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Senior Awarded Scholarship for Excellence in Italian

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Rye Neck High School senior Giulianna Miceli has earned special recognition for her accomplishments in the Italian language. During an awards ceremony at the Westchester County Board of Legislators headquarters in White Plains on Oct. 7, she was recognized for her excellence in and appreciation of the Italian language.  

Miceli, a student in Rosina Martinelli’s Advanced Placement Italian language class, was among 17 students to receive the award. 

“The world language department of Rye Neck is extremely proud of this outstanding accomplishment and recognition of Giulianna Miceli as October is Italian Heritage Month,” Martinelli said.

First Graders Spread Kindness With ‘Friendly Monsters’

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First grade students at Daniel Warren Elementary School – who have been learning about artist Mara Morea, who is known for creating pop art, colorful, painted monsters – recently created their own “friendly monster” projects. 

The students first designed and drew their artworks in pencil before outlining the lines in permanent Sharpie marker. Then, they added color with colored pencils and reflective highlights in the eyes of their monsters to make them stand out and look cartoon-like.

“I created this lesson, which focused on making friendly, kind monsters, to help spread color and kindness throughout the building,” art teacher Dara Goodman said. 

The students’ projects are displayed around the building.


Post-It Notes Send Positive Messages to Rye Neck High School Students

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Members of Rye Neck High School’s Mind Your Mind Club are sending simple, yet powerful messages to their peers thanks to Post-it notes they left throughout the building. Ranging from “You Are Enough” to “Kindness Changes Everything,” “Love Yourself” and “Be Brave,” the messages were designed to spread positivity. 

“We know that school days can sometimes be stressful due to academic or social reasons,” said Nicole Crispinelli, school psychologist and adviser of the club. “Our hope is that a small and thoughtful positive message may serve as a reminder to someone to take a deep breath, remember that feelings are temporary, and that they are supported at school by friends and staff. We all could benefit from viewing these positive messages in the hallway as we are walking around the building.” 

With assistance from Crispinelli and Principal Tina Wilson, members of the Mind Your Mind Club placed the Post-it notes in the shape of a heart on a wall outside the dining hall, as well as in the girls bathrooms around the building. 

Lilly Morningstar, a junior and president of the Mind Your Mind Club, said that while the messages are simple and short, they resonate with her peers and can make a big difference in spreading positivity. 

Throughout the school year, Mind Your Mind Club members raise funds for different mental health organizations and practice different mindfulness techniques, including breathing exercises and yoga, to help them relax and calm down. In addition, in honor of World Mental Health Day, they have been raising awareness about mental health and advocating against social stigma. 

Seventh Graders’ Paintings Inspired by ‘Journey of Peace’

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More than 80 seventh graders at Rye Neck Middle School have been diligently working to create peace posters, depicting this year’s Lions Clubs International Peace Poster Contest theme of “Journey of Peace.”  

As part of the project, students discussed what peace means to them before sketching out their ideas and incorporating a dove and peace signs within their work. Some students also used roller coasters, bridges, hot air balloons, airplanes, dirt paths and ribbons, among others, to visually depict a journey. 

“What has impressed me the most is their creativity with showing a journey and what it means to them,” said art teacher Trisha Appel, who along with fellow art teacher Jennifer Dallow encouraged the students to enter the competition. “Some students are portraying a journey as peace overcoming hatred within their work by depicting sad or hurtful imagery being replaced with peace moving throughout a path. Others have chosen to show a journey throughout the world by using the Earth, different flags and a variety of people or cultures.” 

Appel said the students have been excited about the project because it allows them the freedom to express their ideas. 

“I love how they have been brainstorming by talking with each other and gaining inspiration from what others are working on in class,” Appel said. “Each poster is so unique in how the idea of a journey is being visually portrayed. The students’ attention to detail in their work has been amazing, and they are using their artistic skills to enhance their work exceptionally.” 

Once their posters are completed, the seventh graders will submit their artwork in the schoolwide competition, in which judges will select the finalists. Their posters will then be submitted to judges at the Larchmont Mamaroneck Lions Club, who will select local-branch contest winners to advance to the district-level competition for further judging.


Sixth Graders Spread Kindness, Peace With Paintings

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Rye Neck Middle School sixth graders – who drew inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s famous antiwar painting called “Guernica” – recently created their own original paintings that incorporated a white dove, the international symbol of peace, at the center of their work. Under the leadership of art teacher Trisha Appel, the project was designed to help students spread kindness and peace throughout their school. 

Using pencils and paper, the students first sketched out their ideas and doves before outlining their work in black Sharpie and painting their compositions with watercolor paints. Then, they painted their dove white with tempera paint to make it stand out, and later outlined it in black oil pastels or black pencils to further emphasize the dove. They also incorporated different words of encouragement to express their messages of peace and kindness.

“Each student’s work was different, yet they were all using the same subject matter,” Appel said. “I liked how they were able to take a theme and be as creative as they liked, and how they were able to use the skills that they learned to create wonderful works of art.” 

In addition, the students’ work directly aligned with the No Place for Hate program at Rye Neck Middle School, which was spearheaded by sixth grade guidance counselor Meegan Lawlor a few years ago.  

“The program helps to create a school environment that reminds students to be inclusive of each other, to be kind to each other, and to value and respect everyone,” Appel said. “Our art project was designed to remind students to continually promote kindness, peace and acceptance throughout school and wherever they go.”

The sixth graders’ artwork is on display outside the main office.