2 Winter 2014
NEWS FROM OUR HEAD

CONTENTS
SCHOOL NEWS:
York 45th Anniversary Montage
News From Our Head
News From Associate Head
Class ...
NEWS FROM THE ASSOCIATE HEAD OF SCHOOL
January 2014
Dear York Prep Community:
It is safe to say I have been in school as f...
Class of 2014

T

his year’s seniors began college classes and private counseling last January 2013. We believe that their...
We are excited to begin working with your child and hope we all have a great 2014-2015 College Season. Ms. Rooney and
I ar...
CLASS OF 2014 COLLEGE APPLICATIONS
Adelphi University*

Goucher College

American University*

Hampshire College

Buffalo ...
York Prep Completes Middle States Accreditation Process
Middle States Coordinator: Alicia Weschler

W

hen York Prep hoste...
Upcoming Dates
February 5:
February 5:
February 6:
February 14:
Feb. 17-21:
February 24:
February 28:
March 3:
March 5:
Ma...
York Scholars 2014
Director of the Scholars Program: Paul Sturm

S

even students in the 2013 graduating class successfull...
The following is a three-year course schedule for York scholars graduating in May 2014:
10th Grade:

11th Grade:

12th Gra...
York Technology Infrastructure Upgrades Highlights
Director of Technology: Richard Abba

T

he summer of 2013 began with s...
Peer Tutoring
American Sign Language Teacher: Kimberly Braun

T

he Peer Tutoring Program pairs top students in academic a...
Beekeeping Club
Advisor: Janet Rooney

T

he Beekeeping Club is in its fourth year at York Prep since it became legal once...
Of The Students, By The Students, For The Students: York Honors Lincoln and Kennedy
History Teacher: Eric Tull

Y

ork Pre...
Law Symposium at the NYC Bar Association
History Teacher: Michael Roper

T

he New York City Bar Association holds an annu...
Model United Nations at York Prep School
History Department Chair and History Teacher: Heather Marshall-Fleenor

Y

ork Pr...
History on the March: Michael Roper’s N.Y.C. Tours
Edited by History Teacher: Eric Tull

E

very school year (and even dur...
Writers by the Park Summer Workshop
English Teacher: Ethan Pennington

F

or the third straight year, motivated students t...
Yearbook Club
Advisors: Maria Alegre, Wendy Jin and Dan Ashwood

T

he Yearbook Club is in full swing this year, and it se...
English Teacher Authors New Book
English Teacher: Ms. Leah Umansky

E

nglish teacher Ms. Leah Umansky’s new book, Don Dre...
York Prep Animal Rescue Foundation
Advisors: Jessica Barrish and Nicole Kalisz

E

nglish teacher Ms. Jessica Barrish had ...
The Performing Arts at York – 45 Years Strong and Counting!
Performing Arts Chair: Fiona Hutchison

A

s we celebrate York...
International Buffet and Musical Celebration
Performing Arts Department Chair: Fiona Hutchinson

T

he International Buffe...
York Prep Goes to Broadway!
Performing Arts Department Chair: Fiona Hutchinson

T

his year marks the first time the York ...
Last Spring’s Laugh-A-Minute Broadway Comedy: Moon Over Buffalo
Performing Arts Department Chair: Fiona Hutchinson

T

he ...
York Prep’s Broadway Club Goes Off-Broadway to See Legendary Performer Bill Bowers!
Performing Arts Department Chair: Fion...
28 Winter 2014
Glee Club
Advisor: Thomas Hodges

S

tudents are invited to join Glee Club and come and sing every Wednesday during
lunch....
30 Winter 2014
Ukulele Club
Advisor: Adam Chernick

T

he Ukulele Club kicked off the year quite harmoniously (pun intended). The
talente...
French Cinema Club
French Teacher: Jennifer Campo

T

he French Cinema Club had its first excursion to Lincoln Plaza Cinem...
Chess and Games Club
Advisor: Theodore Preston and Taviel Guren

T

he Chess and Games Club meets on Mondays during lunch ...
34 Winter 2014
Out Loud Club
Advisors: Jon Serri & Ethan Pennington

E

nglish teachers Mr. Jon Serri and Mr. Ethan Pennington have organ...
Student Art Exhibition at the Child Mind Institute
Upper School Dean and Visual Arts Department Chair: Robin Stark

T

he ...
York Prep Intramurals
Athletic Director and Chair of Physical Education: Kimberly Matyko

M

any students bypass pizza and...
FACULTY NEWS
Baby News

W

e are delighted to share the news of the arrival of the newest additions to the York Prep famil...
York News 39
ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
Athletic Program 2013-2014
Athletic Director and Chair of Physical Education: Kimberly Matyko

Y

ork ...
ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT
Swim Club members continue to make their mark, splashing at the
Aqua Center with club advisor Ms. Joyc...
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter
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York Prep Winter 2014 Newsletter

