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Matthew DeMarco Memorial Middle School History Bee
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 9:04 PM

Current and past HS Academic Challenge Team Members came together on January 11 to host the second annual Matthew DeMarco Memorial Middle School History Bee, an action packed competition filled with tension, laughter and fast buzzing on topics as diverse as Winston Churchill, the Hundred Years War, Edward Snowden, Monopoly, Roe v Wade, Jackie Robinson, world geography and the defenestration of Prague. Who knew history could be so exciting? The HS Academic Challenge Team did! The team ran a fantastic event, with the first and second place winners, eighth-graders Alexander Sabelja and Gerard Mazzone, who were awarded automatic free entry to the NY State Regional Finals of the National History Bee.

The online exam to qualify for the regional Bee is open until January 25, 2019 and any student interested in history is encouraged to take this free exam and try to qualify for the NY Regional Finals.

The registration for the exam and other information about the History Bee can be found at:

All donations from this event go to the Matthew DeMarco Memorial Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) providing scholarships to students at EHS. If you would like to donate, you can send a check made out to the Matthew DeMarco Memorial Scholarship Fund to the Eastchester High School Academic Challenge Team c/o Larry Ellis, Eastchester High School, 2 Stewart Pl, Eastchester, NY 10709.

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The Art of Japanese Calligraphy
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Friday, January 18, 2019, 2:19 PM

Japanese CaligraphyYou could hear a pin drop in the Anne Hutchinson art room as students learned how to draw Japanese characters called kanji.

The fifth-graders first practiced on newspaper using black ink and then made a final drawing for the Anne Hutch Arts Festival in May.

Student making Japanese CaligraphyMembers of The Japanese Activity Committee have been sharing this traditional art form at the school for about 15 years and they have been meeting with Gina Zohar’s art students during the month of January.

Parents and some students first presented a brief history of Japanese Calligraphy and then demonstrated how to draw the kanji representing the words flower, star, and their names.

“It helps them appreciate different cultures and promotes understanding,” said Zohar. “Teaching their peers also adds value to the children who are presenting.”

Aoi Matsumoto remembers how difficult it was to learn English when he first came to the United States and he enjoyed helping his classmates with calligraphy.

“I want to share the culture so they can appreciate it and we can make friends,” said Matsumoto.

Student displaying Japanese CaligraphyClassmate Ava DiBenedetto agreed. “I like the part about learning what things mean and writing my name. I am going to practice and show my family.”

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Student Athletic Council Senior Citizen Dinner
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Friday, January 18, 2019, 2:08 PM

Here are some moments from The Student Athletic Council’s annual Senior Citizen Dinner. Students and seniors had a wonderful evening January 12 when they gathered in the Eastchester High School Cafeteria.

On behalf of the Town of Eastchester….thank you to all the local business that donated food and desserts for the evening. Thank you to Eastchester High School Athletic Director Jason Karol and the students for making the dinner such a success!

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Superintendent’s Student Council
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Saturday, January 12, 2019, 4:59 PM

Superintendent's CouncilIt's not uncommon for high school students to gather together at lunch and talk about what they enjoy doing with their friends at school. What you might find surprising, is that once a month, a group of students meet with School Superintendent Dr. Walter Moran to share those thoughts and devise ways to foster change.

The Superintendent's Council is in its third year in the Eastchester School District with freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors all playing equal roles. Students who were interested in joining the council filled out an application to participate for the school year and were selected by Dr. Moran. They represent a broad student body.

"I want to help the school community and create positive opportunities for others," said junior Beatrice Norton.

The council watches a brief video at the beginning of each 80 minute session that focuses on a particular ideal or concept, for example, resilience. The group then discusses how this word relates to the tasks ahead.

Superintendent's CouncilEach member has a project that he or she develops that would enhance the District. Creating new clubs and courses and constructing ways to improve learning are among their ideas.

Norton and fellow council member Laura DeLeon would like to create a STEM Club at Eastchester High School so students can continue their love of science outside the classroom. "We could have more fun with experiments, study many sciences and take part in more in depth labs and STEM projects," said DeLeon.

Dr. Moran ...

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Teaching Tolerance
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 2:16 PM
EMS Students learning tolerance

Student Council members from Anne Hutchinson shared markers and crayons as they colored and signed a Tolerance Contract this week at their school.

The children have pledged to be open minded, to accept and to learn from people who are different.

"If you treat everyone with respect and kindness it will have a positive effect and everyone will feel welcome," said fifth-grader Danielle Dimurro.

Students working on Tolerance activityStudents hope the contract will raise awareness about differences in their cultures.

Each month the school community focuses on a word and the lessons it teaches.

Throughout the month of January students will explore the concept of Tolerance to help them realize what we all have in common is that we are different.  

EMS StudentThe idea is to prepare the students for their adult life where they will work alongside of people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities, and religious beliefs. Tolerance prepares students for a complex and global world.

Young students may not be thinking about that right now but they already understand how tolerance can improve their daily lives.

