The Pinnacle

Spring 2018

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Paul Keller's Corner - "Circling" The Building on Pi Day

For those who are unaware, “Pi Day” is a very big deal at Norman Howard. It takes place on March 14th each year (as in 3/14 or 3.14 or pi) and is run by Math Department Chair, Ed Perdue. We celebrate Pi Day by learning about pi (the number) and baking pies (the dessert). Teachers and students volunteer to bake a pie to bring in and share. Each math class samples the entries and votes for their favorite. The most exotic pie was a Lucky Charms pie made by Miss Monturo! Finally, the day is not complete without the presence of Pi Man a masked superhero who travels around the building to protect us from "evil" and share information about pi. This year the role of Pi Man was held down by Doug Wilsch and a former Pi Man, Sam Guglin, Class of 2017.

I decided to use pi as a theme and took a circle around the building. My first stop was Mr. Humphrey’s room. His class was watching a video of the “I Have a Dream Speech” that Martin Luther King gave in front of the Lincoln Memorial over 50 years ago. The Seniors did such a wonderful job understanding the context of the speech and giving their honest feedback about its relevance and importance today. He also had students read the speech beforehand and was demonstrating that special power that can only be delivered by the spoken word.

My circle continued to the 5th and 6th grade classroom. Students had just returned from the Memorial Art Gallery where they made urns in the same style that the Greeks would have centuries ago. Mrs. Vercruysse, the classroom teacher, ties history in to virtually everything her students do making her expeditionary learning program so impressive.

I finished my journey in Mr. Perdue’s room to sample some pie. Students were clearly proud of their work and it was a nice change of pace for what was a snowy March day.

My completed circle (though circles never truly end), highlighted the richness of teaching that we have in this building. It is a privilege to work with such amazing teachers and to witness our students having success on so many different levels.

Eagle Scout Rank Achieved by NHS Senior, Tyler Blair!

Tyler Blair earned the rank of Eagle Scout on August 21, 2017 as a member of Boy Scout Troop 30 in Canandaigua.

His eagle project was to improve two parks that are maintained by the Crystal Beach Betterment Association, a not for profit volunteer group of residents. Tyler grew up enjoying these parks and wanted to ensure others in the community had the same opportunity.

Tyler and his volunteers built and installed four benches, a bike rack, and a dog waste station. He also renovated the park sign. They cleaned up the beach area, removed a deteriorated sand box, weeded, mowed, landscaped, repaired steps, added railings, and also repaired and painted a swing set.

The total project took 261 hours to complete and involved 24 volunteers! In addition, Tyler raised $1,017.00 in donations to fund his project. Great job, Tyler and congratulations on this monumental achievement!

Alumni Spotlight

Joseph Zukoski, Class of 2005, attended NHS from 7th – 12th grade. After graduation Joe entered the skilled trades field focusing on CNCs, Swiss CNCs, sheet metal fabrication and tool & die. He currently works for a company that makes precious metal jewelry and is responsible for managing their raw materials and finishing operations. Joe shared he received excellent on the job training which has allowed him to excel in his field.

When reflecting on his time at NHS Joe said he enjoyed the Pack Paddle Ski trips which instilled his love of camping. He also shared, “I can’t say enough about the teachers I had. They were all great, but I’d like to give an ‘honorable mention’ to Mr. Humphreys, Mr. Koffenberger, Mrs. Larkin and Bruce Bennett. NHS also gave me confidence to go out into the world and know I had value. I had weaknesses, but I also had strengths and NHS helped me work on both. It was easier to do that at NHS because I wasn’t worrying about what everybody else thought - we were all in the same boat.”

Joe and his wife, Gloria, have one son named Oliver, and they will be welcoming a 2nd child in April. Congratulations Joe on all of your success! We are so proud of you and what you’ve accomplished thus far.

Beauty & the Beast, Jr.

Three shows!

Friday, April 13 at 7:00pm

Saturday, April 14 at 3:00pm and 7:00pm

Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door,
$5 students through 12th grade
To purchase tickets:

Knowing Your Child's Educational Rights

Thursday, April 19th, 6pm

275 Pinnacle Road

Rochester, NY

If your child is struggling in school, learning their rights will help you advocate for their needs. At this valuable, FREE workshop, a Starbridge Family Education Specialist will help you understand:
• Your child’s educational rights
• 504 Plans and IEPs
• Legal due process rights under Federal & State laws
• Communication & advocacy tips for school meetings

Register by visiting: or calling 585-210-4721.

Celebration of Success

Thursday, June 7th, 7-9pm

275 Pinnacle Road

Rochester, NY

Save the date and join us as we celebrate the hard work our students have demonstrated this school year. Stay tuned - details will be emailed home in the coming weeks.

9th Annual NHS Reaching for the Starz Golf Tournament

While our golf tournament is months away, (9.22.18) planning is well underway. Proceeds from the tournament reduce the cost of experiential learning experiences for our students (i.e. Middle School & High School Nature Center trips, Middle School trip to NYC etc.) and provide matching scholarship funds to students with financial need.

There are many sponsorship opportunities available and we are also collecting in-kind donations for the auction. Gather your friends and make a foursome or sign up as a single golfer and we will put you with others. Please visit for more information.