As the temperatures start to drop, and the autumn days get shorter, I find myself reflecting on what I am appreciative for as the holiday season approaches.
Many think of this period as a joyous time of the year, full of abundance and togetherness. But, it may also be a tough time, as some of our families struggle financially and many of us grieve loved ones we have lost.
Regardless of these realities, as a school community we strive to ensure each and every member feels accepted and appreciated, and provided for, no matter the time of the year, and no matter the circumstance.
As many of you are aware, acceptance was the district’s shared character trait during the first quarter, where staff and students alike participated in numerous activities and assemblies to practice acceptance in real life. For the second quarter, the students have chosen appreciation as the next character trait, which I feel is an excellent selection given the time of year, and how far we have come as a school district over the past 12 months.
Our strong ICC bond was evident in this year’s High School Coin Wars. Coupled with a generous donation from an employee, the annual “competition” raised just over $1,000 during Spirit Week. The money was raised for Ichabod’s Table, a program that provides food for about 25 High School students and their families during the school year.
Keep on reading to see how the $1,000 will be used to help our families in need this holiday season.
My feelings of gratitude and appreciation for our Rider family seem endless. We have come so far this year already, evident in so many ways, and exemplified during our Spirit Week, a week dedicated to celebrating our Rider Pride. It was four days devoted to being together, accepting one another, and appreciating all we have. I am also grateful to have welcomed many new staff to our ICC family this school year. Our team continues to grow with a diverse group of new team members including support staff, who are in the spotlight this month.
See the article below to learn more about the support staff that joined the Rider family this year. Spoiler alert, one of the new hires describes herself as a “big scaredy cat.”
Our diverse student body is fortunate to have so many opportunities beyond their academic coursework and we are always looking to expand these even further. I am happy to share that we are bringing back our swim team after about a decade-long hiatus! Ichabod will once again team up with the Hudson City School District to create a joint-team. We are excited to offer this winter sport and build upon the extra-curricular activities available for our students! And our youngest Riders are also never forgotten! The Primary Schoolers are expanding their computer literacy skills in programming through the use of robotics!
It has been such a beautiful, yet busy first few months of the school year. So let’s all take a moment from our busy days to reflect on what we are most appreciative of. In addition to what I mentioned above, I am so grateful for our dedicated faculty and staff who are always creating new opportunities for our students and supporting them in every way.
The students' choice of appreciation for this quarter’s character trait reminds me how important it is to remember what we are grateful for in our daily lives. I know for certain that I am grateful for all of you, and our Rider family.
Also in this issue:
The Generosity of Coin Wars
The Swim Team is back!
Primary Schoolers learn robotics
Welcome again to our new Support Staff
#ICYMI: Spirit Week
Coin Wars helps feed our ICC families
During Spirit Week, the Freshmen and Juniors teamed up to take on the Sophomores and Seniors in the annual Coin Wars. Two large containers were set up in one of the hallways, where students could go to donate money.
This year, the money raised was donated to the High School’s Ichabod’s Table. Coupled with a generous donation from Karolyn Eberhardt, an ICC music teacher, the annual competition brought in just over $1,000.
“We have a very generous ICC family!” said Jennifer Two-Axe, HS librarian and coordinator of Ichabod’s Table.
The money will be used to help purchase ready-to-cook Thanksgiving meals for any ICC families in need. The meal boxes will include a turkey or turkey breast, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and more.
On a weekly basis, Ichabod’s Table provides food for about 25 High School students and their families during the school year. Students can also access food on an as-needed basis. The program, which is funded strictly by donations, partners with the Regional Food Bank’s School Pantry Program. Participating students in Ichabod’s Table can choose the foods they want, which include non-perishable, fresh, frozen and refrigerated options.
An average bag includes two breakfast items, three entrees, fruits, vegetables, bread (or another non-perishable grain option), snack items, and Stewart’s cards redeemable for a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs.
Karolyn donated $500 in honor of her mother, Holly, who passed away this year. Holly worked very hard over the years to help those with food insecurities.
The Primary and Middle School run similar weekly programs, where staff pack backpacks with food, and distribute them to participating students every Friday.
The Varsity Swim Team is back!
After about a decade hiatus, the Ichabod-Hudson Varsity Swim Team has returned!
ICC Swim Coach Dan Funk, who coached the team in the past, said Hudson and Ichabod began conversations about a combined team last spring. The varsity team went through the approval process, and will start on Nov. 14 as another winter sport.
“I am happy that we are putting the team together again,” said Coach Funk. “I hope there’s a lot of interest because it is a great sport.”