"I know people can be rude," said student Shaiel Hernandez Rodich. "When I was younger, I saw how some of my friends were left out."

Many fifth-graders are also reading the book "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio which tells the story of a boy living with a facial disfigurement. The story drives the message home that every person – no matter how different – is a wonder.

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Riding with a Message
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Thursday, January 3, 2019, 12:56 PM

Biker and fansYou could feel the excitement and electricity in the air as motivational speaker and bicycle stuntman Chris Poulos prepared to complete his final exploit of the day at Eastchester Middle School.

Poulos mounted his bike and jumped over Assistant Principal Madelin LoBue, and teachers Mary Kate Martucci and Amanda Carlson as they laid on the gym floor. The crowd cheered enthusiastically!

On bikeHe spreads his message of living a positive life in a very unique way, riding his bicycle and sharing stories from his own childhood with young people from elementary schools through college.

On December 21, Poulos spoke with sixth and seventh-graders in Eastchester before the holiday break. “It energizes me,” said Poulos. “They like what I do and I give them an affirming message that reinforces what they learn in school, and I have fun.”

Picture of bikermanPoulos won 85 worldwide competitions including the National Bicycle Stunt Championships in the United States in 1990 and 1991 but he is best known for earning the 1991 Bicycle Stunt World Championship in Denmark at age 20.   

A year later, he suddenly retired from the sport, returned to school and graduated with honors from the University of Rhode Island where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education.

He returned to bicycle stunt riding with a passion to help others and with this mantra. “Treat people better than you want to be treated and you will earn respect. Others will want to be around you,” he said.

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Career Day
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Thursday, January 3, 2019, 12:52 PM

Career Day

Eastchester Middle School students got a head-start planning for the future. Eighth-graders attended a Career Day on December 21 where they had the opportunity to learn about a variety of fields and ask questions.

School Board member Sally Veltidi who is also the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Eastchester was the keynote speaker. Veltidi told the students to think about what they enjoy doing and pursue those interests as they journey through high school and then college.

Career Day participants included representatives from many areas including: marketing, finance, medicine, public service and fashion.

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Independent Inquiry
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Thursday, December 20, 2018, 9:22 PM

Independent Inquiry ClassroomWhen Nina Curtis enters John Blaser's classroom she clicks on the computer, opens websites and folders and gets down to work. She decides where to begin.

"When you sit down and get a large amount of work done, you feel as if you have accomplished something for yourself," said Curtis.

Student working on assignmentCurtis and her classmates are only in seventh grade but their Independent Inquiry Program immerses them in a college-like environment.

Virtually all Eastchester Middle School students enroll in the class where they choose a topic from current events, school life or personal issues to research. At the end of the semester, they present a portfolio to an adult, usually a parent, which includes five pieces of work called Keystones, a "best piece" of their choice and a letter to the reviewer which introduces the portfolio and its contents. The culminating presentation about their topic is presented through a digital pencast using a Livescribe smartpen.

The goal of the course is to learn and practice research skills, and understand a variety of software programs including Webspiration and Moodle. Different assignments throughout the course allow students to narrow their focus. 

Independent Inquiry Assignment"This is blended learning," said Blaser. "The students work online but they also have face-to-face interaction where I can assist them with their project." Students can ask questions at any time during class in order to stay on track and refine their work.

Curtis' project analyzes the ...

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Seventh Grade Activity Night
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Sunday, December 16, 2018, 9:42 PM

Our sixth-grade students had a blast during their Activity Night where they enjoyed pizza and other snacks donated by parents. Then they played KAHOOT and facing off against each other in some Minute to Win It games. The event took place on Friday, December 7 and was hosted by the Eastchester Middle School Student Council.

Thank you to all our teachers and parents who volunteered.

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Taking the Plunge
by Eastchester District Website Administrator - Sunday, December 16, 2018, 9:39 PM

Swim team diving"The team builds confidence. Being a part of my swim team in high school made and impact on me and I wanted to give students the same experience."

That is why Eastchester High School teacher and modified soccer coach Tim Leddy started the Boys' Varsity Swim and Dive Team in the District this year and he is already witnessing it grow and develop.

TrainingThe team which only got underway last month already has 20 members and more students want to join. The swimmer competed in their first meet on December 12 against Harrison High School.

"I longed for a swim team. I wanted a group of friends to swim with at school," said Alex Rosado who also swims with a private team. "It is really special to be part of this team and work toward a goal."

SwimmingEmiliano Dreshaj played soccer and after an injury decided to try a new sport. "I like going out of my comfort zone and I have always thought so highly of swimmers. I am excited for our team."

The team practices two-to-three times a week at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers and trains intensively for strength and conditioning at Eastchester High School.

James Poletti who said he always loved swimming is new to the competitive aspect but is up for the test. "It is very challenging and I never expected I would have to push myself so hard. I want to see how we stack up against the other teams."

As part of the Section One Division, the team will compete in meets until February with the goal of making it to States.

"As my head goes down," said Nicholas Dragomanov, "I see and hear people cheering, you get excited and push yourself more."