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Valedictorian Mancuso and Salutatorian Hilden: Two True Intellectuals

With 57 students with GPAs 95 and up and 6 students at 98 and up, the MHS Class of 2018 has an exceptional number of deserving graduates. But at the very top stand Rebecca Mancuso, this year’s valedictorian, and David Hilden, this year’s salutatorian. Each one has rounded off their MHS career with an outstanding academic record, an impressive lineup of extracurricular accomplishments, and a remarkable spirit of humility towards their peers.

Rebecca Mancuso lives in White Plains but was able to go to school in the district because her mother is a teacher at Chatsworth, where Mancuso went to elementary school. Her sister, Emily Mancuso, was salutatorian in 2013.

This year Mancuso was the co-president of the Chinese Club and the Quiz Bowl Club. She is also a lifelong Girl Scout. She took PACE for all of high school and played the viola in the the local St. Thomas Orchestra and the MHS Chamber Orchestra. For her senior internship she helped Ms. Rosen teach orchestra at Murray. Next year she will attend Temple University to study music education, and she intends to become a music teacher.

Mancuso’s APs this year were Physics C, BC Calculus, Literature, and European History, and last year she took AP U.S. History and Physics 1. She engages deeply in all her classes and does not lean towards any single academic area. “I find myself very interested in the topics that I am studying,” she told the Globe. Mancuso says that although she tries not to, she ends up spending most of her time studying so that she can feel she has mastered the material for every test. “She sits in the front of the room and she’s always on top of it, always answering all the questions, always helping her classmates,” said Ms. Valdez, the BC Calculus teacher. Valdez added, “I think she got a hundred on just about every test.” Continue reading “Valedictorian Mancuso and Salutatorian Hilden: Two True Intellectuals”

Mrs. Groninger Named Hommocks Assistant Principal

Next year, Mrs. Groningeran English teacher who has taught many classes including AP Language and 9th grade Englishwill be moving on to bigger and better things. Leaving many of her students with a mixture of shock and excitement, Mrs. Groninger has revealed that she will step in as the assistant principal of the Hommocks next year! Continue reading “Mrs. Groninger Named Hommocks Assistant Principal”

“We’re Here for the Students”: The End of Midterms

Principal Clain has announced that the 2018-2019 MHS midterm policy is changing drastically. After receiving backlash from the past year’s “summatives,” the Mamaroneck School Board decided to eliminate all midterms. Going forward, the teachers will decide how they test students at the end of the second semester.

Principal Clain hopes that teachers will think of “creative” ways to assess students. In an interview she questioned, “Why is our learning so disconnected? I am puzzled by this idea that we break things up into units.” With the new policy in place, she hopes that teachers will “build” upon previous units learned. For example, a test given in the third quarter may incorporate ideas learned in the first quarter into questions. As part of the new plan, the MHS administration has created a testing period of up to 12 days before the end of each quarter to reduce stress. This schedule will assign one or two subjects the ability to test per day.

Before the 2017-2018 school year, Mamaroneck High School stopped classes for one week of midterm testing. The week took days out of the school year and as a result did not meet New York State’s required number of school days for receiving state aid. The Mamaroneck School Board came up with “summatives” as a solution. Summatives lasted from the middle of December to the end of January in which there were several block days with 90 minute periods devoted to mid-year testing. After sending out a post-summative survey, Principal Clain said that the feedback received was “overwhelmingly negative for both teachers and students.” Many students reported that they crammed and felt even more stressed because they studied for the exams over the course of two months.

Most colleges and universities reserve a testing period for midterms, and many MHS students question if this new “no midterm” policy will prepare them for that. Others are skeptical of their teachers following Clain’s idea of “building” on material and instead sticking to their traditional ways of testing. Ms. Clain states that MHS is “here for the students” and hopes that this new plan will create a healthier and less stressful learning environment for the future.

By Lizzy Kaplan

2018: A Year of Changes at MHS

The 2018-2019 school year is surely not one to be forgotten, especially for this year’s graduating class. This year brought to the school physically as well as dynamically. Sports teams enjoyed successes and the arts the school prides itself on dazzled audiences. Individual students showcased their talents in areas such as the fields of science and in the humanities. Mamaroneck High School is as much a school located in Lower Westchester, New York, as it is one that is globally based- as seen in the diverse student population and its charitable efforts in countries such as Senegal and China. When asked how to describe the school year in only one word, Zoë  Yunger ‘18 said “appreciative,” and with a look back on the most recent school year, that assessment could not be any more accurate. Continue reading “2018: A Year of Changes at MHS”

Increasing Enrollment in District Schools Remains an Issue

The number of students entering kindergarten in the Mamaroneck district has rapidly increased over the past few years and is expected to continue growing. The challenge with this is finding enough room in each elementary school to handle all the new students. Among many possible solutions, the School Board most seriously considered redrawing the elementary school-assignment boundary lines, also known as redistricting. If this happened it would mean that many Murray and Chatsworth graduates at MHS would find that their homes were no longer zoned to those schools, but rather zoned to Central and Mamaroneck Avenue for new kindergarteners. For next year, the redistricting proposal is off the table, however, increasing enrollment is expected to be a challenge throughout the coming years.

