York Prep School Winter 2013 News


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Dear Parents, Alumni, and Friends of York Prep,
This new edition of our newsletter focuses, as always, on our wonderful students and teachers and their activities at York Prep. We certainly have had a busy year, and it will continue to be one, as the faculty and administration have been hard at work completing York’s self-evaluation for the Middle States
Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), whose Visiting Committee is scheduled to assess us this fall for renewal of our accreditation. Instrumental in helping us define our school’s mission, the MSA fully accredited York Prep in 1973.

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York Prep School Winter 2013 News

  1. 1. NEWS FROM OUR HEADMASTER York Preparatory School WINTER 2013 Ronald & Jayme Stewart College Guidance York Scholars Program Tech Upgrades at York MSA Accreditation Process Peer Tutoring Jump Start Coffee Talk Honeybees & Scholars York Government & Law Model U.N. Team Mock Presidential Election York Historical Tours Student Writers Super Bowl IX Grade 8 Justice System Dodge Poetry Festival Domestic Uncertainties York Clubs & Organizations Sixth Grade Bowling Party York Celebrates Diversity Performing Arts Department Exciting Faculty News Athletic Department . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . . . . . 5 . . . . 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 . . . . . . . . 7 . . . . . . . . 8 . . . . . . . 9 . . . . . . . . . . . 10 . . . . 11 . . . . . . . . . 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 . . . . . . 16 . . . . . . . . 17 . . . . . . . 19 . . . 20 . . . . 24 . . . . . 25 . . . 26 . . . . . . . . 37 . . . . . . . . . . 38 January 2013 Dear Parents, Alumni, and Friends, This new edition of our newsletter focuses, as always, on our wonderful students and teachers and their activities at York Prep. We certainly have had a busy year, and it will continue to be one, as the faculty and administration have been hard at work completing York’s self-evaluation for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), whose Visiting Committee is scheduled to assess us this fall for renewal of our accreditation. Instrumental in helping us define our school’s mission, the MSA fully accredited York Prep in 1973. We continue to refine and review our mission statement; here is our latest version produced with unanimous faculty approval: Looking ahead, we plan to expand to the upper school our mentoring class, conducted by Mrs. Evelyn Rowe-Cosentino, who has been very successful in interacting with our middle school students for several years; we are developing an initiative to bolster the writing process across the curriculum in the upper school, and we are currently looking at tablets to help us achieve our goal of producing confident and proficient writers; collaborative team teaching of math skills in the middle school (another success this year) will increase; we will furnish our new classroom on the second floor with state-of-the-art ergonomic student chairs; and–I say this with some sadness–we will be adding a second school security guard in response to the tragic news events of December 2012. Every year in this letter, I stress the importance of Edline as an essential way for parents to stay in touch with their children’s education. It is a tribute to our faculty that they are so dedicated in maintaining and continuously updating the plethora of information provided by this communication tool. To all of you who have entrusted us with your children: Thank you!As you can see from the articles that follow, there is an abundance of energy and exuberance at York Prep. We look forward to many years of friendship and association with all of you. Yours sincerely, Ronald P. Stewart Headmaster York Preparatory School is a New York City independent school committed to guiding students in grades six through twelve to reach their maximum potential—intellectually, socially, and physically—and to prepare them for college and beyond. Compassionate educators creatively address the needs and interests of a diverse community, thereby appropriately supporting and challenging students as they progress through a traditional curriculum within a structured environment. York Prep encourages the development of lifelong learners who are responsible members of their community.
  2. 2. 2 Winter 2013 J. Stewart Director of College Guidance News From The College Guidance Office - Class of 2013 The Class of 2013 began College Guidance at Orientation on September 6, 2012. Several eager seniors applied to well-known universities the next week using the Rolling Decision Plan and were admitted by early November. It was a nice way to start a year which thus far has been outstanding for York Prep seniors. We had 33 seniors apply Early Decision and over 30 apply EarlyAction (see Edline under College for definitions). Eight applied ED II. It is clear that Early Decision applications are very successful. We hope more students will make this commitment sooner every year. We are still awaiting two ED I decisions and eight ED IIs as well as four ED I deferrals. All in all, this has been an exceptionally exciting and positive season so far. We have heard nothing yet from SUNY and CUNY colleges, where more than 20% of the class applied. Almost 90% of all applications were submitted before Thanksgiving. Go Seniors! Associate Director of College Guidance Janet Rooney and I are very proud of this year’s seniors. During our Fall Semester Senior College Class (now in its third year), scheduled twice a week, seniors have learned to navigate the complex computer-based Common Application, and they all worked fast and diligently to finish early. This gives us more time to “nag,” “tweak,” and “plead.” As always, we urge parents to stay calm, not to callAdmissions or College Board directly, and use pull after consulting with us (and only if your child has made a commitment and has met with your contact)! Junior Class Parents - Class of 2014 Junior parents, we look forward to seeing you January 24, 6-8 p.m.; plus, our favorite Financial Aid Advisor, Kal Chany, will be there to answer questions and outline the process. Ms. Rooney and I try to answer every question; we hand out updated, unofficial college transcripts and make suggestions for summer—preferably a college course and not an expensive community service project abroad. After we meet all the juniors and create a “long list,” please plan a spring break college tour or summer college road trip. The final list should be 8 to 9 colleges. Anything you do before we have created this long list (based on statistics) may mislead your child and ultimately break his/her heart. Our list is totally malleable, so keep an open mind and encourage your child to keep improving! Because of the large number of applications made possible by the Common App, we are carefully assessing and spreading the acceptance risks for individual colleges. York Prep knows how its graduates are doing at their colleges and this, too, helps us guide your child. We also keep a very close watch on which colleges offer York Prep students the most financial aid as well as the best academic supports. We have already begun our Spring Semester Junior College Class, and we hope to meet most of the juniors individually during our initial private conferences by Junior Parents’ College Night, January 24. Parents: Please begin thinking about tutoring for SAT/ACT. Take a diagnostic test on each type, and then decide which format best suits your child. Do not waste time prepping for both! Aim for SAT in May or June or ACT in April or June. Please plan summer school for make-up credits and for college credits. Please read what we send via mail and email. Also, 99% of your questions are answered on Edline under College Guidance. You can always email us at jstewart@yorkprep.org and jrooney@yorkpep.org. Please copy both of us at all times! BE SURE TO PUT YOUR CHILD’S NAME IN THE SUBJECT BOX! Ms. Rooney and I are an unrivalled team when it comes to successful college guidance, so rest easy and have confidence that we will work hard for your child’s success. We are very happy that so many good colleges are now SAT/ACT optional! Check websites!
  3. 3. Ohio State University Pace University* Penn State University* Philadelphia University Pratt Institute Purdue University Quinnipiac University* Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rider University* Richmond University, UK* Rochester Institute of Technology Roger Williams University* Rollins College Sacred Heart University* Saint John’s University* Saint Joseph’s University Savannah College of Art and Design Seton Hall University Skidmore College* Southern Methodist University* Stevens Institute of Technology Suffolk University* SUNY - Binghamton *, Cortland *, Fredonia, Geneseo, New Paltz*, Oneonta*, Purchase*, Stony Brook* Susquehanna University* School of Visual Arts Syracuse University* Temple University Towson University* Tufts University* Tulane University* Union College* Gettysburg College* Goucher College* Hamilton College Hampshire College Hartwick College High Point University Hobart and William Smith Colleges* Hofstra University* Indiana University* Iona College Ithaca College* Johns Hopkins University* Lafayette College Landmark College Lehigh University* Lesley University LIM College Loyola University Maryland Loyola Marymount University Loyola University Chicago Louisiana State University* Lynn University* Manhattan College Manhattanville College Marymount Manhattan College* Massachusetts College of Art and Design Massachusetts Institute of Technology McDaniel College Michigan State University Muhlenberg College* New England College New York Institute of Technology New York University* Northeastern University* Northwestern University Adelphi University* Allegheny College American University* Arizona State University* Babson College* Barnard College* Bennington College Bentley College Boston University* Brandeis University* Brown University Bucknell University Carnegie Mellon* Catholic University Chapman University Clark University* Colgate University* College of Charleston Colorado College Colorado State University, Fort Collins Columbia University* Connecticut College* Cornell University* C. W. Post - LIU CUNY-Baruch*, Brooklyn*, City*, Hunter* Curry College* Dickinson College Drew University* Drexel University* Elon University Emerson College Emory University Fairfield University* Flagler College Fordham University* Franklin Pierce College* George Washington University* York News 3 Class of 2013 - College Acceptances Early Decision College Applied To Pending Regular Decision American University Boston University* Colorado College Cornell University Drew University Franklin & Marshall College* Muhlenberg College* New York University Pitzer College Skidmore College Syracuse University Hobart and William Smith Colleges* Johns Hopkins University Marist College Maryland Institute College of Art Parents of Juniors will meet Thursday, January 24 (6-8 p.m.). This is a very important meeting and will include our financial aid specialist, Kal Chany of Campus Consultants. The meeting for 9th and 10th grade parents is Thursday, February 7 (6-8 p.m.), and will include our financial aid specialist, Kal Chany of Campus Consultants. University of Alabama* University of Arizona* University of California University of Colorado, Boulder* University of Delaware University of Denver* University of Florida University of Hartford* University of Iowa University of Kansas* University of Maryland* University of Massachusetts, Amherst* University of Miami* University of Michigan* University of New Hampshire* University of Notre Dame* University of Oklahoma University of the Pacific* University of Pittsburgh University of Redlands University of Rhode Island* University of Rochester University of San Diego University of San Francisco* University of Tampa* University of Vermont* University of Wisconsin Ursinus College Vassar College* Villanova University Washington & Jefferson College Wesleyan College Wheaton College* Whittier College* Yale University