One student who is thrilled is eighth-grader, Izzy Robles. Izzy has been competing on clubs and teams outside of Ichabod since she was in primary school.
“I love it, I have always loved the water,” said Izzy, who prefers long-distance races. “I really love the people. They are my little swim family.”
Izzy knew Ichabod had a swim team years back, so last year she emailed Co-Principal Anthony Marturano and asked to have a meeting to discuss having a swim team again. She was bummed that many of her friends were participating in modified winter sports, and she didn’t have swimming as an option at ICC. So, when she found out the team was back, she had her mom sign her up immediately.
“I am really excited,” she said. “I am most excited about meeting people who are also interested in swimming in my school, so I have more people to talk to about it.”
Primary Schoolers learn about coding
This fall, the Primary School launched "Tech Innovation Fridays." Over the course of two sessions, Stephanie Carbone, will visit classrooms to introduce the school's K-3 students to computer programming through robotics.
Last year, Stephanie, who is a Model Schools Specialist at Questar III Boces, piloted the idea of bringing robots in three classrooms. The students learned the basics of computer programming with various robots, and it was very successful and the students really enjoyed it – thus leading to the creation of Tech Innovation Fridays.
During the 2022-23 school year, Stephanie will offer two sessions to our K-3 classrooms. The first session began in October, and will end in December; while the second session is scheduled for March, concluding in May. She is currently working in four classrooms, with at least two more interested in the second session.
“I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to share my love of educational technology with our Little Riders,” Stephanie said. “I have a passion for promoting critical thinking and problem solving skills for all of our students.”
She recently attended a first-grade class, where she introduced the class to "Indi," a robot that is shaped like a car, designed specifically for younger learners. Indi is an educational tool that teaches kids the basics of programming.
Stephanie showed the first graders how they could use different-colored silicone tiles to give the car instructions. She gave several demonstrations before letting the kids pair up to try out the robots on their own. The kids LOVED it!
Welcome Support Staff!
We are lucky to have many new staff members join the Rider family!
This month, we will spotlight the new Support Staff across the district, so you can get to know them a little better. Welcome again, we are excited to have you here!
District administrators hired five new support staffers, which hold a variety of positions in buildings across the district, including school counselors, school psychologist, English as a New Language (ENL) teacher and speech pathologist.
Cheryl Meenagh started at Ichabod as a substitute teacher in 2018, and then became a Teaching Assistant in 2019. After graduating with her master’s degree, she became an ENL teacher, working in both the Primary and High Schools. She lives in the area with her two kids, who are in fourth and eighth grades at ICC – and their new chocolate lab puppy named Bentley. She loves to spend time with her family and travel.
Marisa McKay recently moved to Albany, and is new to upstate New York. Although most of their family and friends live on Long Island, she says she was so lucky to have gotten hired at Ichabod as a speech pathologist. Previously, she worked at a small special education school in Brooklyn for three years. In her free time, she loves to read and try new restaurants.
Lucas Silvis moved to Valatie in July 2021, finished school, and soon after was initially hired as a leave replacement at Ichabod. This year, he is a school counselor in the Middle School. He worked at Berne-Knox-Westerlo for two months before starting at Ichabod. He lives with his fiance and dog and is a HUGE Buffalo Bills fan, and loves to fish.
Danielle Rosa recently started her second year as a high school counselor. Before coming to Ichabod, she worked at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, VT. She grew up in Staten Island, but has spent much time visiting family in the Capital Region. She lives with her husband, and their two cats, Pixel and Tater-Tot. She loves to bake, especially cheesecakes, and is a big board game fan.
Paige Martin, the district’s new school psychologist, lives in Albany and is from the Poughkeepsie area. This school year marks her second year as a school psychologist. Last year, she worked at Schenevus Central School District. She has a dog named Patty, and a cat, Benny. She calls herself a “big scaredy cat,” since she is easily frightened.
#ICYMI: Spirit Week 2022
This school year, ICC’s Spirit Week ran Oct 11 to 14, and was packed full of activities to show our Rider Pride.
This included a range of themed days, like Pajama Day, Twin Day, Teen Beach/Riders and Surfers (you might have to Google that one), and Throwback Thursday. On the last day, Friday, all of the schools came together to celebrate Rider Pride by wearing blue and white, our school colors.
It wouldn’t have been Spirit Week without the annual High School Pep Rally. The entire school packed the gym, many in their ICC blue and white swag, to honor this fall’s sports teams, and to let loose after a long day at school. The students and staff faced off in a relay race, ICC’s version of hungry hungry hippos and tug-a-war.
The gym was roaring with Rider Pride!
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