  1. 1. 2 Winter 2014
  2. 2. NEWS FROM OUR HEAD CONTENTS SCHOOL NEWS: York 45th Anniversary Montage News From Our Head News From Associate Head Class of 2014 - Class of 2015 Class of 2014 Early Decision Class of 2013 Colleges Attending Class of 2014 College Applications Middle States Accreditation Process Upcoming Dates York Scholars 2014 Pre-Scholars 8th and 9th Grades Junior Scholars Program York Technology Infrastructure The Health Office Peer Tutoring Adolescent Girls' Group Jump Start Coffee Talks TRIPS & TOURS: Of The Students, By The Students Timmy, Our Mellow Mascot! Law Symposium at NYC New York Historical Society Michael Roper's NYC Tours CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS Beekeeping Club Model United Nations York Celebrates Superbowl X! Writers by the Park Seniors Attend Metropolitan Opera Yearbook Club The Paw Genesis English Teacher Authors New Book Science Club Ambassador Club Animal Rescue Foundation The Performing Arts at York International Buffet & Musical Community Service Club York Prep Goes to Broadway Prom Committee Laugh-a-Minute: Moon Over Buffalo Broadway Club Musical Celebration Musical Celebration Montage Glee Club Rock Band Student Government Organization Halloween at York Prep Montage Ukulele Club Gay-Straight Alliance WYRK French Cinema Club Same Sky Club Set Building Club Chess and Games Club Book/Word Games Club Dance Club York Prep School Dance Montage Out Loud Club Sports Culture Club Student Art Exhibition York Prep Intramurals Rock Climbing Club Swim Club Faculty News Tennis Club Field Day Field Day Montage ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT Athletic Program 2013-2014 Students Hear The Message: Get Fit! Girls' Varsity Volleyball Girls' Junior Varsity Volleyball Boys' Varsity Volleyball Girls'/Boys’ Varsity Soccer Girls'/Boys’ Varsity Basketball Boys' Junior Varsity Basketball Boys' Middle School Basketball Boys'/Girls' Varsity Cross Country Boys'/Girls' V. Outdoor Track & Field Boys'/Girls' V. Indoor Track & Field Boys'/Girls' M.S. Spring Track Boys' Varsity Baseball Boys' Middle School Baseball York Prep Varsity Golf Team Our Faculty & Administration Thanks For The Memories 2 3 4 5 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 13 15 15 16 16 18 14 17 17 19 19 20 20 20 21 21 21 22 23 24 24 25 25 26 27 27 28 29 29 29 30 31 31 31 32 32 32 33 33 33 34 35 35 36 37 37 37 38 38 38 39 40 42 42 43 43 44 45 45 46 46 47 47 48 48 49 49 50 51 January 2014 Dear Parents, Alumni, and Friends, This 45th Anniversary Edition of our newsletter, as all of our past issues, focuses on the stars of our school—our students—reflecting their energy and the joy of their activities at York Prep School. The fact that this is our 45th year has not affected the day-to-day life of our school. We still continue to innovate and expand the offerings for our students; and my wife and I, bolstered by a wonderful administration and faculty, feel as passionate and involved as we did back in 1969. We were particularly gratified by the visit of the evaluation team of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in October and their subsequent report, which could not have been more complimentary. What most pleased me was the first line of their observations on the Profile of the School, which described us as having “a clear sense of mission and purpose.” I agree! Looking ahead, we are adding 50 wireless ports, equipping every room and space in the school to sustain our technological progress. It is noticeable, with our universal use of interactive whiteboards, that there is no more chalk in our classrooms. The air is cleaner. It must be more difficult to discern who might be a school teacher, now that we no longer have chalk on our sleeves or those purple ink stains on our fingers from the old mimeograph machines. Edline continues to be the mainstay of our weekly communication with our parent body. I am proud of the faculty’s diligence in maintaining this time-consuming but invaluable tool which so helps our students with classwork organization and keeps parents informed. This is the tenth year of my “Headmaster’s Thoughts,” and to my readers, a few of whom have loyally read all one hundred plus of them, I welcome and am grateful for your feedback and patience. This year, Mr. Art Viscusi has joined us as Associate Head of School, and I am grateful for his experience and support. He and I share a very small office, which is only possible because we spend so little time in it and so much time out and about in the school. And what we see, apart from well-run classes, is the abundance of activities described in this newsletter. In fact, we hope it adequately conveys a sense of our days at York. Finally, to all of you who have entrusted us with your children: Thank you! Your family and our school form a collaborative team, working towards the betterment of the students. We, at York Prep, look forward to many years of association and friendship. Sincerely, Ronald P. Stewart Head York News 3
  3. 3. NEWS FROM THE ASSOCIATE HEAD OF SCHOOL January 2014 Dear York Prep Community: It is safe to say I have been in school as far back as I can remember. I went from grammar school to junior high to high school, to undergraduate and then back to grammar school where, this time, I was at the front of the room. While teaching 3rd and 4th graders about science and history, I also remained a student and earned my graduate degree in educational administration. My third grade students at the time thought it was fascinating that their teacher was also a student. In 2001, my wife and I decided to move back to New York after living in Cleveland for five years. (It really is tough being a Yankee fan in Cleveland!) I then taught for 12 years at an all-girls middle and high school here in the city. During that time, I was also the Assistant Middle School Head. I now find myself returning to middle school and high school, and I realize that I don’t think I will ever (or will ever want to) leave school. This past summer I had the opportunity to join a new family. My introduction to this family was welcoming and friendly as all receptions are. However, I knew right away there was something different, something intangible that I could not yet describe. As I continued to interact with my new family members throughout the summer months, what I could not identify at first became clear to me. The family that had welcomed me so warmly and cordially was genuine! I was surrounded by family members who truly cared about each other and the well-being of their family unit. They worked tirelessly, putting the needs of other constituents before their own. Collaboration was not just a word for them, but a creed. Decisions were made, but they were never made in a vacuum. After consulting other members, they then made a decision together that would have positive results on the most important members of the family, the children. Seven months since my acceptance into this school, I am extremely proud to say that I am a member of the York Prep family. The excitement, energy, and passion for learning that I encounter each and every day in the halls of 40 West 68th Street create an uplifting experience for me. I have taken the past few months to try and absorb as much of the York Prep culture as I possibly can. From thrilling and nail-biting athletic events to uplifting musical performances and plays, I have quickly come to realize that York is an amazing and unique community with dedicated students and amazing faculty and staff members. Every person here is an individual and is treated as such. We all bring different talents, qualities, and experiences, and everyone is a valued member of the community. As I look towards the future, I am excited to bring my experience and skills to the York family and—together with students, faculty, staff, and parents—to continue to make York “an intimate place to learn…” All the best, Art Viscusi Associate Head of School 4 Winter 2014
  4. 4. Class of 2014 T his year’s seniors began college classes and private counseling last January 2013. We believe that their intuitive talent is extraordinary, but their curiosity led to nervous “over-shopping” and anxiety. This coupled with a really difficult roll out of The Common Application IV added to the already tense “final stretch” pressure. But we stuck with it, and Ms. Rooney and a few techno-seniors worked out all the glitches, so our students met all the original deadlines. Bravo, thanks to Ms. Rooney! Sixty-two percent (62%) of the seniors applied ED (see Edline College Guidance for explanation) to college. Almost 100% of the seniors also sent at least one EA, and many sent all their applications EA. We are still convinced ED applications are the best way to improve a student’s chances at their top choice. The results began rolling in mid-November from some schools (not all Common App!), but the excitement really ramped up by early to mid-December when decisions came rolling in! We are proud to list our Early Acceptances (both ED and EA) as of January 15 as well as our whole “College Applications” list. Congratulations to all of you who know where you are going next fall! Bravo! Good luck to those of you who were deferred. We will continue to watch and “nudge” admissions on your behalf! Be patient, and whatever you do, keep studying because colleges can reverse their decisions if your grades drop 10% or more. Really! Good luck, Seniors and Senior Parents! See you at Graduation! Class of 2015 T his year, College Guidance for Juniors began a month earlier than ever before on December 12, 2013. We hope this has established a calming atmosphere for the approach to the senior year college process. We always stress, without overconfidence (!), that our program has a proven track record of success, and that parents who trust us have much more pleasant junior and senior years. College Guidance class began in earnest after Christmas vacation. We must impress upon you that our entire collection of junior and senior notes is on Edline in the College Guidance folder. Please take the time to look over these two sections to see how comprehensive we are. Please try to find your answers at least once before calling or emailing! Also, please read all emails we send you as well as nag letters. They really do help if you print and display them and urge your student to check off steps taken in a timely manner. We ask all junior parents to email us your important questions, to answer our requests quickly and fully, and to tell your student to stop by any time to ask questions. This is the beginning of the transition from passive child to proactive adult: the student is our client!! Please keep emails short and specific! Please also take the time to decide on this summer’s activity—preferably a college program and not a teen-tour or even a “volunteer or community service” teen-tour. Visiting colleges with your child should not begin too early, so you do not overraise expectations. Please let us make our “long list” early in the new year, then plan some travelling. Keep reality in mind. Check the website for our suggestions with your child to try to find a good fit. Keep looking, but be finished by September 2014. By orientation in September, 90% of students should have visited at least 8 colleges and decided on ED for one. Of course, nothing is written in stone, but beginning your search after school starts is always a bad way to begin the toughest academic year. We will continue to cover SAT vs. ACT, test tutoring, test-optional colleges, students’ passions and enthusiasm, and much more for the juniors … just a few points! This is a team effort; we urge you to let us work with your child and with the colleges. Parents who “over-hover” do a disservice to us all and often offend their colleges if they get involved! This also includes making appointments for interviews and signing up for SATs and ACTs. Your child needs to learn to be independent in this process and realize they can do this! York News 5
  5. 5. We are excited to begin working with your child and hope we all have a great 2014-2015 College Season. Ms. Rooney and I are an unrivalled team when it comes to sound and creative college guidance with amazing results. We pledge to continue our strong efforts to find every individual’s “perfect fit” for college. Jayme Stewart Director of College Guidance 1970-2014 CLASS OF 2014 EARLY DECISION ACCEPTANCES American University George Washington University Syracuse University Bennington College Georgetown University (def.) University of Miami (def.) Brandeis University Ithaca College (5) University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Brown University Johns Hopkins University School (def.) Columbia University (def.) Lehigh University University of Rochester Dickinson College Muhlenberg College (3) Vassar College CLASS OF 2013 COLLEGES ATTENDING American University Hofstra University Skidmore College Baruch College Hunter College Syracuse University Baton Rouge Community College Indiana University Bloomington Tulane University Bentley University Ithaca College University of Alabama Boston University Johns Hopkins University University of Arizona Brooklyn College Lafayette College University of Colorado, Boulder College of Charleston Landmark College University of Delaware Colorado College LIM College University of Florida Cornell University Manhattan College University of Redlands CW Post University Marist College University of Rhode Island Drew University Marymount College University of San Francisco Drexel University MICA Maryland Institute Wheaton College Fordham University College of Art Franklin & Marshall College Muhlenberg College George Washington University New York University, Stern School Goucher College Hobart and William Smith Colleges 6 Winter 2014 of Business Seton Hall University
