with them,” Ms. Ahern said.  “We encourage them to apply early as it gives them a better chance at getting in.”


    And, this may be the most challenging part of the year, but students will need to keep on top of their school work.


    “Senior grades still count,” Ms. Ahern said.


    Parents will have some work to do as well. Including, she said, attending the college financial aid night and completing the FASFA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.


    There are 22 credits students must accumulate order to graduate from high school, Ms. Luccioni-Burns said.


    “Colleges like to see that you’ve taken four years of math and science, even if you are only required to take three of each,” she said.


    She also noted that she encourages students to take more than one year of a foreign language, as well as physical education. This holds true for electives as well, she said.


    “We are pushing them to take more than what the state requires,” she said.


    For a Regents diploma, Ms. Luccioni-Burns said it requires one Regent English, one social studies, one math and one science and a Pathways 1 course. Students can also opt for an Advanced Regents diploma, but that is for students who truly want to go above and beyond and only state universities may consider it.


    “You need a 65 or higher to pass the Regents,” she said.


    Going back to Naviance, Ms. Luccioni-Burns said this a great tool that students, parents and the counselors can access. It can help students research, provides career assessments, assist with resume writing and can be integrated with the Common Application.


    “We do want to see the students challenge themselves,” Ms. Ahern said.



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  • Sixth graders dig into garden history lesson

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 5/6/2024 11:00:00 AM

    It was a beautiful spring day outside, cool temperatures with a bright, warm sun. The perfect day to spend time in the garden. Girl scooping dirt into cup

    That is exactly what sixth graders did at Alice E. Grady Elementary School. Gathering in the school courtyard, parent volunteer Adrian Rogers introduced students to a brief history lesson before they dug in the dirt and planted a special group of seeds.


    Students learned about the “three sisters,” a trio of seeds traditionally planted by many Native American tribes — corn, beans, and squash. The three have a symbiotic relationship and offer the other plants something they need to grow and thrive.


    Corn, Mr. Rogers explained, grows tall and its stalk provides structure for the beans to climb, while the squash grows near the ground and its broad leaves help protect the other plants.


    “Each plant has a role to play,” Mr. Rogers said.


    The morning also included a land acknowledgement, or a thank you to the land for helping sustain us and use it, as well as a remembrance of the Native Lenape people who once lived in or near Elmsford.


    Man plants in raised garden bedIt was then time to dig in! Students selected one of the three seed options and planted them in dirt in a small cup. The cups were then arranged in a raised bed, watered and the waiting began. Once the plants outgrow their cups, they will be transplanted to another part of the courtyard.


    Materials for the project were provided by Home Depot, Sam's Club, Rosedale Nursery, the PTSA and the raised bed from a local upcycle group.


    “I like that everyone can come gather and garden together,” student Giuliana D. said of the project.


    “I started gardening at a young age,” student Ryan B. said, adding that projects like this “are pretty fun.”

    Earlier in the winter sixth graders attempted to start seedlings inside, which once it warmed up were transferred to a small greenhouse in the courtyard. The results were mixed, and like other determined, ever-hopeful gardeners, it was decided to try another gardening project which they hope will garner better results.


    “This is a great learning experience for the kids,” teacher Jacqulyn Warren said. “Not every garden is successful.”


    Getting the students outside also has its benefits, allowing them to work in a green space and gain an understanding of not only local history, but also historically how gardens were created to sustain those growing them.


    “Making these connections is important for them,” Ms. Warren said.

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  • So many possibilities! Dixson students learn about different careers during "Career Day"

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 5/3/2024 8:00:00 AM

    Children are often asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” During Career Day at the Carl L. Dixson Primary School, students learned the possibilities are endless!


    Some students had very decided opinions — doctor, cosmetologist, police officer and artist. Nurse holds stethoscope to child


    For those who may not be so sure, they learned from parents and family volunteers about all kinds of careers — dental hygienists, actuaries, landscapers, store directors, nurses, school counselors and more.


    “Have fun with the kids,” Principal Simone Grixti told volunteers before sending them into classrooms. “It’s about getting the kids excited about learning.”


    During a couple hours one morning, volunteers visited classrooms where they discussed what they do, what kind of education they received and what they enjoy about their work.


    Landscaper David Signor told students he helps take care of lawns, while Occupational Therapist Elizabeth Noreiga said she helps her patients with coordination. Dental Hygienist Gabriela Sosa helped students determine what foods were good and bad for their teeth while Nurse Aswani Leonard shared how she helps patients feel better when they visit the emergency room.


    “That’s cool! That’s cool” one student shouted in glee as Elmsford Police Officer Pedro Oliva turned the lights and siren briefly on the police vehicle parked outside the school. He also talked to students about how he and his fellow officers help keep the community safe.


    Students also got an up-close look at a firetrucks as local firefighters and EMS staff talked about what they do.


    “My son wanted me to come and talk about what his daddy does every day,” said parent volunteer Javier Sanchez, who is a store director with Target. He said students were curious if he got to work with the toys at the store and were intrigued when he told them how the merchandise is taken off of large trucks and organized to be put out for customers to buy.


    Police Officer waves to studentsVolunteer Elizabeth Noreiga, who works as an occupational therapist, said the students she spoke with did not know what an OT was, but she thinks she helped them to understand.


    “I loved it,” she said of visiting the classrooms and talking to students. “But it is hard to explain what I do,” she added with a laugh.


    “We want to expose students to different careers,” Ms. Grixti said of the annual event held at the school. “Show them what they are learning and how it connects to the real world and to get them excited about their futures.”



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  • Grady leaders inducted into National Elementary Honor Society

    Posted by Alicia Smith on 4/19/2024 12:00:00 PM

    The Alice E. Grady Elementary School has a new group of fifth and sixth grade leaders who are ready to serve following their induction into the National Elementary Honor Society. Group of students on stage


    “My heart is full, I know that I have taught all these amazing students,” NEHS advisor Christine Budzynski said during the ceremony held on April 17. “This is just the beginning of so many achievements you have ahead of you.”


    Students are selected for the honor not only for their high academic standing, but also because they exemplify the four principles of the NEHS, scholarship, responsibility, service and leadership.


    During the ceremony, selected inductees shared with the audience what each principle meant as a candle was lighted to represent them.


    SCHOLARSHIP: A commitment to learning

    RESPONSIBILITY: Commitment to doing what you say you will do

    SERVICE: Helping others to do what they cannot do alone

    LEADERSHIP: Exert a positive influence on your school


    “These children take pride in all the work they do,” Ms. Budzynski said of this year’s inductees. “They are the leaders of tomorrow and tonight we celebrate their achievements.”


    Ms. Budzynski said that since the start of the school year the students have done an outstanding job living the service principle, including organizing a food drive around the holidays, creating a garden club and hosting a “Souper” Bowl, collecting soup for those in need. In addition, she said, on most of days of the week students come to her classroom before school starts asking what they can do to help, whether it’s in their school or in the community.


    Girl lighting candle“I look forward to working with this wonderful group next year,” she said.


    The ceremony also included musical performances by the Grady Choir and the Grady Band.

    Each honoree received a certificate and a special NEHS pin.


    “I am so proud of you and all of your hard work and commitment to academic excellence,” Principal Andrea Hamilton told the students. “I’d like to make sure you know this doesn’t stop, you will continue your work and we are cheering you on!”


    “This is the first step in becoming true leaders,” noted Interim Superintendent Dr. James Ryan, whose statement was read as he was unable to be at the ceremony in person. “We are all very proud of you and wish you continued success.”

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