  4. 4. 4 Winter 2013 The York Scholars Program Director, Scholars Program and English Teacher: Paul Sturm Last May, eight senior Scholars were honored both at York’s graduation ceremony and at a traditional private luncheon hosted by Headmaster Ronald Stewart and College Guidance Director Jayme Stewart at their home. Most of these 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. Now here’s the best part: they seem to be having a good deal of fun doing so. Their teachers are having a good time, too; they get a chance to work with a small, highly motivated group of students engaged, in most cases, with a topic dear to their instructor’s heart. This is definitely a win/win situation! The Scholars’ younger siblings, the Pre-Scholars, are thriving as well. They are 8th and 9th graders who are getting a taste of Scholars-type seminars in preparation for the “Major Leagues.” This year's graduating senior Scholars will have taken a total of 22 special six-session seminars in an impressive variety of subject matter. In addition, they will all have fulfilled the requirement of designing and completing a Scholars thesis. These graduates will receive diplomas “with honors.” This year’s graduating Scholars have participated in a rather remarkable set of seminars that include Art of the Italian Renaissance (a two-part series), Dada and Surrealism, Performing Shakespeare, Teaching Science, A Playwriting Seminar, Multi-variable Systems of Equations, An Introduction to Neuroscience, Figures of Speech, and Topics in Philosophy (with Headmaster Ronald Stewart). New this year are seminars entitled Music and Culture of the Andes, Music Theory, You Are What You Eat, and An Introduction to Evolution. English teacher Paul Sturm serves as director of the program. He follows the progress of all participants closely and troubleshoots any problems students may be having in their classes, providing support, counseling, and encouragement. Mr. Sturm is also responsible for supplying helpful information about the Scholars’ achievements to the College Guidance Department for college applications. 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 are also receiving 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 College, Johns Hopkins University, MIT, NYU-Tisch, Oberlin College, Pomona College, Stanford Uni- versity, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Pennsylvania, and Williams College. Go Scholars! Some of last year’s thesis topics: The Life and Work of Nicola Tesla: The Greatest Man You’ve Probably Never Heard Of The Dutch Roots of the Political Theory Underlying the American Revolution Gerrymandering: How this Malignant Practice Has Grown Into a Basic Part of Our Democracy and How It Can Be Fought A Musical Dialectic on the Air Sculptures of Frank Zappa A Practical Introduction to the Study of Game Theory What Makes a Hollywood Movie Successful: A Business Analysis $ $ $ $ $ $
  5. 5. $ $ $ $ $ $ York News 5 York Scholars Course Schedule 2012-2013 Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade The Prince by Machiavelli Logic Selected Topics in Philosophy Matrices and Systems of Equations Performing Shakespeare (Double Session) The History and Significance of Latin $ $ $ $ $ $ Wuthering Heights Art History of the Italian Renaissance Music Theory Evolution Teaching Science Multi-Variable Systems of Equations Lincoln at Cooper Union Teaching Science $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Music and Culture of the Andes You Are What You Eat Playwriting Workshop I Dada, Surrealism, and Fantasy Senior Thesis Seminar Playwriting Workshop II York Technology Infrastructure Upgrades Highlights Director of Technology: Richard Abba The summer of 2012 saw the start of a thorough hardware and software update at York Prep. Some eighty-five computers were replaced with machines running Windows 7/Office 2010, supplanting the previous Windows XP/Office 2007 setup. All remaining computers also received the latest system software configuration. These upgrades made it possible to convert the school’s email system to a more “cloud-based” one. Faculty can now access their email over the internet, anytime, anywhere, in a manner very similar to way they access it in school. They can also see their calendar and contact information. The first floor Faculty Room was enhanced with four new computers, a printer, and two telephones. This led to a substantial increase in faculty visits there, as it provided a very functional and comfortable space for teachers to work and relax. The smell of the gourmet coffee being brewed there also drew quite a crowd. Ongoing projects include replacement of the school’s library software and the installation of more interactive Whiteboards, soon to be in every classroom.
  6. 6. 6 Winter 2013 An Innovative Technology Class – Making a Difference, Socially and Globally Technology Teachers: Alicia Weschler and Maria Alegre This year Alicia Weschler (Director of Curriculum) and Maria Alegre (Library Media Specialist) have teamed up to teach a year-long technol- ogy course to every student in the 10th grade. Once a week, students meet with their teachers to learn about topics that directly affect them, including their digital footprint, online social media, cyberbullying, and appropriate online behavior. Students also learn about how they can have a positive influence on the world through participating in online microfinance organizations like Kiva. Kiva is a well-known and reputable organization that allows students to see and hear the stories of people all over the world in need of seed money for their business endeavors. In each class, students select a candidate for a microloan and then raise money from within their own group. Mrs. Weschler and Ms. Alegre then match all funds raised in class and distribute them immediately, which allows the classes to see commerce and microfinance in real time. To date, students and faculty have lent $700 to small business entrepreneurs in countries as far away as Rwanda, Peru, and Kenya! Small repayments have been received, and students plan to re-loan the money throughout the course of the year. Always Room for Improvement: The Middle States Association Self-Study and Accreditation Process Middle States Self-Study Coordinator: Alicia Weschler When Headmaster Ronald Stewart, Principal Robert Reese, and Director of CurriculumAlicia Weschler boarded a train to Philadelphia on March 15, 2012, they embarked on a journey to be completed almost two years in the future. The three administrators were on their way to attend the Accreditation Overview Workshop offered by the Middle StatesAssociation Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. The workshop was the first step in preparation for York Prep’s in-depth, year-long self-assess- ment, with instructional and organizational criteria set by the Middle States Association. Every seven years, the school evaluates the extent to which it fulfills the Association’s standards for accreditation with regard to educational programs, general school operations, and management activities. The results of this internal assessment subsequently provide the foundation for devising goals and action plans to foster school improvement. Accreditation is granted based on the degree of standards compliance and goal accomplishment. York Prep has been accredited by the Middle States Association since 1973. Armed with the necessary information about the self-study and accreditation process, the trio immediately addressed the initial priority of establishing a Planning Team, consisting of stakeholders in the school community—parents, students, teachers, department chairs, and administrators. That team is currently engaged in organizing the self-study, serving as a link to the York Prep staff and its involvement in this project, and formulating the plan for growth and improvement in student performance and organizational capacity. “While this process requires much hard work, it is a very worthwhile endeavor,” said Heather Marshall-Fleenor, Assistant Self-Study Coordinator. In the fall of 2013, a Validation Team—a group of educators from other Middle States accredited schools—will visit York Prep for three days. These educators will read the school’s self-assessment and get a first-hand look at York Prep through interviews and class observations. The Validation Team then submits its comments to the Middle States Association, with official notice regarding re-accreditation coming in February 2014. York Prep welcomes the opportunity to engage in this year-long commitment to self-evaluation, and we look forward to developing goals for the school that will enhance the education of all our students.
  7. 7. York News 7 Advisor: Kim Braun The Peer Tutoring Program at York Prep pairs top students in academic areas with those in need of additional support. Tutors are nominated by their teachers.Along with competency in the content area, tutors also must demonstrate patience and an understanding of peda- gogy. They receive com- munity service hours at the end of each semester for the time spent helping their peers, but, in fact, they do it because it is rewarding in itself. Here are comments from some of our peer tutors and their “clients”: Rosette Zarzar and Elsa Lindy En Sok Kim and Alexander Usi (9th grade) Jump Start Coffee Talks: Hot Topics and Stirring Conversation Jump Start Department Chair: Donna Gelard The Jump Start Coffee Talks are an ongoing series of informal presentations where parents of Jump Start students can meet each other and discuss issues pertinent to their children’s education. The talks are designed to help facilitate communication between and among parents and teachers in support of our students. The first presentation, on September 28, was entitled How to Use Jump Start to Succeed at York Prep. The second, on November 16, focused on ways to encourage the development of positive study habits. Both sessions were well attended, and the discussions were lively indeed! Future topics for these get-togethers include the following: The Re-Invitation/Enrollment Process, Technologies for Learning, Child Development, and Maintaining Skills over the Summer. All discussions are presented and led by a team of Jump Start teachers, each specializing in a particular area. Check out the Edline home page under “News” for further updates. “Having a student come back each week with a higher average is a great experience for both me and the student.” – Jeremy Losak (12th grade) “Peer tutoring allows the student to learn the material in a different way and from someone who understands that teacher’s techniques.” – Rosette Zarzar (11th grade) “The one-to-one guidance of peer tutoring really helps me to make sure all of my questions are answered and to also review the material I didn’t understand in class.” – Elsa Lindy (10th grade) “It [peer tutoring] allows me to share my learning experience and techniques with others.” – En Sok Kim (12th grade) Peer Tutoring Enriches Everyone Timmy, our “Mellow Mascot!”
  8. 8. 8 Winter 2013 Honeybees and Scholars Bask in Limelight Beekeeper: Andrew Cote Another year has passed, and the York Prep beehives, the best kept apiary on the Upper West Side, have enjoyed another sweet year. For the second year running, students in the Scholars Program have not only enjoyed theoretical lessons, but have also gotten their hands sticky in the hives and actively learned the basics of beekeeping. The hives produced a record amount of honey (some of which was presented to each and every family at York), and overall it can be said that there was a great deal of sweetness and light. The York bees, in their own unassuming way, became a little more famous this year. Former York parent Spike Lee directed a commer- cial for New York Works, in which the York bees are prominently featured for all of two seconds. They were very excited to bee(!) in the cast, but they behaved themselves admirably and peace- fully. The bees were transported from York’s roof in modest cardboard boxes specially built to move frames of bees from place to place safely for them and for the human population. They were brought downtown to the roof of 5 Beekman Place, a magnificent 1882 building across from the Woolworth with a glorious view of lower Manhattan. In their cinematic debut, the York bees appear with the Freedom Tower in the background, a soundtrack of Jay-Z andAlicia Keys playing, and Robert DeNiro narrating. There could not have been a more iconic creative team for the York bees to be a part of in their first commercial endeavor. (There was some controversy, however, when it was later learned that the bees themselves were not SAG members and were paid non-union wages.) The bees were not the only ones who held the limelight in 2012.York students in the Scholars Beekeeping Program, along with some of the members of the small but mighty Beekeepers Society, were notably featured in a half-hour CNN special, The Next List, hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Budding York beekeepers were interviewed, shown working the beehives, and demonstrating their skill and fearlessness in working with the flying, stinging creatures. They all did us proud. Aside from the usual swarm (!) of media attention and visits from journalists, a pair of documentary filmmakers spent a good deal of time interview- ing York students for their upcoming feature length film on urban beekeeping, entitled simply The Beekeepers, set to release in spring 2013. Also in 2013, plans are to expand the rooftop garden and to continue the tradition of using York’s beautiful chapel (Room 405) for the winter NewYork City BeekeepersAssociation classes. Of course, the Scholars Program will continue, and a half dozen or so more brave young York Scholars will be indoctrinated into the fascinating world of beekeeping. Beekeeper Andrew Cote has expressed his gratitude to the Stewarts and to the extended York family for allowing the apiary to exist on the roof of 40 West 68th Street, so close to Central Park, in such a safe and beautiful setting. He enjoys working with the curious and intelligent students that populate York, as well as their exceptional staff. “Since beekeeping was legalized in 2010, York Prep has been at the forefront of providing a venue for safe beekeeping education and continues to do so,” he said. “I am looking forward to many moreYork students learning about the happy world of honeybees for years to come.”
