District News and Announcements

  • NRHS seniors pick prom dresses at Rent the Runway

    The doors of the Rent the Runway flagship store in Chelsea were to open to New Rochelle High School seniors at 8 p.m. Friday. But students began streaming in at 7:30 p.m., eager to take advantage of the generous offer of a free rental dress for prom by Rent the Runway cofounder and CEO Jennifer Hyman, a NRHS alum.

    Groups of excited students looked through an assortment of colorful dresses made of chiffons and silks to pick the one that flattered them the most. Hope Herzog, the NRHS senior class advisor, was at the store to supervise the students.

    Annie Blay, 17, tried on a gold floor-length dress and examined her reflection in a mirror.

    "It's amazing!" said Blay, obviously pleased with what she saw. "The opportunity to come here with my friends and to try on dresses, and to know that the person who started this also went to our schools, it's so awesome."

    Rent the Runway is a successful New York City-based online service that provides designer dresses and accessories for rent at a fraction of the retail price. The company also has a handful of stores in major U.S. cities, including New York City.

    Assistants and a stylist from Rent the Runway were at hand to offer suggestions and help the students make the most of the opportunity.

    "Definitely find something you really love. Don't worry about what someone else is wearing or what someone else thinks," said stylist Gloria Cospito. "If you feel great in that dress, pick that dress and have fun with it. Think about when you're going to look at this photo a few years from now, you'll know you felt great that night and wore what you loved."

    Desiree Puello, 17, was considering a crimson dress, when another caught her eye. She quickly moved on.

    "This is a great opportunity for her to wear something she really wants that I cannot afford," said Yvette Puello, Desiree's mother, who had accompanied her. "This is a very good thing."

    Students who were unable to go to the store will receive a free promo code that gives them a $100 credit to select their dresses online from Rent the Runway. Their selections will then be mailed to their homes.

    Prom is Wednesday, June 7. 


    Latest News (District)
  • Unraveling Gender event calls for open-mindedness

    More than 100 students, parents and faculty members attended the Unraveling Gender event at New Rochelle High School Saturday. The educational extravaganza was organized in an effort to provide a safe space to discuss gender identity and expression.

    The event was organized by New Rochelle High School senior and Bezos Scholar Ana Acevedo. 

    "We wanted to make students feel supported," said Acevedo. "It's about understanding others and having tolerance. It was a lot of work to organize. But if just one student benefits, that's the goal."

    Seventeen-year-old Santiago Castillo is a senior at NRHS who is in gender transition. He was also a presenter on the event's student panel.

    "I spoke about coming out transgender and how I felt," said Castillo. "I encouraged people to be supportive even if they don't understand. It has made a huge difference for me to have the support of my friends at school."

    Unraveling Gender featured keynote speaker Sam Killermann, an author, speaker and social justice comedian. Workshops addressed topics including gender and school policy, gender and human rights, dating for everyone, and more.


    Latest News (District)
  • NRHS salutatorian makes New Rochelle proud

    New Rochelle High School senior Melanie Anaya is not just an example of educational excellence. She and her family are also exemplars of the American Dream.

    Their story was highlighted by Mayor Noam Bramson in his State of the City address earlier this month as an example of the positive impact immigrants make to the New Rochelle community.

    Melanie Anaya's parents, Martin and Blanca Anaya, came the United States from Mexico as undocumented immigrants, hoping to make a better life for themselves. They settled in New Rochelle and raised their two daughters in the city.The couple are now citizens.

    Their younger daughter, Melanie, is the first Hispanic salutatorian in NRHS. She will attend Brown University in the fall where she has been accepted to the highly competitive Program in Liberal Medical Education, the only combined baccalaureate-MD program in the Ivy League. She wants to be a cardiothoracic surgeon.

    Melanie is co-president of the United Cultures' Club and plans workshops for the Latino Youth Leadership Conference. She is captain of her travel soccer team. She has interned at New York Medical College and the Dumont Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.

    Melanie's older sister, Edith, is finishing college and applying to graduate school.

    "If Catie and I set half as good an example for our children as you have for yours, we will consider ourselves very blessed," Bramson said in his speech. "I cannot imagine a better demonstration of the American Dream, or a better gift to our community and country than your remarkable daughters."

    Melanie travels to a small town in Mexico every year to be with her extended family. The area is poor, with few medical facilities.

    "Seeing that inspires me to do well," said Melanie. "That's where I get the drive to be a doctor."

