At the Schools

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Southampton High School

Southampton High School recently completed nominations for two leadership seminar weekend programs. The first program is the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference, or HOBY, which is a youth leadership development program dedicated to training sophomores across the country in effective leadership skills. This year’s recipients are: Owen Laub and Alina Gaias-Alternate.

The second leadership program is the Rotary Youth Leadership Award or RYLA. This program asks for schools to nominate two tenth-grade students (one male, one female) who show leadership potential and involvement in extracurricular activities. This year’s RYLA participants are: James Cowell and Elizabeth Doerr.

Tuckahoe School

Tuckahoe students took the plunge on Saturday, December 13, to support Human Resources of the Hamptons. Students Eddie Knight, Maddie Knight, Michael Finalborgo, Alex Patricolo, McClane Farnam, Brandon Taraku and Ben Zeqiri raised almost $700 to benefit this worthwhile organization.

Student Kassidy Bieren donated more than 10 inches of her hair to help the “Locks of Love” Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that creates hairpieces for children under the age of 18 who are living with illnesses.

The Tuckahoe School recognizes all students who took part in an ambitious letter writing campaign to help bring holiday cheer to servicemen and women overseas. A total of 310 letters were sent abroad this December. This project was coordinated by Stephen Swiderski, a middle school student.

Students and physical education teachers have linked up with a recreational street hockey program sponsored by the New York Islanders. The New York Islanders Street Learning Experience Program introduced students to the game of street hockey. Through the efforts of Tuckahoe parent Dan Bedard, who is the Islanders’ director of amateur hockey development, and middle school teacher Catherine Tyler, a grant was acquired that will help the physical education program incorporate the game into the curriculum.

Last year, the Tuckahoe Parent Teacher Association supplied the school with hockey helmets. Recently, the New York Islanders provided the school with necessary street hockey equipment, such as hockey sticks, pucks, balls, nets and protective goalie gear. In addition to the equipment donated, the New York Islanders are also providing each student in kindergarten through eighth grade with a ticket voucher for an Islanders game.

Bridgehampton School

On December 18, Bryan Boyhan invited students from the Bridgehampton community to visit The Sag Harbor Express. Mr. Boyhan not only treated all to lunch, but he explained the newspaper business to students and teachers. Students are working on a community project which combines English language arts and graphic arts.

Michelle Scaramucci’s kindergarten class has been busy learning their letters as they made an “A through Z Christmas tree.”

On Tuesday, the school’s student government and the Parent Teacher Organization held the third annual Christmas Luncheon. Students, teachers, and community members enjoyed a wonderful lunch and festivities. The Bridgehampton National Bank was generous enough to allow the student government to set up a “Giving Tree” in its Bridgehampton branch, which supports local needy families during the holiday season. Also, Richard and Maryann Flood donated an assortment of new toys to the Bridgehampton School to be given out to local needy families.

Ross School

The prekindergarten visited the Southampton Care Center in Southampton on December 16. Pre-K teacher Mindy Reyer organized the event as part of a year-long community service project. “We teach the children about giving back to a community,” Mindy said.

The children sang holiday songs, including “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” and the Hanukkah song “Burn Little Candles.” Pre-nursery teacher Mimi Leonard accompanied the children on the piano. Afterward, the young carolers walked around to the seated seniors and presented ornaments and other gifts they made.

The first-graders presented a Holiday Museum on Friday, featuring “exhibits” on holiday traditions celebrated around the world. A holiday concert followed in the Field House. “Each year, the first grade has done a multicultural unit based on all the different holidays our families celebrate. So each child researches their own heritage with their families and comes into the classroom to tell the children about it and do a craft, a dance, and a song,” first-grade teacher Sharon Cook explained. “It’s about appreciating differences, cooperation, respect and answering all the ‘why’ questions of the holidays.”

Following the exhibit, the Lower School presented its Holiday Concert in the Field House. A bake sale and ZimKid doll sale was held before and after the show. Students from prenursery to the fourth grade filed in, down the center isle with parents seated on each side, and took a seat on the stage. The prenursery, nursery and prekindergarten performed first, singing several songs including “Dance Like Snowflakes,” and “Lemondrops and Gumdrops.” The third- and fourth-grade string players joined them for “Jingle Bells.” Kindergarten followed with the winter solstice song, “The Sun is Born.” The first grade sang “All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth.” The holiday tunes took an international turn when the second grade sang “Lass Uns Froh Und Munter Sein,” a German ballad, and “Feliz Navidad.”

The third- and fourth-grade strings and recorders joined the third-graders in “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.” And the fourth-grade performed three songs including “Candle in the Window.” Nancy Baxter and Mimi Leonard accompanied each grade on the guitar and piano, respectively. After each performance the parents delivered thunderous applause.

Ross faculty and staff took to the stage for the finale, singing “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” The performance drew a standing ovation.

Holiday melodies were heard in the Center for Well-Being with two separate concerts, performed by the high school and middle school, over the last two weeks.

On December 16 in the Court Theater, the high school Holiday Concert started with the sophisticated tunes of the jazz band. Under the tutelage of Hal McKusick, the band, comprised of 10th- through 12th-graders, performed “O Tannenbaum” and “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” The chorus followed, under the direction of Adam Judd, performing, “Sing dem Herrn,” “Bidi Bom” and “Ya viene la vieja,” a Spanish carol. Janet Fensterer accompanied.

Following intermission, The Baltimore Consort took to the stage and presented an evening of Renaissance music. These world-renowned virtuosos performed early music from England, Scotland, France, Italy and Spain. A variety of instruments were used, some virtually unheard of. Mark Cudek played the cittern, viol and crumhorn; Larry Lipkis played the viol, recorder, gemshorn and crumhorn; Ronn McFarlane played the lute; and Mindy Rosenfeld played a variety of wooden flutes and fifes and the crumhorn. The group was complemented by the sweet soprano sounds of Danielle Svonavec.

The middle school Holiday Concert was held in the Great Hall on December 10. This large-scale production featured more than 150 students in the string orchestra, concert band and chorus. The performance, the culmination of nearly 12 weeks of rehearsals, was flawless.

Perhaps most challenging but also rewarding, was the “Holiday Closer,” featuring everyone in the chorus, string orchestras and the concert band. It represents a new tradition for the holiday concert at Ross and consisted of five well-known holiday songs—“Up on the Housetop,” “O Tannenbaum,” “Rock of Ages” (or “Ma’oz Tsur”), “Here We Come A-Wassailing” and “Silent Night.”

Stella Maris

This week, the kindergarten students wore their silliest hats like the animals in Jan Brett’s “The Hat.” The children played a guessing game using descriptive language to guess the hat. They wrote about their hats in writing workshop. The class was busy preparing for the Christmas pageant in their roles as angels.

Christine Ward’s second-grade class made Christmas cards for the wounded soldiers who are in the hospital in Washington, D.C. In the cards, they wrote short notes from their heart. They wanted to let the soldiers know that they are remembered in their prayers.

The fifth grade has been exploring the world of poetry this month and are working on their poetry calendars. These calendars will be displayed throughout the halls of Stella Maris in January.

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