  9. 9. York News 9 Law Symposium - New York Bar Association History Teacher: Michael Roper Michael Roper’s Constitutional Law class and many of his U.S. history students actively participated in The New York Bar Association’s Annual Constitutional Rights Symposium for High School Students on November 19. At the symposium, York Prep students and students from other New York City schools sat around conference tables with attorneys and judges and debated the pros and cons of cases currently in the litigation process before the U.S. Supreme Court. This year’s cases involved a number of thought-provoking topics. Fisher v. University of Texas concerns the 14th Amendment and affir- mative action. Audio and videotaping police operations were at issue in ACLU v. Alvarez. Whether to raise the age of crimi- nal responsibility was the paramount question in Graham v. Florida. Students came away from the symposium with their own diverse opinions, which they debated among themselves. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this exhilarating learning experience. New York Historical Society Programs – U.S. History Class History Department Chair: Heather Marshall-Fleenor Each student in Michael Roper’s U.S. History class will have attended two of the evening programs at the recently and beautifully renovated New York Historical Society during the course of the school year. The variety of topics and distinguished speakers is wide. For example, James M. McPherson (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era) gave a presentation, and Jean Edward Smith talked about his new book on Dwight D. Eisenhower. New York City history buffs were fascinated with Barry Lewis’ lecture about the old Pennsylvania Station and how Grand Central Terminal was saved. Jon Meacham told stories about the “Man of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson”. One of the students’ favorite presentations was by Cokie Roberts (ABC News) and Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes) on the “First Families.” In all, there were 14 programs that entertained, engaged, and enriched our young historians. YORK GOVERNMENT & LAW
  10. 10. 10 Winter 2013 Model U.N. Team Gearing Up for Conferences Advisor: Heather Marshall-Fleenor York Prep’s 40-member Model United Nations Team is getting ready for another exciting year of debate, negotiation, and diplomacy at two major conferences this year. The first, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania in January, is a perennial favorite of the team. It draws students from all over the United States. Last year, there were over 3,000 delegates in attendance, and York Prep, representing Croatia and Palau, was proud to earn 11 awards. This year, York Prep will represent Mongolia and Senegal at the conference. The second con- ference on our calendar – America’s largest and with the most international participants – is the United Nations Association for the United States’ Global Classrooms Conference. Preparations are already underway for this exciting May 2013 event, held at U.N. headquarters. Students sit in the seats where the real ambassadors sit during opening ceremonies. The conference also replicates the actual U.N.’s agenda and topics of debate. In the past, the keynote speakers for opening ceremonies have included U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice. At last year’s conference, 15 of our students won awards, ranging from Best Delegate to Best Position Paper. It is our hope to repeat that success in 2013! It takes about three months to prepare for one conference. Students have to research the country they will be representing and then research the issues they will be debating in their commit- tee. Many of these issues do not have solutions yet, and that is why the U.N. is tackling them. Students have to dig deep to find possible answers to some of the world's most plagu- ing problems. They write position papers summarizing the issues, the international action to date, and their country’s viewpoints. Advisor Heather Marshall- Fleenor requires students to write at least one speech in preparation for the con- ference. New delegates must learn parliamentary procedure and rules of debate. Senior Jeremy Losak, our current Head Delegate, sums up the experience well: "Model U.N. is more than just a club where you learn about the international issues. I have improved skills like writing, public speaking, negotiation, and cooperation. Although it’s a lot of work, it has always been worth it."
  11. 11. York News 11 Mock Presidential Election at York Prep History Department Chair: Heather Marshall-Fleenor Inside the lobby of York Prep School on Monday, November 5, Michael Roper’s 11th grade American History students set up tables decorated with bunting and made ready the all-important ballots to be handed out to students, teachers, and staff as they entered the building. Everyone who wished to participate could do so by casting a vote in York Prep’s Mock Presidential Election. It may have been a mock election, but it was taken seriously. "The right to vote is sacred,” said Heather Marshall-Fleenor, Chair of the History Department, “and I want students at York Prep to learn that at an early age and to carry that lesson with them as they grow older. I also want to instill in them the concept that while voting is a right, it is also a responsibility." In fact, the election turnout was remarkable. Students made their preference for the U.S. President known: the school voted overwhelmingly for incumbent Barack Obama. When a 6th grader was asked why he had voted at the Mock Election, he said, "Well, it's kind of a big deal to be a part of this voting, because voting is important.” It looks like Mrs. Marshall-Fleenor’s message was well-received.
  12. 12. 12 Winter 2013 “Getting to Know You” in Central Park Sixth Grade Parent Representatives: Katherine Lowe and Jodi Pollak On what turned out to be a glorious summer-like day in the city, the 6th grade gathered for their "Meet and Greet" family picnic in Central Park on Sunday, October 14. Everybody had great fun! Between playing football, soccer, and just lounging on the grass together, students had a wonderful time getting to know each other outside of class. The parents also spent the time getting better acquainted. Thanks to the amazing picnic spread the group prepared, everyone now knows who the terrific cooks and bakers are! This was the first event of the year, but the 6th grade has plenty more on tap with ice skating and a moms’coffee get-together on the calendar. 6th graders enjoy playing sports at Central Park New York City Tours Full of History History Department Chair: Heather Marshall-Fleenor History Teacher: Michael Roper This fall, the Tour Club at York Prep, led by history teacher Michael Roper, made the rounds in New York City. Mr. Roper conducted tours of “Little Old-New Amsterdam” so students could discover the Dutch roots of the city and appreciate that heritage, which is still evident. The tour of Greenwich Village enabled students to appreciate a place where the folks on the “outs” with society took the risks that brought about social and cultural change. The gay revolution originated there, and many literary innova- tors (among them E.E. Cummings and EdgarAllen Poe) called the Village home. Students could sense the vibrant creative spirit that has always existed in our city. On the trip to Brooklyn, students walked on the very ground where the first major battle of the American Revolution took place. They stood where General Washington stood on the night of August 29, 1776, when he evacuated his army across the water to Manhattan, where his troops lived to fight another day. What impressed students the most was Fort Greene Park, where 11,000 American Revolutionary patriots are entombed, the greatest concentration of such graves in the U.S. Abraham Lincoln’s Greatest Speeches History Department Chair: Heather Marshall-Fleenor History Teacher: Michael Roper History teacher Michael Roper’s spring lecture series, Abraham Lincoln’s Greatest Speeches, will be presented at York Prep, Room 309, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on the first Wednesday of February, March,April, and May. Beginning with the Cooper Union Speech in February, the evening series for York Prep parents and friends will continue with Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address in March. April’s lecture will be devoted to The Gettysburg Address, and Mr. Roper will conclude the series in May with Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. History Department Chair Heather Marshall-Fleenor comments: "If parents want to experience one of the finest lecturers and storytellers in the History Department, they should not miss this series." Contributions to theArthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Memorial Fund, here at York Prep, are welcome from those who wish to show their appreciation for Mr. Roper’s time, talent, and effort. YORK HISTORICAL TOURS
  13. 13. York News 13 Woodlawn Cemetery Tour History Department Chair: Heather Marshall-Fleenor One of the September highlights from Michael Roper’s U.S. History classes was a trip to Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, where each student said a few prepared words over the grave of a particular notable figure at this historic site. At the grave of George M. Cohan, every- one sang a rendition of “Give My Regards to Broadway,” and at Irving Berlin’s grave, “God Bless America” was an obvious choice. Standing at the foot of Thomas Nast’s grave, students were reminded of his influence through the political cartoon. It was Nast who gave us the symbols of our political parties, the elephant and the donkey; he also gave us our image of Santa Claus. At the grave of the great writer Herman Melville, students noticed that admirers had placed pens on his stone. Many of the political giants ofAmerican history and, in particular, NewYork City history, have their resting places atWoodlawn Cemetery. Fiorello H. LaGuardia’s grave is there, as is that of Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. Fans of the department store experi- ence enjoyed visiting J.C. Penney’s and Roland H. Macy’s final resting places. Jazz enthusiasts could feel they were close to the presence of Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. One young lady was proud to stand beside Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s stone and recall the contributions of the Suffragists. As Mr. Roper said to the students, “I cannot take you back in time, but I can take you to where many of our historic greats now ‘reside,’and we can come and say, ‘Thanks for the memories!’” History Classes Experience Egypt on Fifth Avenue History Department Chair: Heather Marshall-Fleenor History Teacher: Brendan Buckley Once again, York Prep’s 8th grade history classes entered the exotic world of ancient Egypt when they visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art last October 16. On this annual field trip, our students experience the power of archeological artifacts, large and small, to stir the mind and the imagination. York’s young historians viewed an Egyptian temple; examined sarcophagi; and compared statues, pottery, and figurines – some nearly 4,000 years old. The students were led by skilled tour guides in their explora- tion of the daily life, religion, and sacred art of one of the most significant foundational civilizations. An important focus of the trip involved the critical role that art and architecture played in the daily lives of the ancient Egyptians. Students agreed that some of the more memorable artifacts included the detailed miniature replicas of daily life known as Meketre’s Models, the magnificent Temple of Dendur, the colossal Sphinx of Hatshepsut, and, of course (the perennial favorite), the mummies!