    Latest News (District)
  • Westchester County chess championships held at Columbus Elementary

    The National Scholastic Chess Foundation held the Westchester County Chess Championships at Columbus Elementary on March 18, with 14 Columbus students competing in four different grade level competitions.  

    Five fifth grade Columbus students competed in their grade section and won first place. It was also the third year in a row that this team was recognized as Westchester County Champions for their grade. In 2015, they were first in third grade, in 2016 they won in fourth grade, and this year they won once again in fifth grade. 

    The team was also the highest scoring in all grade level competitions.  Ronny Perez led his team, coming in 3rd place, Darren Chen came in 5th place, Luis Jimenez came in 7th place, Leo Liu in 9th place and Estevan Ramos in 10th place.

     Five third grade Columbus students competed in the third-grade section, and came in second place.  Gabriela Ceja won top unrated chess player. Also playing for the Columbus team were Evelyn Sanchez, Luis Oliveros, Kevin Lopez and Frida Arenas.

    Two second-grade students competed in the second-grade section and won a second-place team award.  Dylan Solovyev and Ignacio Valencia played on the second-grade team.

    Two fourth graders competed in the fourth-grade division and came in fourth place as a team. Evelyn Valencia and Maya Concha played for Columbus in the fourth-grade section.

    The Columbus team plans to play again on April 22 at Ward, and on April 29 at Trinity. The team will be competing in the United States Scholastic Chess SuperNationals K-12 in Nashville, Tennessee. The event will be held from May 12 to May 14.

    Latest News (District)
  • NRHS Economics Team advances to state championship

    Eight students from the New Rochelle High School Economics Team have advanced to the semifinals of the National Economic Challenge, the nation’s most prestigious high school economics competition.

     The contest will take place Saturday, April 1, at the Museum of Finance in New York City.

    The students were picked from among hundreds in New York state who took an online test in economics. Eight teams were selected to go to the semifinals. Two of the teams are from NRHS.

    On Saturday, the competitors will answer 15 multiple choice questions in macroeconomics, 15 in microeconomics and another 15 in international trade and current business affairs. The top two teams in the morning contest will face off against each other in the afternoon in a quiz bowl format. The winner will go on to the national contest.

    The NRHS Economics Team has been competing in the National Economics Challenge for the last 10 years. In 2014, the team took second place in the semifinals.

     Darren Gurney, an economics teacher at NRHS and the team coach, said team members had been staying after school a couple of times a week for months to prepare for the competition. They had to work extra hard because NRHS offered economics only in senior year, unlike some of their competitors who had been studying economics since ninth grade.

     “This team is as passionate and dedicated as any team I’ve been around, whether in economics or sports,” said Gurney, who has been coaching sports teams for 25 years. “Win or lose, these students have learned a great deal in the last six months about economics and about relying on each other.”

     State winners will advance to the national semifinals. From there, the top four highest scoring teams will be selected to attend the National Finals in May in New York City for a three-day all-expenses-paid trip and celebration to compete for top awards and honors. In total, more than $20,000 in prizes will be awarded at the National Economics Challenge in 2017.

    Latest News (District)
  • Transition Fair helps parents, students learn about life after graduation

    Stuart and Adina Gross came to the City School District of New Rochelle's 13th Transition Fair on Monday with their son, Daniel, to begin looking for answers. Daniel's parents are developing a plan for him for after graduation in 2018. Daniel has autism spectrum disorder and dyslexia, among other things, and struggles with executive skills.

    "We wanted to see ... to figure things out," Stuart Gross said. "It's overwhelming right now figuring out what direction to go in. We want him (Daniel) to be autonomous and independent, rather than just living with us through adulthood."

    "We're seeing what avenues and options are out there," Stuart Gross said. "We'll apply to certain state agencies and see what he is eligible for at this point."

    The event, held at New Rochelle High School's House 4 Cafeteria, was for students with Individualized Education Programs or 504 plans and parents interested in learning more about transitioning from school. It was hosted by the New Rochelle Department of Special and Alternative Education and New Rochelle SEPTA. More than 40 schools, support programs and agencies from throughout Westchester and beyond were on hand to provide answers to questions.

    Parents and students packed the Linda Kelly Theater to listen to an inspirational speech from Steve Serio, a co-captain of the U.S. men's Paralympic basketball team and member of the New York Rolling Knicks. Before the Rolling Knicks, he played for five seasons with the German club team RSV Lahn-Dill.

    "When tough times present themselves, these students will be OK because of the love and support that you have all given them throughout their entire lives," Serio said. He said he was successful because his parents allowed him to take risks and they didn't protect him from the real world. And, he said he had plenty of mentors and positive role models in his life, like his parents and coaches who lifted him up when times were tough.  