  6. 6. CLASS OF 2014 COLLEGE APPLICATIONS Adelphi University* Goucher College American University* Hampshire College Buffalo State*, Babson University* Harvard College University of Buffalo*, Bard College Highpoint University Binghamton*, Barnard College* Hobart and William Smith Colleges* Farmingdale*, Bates College Hofstra University* New Paltz*, Bennington College Indiana University* Oneonta, Bentley University* Ithaca College* Purchase*, Berklee College of Music Johns Hopkins University* Stony Brook Boston University Johnson & Wales University Syracuse University* Bowdoin College Lafayette College Temple University Brandeis University* Lehigh University* Towson University Brown University Lewis and Clark College Tulane University* Carnegie Mellon University Loyola Marymount University* Union College Catholic University Lynn University University of Arizona* Claremont McKenna College Manhattan College University of California - Berkeley, Clark University* Marist College Colgate University McDaniel College University of Colorado, Boulder* College of Charleston Michigan State University University of Connecticut Colorado College Muhlenberg College* University of Delaware* Columbia University New England College University of Denver* Connecticut College* New York University* University of Hartford* CUNY - Baruch*, City Northeastern University* University of Massachusetts, Amherst Curry College* Pace University University of Miami* CW Post Penn State University University of Michigan* Drew University* Philadelphia University University of Rhode Island* Drexel University* Pitzer College* University of Richmond Eckerd College* Purdue University University of Southern California Elon University* Quinnipiac University University of Tampa Embry Riddle University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute University of Vermont Emory University* Rochester Institute of Technology* University of Wisconsin Fairfield University Rochester University* Vassar College* Flagler College* Roger Williams University* Vanderbilt University* Fordham University* Rollins University* Washington University (MI) Franklin & Marshall College* Sacred Heart University Wheaton College* Franklin Pierce University Skidmore College* Whittier College* George Washington University* Stetson University Worcester Polytechnic Institute Gettysburg College Stevens Institute of Technology SUNY - Albany*, Irvine, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara (* = more than 1) York News 7
  7. 7. York Prep Completes Middle States Accreditation Process Middle States Coordinator: Alicia Weschler W hen York Prep hosted the Middle States Visiting Committee from October 28 through October 31, the event represented the climax of a 19-month endeavor. Starting in March 2012, the school conducted an in-depth self-study of instruction and organizational standards set by the Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSACESS). The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association since 1973. Every ten years (now every seven years, according to new MSA-CESS regulations), the school community evaluates the extent to which it fulfills the Middle States’ standards for accreditation with regard to education programs, general school operations, and management activities. The results of this assessment then provide the foundation for formulating goals to foster school improvement. Accreditation is granted based on the degree of standards compliance and the articulation of objectives and action plans that set a course for growth and advancement in student performance and in the school’s capacity to effect that growth. As the culminating activity, a five-person group of educators from other Middle States accredited schools visited York Prep for three-and-a-half days. After reading our self-assessment, the Visiting Committee got a first-hand look at the school through interviews and class observations and made very positive comments about the school’s commendable efforts and accomplishments. In the spring we will receive our official notice of re-accreditation. We look forward to receiving the final draft of the Visiting Team’s report. The initial draft that was shared with us was extraordinarily positive. Here are excerpts from the oral report to the York Prep faculty and staff on October 31, 2013, delivered by Mr. Dave Mullen, Chair of the Validation Team, at the end of their visit: “York Preparatory School is a unique and precious community, providing a safe and supportive academic environment for young people to gain confidence both as students and as human beings, and helping them move on to the next stage in their lives in college. York is more than a place; it is a culture where every student feels respected, valued, and supported… Recognizing the unique talents and difficulties of each individual, your school appropriately equips and challenges the social, emotional, and intellectual growth of your students. York Prep displays quiet confidence as your effective pedagogy turns what might otherwise have been frustration into success…” “The validation team sensed that York Prep exhibits a consistent stability, accountability, excitement and confidence. The School affirmed its mission, philosophy, and beliefs. The mission permeates every aspect of the school’s service to young people…” “Our team was impressed with the differentiated instruction you offer through the structure of the tracking system, which appropriately challenges each of your students. We commend you for the flexibility you all show in placement, instruction, and assessment of your students…” “Our five-member team has unanimously concluded that York Prep will satisfy the twelve Standards for Accreditation and has appropriate strategic objectives and planning processes to guide decision-making over the next seven years…” “One member of our team used the term “awesome” to describe your school. You do what you say you do. You not only remove roadblocks, you accept these young people as they are and show them what they can be. You are committed to making your objectives realities. You are guiding your students toward becoming healthy and capable adults. You change kids’ lives, and you save kids’ lives. Keep doing what you are doing…” For the full text of Mr. Dave Mullen’s oral report, please visit the www.yorkprep.org and click Middle States Visiting Team Oral Report under News. 8 Winter 2014
  8. 8. Upcoming Dates February 5: February 5: February 6: February 14: Feb. 17-21: February 24: February 28: March 3: March 5: March 7: March 8: March 9: March 14: March 17-28: March 31: April 2: April 6: April 10-11: April 12: April 11: April 15-16: April 18: April 30: May 2: May 3: May 4: May 5-8: May 7: May 8: May 9: May 16: May 16: May 20: May 21: May 21: May 22-23: May 26: May 27-28: May 28: May 29-30: June 2-4: June 5: June 7: June 9: July 31: Deadline - Documentation for Extended Time SAT/ACT 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. Mr. Roper’s NYC Lecture Series: New York City and the American Revolution - Room 309 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Out Loud Club Winter Showcase in Room 405 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Jump Start Coffee Talk Mid-Winter Break - No Classes Classes Resume Quarter 3 Ends for Seniors Quarter 4 Begins for Seniors 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. Mr. Roper’s NYC Lecture Series: Erie Canal & the Birth of the “Empire State” - Room 309 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Parent-Teacher Conferences - No Classes SAT Daylight Savings, Set Clocks Forward One Hour Quarter 3 Ends for Grades 6-11 Spring Break - No Classes Classes Resume, Quarter 4 Begins for Grades 6-11 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. Mr. Roper’s NYC Lecture Series: The Civil War and New York City - Room 309 10:00 a.m. Mr. Roper’s Tour of “Little Old New Amsterdam” - Meet at the clock in Grand Central Terminal 7:00 p.m. Spring Musical: “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA, 5 West 63rd Street 2:00 p.m. Spring Musical: “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA, 5 West 63rd Street 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Jump Start Coffee Talk Passover - No Classes Good Friday - No Classes Field Day - Mandatory Attendance Last Day of Senior Classes, Quarter 4 Ends for Seniors SAT 10:00 a.m. Mr. Roper’s Tour of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn - Meet at the clock in Grand Central Terminal Senior Final Exams 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. Mr. Roper’s NYC Lecture Series: Jane Jacobs v. Robert Moses - Room 309 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Evening of the Arts Make-Up Day 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Jump Start Coffee Talk Prom 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Graduation Rehearsal 1:00 p.m. Dismissal 3:00 p.m. Graduation Review for Final Exams Memorial Day - No Classes Review for Final Exams Noon Dismissal, Last Day of Classes, Quarter 4 Ends for Grades 6-11, Awards Assembly 2nd Semester Final Exams - Grades 6-11 2nd Semester Final Exams - Grades 6-11 Make-Up day SAT Summer School Begins Summer School Ends York News 9
  9. 9. York Scholars 2014 Director of the Scholars Program: Paul Sturm S even students in the 2013 graduating class successfully completed the York Prep Scholars Program, a three-year sequence which addresses the needs of York’s most academically able students with a rigorous and exciting curriculum. These students received diplomas indicating they graduated with honors. The Scholars Program aims both to deepen and expand students' understanding of their standard honors curriculum and to introduce new and stimulating ideas, concepts, and themes. Units on such topics as neuroscience, Italian Renaissance art, statistics, and Shakespeare are presented independently in mini-courses taught by members of the faculty who focus on their particular intellectual passions and specialties. Entrance to the program is selective: 10-15% of our sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to join. Participating students satisfy certain general criteria as well as develop individual projects. Scholars Program students attend two ongoing special seminars each quarter, meeting once per week. Those who engage in the whole sequence will have completed 22 seminars by the time of their graduation. In addition, senior scholars meet periodically with Mr. Sturm, in a seminar devoted to developing their Senior Scholars’ Projects. Most of the graduating scholars had completed the full three years of the challenging enrichment program, which consistently receives highly positive feedback from previous scholar graduates. Clearly, the program offers our most academically able students the opportunity, the motivation, and the support to work at the upper range of their potential. The best part is that they seem to be having a good deal of fun doing so. A special luncheon ceremony the day before graduation marked the outstanding achievements of this year’s senior scholars. Here are their names and titles of their projects: $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Matthew Cowen-Green – An Analysis of Four Seminal Computer Programming Languages Adriana Irizarry – Exploring Three Major Fatal Diseases in America Isaac Kassin – The Housing Bubble and Its Impact on the 2008 Financial Crisis En Sok Kim – An Effective Business Plan Is Essential to Your Future: A Case Study of Three American Companies Jeremy Losak – The Bernie Madoff Scandal and Its Effect on the New York Mets Olivia Matticoli – The Distinction between Recreational and Elite Athletes from the Point of View of Sports Psychology Samuel Weintraub – A Mathematical Inquiry into Historical Codes and Code Breaking This year, in addition to established classes, we are offering some exciting new seminars: An Introduction to Fractals (12th Grade), Introducing Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats (10th Grade), The Golden Ratio (11th Grade), An Introduction to the History of Art I and II (10th and 11th Grades), Literature from the Spanish Civil War (10th Grade), and Exploring Accents and Dialects (12th Grade). York remains very proud of its scholars, and the staff continues to take great satisfaction in watching them stretch their academic and creative muscles. In addition to the intrinsic benefits of their enhanced curriculum, our scholars also receive a gratifying degree of recognition in the form of college acceptances. Our graduated scholars have attended or are now attending such schools as Barnard College, Brandeis University, Brown University, Colgate University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, MIT, NYU-Tisch, Oberlin College, Pomona College, Stanford University, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Pennsylvania, and Williams College. Go Scholars! 10 Winter 2014
