Message from the Superintendent
Dear Tuxedo Community,
Welcome to March! Can you believe we marked our 100th day of school on February 14? It seems like just yesterday we were dodging rain drops and beginning a new academic year. Since then, it has been full steam ahead at George Grant Mason Elementary and George F. Baker High School.
Over the last month I was impressed with what I saw in our classrooms; namely the inspiring and impactful lessons our teachers delivered during Black History Month, a number of which are highlighted in this edition of Tuxedo Talk. March is Women's History Month, and I look forward to seeing what is in store for our students.
Several of our George Grant Mason Elementary students and their families got creative last month with their "literary potatoes." The art project was part of February's Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) Month, and had the entire school smiling from ear to ear. Thank you to the Tuxedo PTO for bringing PARP back to the classrooms and Librarian Valerie Mui for your delightful potato project. And of course, a thank you to the familiy and community members who took part. I hope you enjoyed reading to our students as much as I did.
Over at George F. Baker High School, I had the honor of notifying Mario Ginis and Parker Givens earlier this month that they were the 2023 Valedictorian and Salutatorian. Please join me in congratulating them on their remarkable academic achievements.
Finally, a reminder for the parents of our younger students, please click on the links at the bottom of this e-newsletter for information on Pre-K and Kindergarten orientations.
I hope you enjoy the March edition of Tuxedo Talk!
Pick a Reading Partner
Guest readers made appearances in George Grant Mason Elementary classrooms throughout February for the Tuxedo PTO sponsored Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) month. Families, Superintendent White, even Town of Tuxedo Police officers took part, and became a partner. PTO President Isabel Mcleod says she was thrilled to have PARP back in the classroom; calling it a “creative way” to shine a light on the importance of literacy and “encourage a love for reading in our children.” Check out our Facebook post
PARP Potato Contest
Amazing literary themed potatoes sprouted up in the George Grant Mason Elementary library last month. The starchy statues were a PARP themed activity cooked up by school librarian Valerie Mui for our GGM tots and their families. “In the spirit of PTO’s pick a reading partner month, I wanted to do something that would extend into the home.” Mui says she was amazed how many families took part in the potato challenge, and how detailed their designs were. Check them out here.
Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Congratulations to Mario Ginnis and Parker Givens, the 2023 Valedictorian and Salutatorian of George F. Baker High School. Mario and Parker received the news in early February from Superintendent Jeff White, GFB Principal Roy Reese and school counselor Christine Oliva. In their seven semesters at GFB, Mario (Valedictorian) and Parker (Salutatorian, pictured left) each maintained a GPA over 100; frequently impressing both the administrators and teachers of the school.
Black History Month
Throughout February, teachers across the district dedicated time to lessons centered on Black History Month. At George Grant Mason Elementary, reading teacher Ms. Sayles read the second grade class a Maya Angelou biography ahead of a poster project encapsulating her inspiring story. Down the hall, third grade students constructed a Black History Month quilt after researching several influential Black and African American difference makers. The George F. Baker High School sixth grade class had their own research project, assigned by library instructor Ms. Mui. Check out the Facebook post on the first grade's George Washington Carver lesson.
Arts Build Confidence
Several George F. Baker High School artists had their art on display this past month at Middletown's Galleria at Crystal Run mall. The works were selected for the Orange County New York Arts Council’s 12th Annual “Arts Build Confidence” student arts showcase, which took place on February 11. Check out our Facebook post to see photos of all the pieces that were on display and the students behind them.
Lions Club SEE, INC. Project
Take a look who came to visit George Grant Mason Elementary last month. The Pearl River Lions Club was back at GGM for the Lions SEE, INC. project. Across the state, Lions Clubs International members visit schools to screen young children for vision problems that can lead to Amblyopia; when vision in one or both eyes does not develop properly. Read More here.
National School Counseling Week
Who inspires you to dream big? For many at George F. Baker High School it is counselor Christine Oliva. Oliva is one of 120,000 school counselors across the nation honored at the start of each February during the American School Counselor Association's "National School Counseling Week." The annual event puts the spotlight on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. The 2023 theme was School Counselors: Helping Students Dream Big, something Oliva has been doing at GFB for the past 23 years. Read more here.
National Children’s Dental Health Month
Tooth be told, taking care of our mouths is important! February was National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) - the perfect time for local dentist Dr. Se-A Chung to stop by George Grant Mason Elementary and help the Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade classes “brush up” on oral hygiene. Speech Therapist Ms. Bussard, who arranged the visit, is always stressing the importance of oral hygiene because of “how important our tongue, lips, and teeth are in order for us to speak!” Read more here.
World Read Aloud Day
To celebrate World Read Aloud Day, held on February 1, George Grant Mason students were visited by children’s author Lucy Bermingham; a local resident behind the Tickety Boo series. The event, organized by the Tuxedo PTO, featured three separate read-along events in the school library. GGM Librarian Valeri Mui says she was thrilled students met Mrs. Bermingham, because it “demystified” the role of the author, especially one from their own community. “It breaks down a barrier and shows that being an author is possible.” Read More here.
February Character Trait
“Try your best, have lots of fun. Smile and shake, when the game is done!” In and out of the gym, George Grant Mason Elementary students are living by these words. February’s character trait of “sportsmanship” was introduced during a read aloud led by Physical Education Teacher Emily Dowling. Lucia Lacorte, Poor Sport by author Christianne Jones and illustrator Marisa Morea was Dowling’s pick to exemplify to students how to act when you win or lose in sports and life. Read More here.
Congratulations to the Tuxedo Boys Varsity Basketball team for returning to the court for the first time in five years. The team's season culminated before the mid-winter recess with the celebration of "Senior Night.” Seniors Shane Bello and Michael McColgan were honored by their families and Coach Matt Takeuchi. Congratulations to all the coaches and players of the Modified, JV and Varsity Boys basketball teams on a great season.
Athlete of the Week
The sophomore led the Junior Varsity basketball team to their first victory on February 2; scoring 24 points against Tri-Valley High School and was named "Athlete of the Week" on February 3. Coach Emily Dowling notes Bello's "extreme determination and hustle" on the court, making him worthy of this honor.
Matthew Keech Murillo & Jimi Reedy
Basketball players Matthew Keech Murillo and Jimi Reedy were named “Athletes of the Week” on February 10. Reedy is a junior on the boy’s varsity team and Keech Murillo is an eighth grader on the boy's modified team. Read More
Anthony Arone & Gabriel Ogden
The Tuxedo Cafe
Grace Donnelly, George F. Baker HS Senior
Scroll through the Tuxedo UFSD social media accounts and you will keep landing on Grace Donnelly’s photo. National Honor Society, Student Council, orchestra, student mentoring: the George F. Baker High School senior is undoubtedly one of the district’s most involved students. Donnelly is this month's Student Spotlight. Read more.
Jennifer Jones, George F. Baker HS Teacher
For the past thirty years, Jennifer Jones has been an integral member of the Tuxedo Union Free School District faculty. Always putting her students first, Jones places on emphasis on creating "global citizens," who understand the importance of service to their school and community. The George F. Baker High School teacher is this month's Faculty Spotlight. Read More.
At the Board
The latest Golden Apple goes to Lucy Cerezo Scully. A TUFSD tradition, the Board of Education and Superintendent present the award to past trustees as a token of recognition and gratitude for their service to the district. Scully served on the board from 2019 - 2022. Superintendent Jeff White presented the award to Scully before the mid-winter break.
For the full agenda and documents pertaining to the February 15 meeting and all previous Board of Education meetings, please visit the Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education section of BoardDocs.