  14. 14. 14 Winter 2013 Book Prompts Tour of Grand Central Terminal English Teacher: Lisa Smith How many of us realize how much history lives within the massive walls, the grand windows, and the starlit ceiling of Grand Central Station? What better way is there to touch that history than under the expert guidance of York Prep history teacher and licensed NYC tour guide extraordinaire, Michael Roper? There’s nothing better, of course, so under Mr. Roper’s excellent guidance, our 6th grade students explored the highlights of Grand Central Terminal on Friday afternoon, October 19. Ms. Lisa Smith organized the field trip for her English classes, who had read Katherine Marsh’s The Night Tourist. The novel, which employs elements of Greek mythology and other classics, is set in a fictional “New York Underworld” beneath Grand Central Terminal. A visit to the actual National Historic Landmark was both a natural and logical culminat- ing experience. The tour began in the main concourse at the great brass clock. The group learned about the building’s history and admired the vast ceiling mural depicting the constellations. Students then explored areas such as the Whispering Gallery, where the low arches magnify the sound of voices at oppo- site corners, and the outside of the building, where a statue of Hermes, both the messen- ger of the gods and the god of safe travels, stands atop the façade along with Hercules and Athena. This visit to the world’s larg- est train term- inal was educa- tional and excit- ing, allowing students to make a dynamic connection between The Night Tourist’s setting and one of New York’s greatest architectural jewels. Neither Grand Central Station nor The Night Tourist will soon be forgotten! Dylan Pollak, Taylor Weiss, Rhoda Kwarkye, Otis Richardson, Javairia Munnerlyn, Jaxon Mancuso, Morgan Rodriguez, Khanbolat Nazarbayev, and Sahai Stevens Otis Richardson, William Kay, Logan Singer, Nathan Felmus, Jacob Kay, Gabriel Squitieri, Cecilia Cuddy, and Grace Desiderio Cecilia Cuddy, Ms. Smith, and Javairia Munnerlyn All 6th grade students Exploring the hidden gems of Grand Central Terminal
  15. 15. Student Writers: Summer in the City Advisors: Anna Martens, Ethan Pennington, and Leah Umansky The student and teacher participants in Writers by the Park, York Prep’s summer writing enrichment pro- gram for students in grades 7-11, were in fine fettle during the month of June. Manhattan is an ideal setting to explore multiple writing genres; and our budding poets, essayists, and fictioneers took full advantage! To tickle their imaginations, they took their notebooks and pens along on various excursions: to examine poetry chapbooks at Poets House, to listen to secrets at the Whispering Wall in Grand Central Station, and to explore public art in Central Park. Summer writing seminars included: “Creating Poems: A Seminar on Contemporary Poets and Writing Poems” – taught by Leah Umansky “In Praise of the Narrative Essay” – taught by Ethan Pennington “Word + Image: Writing Through Art” – taught by Anna Martens The group looks forward to another stimulating program during the upcoming summer of 2013. Stay tuned! York News 15 10th graders Elsa Lindy and Samia Finnerty revise their narrative essays in the writing lab. $ $ $ History Teacher: Eric Tull And that’s no typo. In February of every year—tradition- ally the day after the NFL Super Bowl—the York Prep “Pantherdome” plays host to theAnnualYork Prep Social Stud- ies Super Bowl. 2013 marks the ninth year of the tradition, hence “Super Bowl IX.” The high school classes go head-to- head (so to speak) answering questions about History, Geography, Government, and Current Events. History teacher Michael “Walking Textbook” Roper poses the questions in three categories of difficulty, with point values to match. New features and new categories of questions are added each year. Last year, for example, with the help of technology wizard Richard Abba, images of historic figures and flags were projected onto a large screen for students to identify. Each year, winners are presented with bestselling books on a variety of history topics. They also earn bragging rights for an entire year. Mr. Roper is ably assisted by the history faculty, and our reliable physical education teachers take care of the officiating. Last year’s winners were the senior class members of 2012. In the past eight years, the York Super Bowl has been won by senior, sophomore, and even freshman classes, but never by the junior class. Could 2013 finally be the 11th graders’ year? At York, It’s Super Bowl IX!!!
  16. 16. 16 Winter 2013 Grade 8 Examines Justice System Up Close English Teacher: Lisa Smith You may wonder what it’s like to encounter, up close, the reality of the New York City criminal justice system. Some of our students did after reading Walter Dean Myers’ novel Monster, which is the story of a Manhattan teen on trial for felony murder. According to members of English teacher Lisa Smith’s 8th grade English class, their field trip on October 15 to the Bronx Criminal Court was indeed an eye- opening experience. Upon arriving at the courthouse, students were greeted by their tour guide, Officer Tina Perez. Officer Perez introduced the group to Sergeant Tony Toleco, who briefly described his career as a member of the NYPD and explained the arrest pro- cess. Next, stu- dents met a senior District Attorney who quizzed the class about their knowledge of the court system process and the difference between misdemeanors and felonies. Afterwards, students observed the arraignments of some young adults accused of trespassing and drug possession and then were escorted to the holding cells to observe what it was like to be imprisoned. Stu- dents learned that 350 individuals had been arrested and placed in those cells during the previous weekend and that all individuals accused and held for a crime must be brought before a judge within 24 hours for their arraignment on the charges. The group then witnessed a homicide trial in which a man was accused of reckless driving that resulted in a victim’s death; the defendant faced up to 15 years in prison. Eighth grader James Lebowitz commented, “I thought that all courts were more violent, because when I watch law shows on TV, it’s very intense in the courtrooms.” To conclude the tour, students met with the HonorableAlison Tuitt, a Supreme Court Justice in Bronx County and a parent of 12th grader Reginald Tankard. While the group sat in an empty courtroom, Judge Tuitt talked about her career in law and answered questions. As the class walked to the subway station, James Morgenstein commented, “This experience showed us how much work and dedication it takes to enforce the law.” The trip was an enlightening, real-life experience that complemented the students’ literary exploration. Scott Friedman, Benjamin Grieco, Umair Amla, James Lebowitz, Lucas Friedson, James Morgenstein, Andre Orengo, Tobias Nadell, Emily Nass, and Haewon Lee Jail cell featuring Andre Orengo, Emily Nass, and Haewon Lee Emily Nass, Andre Orengo, James Morgenstein, Tobias Nadell, and Scott Friedman Haewon Lee
  17. 17. York News 17 Advisor: Leah Umansky The Dodge Poetry Festival is a biennial event that routinely attracts audiences of up to 20,000 poetry lovers. Over its 26-year history, the festival has drawn approximately 155,000 people from 43 states to a setting where it seems everyone adores the spoken and written word. Visitors participate, free of charge, in what is widely acknowledged as the largest poetry event in North America. On October 12, 2012, six specially invited York Prep students arrived at the festival grounds near Newark, NJ, to be part of Student Day: Samia Finnerty (10), Elsa Lindy (10), Gayla Kornbluh (11), Daniel Caragiulo (9), Pauline Hatzioanidis (11), and Nicholas Goutman (11). English teacher Leah Umansky, a published poet herself, was thrilled to have this opportunity to share the festival with the students, as she, too, first attended the festival when she was in high school. Here are some reactions from the York participants: Students reflect on their experience at Dodge before leaving Newark and heading back to York. Yearbook Club Advisors: Maria Alegre and Wendy Jin For the first time inYork Prep history, the Yearbook Club is proud to be able to say: “Yes. We’ve got an app for that!” Library Media Specialist and YearbookAdvisor MariaAlegre has worked with the yearbook company Jostens to procure a yearbook photography application, available for free download in theApp Store for both iPhones andAndroid smartphones.After students down- load the ReplayIt app, they are able to register with York Prep’s online account and upload photographs from their phone directly to the Yearbook website. This app has been created in hopes that all students (especially all senior class members) will feel well represented in the upcoming yearbook. Ms. Alegre has been ably assisted in her role as Yearbook Advisor by Co-Advisor Wendy Jin (Mandarin teacher with a knack for apps) and Dan Ashwood (art teacher with a flair for photos). This year’s exceptionally dedicated student staff includes Julia Slaff and Samuel Weintraub as Co- Editors-in-Chief, Olivia Matticoli as Vice-Editor, Brittany MacLeod and Isabella Arizin as Photography Editors, and Danielle Pratt as the Art Editor. Julia Marzovilla and Matthew Wang have also been elected to help advise and organize their fellow juniors. $ $ $ $ $ “It was a fantastic and eye-opening experience. I enjoyed Raul Zurita the most, because his imagery and themes were dark.” “The trip opened my eyes to new writers who I found to be very entertaining. The whole experience, being surrounded by so many artistic people, inspired me very much as a writer.” “I loved the poetry of Rachel McKibbens because she read her poems with such a passion and spoke to the crowd in a very relaxed way…I would love to go again.” “I could’ve sat through five more hours of poetry.” “I really enjoyedAmiri Baraka because he used a melody along with his poem…. [The experience] was really eye opening and it introduced me to many new styles of poetry.” Dodge Poetry Festival
  18. 18. Genesis Wins Major Award Advisors: Leah Umansky and Anna Martens Genesis, York Prep’s literary magazine–featuring poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and art–has been awarded a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). In addition, advisors Leah Umansky and Anna Martens proudly report that Anne Lutwak-Schneider’s poem “The Littlest Things” has been awarded best “Open (free verse) Poem” in the CSPA Gold Circle Awards for High-School Literary Magazines. This past year, Genesis received an incredible number of student submissions. It is a pleasure to see such a strong student literary voice here at York. Genesis bestows its own awards as well. Here are the winners of the Third Annual Upper School Contest: Best Poem –“Dreamscape” by Jonah Adler (11) Best Prose – “Phoenix Rising” by Joseph Fierro (Class of 2012) Best Artwork – “Drill” by Danielle Pratt (12) “We have already received some wonderfully creative submissions for the next issue of Genesis, and we look forward to publishing in May 2013”, said Ms. Martens. “We encourage all students from all grades to join and to submit!” 18 Winter 2013 The Paw Advisors: Anna Martens and Leah Umansky Our school newspaper, The Paw, began the year with a great team of stu- dent writers and photographers. English teachersAnna Martens and Leah Umansky were pleased to see the newspaper staff collaborate effectively to put together a successful first issue of the year. Articles covered a wide range of topics. Among the highlights were pieces on Hurricane Sandy, college- level coursework, and banned books. Something special and fun this year is an expanded political cartoon and comics section. Senior Julia Slaff leads the newspaper staff as Editor-In-Chief, and senior Jeremy Losak works as the Assistant Editor. Staff writers and artists include 8th grader Joseph Newman-Getzler, 9th grader Maxwell Skidelsky, 11th grader Julia Marzovilla, and 12th graders Avery Brown and Jake Rose. Keep on the lookout for our spring issue later this year! $ $ $ La Pata Advisor: Leila Kaady The Spanish language has brought together five seniors - Sydney Gomez, Adriana Irizarry, Julia Slaff, Samuel Weintraub, and Olivia Matticoli - who have chosen to take Spanish as a senior elective this year with advisor Leila Kaady. They have created La Pata, a Spanish-language newsletter incorporating topics students find interesting about Latin American and Spanish culture and language. Represented as well are current events and personal articles that relate to student life here at York. This week was the debut of La Pata, whose English translation is The Paw (York’s English language newsletter). Students have the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts in Spanish with others who are studying the language as well as with York’s many staff members who speak Spanish. Each of these five seniors is unique and brings a personal touch to La Pata, which makes it a very special project. Feedback and support for La Pata has been extremely positive. Its creators hope that everyone continues to enjoy La Pata and that it inspires students to start or continue learning Spanish!