  10. 10. The following is a three-year course schedule for York scholars graduating in May 2014: 10th Grade: 11th Grade: 12th Grade: Session 1 1) Figures of Speech 2) The History of Sound Recording Session 2 1) Selected Topics in Philosophy 2) Matrices and Systems of Equations Session 3 Performing Shakespeare (double session) Session 4 1)The Prince by Machiavelli 2)The History and Significance of Latin Session 1 1) Art of the Italian Renaissance I 2) Wuthering Heights Session 2 1) Considering Evolution 2) Introduction to Music Theory Session 3 1) Teaching Science I 2) Multi-Variable Systems of Equations Session 4 1) Teaching Science II 2) Lincoln at Cooper Union Session 1 1) An Introduction to Fractals I 2) Art of the Italian Renaissance II Session 2 1) An Introduction to Fractals II 2) Dada, Surrealism, and Fantasy Session 3 1) Senior Thesis Seminar 2) Exploring Accents and Dialects Pre-Scholars—8th and 9th Grades Y ork Prep introduced the Scholars Program in September 2003; its enrichment curriculum addresses the needs of our most able and committed students. Currently, the Pre-Scholars Program mirrors the Upper School program in that there are two special seminars per quarter for those 8th and 9th graders whom members of the faculty have identified as among the most able in their grade. Each seminar meets during the second semester at either 8:00 a.m. or at lunchtime. All participants are challenged to do their best, and they receive a great deal of support and encouragement to do so. The Pre-Scholars classes offer opportunities for students to respond creatively to high-level material. Although participation in the Pre-Scholars Program does not guarantee entrance into the regular Scholars Program, it is excellent preparation, and it has its own intrinsic educational benefits. The Pre-Scholar seminars for the 2014 spring semester are: 8th Grade 9th Grade 1) Reading and Writing Children's Literature – Ms. Farkas and Mrs. McKinney Mondays at lunchtime in Room 217 2) Google Docs+ and International Research – Mrs. Minaudo Fridays at 8:00 a.m. in Room 218 (Computer Lab) 1) Poetry Workshop – Ms. Umansky Mondays at 8:00 a.m. in Room 218 2) Sequences and Series – Ms. Povshko Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m. in Room 217 Junior Scholars Program Director of Enrollment: Elizabeth Norton T his fall saw the advent of York Prep’s Junior Scholars Program for the Middle School. Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are offered a unique set of courses supplementing their regular curriculum. Participants must have at least an 88% average, a good attendance record, and strong effort grades for acceptance into the program. Head of School Ronald Stewart taught the first seminar, “Topics in Philosophy,” which included Dr. Philippa Foot’s famous “Trolleyology” conundrum. Dr. Foot, a contemporary British philosopher, was one of the founders of virtue ethics. World Language Department Chair Ms. Wendy Jin conducted the second seminar, “Mandarin Calligraphy.” The seminars will continue with “Political Philosophy” taught by Associate Head Mr. Art Viscusi and “Poetry” led by English teacher Ms. Leah Umansky. For further information, please contact Elizabeth Norton at enorton@yorkprep.org or 212-362-0400. York News 11
  11. 11. York Technology Infrastructure Upgrades Highlights Director of Technology: Richard Abba T he summer of 2013 began with several construction projects. Among them, the division of Room 206 yielded a new classroom for the Math Department. Previous student locker rooms were converted into an office for the school social therapist and a space for one-to-one student-teacher conferences. The new Health Office was constructed on the second floor, and the Copier Room—equipped with two new, large, fast copiers—was moved to a more central location on the third floor. All of these spaces were wired to support network access, telephones, and speakers. We were just getting started! No chalkboards remained in the building after dry erase boards replaced the last of them. These boards, with the installation of Epson interactive projectors, became “smartboards” which fulfill a dual function: When used with a stylus or pen, they act as interactive whiteboards and, along with SMART Notebook software, can be used to create educationally engaging lessons. Or, used with dry erase markers, they convert into conventional dry erase boards. The best of both worlds, they are being utilized to great advantage and are in every classroom. Not done yet! Both the second floor Computer Lab and Tech Hall now boast new and updated computers! On the software side, GradeQuick, York’s grading program, is currently Internet-based. Teachers can now access it from anywhere, making it more convenient to get everything entered before the weekly Edline report. But wait, there’s more! A wireless pilot project involves mounting access points throughout the building to integrate all types of wireless devices into our educational program, including the “smartboards.” The potential use of e-textbooks will lighten those enormous student backpacks. The possibilities are limitless! The Health Office School Nurse: Kathleen Sheridan I f you build it, they will come.” This is an ideal description of how the recently added Health Office at York Prep is being received by both students and staff alike. This message made famous more than two decades ago in the film Field of Dreams seems to have hit the nail right on the head. York’s first School Nurse, Ms. Kathleen Sheridan, stated that not only are they coming, they are coming back! While the first visits to the office this fall may have been sparked more by curiosity (on the part of the students) than actual injury, the Health Office now averages between thirty to forty visits on most days for a wide variety of complaints such as athletic injuries, seasonal allergies, flu-type symptoms, and the administration of prescribed medication. In addition, as is common to the population of any school, York Prep has a percentage of students whose individual medical conditions (which include asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and peanut allergies) would directly benefit from access to a school nurse in the event of an emergency. It has been a very busy settling-in phase, between the setting up of the Health Office and becoming acquainted with the York Prep community. Procuring medical records, administering flu shots, and fulfilling NYC Department of Health immunization standards have all gone quite smoothly and have made time fly. The Health Office is located on the second floor of the school and is open Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please contact the Health Office for any questions or concerns either by telephone at (212) 362-0400 Ext. 122 or by email at ksheridan@yorkprep.org. 12 Winter 2014
  12. 12. Peer Tutoring American Sign Language Teacher: Kimberly Braun T he Peer Tutoring Program pairs top students in academic areas with those in need of additional support. Tutors are nominated by their teachers and receive community service hours for their time. Students choose to meet during lunch or after school once a week. Besides having competency in the content area, tutors demonstrate patience and understanding of pedagogy. In the first semester, seventeen pairs were placed across all subject areas. Adolescent Girls’ Group Social Therapist and School Counselor: Evelyn Rowe-Cosentino T he Adolescent Girls’ Group is a didactic, interactive, and task-focused group. The techniques used during the meetings-peer sharing, feedback, mindful meditation, and social self-appraisal—help girls with social-emotional maturation, selfacceptance, communication, and interpersonal competence. The issues addressed include, but are not limited to, emotional/ physical changes such as puberty, stress within relationships, difficulty with self-esteem, social belonging, peer pressure, body image, anxiety, fitting in, finding academic and social success, broadening social and emotional resources, and parental conflict. The group meets once a week during lunch and is open to all girls. Jump Start Coffee Talks Jump Start Department Chair: Brittany McKinney T he Jump Start Coffee Talks are a series of informal get-togethers sponsored by the Jump Start Department and tailored expressly for parents of students in the program. During the informal presentations parents can meet each other and discuss issues pertinent to their child’s education. The purpose of the presentations is to promote a joint effort between home and school to support children in the Jump Start Program. Our first speaker, Susan Luger, spoke to parents about her educational consulting firm. The second presentation focused on developing and maintaining effective study habits. Upcoming topics include Technology Resources for Learning, Finishing the School Year off Strong, and Avoiding Summer Regression. Please check Edline for additional news and updates. We look forward to seeing parents of students in the program at upcoming presentations! York News 13
  13. 13. Beekeeping Club Advisor: Janet Rooney T he Beekeeping Club is in its fourth year at York Prep since it became legal once again to have an apiary in the borough of Manhattan. While the hives are quite dormant during the cold winter months, the Beekeeping Club was busy earlier this fall transplanting roses, mums, and other fall flowers to provide some nourishment in addition to what was left blooming in Central Park. This year, Ms. Janet Rooney contacted Mr. Chris Waruch, who specializes in setting up rooftop gardens, to consult with the club as to what fall and spring flowers and vegetables would best support the bees. Mr. Andrew Cote returned to York Prep in the fall to give a presentation on the type of bees York has and to give newcomers to the club other general information. Mr. Cote has been a professional beekeeper for over 30 years and is very well known in his field. He was and still is very instrumental in maintaining our hives along with custodian Mr. Luis Arias, who has many hives of his own in the Dominican Republic. The club will meet more regularly in the spring when planters arrive for the garden. We will also be installing more hives and teaching students to collect and harvest the honey. The club would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Stewart for their generosity in supplying brand new bee suits and materials needed to maintain our rooftop garden and apiary. By the way, did you know that: $ York bees are Italian honey bees and are among the least aggressive. $ There are over 258 types of “feral” bees in NYC. $ There are three different types of bees within a hive: the Queen Bee lays the eggs (2,000 eggs a day) and determines the gender of a bee; the Worker Bees, which are females and make up 99% of the hive’s population; and the Drones, which are males that mate and then die. $ Bees cannot enter another hive other than their own or they will be immediately killed. $ If a queen is not performing up to a hive’s standards, the hive commits regicide (yikes!) $ Bees have two stomachs, one for digestion and one for pollen. For more information about York Prep’s apiary, see Ms. Rooney in the College Guidance Office on the second floor. Come join us! 14 Winter 2014
  14. 14. Of The Students, By The Students, For The Students: York Honors Lincoln and Kennedy History Teacher: Eric Tull Y ork Prep’s History Department commemorated the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863) and the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s tragic death (November 22, 1963) at the Christian Science Auditorium on November 19. Grades 8 through 12 attended the timely event, along with the school administration, faculty, and parents. Although masterfully orchestrated by history teacher Mr. Michael Roper, the students conducted and presented the ceremony almost in its entirety, with seniors Nina Line and Annie Lutwak-Schneider serving as masters of ceremony. Junior Scholars Sarah Calaman, Savannah Sanchez, Ellara Chumashkaeva, Maya Darst-Campbell, William Magee, and Fatimah Amla provided a line-by-line analysis of the 271-word address. Senior Scholars Sean Tarzy, Rosette Zarzar, Alex Butler, Deianni Galloway, and Matthew Wang commented on the content, context, and legacy of Lincoln’s immortal words, followed by a recitation of the full speech with a guitar accompaniment. To honor one who gave a “full measure of devotion” to preserve the freedoms of which Lincoln spoke, S.G.O. President Jackson Potter presented an authentic 48-star flag to Mr. Morty Wernick, a World War II combat veteran who landed at Normandy Beach on D-Day and helped liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp. Mr. Wernick is the grandfather of York alumnus Henry Theofan and has been a guest speaker in Mr. Roper’s class on many occasions. Ms. Christina Schlesinger, former York Prep history teacher and daughter of the late Mr. Arthur Schlesinger, famed historian and special assistant to President John F. Kennedy, recounted her memories of the fateful day when her father’s beloved mentor was killed in Dallas, Texas. Also honored, but unfortunately unable to attend, were Mr. Felix Fibich, a Holocaust survivor; and Mrs. Elizabeth Moynihan, an architectural historian and political campaign manager. Both Mr. Fibich and Mrs.Moynihan have given their time to enrich our students’ understanding of the past. Even as the assembly reached its peak of solemnity and drama, junior history students Molly Model, Eddie Haddad, Daniel Durocher, Isabel Greenberg, Sam Kay, Aliza Bergner, Lucas Mollod, Mohamed Diaw, and Jordan Isaacs recited a series of witty comments by President Kennedy, which provoked knowing laughter from the crowd. The original purpose of the occasion was to illuminate the genius and timelessness of Lincoln’s seven-score-and-ten-yearold words. This mission was artfully and respectfully accomplished by our students. Coincidentally, the November 19 anniversary was the birthday of both Mr. Wernick and Ms. Schlesinger. As the audience stood and regaled each with a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday,” history teacher Mr. Eric Tull reflected that the day had been one of “inspiration, humanity, and ironic humor, embodying the personal nature of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy, and the nature of history itself.” Timmy, our “Mellow Mascot!” York News 15