Since 2010, the enrollment in schools in Mamaroneck has increased by 13%. The School Board thinks this is due to Mamaroneck’s proximity to NYC, the water, and the highly desirable schools in the district. Along with that, many new houses and apartment units have been built over the past few years. While this is a positive improvement for the town, it has caused a few problems involving the space the elementary schools have for the large amount of kindergarteners enrolling this coming fall. The School Board identified the two main problems as: whether there was enough physical space to provide for the students, and, whether the district would have the financial resources to deal with the increased enrollment. Continue reading “Increasing Enrollment in District Schools Remains an Issue”

FBLA Wins Big at State Conference

The State Leadership Conference is prepared for all year by FBLA members throughout the state, and is an amazing experience for all members. There are many aspects to the Conference, but the most exciting aspect is competition. FBLA offers a plethora of competitions for members to participate in such as Introduction to Business Presentation, Accounting exams, and Basic Decision Making. Some competitive events test knowledge, while others test public speaking and presentation skills. Continue reading “FBLA Wins Big at State Conference”

MHS Teachers Pioneer Interdisciplinary Beehive Program

On April 13th, a small crowd of teachers, administrators and students gathered on the hill outside the Mamaroneck High School overpass. Some wore helmets, yellow mesh face guards and white gloves, while others stood poised with their iPhone cameras. The white noise of 20,000 pairs of bee wings was everywhere.

Last summer, the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation issued a generous grant to allow MHS to install four beehives on school property. Since then, a wide range of people have worked together to help make the Honeybee Project a reality, officially launching it last month. The beehives now sit just outside the overpass window, where students can glimpse them on their way to class.

The idea for the project first came from AP Biology teacher Ms. O’Reilly, who was inspired by a friend she had visited over the summer. “They were telling me about their beehives, and I thought, I wonder if I could ever get something like that at Mamaroneck,” said Ms. O’Reilly. “I thought that it would be a perfect, authentic learning experience for a lot of people in the school building.” Already, the project has involved many people and much collaboration. Prior to the bees being transferred into their hives on the 13th, students and faculty at MHS spent months preparing for their arrival. Each hive—consisting of a white box with several wax frames inside—was built from scratch by engineering students in Mr. Love’s class. The engineering students, along with some of Chef Luff’s culinary students, also helped to decorate the hives and later install them in the ground. Students who were interested in helping with the project formed a “bee team” and volunteered to help with different aspects of the process.

While it may not seem logical to have thousands of bees living in the vicinity of a high school, honeybees are extremely unlikely to cause trouble. Although the suits and helmets might suggest otherwise, honeybees very rarely sting people who aren’t a direct threat to them. Honeybees also tend to fly up to three miles away from their hives in search of food, which means they won’t be noticed too much around the high school. According to Ms. O’Reilly, it will be more likely to find them at Harbor Island during the day.

Each hive, containing approximately 10,000 honeybees and one queen, is a self-sustaining unit that can last for years. In that time, the hives will hopefully provide lasting educational and practical benefits. The bees have already started to make honeycomb, which can soon be harvested with a large honey extractor that was included in the grant. “Honey is a really great sugar substitute for a lot of different recipes,” says Chef Luff, who plans on using the collected honey in his culinary classes. “Baked goods, even more savory goods…salad dressing is something that really comes to mind.” He added that whatever honey doesn’t get used in his culinary class will likely be bottled up and sold at school fundraisers. Continue reading “MHS Teachers Pioneer Interdisciplinary Beehive Program”

Principal Clain Participates in Press Conference with Students

Photos courtesy of Emily Dombroff: Principal Clain takes questions. 

Students at Mamaroneck feel disconnected from the school’s administration and would welcome greater connection and communication. Mr. Madin’s first semester Journalism students had an opportunity to bridge that gap by conducting a “press conference” with Principal Clain. Continue reading “Principal Clain Participates in Press Conference with Students”

Lincoln Trials “Push” AP U.S. History Students

Last month, students in Mr. Goldberg’s and Mrs. Scudder’s AP US History classes took part in an annual tradition: The Lincoln trials. The trials are an extensive project in which students prepare for and carry out a mock impeachment trial of Abraham Lincoln. Continue reading “Lincoln Trials “Push” AP U.S. History Students”

Students Attend Annual MLK Assembly

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has left a lasting impact on our society, and every year Mamaroneck High School celebrates him with an assembly. This year the theme was “Stand Up, Speak Up, Stop the Hate.” The audience watched many MHS groups perform different art forms, all in some way relating back to the theme. Many mediums of art were represented, from rock groups to tap dancing. In addition the Multicultural Club did several performances throughout the assembly, while also running and organizing the entire show. Continue reading “Students Attend Annual MLK Assembly”