  19. 19. York News 19 Domestic Uncertainties English Teacher Leah Umansky’s First Book of Poems English teacher Leah Umansky is proud to announce the publica- tion of her first book of poems, Domestic Uncertainties, out now from BlazeVOX Books (Buffalo, NY). A memoir of marriage and divorce told through poetry, the poems have been a labor of love over the last six years. Ms. Umansky’s poems have appeared in BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG feature “Word Choice,” in Barrow Street, in The Paterson Literary Review, and in Catch-up. As both a dedicated teacher and a poet, Ms. Umansky enjoys blending her passions when teaching poetry units to her classes, including her 9th grade Pre- Scholars Poetry Writing Workshop. Ms. Umansky is also one of two faculty advisers of York Prep’s literary magazine, Genesis. The experience of being Editor-in-Chief of her own high school literary magazine inspired her as a writer to pursue a degree in English/Creative Writing at SUNY Binghamton and an MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. She vividly remembers that it was a beloved high school English teacher who taught her about the power of language and gave her the motivation she needed to follow her dreams. For more information and upcoming readings, see her author page at www.blazevox.org. ¡Olé! A Trip to Spain and Mama Mia! An Upcoming Trip to Italy Trip Advisor: Melissa Feibusch Madrid…Cordoba…Toledo…Seville–places resonant with centuries of Iberian culture! In February 2012,York Prep high school students journeyed through these great Spanish cities. The travelers disembarked in Madrid where they viewed some of the beautiful architecture and attractions during their tour. Among the highlights were the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum. The students also took time for a day trip to Toledo. In Cordoba, they visited the Mezquita and learned how to make tapas, but they barely had time to unpack their suitcases with Seville awaiting them! In Seville, they toured the famous Plaza de Toros, took in an original Flamenco show, and became acquainted with the baroque architectural style embodied in the Cathedral of Seville. They even had an opportunity to unwind a bit by playing basketball with the locals. This February, York Prep students will be traveling to Italy, where they will be exposed to yet another rich culture and a thoroughly musical language. For some, this experience will be one of reconnecting with their roots and will provide them a chance to see and experience the atmosphere that nurtured their forebears. Others will discover the bracing taste of a new culture. Certainly all our travelers will come away from this trip with memories that go beyond those of a normal vacation. Advisor Melissa Feibusch wants them to feel a sense of pride in being Americans and New Yorkers. “We also want to encourage understanding, enthusiasm, and empathy for the citizens and civilization of another country,” she said. These trips build skills and friendships that create bonds throughout high school years, and they establish memories that influence and shape a lifetime of learning.
  20. 20. 20 Winter 2013 Science Club Advisor: Stephanie Sadeghi The Science Club is off to a great start this year. At the first meet- ing students used a spectroscope to see all the different colors of light through their ever-so-fashionable special glasses!Another meet- ing had them playing with polar and nonpolar substances and watching how they react together. Club members were amazed at how effectively dishwashing detergent (soap is neither polar nor nonpolar) breaks apart fat (nonpolar) globules in water (polar). Future scientific adventures include a number of exciting new experiments and trips: separating iron from cereal, going to see the real Body Works exhibit in Pennsylvania, playing with interesting chemicals, and going on other explorations. All students with curious minds interested in “the way things work” are more than welcome to join the Science Club! Senior Scholars Playwriting Seminar Performing Arts Chair and Drama Teacher: Maria Getz This year, 12th graders in the York Scholars program once again have a unique opportunity to create and stage original student works during a two-part course in playwriting and play production. The classes are designed to empower students to create their own original scripts in a seminar-based format. The structure and exercises employed in the class are based on techniques developed by the Young Playwrights Festival and Young Playwrights, Inc., an organization helmed by composer Stephen Sondheim, which nurtures new writing talent and provides professional development for teachers and artist educators who mentor and guide amateur playwrights. The Scholars Program seminars, taught by drama teacher Maria Getz, allow students to create dramatic works through in-class writing assignments that are then workshopped, developed, and eventu- ally staged. Students learn proper formatting, character development, and dialogue writing as well as techniques for creating conflict and finding a resolution. They share their works-in-progress and receive feedback from one another at each session. Each student is required to write a 20-page one-act play as the culminating project in the course. Students then continue to the Play Production course, where the group selects several of the scripts created in the Playwriting Workshop to be directed and performed by class members in staged readings. YORK CLUBS & ORGANIZATIONS
  21. 21. York News 21 Community Service Club Advisor: Kimberly Braun Community Service with the West 68th Street Block Association On Saturday, October 6, the Community Service Club teamed up with the West 68th Street Block Association to work on beautifying our block’s tree beds and help raise money for a worthy local ani- mal rescue cen- ter. Along with their gardening efforts, student volunteers set up a face-paint- ing booth. Mr. Stewart provided key support by supplying the club with a cotton candy machine — a big hit and a successful money raiser!All proceeds went directly to Infinite Hope, a non-profit animal rescue center in Brooklyn that helps find homes for abandoned animals. Community Service in Support of Hurricane Sandy Victims In the weeks following Hurricane Sandy, students from the Community Service Club and Student Government Organization collected donations to help with relief efforts. Distribution of goods included the following aid organizations: Robin Hood Foundation–Seven boxes of goods. The Breezy Point Disaster Relief Fund– $240 (with help from Ms. Smith and parents at International Night). Yorkville Common Pantry–Over 60 lbs. of food. Karl’s Klipper on Staten Island– Over seven suitcases of products (carried directly there by students). York Prep is very proud of our generous, community-minded students. $ $ $ $
  22. 22. 22 Winter 2013 Sixth Grade Channels Olympian Deities English Teacher: Lisa Smith To celebrate the conclusion of a Greek mythology unit, Lisa Smith’s 6th grade English classes assembled a creative pre- sentation about the Olympian gods and goddesses. During class, each student dressed in costume as a selected Greek deity and shared information about his or her family, special talents, skills, and traits. Participants also reported on particu- lar heroic (or devious) acts of the gods or goddesses. Miguel Towns demonstrated extreme bravery when he successfully returned intact after recording an interview with Zeus, which he played for the audience on his iPod touch. Taylor Weiss donned anArtemis costume complete with bows and arrows. Jaxon Mancuso wrote and performed a rap song about Apollo; and Dylan Pollak, who was dressed as the messenger god Hermes, delivered envelopes to all the addressees on Mount Olympus. Grace Desiderio sported full armor in her role of Athena, and Morgan Rodriguez created a colorful PowerPoint presentation with interesting facts about Aphrodite. The students’ originality made the myths about the Olympians come to life. “Their costumes were both inventive and entertaining,” observed Ms. Smith. In addition to enjoying the visits of the gods, the entire class sang along to songs, viewed video clips, and enthusiastically responded to the full range of activities. Ms. Smith’s 6-2 English class Otis Richardson, Eli Jamron, and Jacob Kay William Kay and Morgan Rodriguez Nathan Felmus, Jaxon Mancuso, and Dylan Pollak Ambassador Club Advisors: Cathy Minaudo and Elizabeth Norton Members of York Prep’s Ambassador Club host prospec- tive students throughout the academic year. Members are nominated from each grade by York’s faculty and admin- istration based on strong academic and social skills. This dedicated group of young hosts is responsible for guiding student visitors, answering their questions, and making sure they feel welcome. Ambassadors also team up with new students during our fall Student Orientation. Serving as student representatives of the school is both a responsibility and an honor our Ambassadors embrace. Comments to the Admissions Office by prospective students, such as “the students here are so nice and friendly,” are clear evidence of the success of this program. 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?
  23. 23. York News 23 Celebrating Diversity & Encouraging Awareness Advisors: Nicole Grimes and Theodore Preston The Multicultural Club at York, now in its third year, continues to have a positive influence on the school community. The club was initiated through the efforts of alumna Deanna Williams, who wanted to create a venue where the different cultures represented in our student body could be understood and celebrated as a source of social and academic strength. Although small, York is home to students who have had varied life experiences and are from all over the world. Deanna explained, “I figured a Multicultural Club at my school would promote diversity and open people’s eyes to the fact that, yes, it’s true we are culturally different. But because we share a common humanity we can appreciate each other and each other’s contributions throughout history and even now.” The club has raised money for the Japan Tsunami relief effort, has collected school supplies for needy children in Haiti, and has heightened awareness at the school during Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month. Most recently, the club sold cheerful Holidaygrams during the winter holidays. Volleyball Game Pumps Parents and Students Parents’ Event Coordinator: Lisa Smith Heated competition and high spirits filled the York Prep Gym- nasium during the Parent-Student Volleyball Game on Octo- ber 10. The fun-filled contest, coordinated by English teacher and Parents’ Event Coordinator Lisa Smith, attracted approximately 45 parents and students. Upon arriving, participants signed up for teams named “Chelsea,” “SoHo,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “West Village,” “Upper West Side,” and “Upper East Side.” After a round-robin tournament, the two finalists, “Upper West Side” and “East Village,” battled it out for victory with “Upper West Side” emerging victorious. Both teams were awarded Barnes and Noble gift cards. Spectators enjoyed snacks, refreshments, and warm conversation. The Multicultural Club:
  24. 24. 24 Winter 2013 Sixth Grade Bowling Party Sixth Grade Parent Representatives: Katherine Lowe and Jodi Pollak On Sunday, December 2, York’s party of 6th graders donned bowling shoes and hit the lanes at Bowlmor in Times Square. The class displayed some impressive, even spectacular moves, as well as a healthy sprinkling of gutter balls that made everyone laugh a lot. It was wonderful for parents to see how the children's friendships and camaraderie have grown since the October picnic in Central Park. Next up for the 6th grade is family ice skating on February 3!