     "We are so pleased at the success of this year's Transition Fair," Yvette Goorevitch, the director of special and alternative education for the school district. "This event is a valuable piece of the puzzle for helping parents and students adjust to life after high school and we are thankful that so many people came out to experience it this year." 

    Latest News (District)
  • Hip hop dance residency motivates Jefferson students

    Third, fourth and fifth graders at Jefferson Elementary recently completed an exciting hip hop residency that aimed to get students moving and to think of their bodies as instruments of art.

     As many as 300 children in 16 classes participated in the residency led by Jamal Josef of the New Beginnings Performing Arts Studio in New Rochelle. Josef was invited at the suggestion of physical education teachers Billy Murphy and Eddie Ortiz.

     Students learned a hip hop dance routine during a 50-minute class. The dance workshops helped them identify and demonstrate movement and skill in performing dance. Students worked alone and with partners to show that dance is a way to create and communicate.

     "It's motivating for kids," said LeAnn Bruno, assistant principal of Jefferson Elementary. "The kids were really excited because it's an art form they can relate to."

    The hip hop residency was funded through an arts and education grant by the City School District of New Rochelle.

    Latest News (District)
  • NRHS senior wins spot in state math competition

    For the second year in a row, New Rochelle High School senior Wendy Yu has won a spot in the highly selective New York State Math League. Yu, a member of NRHS's Mathletes club, is among 45 students from Westchester County who will participate in the state-level competition. The students will be divided into three teams and will compete against hundreds of students from across New York State. The contest will be held in April at Stuyvesant High School.

    The Mathletes club competes against 28 other schools in the Westchester Interscholastic Mathematics League. Each team has five members, and schools can have multiple teams if they wish. NRHS has four teams.

    The students face off by answering six questions within a strict 30-minute time period. The questions are challenging, and the answer must be exact or no credit is awarded. The top students go on to compete with their peers in the state. 

    "In order to do well on these kinds of questions, students have to think outside the box," said math teacher Dr. Nazar Rabadi. "Having taught Wendy in AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics and AP Computer Science, I can tell you that she thinks like no other student I have met in a long time."

    This is the second time that Yu has earned a spot in the state math league. Last year, she placed first on her team, but not in the state.

    Yu is the NRHS valedictorian and a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. She will be attending Harvard University in the fall.

    Latest News (District)
  • Webster students enjoy Literacy Pajama Party

    Tuesday evening, Webster School held a Literacy Pajama Party for students in Kindergarten through second grade. The children had time to shop at Webster School's Scholastic Book Fair before enjoying literacy activities with their family members. 

     Students authored their own books, played a "Popcorn Word" game, read and talked about book characters, and made puppets of their favorite book characters. The event was organized by reading teachers Peggy Parker and Jenn Meyer. 

     In attendance were kindergarten teachers Mary McCormack and Adrienne Quinn, first-grade teachers Jessica Barnes, Andrea Bambace and Carol Vallario, and art teacher Sari Sperling. 

     Even principal Melissa Passarelli joined the fun in her pajamas.  

    Latest News (District)
  • Unraveling Gender festival scheduled for March 25 at NRHS

    Unraveling Gender, a one day educational extravaganza that provides a safe space to discuss gender identity and expression, will take place on March 25 at New Rochelle High School.

     The festival aims to celebrate diversity and foster an inclusive community where people of all genders can express themselves fully. The goal is to educate the community and create an open discussion where members can ask questions and talk with professionals.

     The event is being organized by New Rochelle High School senior and Bezos Scholar Ana Acevedo. It will feature remarks from keynote speaker Sam Killermann, an author, speaker and social justice comedian. Reginald Richardson, NRHS principal, and Michael Hilderbrand, NRHS House IV principal, will also address the festival attendees. Other speakers include: Eileen Riemerschmid, Lisa Scott, Stephanie Herzog, Cody La Vada, Tyler Vadela, Montita Sowapark, Santiago Castillo, Julia Wiener and Jessica Fournier.

     The festival is a free event. Middle school and high school students, parents, teachers, administrators, community officials and other community members are invited. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    "We promise to provide a fun and interactive experience to ask the questions you have been too afraid to ask," Acevado said. "We also guarantee dynamic activities, wonderful entertainment, and amazing speakers. Our goal is to celebrate diversity and foster an inclusive community."

     For more details on the event, please visit www.unravelinggender.com and www.facebook.com/unravelinggender. If you would like to attend, please register on the event website's About tab.

    Latest News (District)