  15. 15. Law Symposium at the NYC Bar Association History Teacher: Michael Roper T he New York City Bar Association holds an annual Constitutional Rights Symposium titled “My Rights, My Nation,” in which high school students gather each fall to apply their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution to real-life scenarios. Three different Supreme Court cases were selected for this year’s discussions; the topics included “Stop, Question, and Frisk Policy,” “Governmental Authority to Eavesdrop on Citizens for Reasons of National Security,” and "Gene Patents.” Mr. Michael Roper’s Constitutional Law and U.S. History classes, totaling thirty participants, attended the symposium held in early November along with students from various local high schools. A number of lawyers and judges simultaneously monitored the discussions, which occurred in several conference rooms at the New York City Bar Association. Each attending student experienced the exciting opportunity to transform into a lawyer for a day and discuss hot topics while interacting with students from other schools. The New-York Historical Society History Teacher: Michael Roper T he New-York Historical Society is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to be immersed in historical knowledge. It is a place where both the young and old can come together to learn about the history of the city as well as presentday America, thriving on the young men and women who visit it every day to see and listen to the stories of the past and connect them to the present. In Mr. Michael Roper’s U.S. History classes, 11th grade students are exposed to this remarkable museum and library. In fact, students must attend at least two lecture programs a year at the Society, although many attend more. Well-known speakers of historical facts and authors are invited to deliver hourlong lectures. Afterwards, the audience has a chance to ask questions regarding the lectures. If one owns a book by the author who is speaking, there is also an opportunity to get the book signed and introduce oneself. Last fall, Kenneth J. Winkle and Harold Holzer, both experts on the Civil War and the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, presented a fascinating lecture. They spoke of Winkle’s book, Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, and had a discussion on how Lincoln was able to turn a city filled with political unrest into “a beacon for the Union.” The New-York Historical Society lectures and exhibits have a lot to offer and are a great way to make students aware of our nation’s rich history. Students do not consider attending these lectures as a mandatory assignment; instead, they look at them as fun, interactive, and unique ways to learn more about history. 16 Winter 2014
  16. 16. Model United Nations at York Prep School History Department Chair and History Teacher: Heather Marshall-Fleenor Y ork Prep’s Model United Nations team is gearing up for another exciting season of competition. The club, with more than 40 members, is hard at work preparing for two conferences this year: The Ivy League Model U.N. Conference at the University of Pennsylvania and the 2014 Spring Conference at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. The Ivy League Model U.N. Conference at the end of January is hands down York Prep’s favorite conference of the year. Hosted by the Internal Affairs Association of the University of Pennsylvania, it always attracts top-notch guest speakers and delegates from all over the world. Last year, the team represented the nations of Mongolia and Senegal. Out of 3,000 competing delegates, York Prep was proud to earn several coveted awards. This year York Prep will represent the nations of Australia and the Marshall Islands. The York Prep Model U.N. team attended the Stuyvesant High School Model U.N. Conference for the first time last season. It was a lively, well-attended conference in New York City held during one weekend in March. If last year is any indication of future success, York Prep will see the members’ hard work and preparation pay off once again. Last year, five members of the team were awarded Best Delegate Awards. “York Prep’s Model U.N. team represents some of the brightest and most committed students at the school,” said faculty advisor Mrs. Heather Marshall-Fleenor. “It is a pleasure to work with these students and to watch them grow personally and academically.” York Celebrates Superbowl X!!! History Teacher: Eric Tull Y ou read correctly: in February of each year, traditionally the day after the NFL Superbowl, the York Prep Pantherdome hosts the Annual York Prep Social Studies Superbowl. 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the tradition, hence, “Superbowl X.” The four high school classes compete fiercely against each other, answering questions about history, geography, government, and current events. The questions, in three different categories of difficulty with point values to match, are posed by Mr. Michael Roper, “History-TourGuide Roper.” New features and new categories of questions are added each year. Winners are presented with bestselling books on a variety of history-related topics. They also earn bragging rights for an entire year. Mr. Roper is assisted by History Department Chair Mrs. Heather Marshall-Fleenor and the history team, while the officiating is covered by the reliable physical education coaches. Last year’s winners, the senior class of 2013 (pictured on the right), beat the sophomore class, but only by a squeaker. The York Superbowl has been won by senior, sophomore, and even freshmen classes, but never by the junior class. Hey, juniors, is 2014 your year? York News 17
  17. 17. History on the March: Michael Roper’s N.Y.C. Tours Edited by History Teacher: Eric Tull E very school year (and even during the summer) York Prep history teacher Mr. Michael Roper, a licensed New York City tour guide, weaves a path and a spell among familiar city streets, unveiling to students, parents, and fellow York teachers the historical riches that live right under their noses. Here is a sampling. Little Old New Amsterdam History Teacher: Michael Roper T he first tour of the school year found Mr. Roper’s hearty band downtown in the area of Manhattan which he calls “Little Old New Amsterdam.” In the “canyons” of the financial district, with the help of imagination, they stood in the midst of what was the original Dutch settlement in North America. Here, too, the first Jewish community in North America began with the settlement of the Sephardic Jewish community in 1654. They admired what is now Federal Hall on Wall Street, where James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights in the first session of Congress and where George Washington was the first ever to be sworn to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution. Green-Wood Cemetery Seniors: Hailey Corrall and Sam Kay M r. Roper and his students explored the star-studded Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn this past fall. Each student researched a historical figure buried there and gave an authoritative presentation at the appropriate gravesite. These figures ranged from the notorious political crook William "Boss" Tweed, who stole billions from New Yorkers during his reign at Tammany Hall, to the beloved "Father of Baseball" Henry Chadwick, who is credited with bringing about the first newspaper coverage of our national pastime. Also featured were famed American stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, worldrenowned composer Leonard Bernstein, and a host of others. The troupe then walked farther back in time and space to the highest point in Brooklyn, site of the Battle of Brooklyn Heights during the American Revolution, to commemorate the lives that had been lost to help create the nation in which we live. Midtown and South Senior: Ascari Chotoosingh A favorite among Mr. Roper's trips is the "Midtown and South" tour, on which students take in America's history from Grand Central Terminal to Astor Place from the 1770s to the 1920s. Stops include Murray Hill, which bears the name of the lady who detained British General Sir William Howe with her social charms so that General George Washington could escape Manhattan with his troops to fight another day. Students also visited the Chrysler Building, built in 1929 by Walter P. Chrysler entirely with his own money; and Union Square, home to statues of four great liberators: Abraham Lincoln, the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington, and Mahatma Ghandi. At Madison Square, Mr. Roper's entourage took in statues of Admiral David Farragut, the first Admiral of the U. S. Navy; and Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Seward, best known for purchasing Alaska (“Seward’s Folly”), thus increasing the land mass of the U.S. by 20%. At the end of the tour, the troupe rested its heels at the appropriately historic location of McSorley’s, the oldest bar/ restaurant in New York City. 18 Winter 2014
  18. 18. Writers by the Park Summer Workshop English Teacher: Ethan Pennington F or the third straight year, motivated students took on a two-week intensive summer workshop called “Writers by the Park: A Literary Arts Studio.” The summer workshop is open to students in Grades 6 through 11 and provides participants with the chance to explore multiple genres of writing within the many resources of Manhattan. This past June English teacher Ms. Leah Umansky led a trip to Poet’s House in Battery Park, where students used the site’s extensive poetry resources to create poems of their own. Students in English teacher Mr. Ethan Pennington’s “News Makers: Creative Journalism” summer seminar sat down with reporter and columnist Jim Dwyer in the midtown offices of The New York Times. The Pulitzer Prize winner met with the students for nearly an hour to discuss his writing process and what it takes to produce two national columns a week. “Our students were a joy to observe,” said seminar instructor Ethan Pennington. “They asked excellent, insightful questions, not just about who and what he has covered, but also about how he organizes his ideas and how he finds his stories.” Seniors Attend Working Rehearsal at the Metropolitan Opera B eing a member of Mr. Ronald Stewart’s Senior Ethics class has unique rewards. Mr. Stewart arranged for the entire 12th grade to attend a dress rehearsal of Puccini’s La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera on January 8. “One of the roles of any school is to expose its students to as many art forms as it can,” said Mr. Stewart. Arriving at the Metropolitan Opera House after the four-block walk from school, the students heard a staff member explain what to expect during a working dress rehearsal, which takes place with full costume and full sets. “I liked the sets of each scene and was amazed how quickly they were able to change the sets,” said Emelia Watson. The seniors, already familiar with the story, followed along with translation subtitles in front of each seat. They marveled at the grandeur and energy of La Bohème; Michelle Francisco said, “I enjoyed the second act because of all the people, festivities, and animals on stage.” The York Prep group took seats in the Grand Tier of one of the world’s foremost opera theaters. “This is an experience I will never take for granted,” said Alex Butler. “Countless people see the opera, but very few get to sit in on a working rehearsal.” “The singing was superb,” said Gayla Kornbluh. “I felt as though I were watching magic happen. Because I am an aspiring actress, watching how they prepare was very interesting and inspirational.” York News 19
  19. 19. Yearbook Club Advisors: Maria Alegre, Wendy Jin and Dan Ashwood T he Yearbook Club is in full swing this year, and it seems the 2014 Legend will be the best one yet! The Yearbook Club is headed by Co-Editors-in-Chief Julia Marzovilla and Matthew Wang, both seniors. Other officers from the senior class include Vice Editors Katie Saint-Vil and Talia Stern; Photography Editors Julia Calaman and Hannajane Prichett; and Art Editors Gayla Kornbluh, Nina Line, and Anny LutwakSchneider. Each senior has been given an entire page in the yearbook to create a photography collage. Parents of seniors were invited to purchase a family page in the yearbook, a longstanding tradition at York Prep. The Paw Advisors: Lee Pinkas and Leah Umansky T he latest issue of York’s school newspaper, The Paw, rolled off the presses in early December. English teachers Ms. Lee Pinkas and Ms. Leah Umansky were pleased to see such an interesting array of topics covered by York reporters. Among the highlights were two technology-related articles and two comics. The issue featured articles by guest writers Julia Slaff and Jeremy Losak, both Paw alumni who are currently freshmen in college. Staff writers and artists include freshman Joe Newman-Getzler; sophomores Max Skidelsky and Dean Zimberg; juniors Eddie Haddad and Jeanette Cohen; and senior Julia Marzovilla. Keep on the lookout for The Paw’s spring 2014 issue! Genesis Advisors: Lee Pinkas and Leah Umansky Y ork Prep is pleased to announce that Genesis, the school’s literary magazine which features poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and art, has been awarded a Silver Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for its 2013 issue. As always, it is thrilling to see such a strong student literary voice here at York. Genesis bestows its own awards as well, and we are excited to announce the winners of the fourth Annual Upper School Contest for 2013: Best Prose -“Fingers Like Lightning” by Julia Marzovilla (12th) Best Artwork -“Floral Silhouettes” by Nina Line (12th) Best Poem -“Madame X” by Samia Finnerty Genesis editors already have received some wonderfully creative submissions for the next issue, to be published in the spring. Students from all grades are encouraged to join and to submit their work! The group meets on Wednesdays at lunch in Room 325. 20 Winter 2014
  20. 20. English Teacher Authors New Book English Teacher: Ms. Leah Umansky E nglish teacher Ms. Leah Umansky’s new book, Don Dreams and I Dream, is due to be published as a chapbook in 2014. The book, inspired by the popular AMC series, Mad Men, will be published by Kattywompus Press (www.kattywompuspress.com). This is Ms. Umansky’s second book. Science Club Advisors: Stephanie Sadeghi and Martin Misiak T he Science Club introduces future scientists to the different fields of science. Members meet twice a month to perform amazing science experiments, while learning at the same time. This year, the club made slime for Halloween and turned pennies into gold (fake gold, that is!). They also looked at their own DNA and put it in a necklace form, witnessed surfactant action in milk with food coloring and soap, tested the presence of CO2 in Bromothymol blue, and made glow sticks. In the latest experiment, students made scientific hypotheses about something they could not directly observe. The goal next semester is to have an egg drop contest. Students will design a contraption to protect an egg from breaking while dropped from various heights. Ambassador Club Advisors: Cathy Minaudo and Elizabeth Norton T eachers and administrators select students from every grade each September to represent the school as York Prep Ambassadors. Selection is based on strong academic and social skills. An ambassador’s main role is to act as a guide and host to our prospective students during their classroom visits. The Admissions Office welcomed the ambassadors with a pizza lunch meeting to discuss the best way to fulfill their roles. Students talked about how they felt when they visited York Prep before they enrolled. Previous ambassadors discussed issues they came across during prospective student visits and, specifically, the best way to ensure they are comfortable socializing during the lunch break. Recently, a prospective 6th grade student said, “I was really nervous when I first arrived, but by the end of the day my ambassador helped to make me feel right at home!” What better feedback could we wish for? York News 21