Two Students Win Prestigious OSR Award

Rebecca Marcus ’18 and Marina Tosi ‘18 have joined the short list of Mamaroneck High School students who have been honored as Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholars (formerly known as semifinalists). The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest science and math research competition for high school students. It is incredibly prestigious. With over 1800 annual applicants, there is an extensive application process, including recommendations from OSR teacher, Mr. Garbarino, letters from mentors, standardized test scores, essays about their research, plans after college and more. Marcus and Tosi are two of the three hundred students across the country who have been named as Scholars, and they receive a 2,000 dollar award, along with an additional 2,000 dollars going to their high schools. Continue reading “Two Students Win Prestigious OSR Award”

NYT Columnist Charles Blow Speaks at Hommocks

At a packed auditorium at Hommocks Middle School, in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, The Larchmont Mamaroneck Humane Society hosted New York Times columnist, Charles Blow. In an impassioned address, Blow spoke about the life and words of Martin Luther King Jr. and reflected on ongoing racism in America.

Blow’s view is that while many think MLK’s greatest speech was his “I Have a Dream” speech – which was full of optimism, religion, and patriotism –his later speeches, in which he offered a less hopeful version of America were more consequential. Mr. Blow discussed MLK’s later speech at Stanford, where he talked about the “other” America, and the rigidity of American racism and economic inequality being tied to racism. Blow acknowledged that addressing and overcoming the systemic racism spoken about by MLK is not an easy task. Continue reading “NYT Columnist Charles Blow Speaks at Hommocks”

MAMARONECK HIGH SCHOOL MODEL CONGRESS DOMINATES AT YALE CONFERENCE

On Thursday, November 30th, 15 MHS Model Congress students left for Yale University to compete at the 24th annual Yale Model Congress Conference. Over the next few days, students debated topics from cyber security to nuclear weapon protocols. There were over 700 students in attendance, from 34 schools across the nation. One of the club’s presidents, Jordan Steinberg ‘18, said, “It’s a great place for discussion with people coming from all over the country and all types of schools.” The conference was a great way for students to debate important political issues and express their opinions.   Continue reading “MAMARONECK HIGH SCHOOL MODEL CONGRESS DOMINATES AT YALE CONFERENCE”

ACT Assembly Impacts Students

The week before Thanksgiving, the Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors at Mamaroneck High School attended an assembly where they met motivational speaker Kevin Wanzer. Unlike previous assemblies, Mr. Wanzer took a comedic approach to discussing important issues in a school environment, such as reaching out to help peers in need. Kevin Wanzer has 34 years of experience in inspirational speaking and has connected with audiences all over the world with over 4,000 speeches. Through several engaging anecdotes, Kevin spread his message of “finding the funny” in every situation. This can be difficult lesson for high school students to understand, and it left a significant impact on all in attendance. Continue reading “ACT Assembly Impacts Students”

HMX Bullying Report: Is It Accurate?

While most people associate “fake news” with its ongoing presence in national politics and the mainstream media, incorrect reporting can exist on all levels of media. This is evident in a News 12 reporting of a recent audit done by the New York State Comptroller of 20 New York State schools.

Their story, a segment just under two minutes in length, claimed that five schools in the audit were found to be “not reporting bullying properly to the state.” The schools listed included Ramapo High School, Newburgh Free Academy, Saunders Trades and Technical High School, Lincoln High School, and Mamaroneck’s very own Hommocks Middle School. Continue reading “HMX Bullying Report: Is It Accurate?”

Major Gym Renovations Completed

Renovations of MHS’ athletic facilities were completed in September after five months of construction and five years of planning. Bari Suman, the athletics director, led community tours of the new spaces on October 17, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

According to Project Manager Stephen Brugge, the work is “substantially complete,” aside from a few “B list” items that are possible because the project finished under budget.

The facilities are already being used by sports teams and PE classes, and may soon be open to students during the school day. “The dream is that kids can come down after school and work out,” Mr. Toombs said, adding that clubs would also be able to meet there at lunch.

Designing the spaces began years ago. “We all brought different things to the conversation,” Mr. Toombs said, “and the administration was flexible.”

“In the end it would have been better if we built a stand-alone building, but that was not an option because really there was not enough land,” Toombs related. The only expansion was to seal up a cubby on the wall outside the Palmer gym, so unfortunately the new spaces came at the expense of the locker rooms, which were shrunk considerably. Continue reading “Major Gym Renovations Completed”

Students Participate in “Movember”

“A man without a mustache is a man without a soul” — Confucius

No Shave November, also known as Movember, is an event held each year to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues, particularly prostate and testicular cancers. The premise is that from November 1st-30th people do not shave or sport a mustache. People set up fundraisers and competitions for Movember, and donate the money to various charities dedicated to men’s health issues. Most importantly, No Shave November brings significant awareness to a serious issue. Continue reading “Students Participate in “Movember””