  25. 25. York News 25 York Prep Community Celebrates Diversity! Parents’ Event Coordinator: Lisa Smith York Prep’s gym was transformed into a festive venue celebrating foods and music from around the world at the school’s Fourth Annual International Night on Wednesday, November 14. The evening, planned by Parents’Event Coordina- tor Lisa Smith, flowered into a wonderful display of York Prep’s creativity and spirit. Faculty, par- ents, and students joined together to make the night both memorable and fun. Parents and students contributed authentic cuisine from various countries. The Kurtz family prepared a Brazilian dish of feijoada (black beans) and white rice; the Levinson family repre- sented Italy with homemade lasagna and fried calamari; the Shigetomi/Kubo family served Japanese yakitori; the Lee family provided homemade sushi; and the Osher family shared New York deli sandwiches.Attendees also feasted on Korean vegetable dump- lings; Trinidadian jerk chicken prepared by the Cottin/Munnerlyn family; and Israeli hummus, baba ganoush, baby carrots, and pita slices provided by the Lubit family. Other specialty dishes included Polish pierogis, Chinese roast pork, Irish scones and jam, and Puerto Rican beef stew along with arroz con gandules. A number of musical presentations were in keeping with the evening's international theme. Seventh grader Olivia Heskett opened the performances by singing the American national anthem. Under the direction of Maria Getz, Chair of the Performing Arts Department, 6th graders sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” from South Africa. With guidance from music teacher Gina Costanza, 7th and 8th graders sang “Lean on Me,” while 9th grade pianist Thomas Nickell inter- preted a polonaise by the Polish-born Frédéric Chopin. The newly formed Glee Club sang “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, while the 9th Grade Chorus created their own Afro-Cuban percussion arrangement of the song “Kwaheri,” which means goodbye. In addition, there was a theatrical performance where members of the 7th grade drama class enacted a Japanese folk tale, “The Crane Maiden.” A special thank you to the upper school students who volunteered their time to set up and help out during the festivities. Thanks also to members of the Parents’Association, particularly Katherine Lowe, the 6th Grade Parent Representative, who gave generously of her time to ensure that the night was a success; and Dawn Iseson, Chair of the Parents’ Association, who enthusiastically contributed time and effort to organize the dinner and run a raffle that raised money for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. Last but not least, a big thank you to the York Prep Maintenance Staff for their assistance before and after the event.
  26. 26. 26 Winter 2013 Junior State of America Club Advisor: Donna Gelard The Junior State of America (JSA) Club at York Prep is back in action this year with a new team of students who enjoy a good debate. JSA is a student-run political awareness club for upper school students who want to strengthen their rhetorical skills or who simply enjoy discussing politics. The club’s goal is to prepare students to be active, involved community members and to give them an opportunity to voice their opinions on local, state, national, and world events. Lately, topics of discussion include our government’s checks-and- balance system, freedom of speech, and many other stimulating subjects. New club president, 10th grader Michael Demos, has been interested in politics ever since he could remember. He even helped run a campaign when his uncle ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. “I love talking politics,” says Michael. “I like being a member of JSA because it gives me a better understanding of the modern world.” Join the JSA Club at lunchtime on Thursdays in the Christian Science Center and add your voice to the conversation! Clockwise from top left: Brandon Choran, Chad Adam, Valery Komissarov, Gabriel Icikson, Michael Demos, and Richard Evans Seussical, Jr. Performing Arts Chair and Drama Teacher: Maria Getz The York Prep Performing Arts Department is hard at work on its next production, Seussical, Jr., to be presented on January 29 and 30 at 7:00 p.m., and January 31 at 4:30 p.m., in the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre at the West Side YMCA. The musical is based on the stories of Dr. Seuss and features an array of characters and stories from his beloved books. The presentation is under the direction of drama teacher Maria Getz, with musical direction by music teacher Gina Costanza, and set design and construc- tion by art teacher Karl Hartman. Ms. Costanza saw the original production on Broadway 15 years ago. “I can’t wait for the audience to see our star performers tackle the most famous songs from the show, ‘The One-Feathered Tail of Gertrude McFuzz’ and ‘Notice Me, Horton,’” she said. This high-energy show features music of many different styles, including jazz, blues, and Gospel music. It is narrated by the Cat in the Hat (sophomore Molly Model) and traces the adventure-filled journey of Horton the Elephant (senior Matthew Vitale). He struggles to save the residents of the planet of Who after he bonds with Jojo (sophomore Isabel Greenberg), a Who child who “thinks too many thinks” and gets in trouble with her parents, the Mayor of Whoville (6th grader Dylan Pollak) and his wife (sophomore Hailey Corrall). Along the way, Horton gets sidetracked by the exotic Mayzie Bird (sophomore Samia Finnerty), who convinces him to sit on her egg while she goes on vacation. Then Horton is kidnapped by hunters and sold to the circus, but fortunately his loyal friend Gertrude (senior Taryn Briskin) rescues him. The production also features 9th grader Emma Benten as the sassy and soulful Sour Kangaroo, and newcomer 6th grader Rhoda Kwarkye as the Young Kangaroo, as well as a singing “Greek chorus” of Bird Girls (sophomores Sarah Calaman and Ellara Chumashkaeva, and freshman Elizabeth Murin).The scheming monkeys, those Wickersham Brothers, are played by freshmen Nieve Ferguson and Rebecca Meckler and 7th grader Olivia Heskett. Rounding out the cast are 7th grader Rianna Doolaramani and 6th grader Morgan Rodriguez as jungle animals and the 6th Grade Performing Arts class as the Whos. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through the bookstore or the Business Office.
  27. 27. York News 27 Broadway Club Advisors: Sammantha Farkas and Brittany McKinney Members of The Broadway Club have been visiting the Great White Way for more than a decade, and there are currently six loyal members who have been in the club four years or more. In fact, Mallory Cruz, club president, has been an enthusiastic participant for five years! Broadway Club meets every month to discuss the events in, on, and around Broadway, including new shows and those opening soon. Many members are true theatre aficionados, and they can often be found in our hallways singing tunes from Wicked, Chicago, and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. One of the many enjoyable aspects of the club is that four times a year it meets for a sumptuous dinner and then heads to the theater. This gustatory preamble adds a popular social aspect that everyone truly appreciates. Sometimes the group is allowed to visit backstage, which gives students and teachers a unique perspective on the production process of New York’s most amazing theatres. In fact, thanks to James Nederlander, one of the show’s producers and a friend of Ms. Farkas, they were recently able to visit backstage at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark! Our students had the opportunity to see the costumes up close, visit the makeup room, and talk to the artists and actors. It was amazing! The Broadway Club is an incredible experience, both for students who already have a passion for Broadway and those who just want to broaden their experience of the arts. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Performing Arts Chair and Drama Teacher: Maria Getz Abig hit, York Prep’s 2012 winter play, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was presented on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre at the West Side YMCA. The script, adapted by V. Glasgow Koste from the book by L. Frank Baum, featured a cast and crew of 40 students from grades 6-12. The production was under the direction of drama teacher Maria Getz, while art teacher Karl Hartman designed and built set pieces. This production employed a minimalistic set and a “play within a play” format while exploring the themes of friendship, loyalty, and adventure. The story follows young Dorothy (sophomore Gayla Kornbluh) as she is whisked away by a cyclone to the magical land of Oz, where she meets a group of beloved characters: the Scarecrow (8th grader Emma Benten), the Tin Woodsman (freshman Hailey Corrall) and the Cowardly Lion (freshman Isabel Greenberg). Senior Cole Lumpkin played the challenging dual role of narrator (author L. Frank Baum) and the Wizard. Rounding out the cast were 6th grader Aaron Pahwa (Toto); and freshmen Molly Model (Wicked Witch of the West), Jordan Isaacs (Glinda the Good Witch of the North), and Sarah Calaman (Good Witch of the South). The play also featured 8th graders Nieve Ferguson (guard),Trevor Viscardi (Uncle Henry), and Elizabeth Murin (head Munchkin/Winkie); as well as freshmen Lucas Mollod (guard) and Ellara Chumashkaeva (Aunt Em). The 6th grade performing arts class, along with 7th graders Marina Kalaw and Rianna Doolaramani, played the Munchkins and Winkies.
  28. 28. 28 Winter 2013 Into the Woods, Jr. Performing Arts Chair and Drama Teacher: Maria Getz Is there such a thing as happily ever after? Do wishes really come true? The answer to these age-old questions was a resounding “yes” when York Prep presented its spring musical Into the Woods, Jr. on May 2 and 3 in the nearby Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre at the West Side YMCA. The popular Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine musical includes well-known songs such as “Giants in the Sky,” “Agony,” and “It Takes Two.” The production was directed and choreographed by drama teacher Maria Getz. Music teacher Gina Costanza helmed the musical direction, and art teacher Karl Hartman designed and constructed the set. With a cast and crew of students from grades 6-12 as well as two faculty cameos, the production featured both veterans and newcomers to the York Prep stage with standout farewell performances by seniors Cole Lumpkin and Gabriel Skoletsky. The story is told by the narrator (9th grader Lucas Mollod) and follows well-known fairy tale characters on their individual quests for “happily ever after.” The baker and his wife ( Cole Lumpkin and 9th grader Molly Model) will stop at nothing to have a child. Cinderella (junior Taryn Briskin) wants to go to the ball and meet her Prince Charming (fellow junior Matthew Vitale). Rapunzel (9th grader Hailey Corrall) longs to see the world and be with her prince (8th grader Trevor Viscardi) after being locked in a tower most of her life by her adoptive mother, the Witch (9th grader Samia Finnerty). Along the way, the baker and his wife must collect items in order to rid themselves of the witch’s spell that has rendered them barren. The items include Rapunzel’s hair, Little Red Riding Hood’s (9th grader Isabel Greenberg) cape, and Jack’s (Gabriel Skoletsky) beloved cow Milky White. The cast also boasted a number of stalwart supporting characters, including Cinderella’s stepmother (8th grader Nieve Ferguson) and stepsisters (6th graders Olivia Heskett and Talya Lubit), Jack’s mother (8th grader Emma Benten), the Mysterious Man (9th grader Sarah Calaman), the Steward (9th grader Ruby Zolot) and Granny/Cinderella’s mother (9th grader Jordan Isaacs). The ensemble included several “forgotten fairy-tailers” making cameo appearances, such as Snow White, Peter Pan and the Three Little Pigs. It was indeed a happy ending for the dedicated and close-knit cast and crew, who put in three months of rehears- als, both after school and on weekends. “Working on the musical has been a great experience, and one I hope to continue,” said newcomer Trevor Viscardi. “It was fun working with all of the other kids and Ms. Getz.” Fellow newcomer Nieve Ferguson added, “It was hard work, but it was all worth it in the end. I’ll be pretty lost after school for the rest of the school year!”