  21. 21. York Prep Animal Rescue Foundation Advisors: Jessica Barrish and Nicole Kalisz E nglish teacher Ms. Jessica Barrish had an epiphany on the beaches of Puerto Rico. “I was in Rincon, Puerto Rico, when a sweet, little dog ‘adopted’ me. When it was time to go home, I couldn’t bear to leave her behind,” Ms. Barrish explained. Upon her return, she organized the York Prep Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) Club, which aims to support and save the lives of animals in Rincon. “The animals in Puerto Rico are so unique and special because they know what life was like on the streets; therefore, they are incredibly grateful to those who adopt them,” said Ms. Barrish. ARF is a 100% volunteer, community-based, non-profit organization with the mission of reducing animal overpopulation and raising animal consciousness. They rescue abandoned animals, work to find them foster families, and assist with helping find their perfect “fur-ever” homes. Additionally, ARF works closely with travel agencies in Rincon and with JetBlue Airways in order to safely ship the animals to the United States. York Prep students play a vital role in saving these animals. As a club, they have proudly raised over $1,000 through student-led bake sales held in the lobby during Friday break. The club has meetings to decide which animals should benefit from donations, and members brainstorm new ideas to help build awareness for adoption and animal rescue within the York community. ARF has been so grateful for the students’ hard work that they even sent a letter and veterinarian bill indicating exactly how the money was used. The club discovered that, through their donations, the lives of over ten homeless animals have been saved by providing them with shelter from the streets, necessary medical care, or airline tickets to transport them to their new families. On a lighter note, the ARF Club held its first annual Halloween Pet Costume Contest. All students and staff were welcome to participate by submitting photos of their treasured pets. As cute as they all were, one photo had to be chosen, and the honors went to freshman Victoria Laboz’s furry friends, Brownie and Poochie. Through the York Prep ARF Club, advisors Ms. Nicole Kalisz and Ms. Barrish are modeling the type of citizens they would like their students to become—caring and responsible. As in the starfish story, it is impossible to save every animal in the world, but ARF Club members believe they have the power to save at least one at a time…and that makes all the difference. 22 Winter 2014
  22. 22. The Performing Arts at York – 45 Years Strong and Counting! Performing Arts Chair: Fiona Hutchison A s we celebrate York Prep’s 45 wonderful years, it is perhaps fitting that this year marks the launch of the newly developed and conceived music and drama program, helmed by seasoned professional actress and educator Ms. Fiona Hutchison. This program continues the long and steadfast tradition of the arts at York Prep, which have been in place since its founding. Seeking to further solidify the bridge between academia and the arts, Ms. Hutchison, under the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, has strengthened a performing arts program whose primary goal is to include all students regardless of prior knowledge of the dramatic and musical arts. In this way, all can experience the joy inherent in performing, gain knowledge that extends beyond the stage itself, and be instilled with a deeper sense of confidence and self-awareness as they prepare to enter college regardless of their chosen field. In order to achieve these goals, two new teachers were brought on board to assist Ms. Hutchison: music teacher Mr. Thomas Hodges, a dynamic music director and composer; and drama director and teacher Mr. John Viscardi, a seasoned professional actor, writer, and theater director. Ms. Hutchison, Mr. Hodges, and Mr. Viscardi collaborate on all musical and dramatic presentations and performances throughout the school year. In addition to teaching all music and drama classes, they work closely with students interested in the arts to enhance their skills. They also seek out those students who might show little or no interest and find ways to engage them and help them feel comfortable in a public setting. The three teachers constantly meet to reassess the program, helping ensure that it achieves its mandate of allowing every student the opportunity to experience the thrill of the performing arts in a joyous, healing, and productive way. Conducted by Ms. Hutchison and Mr. Viscardi, drama classes consist of a mix of theater games, improvisation, and scene study. The theater games are based on the legendary teaching of Viola Spolin, who is often credited as the founder of theater improvisation. Scene study work is based on the teaching of Neighborhood Playhouse founder Sanford Meisner, whose simple yet profound credo, “acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” has inspired thousands of professional actors who have studied his technique. Throughout the semester, students perform in front of each other whether improvising or acting out scenes from established plays. It is worth noting that Mr. Viscardi himself, a produced playwright, also writes scenes specifically for the class, depending on the needs of the students. At the end of the semester, the students may elect to perform a scene for the class or simply continue to work on scenes in front of the class as they have throughout the semester. It has been, to date, an immensely enjoyable and satisfying experience for all students. The focus of music classes, led by Mr. Hodges, is to introduce students to the joys of singing, composing, and musical theory and appreciation. Mr. Hodges successfully achieves this by directly offering his students a choice in the selection of songs they will be singing. This past semester, songs included “American Pie” by Don McLean, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. As an accomplished pianist and music director, Mr. Hodges accompanies the students on the piano and encourages those who play an instrument to accompany as well. This past semester, Mr. Hodges introduced the “underscore project” to all his classes. The assignment was to create a video, or use existing video or still photographs, and then add a musical underscore in order to accent a mood or feeling. Students loved this project and learned a great deal about the power of music to alter a theatrical experience. The semester ended with a musical celebration sung by all music students in the 7th through 11th grade; the event took place on December 6 in the auditorium of the First Church of Christ, Scientist. In addition to teaching classes, the music and drama department have a hand in all productions involving the Performing Arts at York Prep. The two most recent fall events were the International Buffet and Music Celebration and the York Prep Drama Club’s main stage production of two comic one-act plays by Jonathan Rand entitled “Check, Please” and “Check, Please: Take 2.” York News 23
  23. 23. International Buffet and Musical Celebration Performing Arts Department Chair: Fiona Hutchinson T he International Buffet and Music Celebration is quickly becoming a York Prep tradition. The event hosted over 150 students, family, and faculty members this past November. The Gymnasium was transformed into an intimate social space, complete with candle-lit tables, seating, and a spot-lit stage. Students and their families prepared delectable samples of international cuisine, presented on serving tables surrounding the gym. The dishes included appetizers, entrees, and desserts from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Asia, and Europe. In an effort to raise awareness for the plight of Rwandan women, the Same Sky Club provided homemade food and sold hand-crafted jewelry crocheted in Rwanda. Topping off the evening, students delighted the audience with musical performances accompanied and directed by music teacher Mr. Thomas Hodges. The performances began with a tremendous raise-the-roof rendition of “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent sung by juniors Isabel Greenberg and Zoe Leid and 8th grader Olivia Heskett. Junior Molly Model sang “Somewhere Beyond The Sea” in both French and English while playing the ukulele. Molly and sophomore Trevor Viscardi, who accompanied on guitar, both offered a beautiful rendition of the Grammy award-winning song “Falling Slowly” from the hit musical and motion picture Once. Junior Lucas Mollod interpreted “Aeroplane Over The Sea” with voice and guitar, while sophomore Thomas Nickell thrilled the audience on piano with his own arrangement of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Zoe Leid returned with a rendition of “Crazy” in both Spanish and English, and Olivia Heskett and Isabel Greenberg harmonized in “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music. Sophomore Max Skidelsky performed a wonderful rendition of the Hebrew song “Odon Olam” on vocals and guitar. An ensemble of 7th graders, comprised of Otis Richardson, Gabriel Squitieri, Sahai Stevens, Cole Tarrant, Miguel Towns, and Taylor Weiss, sang a rousing rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’.” For the evening’s finale, all performers sang the memorable chorus from “American Pie” to an enthusiastic audience. It was a top-notch evening enjoyed by everyone! Community Service Club Thanksgiving Food Drive Advisor: Kimberly Braun M embers of the Community Service Club held a Thanksgiving Food Drive on November 22, the proceeds of which went to Yorkville Common Pantry, an organization that provides meals to thousands of New Yorkers. Besides food items, the pantry also accepted financial donations to help reach its goal of providing 1,800 turkeys to low income families across the five boroughs. 24 Winter 2014
  24. 24. York Prep Goes to Broadway! Performing Arts Department Chair: Fiona Hutchinson T his year marks the first time the York Prep Drama Club has mounted a production in a Broadway theater! The McGinn/Cazale Theater, located on Broadway (between 76th and 77th Streets) is home to both the Vital Theater Company and the Second Stage Theater Company. Due to a break in their schedules, York Prep was able to present two comic one-act plays this past November 20 through 23 to sellout crowds. Directed by drama teacher Mr. John Viscardi and co-directed by drama teacher Ms. Fiona Hutchison and music teacher Mr. Thomas Hodges, “Check, Please” and “Check, Please: Take 2” chronicle the desperate attempts of our lead Guy and Girl as they navigate the treacherous minefield of blind dating. The show was chosen for its well-written script, large cast size, and economical running time. The cast consisted of 25 students spanning all grades. Students designed and created costumes as well as helped backstage. Under the guidance of visual arts teacher Mr. Karl Hartman, the York Prep Set Building Club created the most important set piece—the restaurant sign. “We wanted everyone to get involved, and everyone had a blast,” stated Ms. Hutchison. “It was a true York Prep family affair and a very successful and entertaining show.” The cast (in alphabetical order) consisted of Carlos Bello, Emma Benten, Sarah Calaman, Max Cane, Ellara Chumashkaeva, Hailey Corrall, Michael Demos, Daniel Durocher, Nieve Ferguson, Isabel Greenberg, Olivia Heskett, Gabe Icikson, Jordan Isaacs, Sariah Johnson, Gayla Kornbluh, Eli Krauss, Callam Kurtz, Zoe Leid, Talya Lubit, Molly Model, Lucas Mollod, Joseph Newman-Getzler, Max Skidelsky, Miguel Towns, and Trevor Viscardi. The stage manager was Rebecca Meckler, and the wardrobe mistress was Kayla Gartenberg. Prom Committee Upper School Dean and Visual Arts Department Chair: Robin Stark E nthusiastic seniors have formed the most driven Prom Committee in recent memory. The group meets every Wednesday in Mrs. Stark’s office to plan bake sales and other fundraising events. They have had multiple bake sales since September, featuring the culinary talents of the Class of 2014; most notable were the creative cupcakes of Lally Homans and Talia Stern. The money raised throughout the year will go to decorations, senior shirts, and gift bags for the Prom scheduled for May 16. York News 25
  25. 25. Last Spring’s Laugh-A-Minute Broadway Comedy: Moon Over Buffalo Performing Arts Department Chair: Fiona Hutchinson T he York Prep Drama Club followed up its tremendously successful production of Seussical, Jr. with an equally entertaining comedy written by Tony award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig, Moon Over Buffalo. The play chronicles the lives of two over-the-hill Broadway actors who are forced late in life to perform as far from Broadway as one might dare to go—Buffalo, NY. The cast included freshman Joseph NewmanGetzler; sophomore Trevor Viscardi; juniors Sarah Calaman, Ellara Chumashkaeva, Hailey Corrall, Dan Durocher, and Lucas Mollod; and senior Gayla Kornbluh. 26 Winter 2014
  26. 26. York Prep’s Broadway Club Goes Off-Broadway to See Legendary Performer Bill Bowers! Performing Arts Department Chair: Fiona Hutchison T his past October, members of the Broadway Club traveled to the Cherry Lane Theater in lower Manhattan to see Bill Bowers perform his sold-out show “Beyond Words.” In “Beyond Words,” Bill Bowers, a world-class mime, trained by Marcel Marceau, takes the audience on a funny and poignant journey into Bill’s past, growing up in the Midwest. The show was particularly relevant to two York Prep attendees, sophomore Nieve Ferguson and 6th grader Sariah Johnson, both of whom played mimes in York Prep’s fall production of “Check, Please” by Jonathan Rand. Bill Bowers, the ever amiable and consummate performer, met with the York Prep students after the show and answered all their questions. Bill Bowers also agreed to come and teach a mime workshop for the York Prep Broadway Club. “It was just great!” beamed Nieve Ferguson. Sariah Johnson thought it was a “magical experience,” and junior Molly Model summed it up perfectly in one word: “Awesome!” Musical Celebration Music Teacher: Thomas Hodges Y ork Prep’s 7th through 11th grade music classes hosted a winter evening concert in the Christian Science Auditorium, celebrating songs in the modern music repertoire. Prior to the event, Mr. Thomas Hodges worked with his classes to choose songs they knew and would be interested in singing. The final selections the audience enjoyed that night were: $ $ $ $ $ “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey and “Waiting On The World To Change” by John Mayer (7th grade) “We Will Rock You” by Queen mashed up with “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons (8th grade) “I Was Here” by Beyoncé (9th grade) “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (10th grade) “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink (11th grade) The complete ensemble opened the performance with a rendition of “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. Many members of the audience congratulated Mr. Hodges on the program’s success, and the following week students came into class with big smiles, proud of their accomplishment. There will be another musical celebration this coming spring. York News 27
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  28. 28. Glee Club Advisor: Thomas Hodges S tudents are invited to join Glee Club and come and sing every Wednesday during lunch. The group works on building vocal stamina and confidence by singing songs from all genres. Walking by Room 405, one can hear voices interpreting “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, “Fix You” by Coldplay, and an assortment of holiday songs. Students are given the opportunity to sing solos or to harmonize as a group. “It’s Time” has been worked on as the club’s a cappella song, which means it is sung without instruments. This style of singing has made a strong comeback recently because of popular TV shows like The Sing Off, Glee, and the hit movie Pitch Perfect. The approach music teacher Mr. Thomas Hodges takes in teaching his students comes from their place of interest. Instead of singing songs that may be dated, students are asked every week what they want to sing. Going forward Glee Club will be creating two teams: a club that meets every week which everyone can join, and another group that will work towards performing in competitions next year. All are encouraged to join! Rock Band Advisor: Thomas Hodges E very Monday at lunch, if you’re on the fourth floor, you will hear the sounds of a guitar, piano, drums, and singing coming from Room 405; this is the wonderful music made by the talented Rock Band Club. Each week the members select a song to learn and play as a group the following week—for example, “Let It Be” by The Beatles, the theme song from Full House, “Everywhere You Look” by Jesse Frederick, “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan, and “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys. The club is headed by Mr. Thomas Hodges, who often accompanies on the piano. Club members include 6th grader Justin Larkey, freshmen Haewon Lee and Max Pintilie, senior Matthew Wang, and the always welcome guest appearances of Director of Technology Mr. Richard Abba and science teacher Mr. Martin Misiak. In addition to playing covers, many of the students in Rock Band compose as well. This has been a great platform for students to share their original pieces with one another and contribute ideas in a safe environment. While guitars, piano, and drums are found sitting in Room 405, they are not the only instruments that end up being used. The students are living in a technical age, and with technology come new instruments. Using iPads and laptops, students have been creating sounds to make the small group of four turn into what seems like an orchestra of more than ten. Mondays at lunch are always rockin’! Student Government Organization Advisors: Melissa Feibusch & Brittany McKinney U nder the senior leadership of President Jackson Potter and Vice President Sean Tarzy, the Student Government Organization (SGO) is comprised of grade-level senators representing the ideas and spirit of the student body. One of the earliest initiatives of the year was to provide all York Prep students with a healthy snack option; to that end, the SGO successfully created a fruit stand selling apples and bananas during break. In October, the SGO hosted the “Halloween Spooktacular” headlined by magician “Gary the Great,” who left both students and faculty in amazement. The event concluded with the annual costume contest won by seniors Anne Lutwak-Schneider, Nina Line, and Jared Rem. Additional SGO projects have included the annual holiday toy drive, Spirit Week, and a Middle School dance. Please join in awakening the Panther Nation and spreading school spirit by filling the Pantherdome in support of York’s student athletes. York News 29
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  30. 30. Ukulele Club Advisor: Adam Chernick T he Ukulele Club kicked off the year quite harmoniously (pun intended). The talented crew consists of 8th graders Joseph Dayan and Ian Tsao and sophomores Spike Edmiston, Allie Falack, Nieve Ferguson, Isaac Marcos, and Selim Sabbagh. The ukulele players have already learned several essential chords as well as the songs "Ho Hey” by the Lumineers and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. Members are practicing Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" and look forward to taking on everything from Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and the Beatles to everything in between. The group always enjoys strumming their ukuleles alongside Mr. Stewart, our Head of School and additional club advisor, who joins in whenever he is free. Students are encouraged to join the club regardless of musical experience. The door is always open to visitors and future ukulele masters. The group meets in Room 207 every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. See you there! The Gay-Straight Alliance Advisors: Thomas Henson, Michael Roper, Elizabeth Garcia, and Stacy Bonano T he weekly lunchtime meetings of York Prep’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) provide a safe and affirming discussion environment for all York students. In addition to dealing with issues of mutual concern, students brainstorm ways the club can contribute to an atmosphere of acceptance, empathy, and tolerance within the school. For example, the GSA has worked with York deans to encourage an anti-bullying culture by creating posters and producing messages for the morning announcements. Members have also held bake sales to raise money to support national anti-bullying organizations. The GSA hosted a series of guest speakers who are exemplary members of the LBGT community. Among those who have shared their professional and personal experiences with our students include Father Gil Martinez, Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church; Rabbi David Adelson of East End Temple; Dr. Chris Lawton of New York Presbyterian Hospital; Julio Sanchez, a Vietnam veteran; and mathematics Professor David Swinarski of Fordham University. We are proud of the York community for the way it shares and adopts the notion that all people at York have a place to belong and permission to be themselves. WYRK Advisor: Dan Ashwood A s York Prep’s weekly news broadcast and video production club, WYRK has rocketed off for its second year back on the air after a long hiatus. Students learn the ins and outs of editing, directing, cinematography, screenwriting, and perhaps most significantly of all, the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and communication. Meetings occur in the art rooms every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school, and all students are welcome. This year, to accommodate growing interest in the club, students are welcome to submit scripts, videos, news tips, editorials, graphics, and animations to the club. Please email submissions to Mr. Ashwood at dashwood@yorkprep.org. York News 31
  31. 31. French Cinema Club French Teacher: Jennifer Campo T he French Cinema Club had its first excursion to Lincoln Plaza Cinema where members viewed the French film, Populaire, directed by Régis Roinsard. Attending were sophomores Brandon Young and Samantha Carver; freshman Max Leviton; and French teacher, Ms. Jennifer Campo. The film is a romantic comedy set in 1958-1959 that tells the story of Rose Pamphyle, who is trained by her boss, Louis Échard, to become the fastest typist in the world. Rose, played by Déborah François, goes to New York City to compete in a “speed-typing” contest accompanied by Louis, played by Romain Duris. During the contest the two protagonists fall in love and after Rose wins she marries Louis. Quelle bonheur! After the film, students commented on the aspects of the French culture portrayed in the film, and they looked forward to the next film excursion. Same Sky Club Club Advisor: Sammantha Farkas S ame Sky Club members focus on conscientious consumerism and the importance of trade-not-aid organizations. Initiated by sophomores Courtney Cohen and Rebecca Meckler, the Same Sky Club is connected with Same Sky, a not-for-profit company that believes in giving women “a hand up, rather than a hand-out.” Same Sky trains artisans in Africa and America to crochet beautiful jewelry, allowing them to earn an income to support themselves and their families. Courtney Cohen said, “We must work together to support women who take the initiative to improve their lives. After all, we are all under the same sky.” Sponsoring bake sales and holding student forums serve to increase awareness about those women in Zambia, Rwanda, and even in New Jersey who, because of Same Sky, are now gainfully employed and self-supporting. Set Building Club Advisor: Karl Hartman T he Set Building Club has been busy this fall working on the set for the play “Check, Please.” They created a large sign (18’ x 4’) that read “Star Dust Memories” in orange and black lettering. The sign, which served as a restaurant marquee, was then lit and hoisted up to be used as the backdrop for the play. Assistant builders included 7th graders Rhoda Kwarkye, Javairia Munnerlyn, and Taylor Weiss. Freshmen Jacqueline Dunne and Tallulah Novogratz painted the background. Eighth grader Michael Notias was also a great help working on construction, while sophomores Stella Solasz and Kayla Gartenberg assisted with lighting. 32 Winter 2014
  32. 32. Chess and Games Club Advisor: Theodore Preston and Taviel Guren T he Chess and Games Club meets on Mondays during lunch in Rooms 225 and 208. Students interested in competing in the popular card game called Magic meet with Mr. Guren in Room 225. Those interested in playing other popular games like Backgammon, Checkers, Chess, Connect Four, Dominoes, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or Yahtzee meet with Mr. Preston in Room 208. Come join the fun! Book/Word Games Club Advisor: Martha Caruso E njoy reading and playing word games? This year the Book/Word Games Club meets biweekly on Tuesdays during lunch. Members play fun word games and have discussions on what to read next and what kind of books everyone enjoys reading. Students also get to play word games like Scrabble and Boggle and to figure out how many smaller words can be created from a larger word –for example, WATERMELON. Sometimes, there are even “sweets” handed out! The club, open to all, is currently composed of 6th graders Sway Dolan, Savika Joseph, Anika McHayle-McNeish, Hector Serrano, Amethyst Soto, and Camilla Vittoria. Come join us! Dance Club: Every Meeting is a Party! Advisor: Eric Tull A nyone passing Room 405 on a Tuesday at lunchtime can hear laughter, shrieks of delight, and ALL KINDS of music. From reggae to pop, from jitterbug to salsa, this club is, as the name implies, non-stop dancing. This year, we have more dance-ophiles on the faculty than ever before; so the club has not one, not two, but four adult advisors: Mrs. Alicia Weschler, Ms. Fiona Hutchison, Ms. Amparo Baron, and Mr. Eric Tull. Each advisor brings a unique flavor and special dance steps to the proceedings. Students from grades 6-12 can get a good physical workout, make new friends, and have an absolute blast. We look forward to the winter months when we expect our members to increase, as the weather turns colder and staying inside for lunch becomes more attractive. To any students who have not yet had the Dance Club experience: Come and party! York News 33