  29. 29. York News 29 National Anthem Soloist Music Teacher: Gina Costanza Music teacher Gina Costanza has been preparing Olivia Heskett (7) to sing the NationalAnthem atYork Prep Events. Olivia has already made her well- received debut to begin the festivities at the International Dinner this past November. Additional students interested in learning to perform the National Anthem are welcome to work with Ms. Costanza on Thursdays during lunch period in the Chapel. Ninth Grade One-Acts from Greek Mythology: “King Midas” and “Orpheus” Performing Arts Chair and Drama Teacher: Maria Getz This year the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue auditorium was the venue for the 9th grade drama classes’ presentation of two short one-act plays based on well-known and resonant Greek mythological tales, one about the king with too much of a golden touch and the other about the master musician who journeys to the under- world to find his lost love and who must not look back on his trip home or she will vanish again. The daytime productions were attended by an enthusiastic audience of York Prep students and teachers. King Midas starred Trevor Viscardi in the title role with Micaela Arena as the narrator Dionysus. Other featured players included Casey Ryan as Silenus, and Courtney Cohen and Daniel Caragiulo as head page boys. Orpheus starred Benjamin Lipman in the title role with Michael Haddow as Dionysus, James Levinson as Charon, Maria Komissarova as Orpheus’mother, and Sabrina Ho as Hades, god of the underworld. Chandler Anarella handled the two supporting roles of Eurydice and Cerberus. Scholars Music Class Music Teacher: Gina Costanza The 11th Grade Scholars experienced a practical introduction to music theory by highlighting ensemble work. Ms. Costanza worked with them to find the right tempo, dynamics, articulation, and form for the performance of a Liberian folk song called “Take Time in Life.” The Scholars performed this piece for the student body using the halls as a performance space. Their rendition featured five different parts: cowbell, agogo bells, shekere, low drums, and voices.
  30. 30. 30 Winter 2013 Tenth Grade One-Acts: “The New Kid,” “Bystanders Blues” and “1-900 DESPERATE” Performing Arts Chair and Drama Teacher: Maria Getz This year, the 10th grade drama classes performed three one-act plays in the auditorium of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. These performances featured pieces from The Bully Plays anthol- ogy, as well as Christopher Durang’s 1-900 DESPERATE. Upper school classes and faculty were invited to attend. The 10-1 class performed the The New Kid, which, as you might imagine, describes the tribulations of a student, Max (Samuel Kay), who is antagonized by two bullies (Jeffrey Karceski and Lydia Shanen) at his new school. His well-meaning parents (Gabriel Icikson and Isabel Greenberg) arrange a meeting with one of the bullies’parents (Miles Liu and Molly Model) to smooth things over. This get-together is hardly successful, but in the process Max finds out some interesting information about the bully that he puts to use successfully when, in a humorous confrontation, he finally stands up for himself. The 10-2 class presented two pieces. Bystander Blues is the tragic story of a student (Ellara Chumashkaeva) who battles bullying after another student (Lucas Mollod) begins spreading gossip about her while her erstwhile best friend (Savannah Sanchez) abandons her. The story incorporates a Greek chorus of bystanders as a classic narration device to comment on the protagonist’s lonely and desperate struggle. Durang’s 1-900 DESPERATE is a comedic tale about a number of lonely hearts who all call a dating line looking for romance. It featured Jordan Isaacs in the leading role, as well as Sarah Calaman, Jared Axelowitz, Samia Finnerty, Maxwell Fleischman, and Daniel Durocher. The SGO Thrives Advisors: Melissa Feibusch, Michele Lodespoto, and Brittany McKinney The Student Government Organization (SGO), with enthu- siastic representatives from grades 6-12, remains in full active mode. Working alongside members of the Community Service Club, SGO President Sydney Gomez and Vice-Presi- dent Jackson Potter kicked off the year by raising money for breast cancer awareness. They hosted a school-wide bake sale and sold special pink tee shirts that students wore in place of uniforms for a day. All proceeds were donated to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Program for Breast Cancer Research. Another recent project involved the collection, organization, and distribution of items donated to Hurricane Sandy victims. SGO participants are looking forward to the annual Holiday Toy Drive, to Spirit Week and, of course, to Valentine’s Day. Students can help bring the spirit to York by attending weekly meetings on Wednesday, during lunch, in Room 420. All are welcome!
  31. 31. York News 31 Holiday Caroling Music Teacher: Gina Costanza Deck the Halls! Our 9th grade music students caroled in York’s lobby with the well-known “Sing Noel,” which included two- part voices, tubano drums, and a cowbell. The informal performance featured Nieve Ferguson, Winston Freeman, Mara Hutton, Gabriella Lopez, Neal McIlvaine,Alex Plaut, Marguerite Runyan, and Jonathan Shashoua. Everyone looks forward to more caroling in the future. “Here we come a-wassailing!” Advisor: Gina Costanza This year celebrates the birth of the York Prep Glee Club. Its members meet every Wednesday during lunch to sing out in preparation for such gigs as the International Dinner, the Spring Choral Concert, and the Evening of the Arts. This choral group spans grades 6-12 and includes members Cecilia Cuddy, Grace Desiderio, Emma Benten, Hailey Corrall, Rianna Doolaramani, Olivia Heskett, Marina Kalaw, Lily Moritz, Christina Gonzalez Chin, and Matthew Vitale. Zoe Anderson currently serves as the Assistant to Music Director Gina Costanza. The York Prep Glee Club performed “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent at the International Dinner and is currently rehearsing “In My Life,” the beautiful Beatles song. Glee Club Advisor: Ronald Stewart The Ukulele Club that meets on Monday afternoons comprises a small group of ukulele enthusiasts and a patient professional teacher,Adam Chernick. So far we have learned basic techniques and chords and done a fairly decent job of butchering a few Beatles songs.The great thing about the ukulele is that messing up the chord patterns and generally being out of rhythm is part of the fun. In the end, the ukuleles sound like, well, ukuleles. Joining Headmaster Ronald Stewart are Molly Model, Ruby Zolot, Nina Line, Luriel Balaurea,Anne Lutwak-Schneider, Matthew Stenberg, Owen Graig,Aaron Hersh, and Samuel Kay. There is no truth to the rumor that we are strangling babies: we are playing ukuleles with gusto. Strum on! The Joys of Strumming: Ukulele Club By Erwin Bernal Sometimes York Prep’s performing talent travels beyond the walls of 40 West 68th Street and shines for all of New York City to see. Current senior Matthew Vitale has joined York Prep graduate Cole Lumpkin (2012) on an exciting new musical endeavor, The State of Matteo. The debut performance of the five-member rock/jazz fusion band was at Sullivan Hall (214 Sullivan Street, between Bleecker Street and West 3rd Street) on December 26 at 7:00 p.m. For future shows and performances, sample cuts, and YouTube videos of the band, please enjoy their website at www.thestateofmatteo.com. The State of Matteo
  32. 32. 32 Winter 2013 The Gay-Straight Alliance Advisors: Thomas Henson, Michael Roper, and Lisa Smith The meetings of York Prep’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) continue to provide a safe and affirming discussion environment for all York students every Tuesday during lunch. 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 anti-bullying attitudes 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 plans to continue its Valentine’s Day traditions by hosting a bake sale and promoting positive Valentine values. With advisor Michael Roper’s help, members are preparing a special message to all York students on that day. We are proud of the York community for the way it adopts and shares the notion that all people at York have a place to belong and permission to be themselves. French Film Club Advisor: Jennifer Campo Members of the French Film Club had their first excursion on Wednesday, November 7. Upper school French stu- dents Nina Line, Rosette Zarzar, Anne Lutwak-Schneider, and Nieve Ferguson were joined by their French teacher, Jennifer Campo, at Lincoln Plaza Cinema, where they saw the film L’homme qui Voulait Vivre Sa Vie (or The Big Picture, as the film is titled in English), which was written and directed by Eric Lartigau. The film is a drama/ thriller in which a successful Parisian lawyer with a seemingly perfect life discovers that his wife is having an affair. He murders her lover in a moment of madness and then escapes the law by assuming his victim's identity and making a fresh start on the Adriatic coast as a photographer. This eventually leads him to realize what was missing in his life before. Students enjoyed the film for its dramatic and esthetic value, and were also fascinated by various aspects of French culture that were skillfully portrayed. The next film excursion will take place in January 2013. WYRK Advisor: Dan Ashwood WYRK, York’s very own television and video production studio, was reborn this academic school year and has attracted a highly enthusiastic crew of reporters, editors, animators, and video artists. Every Wednesday and Thursday after school, students convene in the media lab to collaboratively produce the weekly newscast, assisted by club Advisor Dan Ashwood. For some WYRK members, this means getting in front of the camera and delivering the school’s announcements. For others, it means designing stimulating motion graphics or even producing and editing features. Still others find themselves out in the field reporting on happenings, events, and oddities around the school. Whatever one’s interests may be, there is always a fun way to pursue them and enrich oneself within the varied and vibrant world of WYRK.