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  34. 34. Out Loud Club Advisors: Jon Serri & Ethan Pennington E nglish teachers Mr. Jon Serri and Mr. Ethan Pennington have organized a club with a clear mission to promote community through the arts at York Prep. Since 2012, the Out Loud Club has fulfilled this mission while continuing to grow and expand. Signs reading “Dare to Art” hang in the stairwell and on the walls at York, defining what students do each week. Walk by Room 305 during lunch and you’ll see an assembly of York students reading poetry, hashing out a newly written song, or perhaps just sketching out some promotional material. Each week, this sense of community is clear as students brainstorm various ways to bring music and poetry to life at school. These lunchtime artistic sessions culminated in last February’s successful winter showcase, which featured talented York poets and songwriters. The event was billed as a “Coffee House” night at York. Parents, students, and faculty filled the room and listened to a variety of poems and original musical compositions. The positive response was overwhelming. The artistic talent that flourished during each meeting took over the school for a night. In the process, the Out Loud Club, in conjunction with York’s Community Service Club, raised funds for the World Youth Initiative. Out Loud Club members reflected on the success of last year’s endeavors. Sophomore Trevor Viscardi said, “I was involved with Out Loud in its first year. It was a fun environment for us to share our music.” Junior Molly Model, one of the club’s founding members, commented, “Out Loud is awesome. It is a creative outlet where the goal is for students to feel comfortable expressing themselves.” Junior Ava Kuslansky, an aspiring filmmaker, added, “Out Loud is a fun and welcoming space. It is one place where we can express our artistic nature.” Other members in the club include 8th graders Khari Derrick and Olivia Heskett; freshman Joe Newman-Getzler; sophomores Thomas Nickell and Nieve Ferguson; juniors Lucas Mollod, Hailey Corrall, Elsa Lindy, and Isabel Greenberg; and seniors Erez Zborowski and Alex Butler. Whether students are writers, songwriters, or even future film directors, there is space for them in Room 305 to contribute to the community of artists that exists at York. Sports Culture Club Advisor: Ethan Pennington W hat are Tommie Smith and John Carlos most remembered for during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City? How has Title IX changed the sports landscape of college and professional athletics? These are just two of the questions students have considered and discussed in Sports Culture Club. “Sports permeate every aspect of our culture. If we do not pay attention, we might miss what their intersection has to teach us about society and its values,” said the club’s advisor, Mr. Ethan Pennington. Join the Sports Culture Club for thoughtful debates and discussions of the most pressing questions from the sports world that force us to reflect on our value systems. York News 35
  35. 35. Student Art Exhibition at the Child Mind Institute Upper School Dean and Visual Arts Department Chair: Robin Stark T he Child Mind Institute’s Student Art Project launched its newest exhibit on Sunday, January 12, with Metamorphosis: Works by Upper School Students from York Preparatory School. Working with the theme “metamorphosis,” York Prep students explored the concept of personal transformation. Through diverse media, they sought to understand both physical and psychological change. Students drew inspiration from Surrealism as well as artists and photographers whose work investigates similar themes. In doing so, they worked to articulate their own identities and transform their internal sense of self into concrete expressions. The Child Mind Institute believes the arts are critical to child development, academic success, and promoting self-esteem and self-expression. And research has proven that integrating the arts into healthcare settings creates a healing environment, supports the physical, mental, and emotional health of patients, and reduces stress and anxiety. The 35-piece exhibition is on display at the Child Mind Institute headquarters and can be viewed through mid-February by appointment. 36 Winter 2014
  36. 36. York Prep Intramurals Athletic Director and Chair of Physical Education: Kimberly Matyko M any students bypass pizza and hamburgers to get in some pickup basketball during lunchtime. Where? The Pantherdome is home to intramural sports Mondays through Thursdays. Supervised by the Physical Education Department, students get together and engage in friendly basketball games and other sports. All students are welcome to participate! York Prep Rock Climbing Club Advisors: Kate Logan and Kate Gleeson T he Rock Climbing Club ventures outside of Manhattan twice a month on Fridays to climb the vast walls of Brooklyn Boulders, which is New York City’s one and only fully dedicated rock climbing gym. Veteran rock climbing senior and club student advisor Hannah Rittenberg and fellow senior Terry Muñoz have challenged themselves on difficult walls. The skilled on-site staff has helped new climbers learn and enhance their climbing skills. Participants also love to hang out and play Ping-Pong or practice their gymnastic skills on the equipment. Needless to say, the students always have an amazing time on every trip and they also get in quite the work out! Members include 7th graders Olivia Clark, Taylor Weiss, Cecilia Cuddy, Gabe Squitieri, and Eli Jamron; freshmen Max Leviton and Lucas Friedson; and sophomore Eric Ilkiaeiv. Swim Club Advisors: Joyce Perley and Thomas Henson T he York Prep Swim Club enjoyed one of its most popular seasons in recent years. The Friday afternoon visits to the pool at Asphalt Green were a blast. Frequent swimmers from the past few seasons include 8th graders Khari Derrick, Aaron Murphy, and Aaron Pahwa; 7th grader Eli Jamron; and junior Maya Darst-Campbell. “I like that the transportation is quick and fun, and all around it is a good time,” said Khari. Aaron Murphy said, “I like that we can go swimming. It is not something that you get to do very often, and it is nice to relax in the pool.” Advisors Ms. Joyce Perley and Mr. Thomas Henson took the group for a refreshing dip each week. Some swimmers enjoyed being able to work on traditional strokes, while others competed by diving for objects at the bottom of the pool. Swim Club members look forward to returning to the water in the spring. York News 37
  37. 37. FACULTY NEWS Baby News W e are delighted to share the news of the arrival of the newest additions to the York Prep family. Cora Kolosso V isual arts teacher Mrs. Cora Kolosso and her husband, Mr. Sylvain Mounes, welcomed Alice Iris Mounes, born at home on June 3, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. Sweet little Alice weighed in at six pounds and 12 ounces, measuring 20 inches. Kimberly Braun A merican Sign Language teacher Mrs. Kimberly Braun and her husband, Mr. David Cohen, welcomed Leo Braun Cohen on February 25, 2013, at 10:27 a.m. Cute as a button, Leo weighed in at four pounds. Wedding News - Congratulations to our Newlyweds! Kate Gleeson R eading and Writing Department Chair Ms. Kate Sullivan was married to Mr. Garrett Gleeson on July 27 at the Brooklyn Museum. The new Mrs. Gleeson also teaches Jump Start and history. Tennis Club Advisor: Ms. Stacy Povshko Y ork Prep Tennis Club participants enjoyed fun-filled afternoons on the Roosevelt Island tennis courts during the 2013 spring season. On Thursday afternoons, players volleyed with their friends and ran around the courts, while others engaged in a competitive match with advisor Ms. Stacy Povshko or with each other. The Tennis Club will return to the courts in the spring. Field Day Athletic Director and Head Chair of Physical Education: Kimberly Matyko Y ork Prep kept tradition alive with both a fall and spring Field Day, a time for students and faculty to sit back, relax, and enjoy fun energetic activities while socializing with peers. Field Day starts with a leisurely ride to Tibbett’s Brook Park in Yonkers, where there are multiple soccer fields, a softball field, basketball courts, tennis courts, a walking trail, and a playground. The Physical Education Department organizes group activities for student and teacher participation throughout the day. Each activity is overseen by a group of faculty members to ensure a safe and fun environment. Students and faculty engaged in tennis, basketball, soccer, football, badminton, volleyball, KOOB, Frisbee, lacrosse, hula-hooping, and kickball. Everyone took a short break midway through the day and enjoyed lunch in the food pavilion. The day ended with an organized student vs. faculty softball game, which the students handily won during the fall 2013 Field Day. The faculty is looking forward to a rematch come this spring! 38 Winter 2014
  38. 38. York News 39
  39. 39. ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT Athletic Program 2013-2014 Athletic Director and Chair of Physical Education: Kimberly Matyko Y ork Prep’s athletic teams, clubs, and intramural programs continue to grow to accommodate the students’ desire to participate in sports. The Upper School fall sports teams had exceptional seasons, with all five teams participating in the I.S.A.L. Playoff Tournament and/or NYSAIS meet. The Girls’ Junior Varsity Volleyball Team started the season with a completely clean slate, with the exception of lone returning player, sophomore Sydney Xue. New coaches Ms. Ann Heffernan and Ms. Katherine Higuera-McCoy led a roster composed th th of 9 through 11 graders. Although it was a challenging season in terms of skill level and volleyball knowledge, the Lady Panthers showed tremendous determination, qualifying for the I.S.A.L. Tournament as a fourth seed. The team ended on a high note, playing number one seed Churchill School, only to fall short in three close games ending with a nail biting score of 23-25. The Girls’ Varsity Volleyball Team, coached by Ms. Christina Schirone, had an impressive comeback year, making major strides from start to finish. The team reached the I.S.A.L. Tournament championship game against Little Red/Elisabeth Irwin (LREI) with the help of seniors Hannajane Prichett, Sky Singer, Julia Calaman, and Deianni Galloway. The remaining athletes familiar with Coach Schirone from their Junior Varsity season settled in with ease and played top-notch volleyball. Although the ladies fell short to LREI in a very close three-game match, their hard work and commitment proved to be the key to their success. The Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team, headed by coaches Ms. Lisa Rill and Ms. Nina Dodero, completed a stellar season. The Lady Panthers had tough competition but managed to fight back, finishing with a spot in the I.S.A.L. Tournament semi-final game. The team, led by powerhouse junior Phoebe Wade, rallied together with the initiative of seniors Jenna Herzberg, Rosette Zarzar, Talia Stern, and Nipu Berger, achieving a winning record. Although the girls were unable to defeat the top-seeded Brooklyn Friends School (BFS), they were the only team to score a goal against BFS all season with a score of 4-2. Under coaches Mr. Hayden Morris and Mr. Doug Hill, the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team had an exceptional season, boasting a very talented group of boys in grades 8-12. The solid group of seniors driving the team to an impressive 6-1-2 record included Jackson Potter, Corey Mermelstein, Riccardo Esclapon, Angelo Ferrara, William Hascoe, James Richards, and Sean Tarzy. Although the team was seeded third going into the I.S.A.L. Tournament, they defeated second seed Rudolf Steiner before moving into the championship game against The French American School of New York. The Panthers displayed great pride and tremendous skill, falling short with a score of 2-1. Individual honors went to three seniors selected to the Mayor’s Cup Soccer AllStar Game: Nipu Berger, Corey Mermelstein, and Jackson Potter. All participants of the Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Cross Country teams showed great commitment throughout the season and proved to have excellent endurance. Led by Coach Erwin Bernal, the teams had multiple runners score in the top 20 at I.SA.L. meets, propelling them to the NYSAIS Championship where sophomore Winston Freeman and freshmen Louis Feuillatte and Ben Kotran represented York Prep. 40 Winter 2014
  40. 40. ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT Swim Club members continue to make their mark, splashing at the Aqua Center with club advisor Ms. Joyce Perley. The swim sessions are an opportunity for Middle School students to participate in a lifelong activity with their friends. The Swim Club is active during the fall and spring seasons. The winter season has officially begun for Boys’ Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Basketball; Girls’ Varsity Basketball; and Varsity Indoor Track & Field. Check for upcoming games on Edline or York Prep’s website. York Prep Supports Students’ Efforts to Reach Their Maximum Physical Potential Athletic Director and Chair of Physical Education: Kimberly Matyko T he Physical Education curriculum introduces students to a variety of team sports, cooperative games, fitness, and the FitnessGram Challenge. Our fitness program emphasizes cardiovascular endurance, target heart rate, muscular strength, muscular endurance, coordination, speed, and agility. The fitness room has proved to be an important addition to our department, allowing us to maintain the fitness unit we added to our curriculum last year. The school year started with fall activities such as soccer, football, cooperative games, and the FitnessGram Challenge. With Central Park located steps away from York Prep, students have the luxury of using the ball fields when the weather is ideal. At the start of the second quarter, physical education teachers focused on indoor activities, including floor hockey, cooperative games, basketball, badminton, and volleyball. The spring portion of the curriculum will highlight cooperative games, softball, and an assessment round of the FitnessGram Challenge. Students can choose between participating in the sports unit or working out in the Fitness Room during their classes. They are encouraged to explore independently those activities in which they have a primary interest by researching and visiting their community resources. York News 41

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