  33. 33. York News 33 Mental Math Muscles in Motion Advisor: Taviel Guren Members of the Math Club gather twice a month to exercise their mental muscles. During lunch meetings, the group gets involved in solving the fiendishly challenging problems that have been presented to top math students in schools around the country. Math teacher Taviel Guren subscribes to two mathematics league competitions, each of which sends him six questions a month, which he gives to club members. “I let the students work together on the solution, because that’s more fun,” said Mr. Guren. “We’re not actually competing, so we don’t have to follow the rules of working individually.” The answers are in a sealed envelope, which Mr. Guren opens after the 30-minute time limit. All six problems must be solved in under a half hour without the use of calculators or other calculating aids. Here is a question from one of the club’s recent meetings: The set of integers from one to five has 32 subsets. What is the average sum of the elements in a subset? Ready…set…go! Advisor: Taviel Guren Students in the Stock Market Club each create a portfolio beginning with a fantasy budget of $100,000 (no real money is involved!). They then track their stock over the course of the year. In the process, they learn about short selling and margin trading. Club members use the website www.marketwatch.com to manage and follow their investments, and they also learn how to find the companies they are looking to invest in. “Logan, a 7th grader, wanted to buy stock in all the major movie studios, so he typed ‘Pixar’ and found nothing. I then suggested he do a search for the owner of the company,” said club advisor Taviel Guren. “Students are learning how business is organized.” York Prep librarian Maria Alegre noted that several students seemed to be extremely taken with watching their stock move, especially during after-school library hours. “They ‘own’ it; that’s why they are so interested in it,” she said. The club currently boasts 43 Middle and Upper School student “traders.” The top earning member at the moment is Matthew Wang, who has a 48.58% return on his investments! Environmental and Gardening Club Advisors: Stacy Bonano and Glenn Rubic Many great projects and events are in the works this spring for the Environ-mental and Gardening Club. Among other activities, students will go to the school roof garden and learn how to put down bedding for seedlings. Observing the life cycle of plants and flowers can be a profound experience, and club members will hone their sensory skills. The club also expects to make outreach trips to bring environmental awareness to other students and to the local community. “Ms. Bonano and I look forward to breathing new life into environmental issues,” said club sponsor Glenn Rubic. He said club members will probably visit the Ameri- can Museum of Natural History and Central Park. He would also love to take them to Wave Hill, an exquisite estate on the Hudson; and the New York Botanical Garden, 250 beautiful and educational acres of flower gardens, forests, fields, and greenhouses. Stock Market Club
  34. 34. 34 Winter 2013 Advisor: Karl Hartman Lo, the tap of hammers and the swish of paintbrushes have been heard hovering delicately, lightly punctuating the after-school din at York Prep. Many have wondered what it could be. The answer, of course, is the Set Building Club. Under the expert guidance of art teacher Karl Hartman, the club has been hard at work painting a 10x5-foot mural and constructing set pieces for the upcoming musical production, Seussical, Jr. Builders gather every Monday and Tuesday afternoon between 3:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. to execute a design inspired by the illustrations from Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. Fittingly (for those who value cross-curricular connections), 6th grader Javairia Munnerlyn said, “I already knew how to enlarge a small drawing to a mural from Mr. Tull’s class using maps.” Javairia and seniorAnders Halperin have done a great deal of the work. The delightful musical is scheduled to open in late January, and the sets promise to be a delight as well. Set Building Club Computer Club Advisors: Kate Logan and Kate Sullivan Every Monday during lunch period, advisors Kate Sullivan and Kate Logan hold Computer Club meetings in their Jump Start Office #7. The club is small but mighty, due to the quality time students get to spend together. They bring lunch and laptop and have the option of playing a school-appropriate game of their choice. Minecraft and Roblox are currently the most popular games. The savvy club members even know that you can utilize YouTube to find ways to beat challenging levels, which was certainly not an option during Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Logan’s formative Atari days! Sixth-grader Cole Tarrant, one of the stalwarts, says of the club, “I really love this time to chill out during the day. I don’t have the opportunity to play games at home because I am focusing on homework.” A nice sentiment indeed. “Playing on my computer is relaxing, and this break helps me to concentrate more afterwards. It would be awesome if more people joined this club! It is great.” William Kay, 6th grade Same Sky Club Advisors: Sammantha Farkas and Brittany McKinney Emerging only this year, the Same Sky Club was born of York students’ interest in learning more about trade-not-aid organizations and their significance to today’s teenagers. Initiated by Courtney Cohen and Rebecca Meckler, the Same Sky Club is connected with Same Sky, a not-for-profit organization that believes in giving women “a hand up, rather than a hand-out.” Same Sky trains HIV+ women in developing African countries as artisans who crochet beautiful glass bead jewelry, which allows them to earn 15 to 20 times the average Sub-Saharan income. Club members reach out to other students to talk about what it means to help these women prosper. Courtney Cohen agrees that “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 serves to increase awareness about those women in Zambia and Rwanda who, because of Same Sky, are now gainfully employed and supporting themselves and their families. The enthusiasm students have shown for our new club and its successes is exciting!
  35. 35. York News 35 Backgammon, Chess, & Games Club Advisors: Theodore Preston and Taviel Guren If you think you’ve ‘got game’ at the chessboard, then I’m the guy to beat,” said Theodore Preston, club co-advisor. The ever-popular Games Club, sponsored by Mr. Preston and Taviel Guren, meets every week on Monday during lunch in Room 208. Aficionados of board games can choose among Connect Four; Backgammon; Yahtzee and Triple Yahtzee; Chess; Checkers; and last, but surely not least, Scrabble. During the spring semester, the Games Club will serve as a launching pad for a soon-to-be-newly-minted York Prep Chess Team. First, there will be in-school chess competitions among club members, and then the club will play against students from other schools in the city. Mr. Guren and Mr. Preston are the co-sponsors, and they invite students of all grades and ages to come play and compete. “ Advisor: Ethan Pennington Last spring, student Samia Finnerty began planning a club with advisor Ethan Pennington – a club to showcase talented student writers at York. The aim was to create a space where poets and songwriters could meet, collaborate, and perform on a weekly basis. Last fall, several students, including sophomores Samia, Isabel Greenberg,Ava Kuslansky, Molly Model, and Elsa Lindy, as well as freshman Trevor Viscardi, spread the word about Out Loud. They gathered at lunch to share songs, recite poems, and brainstorm ideas on how to further promote the club. This winter, Out Loud will host a talent show. Students who have had their work published in York’s literary magazine, Genesis, will have the opportunity to take the stage alongside other poets and musicians. It’s clear thatYork students are not shy about their many talents and that they love to live “out loud.” Out Loud Advisor: Stacy Povshko The goal of the Russian Club is to introduce students to Russian culture, language, history, and geography through videos, books, and live conversations. The group, which meets Wednesdays during lunch in Room 208, is actively recruiting additional students. “Right now, we have two members who are native Russians,” said Stacy Povshko, advisor and club sponsor. “Both of them are very interested in sharing their culture.” At a recent meeting, club members watched YouTube videos showing some highlights of Moscow. Ms. Povshko plans to take students to sample the cuisine at a nearby Russian restaurant. She also plans to introduce the club to Russian immigrants so members can learn more about life in Russia. Stay in touch with Ms. Povshko for further developments. Russian Club Advisor: Cora Kolosso Advisor Cora Kolosso holds Open Studio every Monday after school from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the Visual Arts room. It’s a time and place for students to relax and have fun making art. This year, some students have joined Open Studio to work on specific classroom assignments, including those from their photography class. Other students have been working on independent ceramic pieces or watercolor paintings; and, indeed, students are encouraged to explore any medium that strikes their fancy. Our students really look forward to this special time. “Mondays are my favorite, because I get to come to Open Studio,” says 6th grader Javairia Munnerlyn. And 8th grader Haewon Lee adds, “Open Studio is like my time for meditation. I just get into my work, and before I know it, it’s time to clean up.” Art Thrives in Open Studio
  36. 36. 36 Winter 2013 Intramural Sports Program Coaches: Justin Stack, Lisa Rill, and Christina Schirone The York Prep Intramural Program offers students in grades 6-12 a variety of activities designed for both recreation and healthy competition during their lunch period. The program accommodates any sports that don’t require a long time to set up. These include badminton, indoor soccer, floor hockey, hand- ball, and others. Big- bat-boomer baseball is a popular choice. (In fact, just saying it is fun.) The opening of our fitness room last year expanded the selections even more, giving students the opportunity to work out during this time. The program aims to promote physical fitness and general wellness in a positive and fun atmosphere while also encouraging good sportsmanship. It’s a real physical-education cornucopia. Fantasy Football Advisors: Ethan Pennington and Jon Serri Fantasy Football is a national phenomenon that allows people of all ages to embrace the trending statistics of NFL goliaths. For the third year, advisors Ethan Pennington and Jon Serri, who own their own fantasy team, "The Professors of Pain," have gone head-to-head with York students in weekly fantasy football match-ups. Students who have played in previous years, as well as some who are new to the game, competed throughout the fall. They peruse the digital landscape of statistics to boost weekly debates over who the best players are. Seventh-grader Logan Spivack, who enjoys the opportunity to compete against his classmates, says, “The best part about this club is getting to hang out with other students who are interested in the NFL and trying to outsmart them each week.” Former co-champion DavidAllerhand likes the fact that he learns about other players besides those who play for his hometown team. “I used to focus solely on the Jets players. Fantasy football makes me pay attention to the rest of the league, and I know a lot more about the sport as a result,” he said. If you are fan of the NFL and enjoy analyzing statistics, by all means, sign up for next year’s league. Swim Club Advisors: Joyce Perley and Stacy Povshko For some aquatic-minded students, the return to school in September heralds the return of the York Prep Swim Club to its home pool at Asphalt Green. This fall, veteran swimmers from the past few seasons, including Khari Derrick, Aaron Pahwa, Aaron Murphy, and Maya Darst- Campbell, welcomed several new participants from different grades. Together they formed one of our largest groups in recent years. On Friday afternoons, advisors Joyce Perley and Stacy Povshko often joined in for a refreshing end-of-the-week dip. Highlights from the fall included the spirited Diving-for-Objects-at-the-Bottom-of-the-Pool Competition and the ever-popular cliffhanger, the Jumping-from-the-Blocks Event. Indeed,York swimmers really know how to enjoy themselves (they are also fans of the weekly ride across town via limousine). The club looks forward to more splashing good times in the spring.