SKHS Principal's Newsletter

Quarter 4 June, 2016

From the Desk of Mr. Mezzanotte...

The 2015-2016 school year has officially ended! It has been a long year of hard work and tireless effort for students and teachers. Ultimately, however, the year has been extremely successful. Throughout the year, our students have demonstrated so many examples of achievement and compassion. The 4th quarter was certainly no exception. In fact, the end of this school year has been a celebration of our students, especially the class of 2016, who have completed their high school careers and are now ready to embark on the next phase of their life journey. It has been a pleasure celebrating with these students in the last few weeks of school. In their final days as South Kingstown High School students, the class of 2016 demonstrated their collective character and school spirit through their various senior events. This will the final newsletter of the school year. I will continue posting these on a quarterly basis next year. Enjoy!

Rebel Athletics

This school year was an historic one for Rebel athletics, and spring sports added to the amazing success of our student-athletes. Specifically, there were three state championship teams- boys tennis, boys volleyball and girls lacrosse. Our boys tennis teams won for the 16th time in last 18 years! Junior Anthony Shepard was a state champion in two events at the state track meet- the long jump and the triple jump. Boys baseball was the state runner-up, winning 22 consecutive games leading up to the state championship series. Every spring sports team qualified for the playoffs. It is expected that 10-12 athletes will be named to all-state from the spring season. Finally, the annual athletic banquet was a great success, with over $12,000 in scholarship money awarded to student-athletes. Congratulations to all teams and coaches for an outstanding year!

Night of the Arts

The sixth annual SKHS Night of the Arts was held on May 18, 2016. The evening was a great success. Students, families, and community members enjoyed hundreds of displays of art, musical performances, and theater productions as a presentation of the tremendous talents of our student body. A great time was had by all!
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Junior Book Awards

The 2016 Junior Book Awards are as follows:

Harvard Club of RI- Sarah Hackey

Smith College- Elinor Swanson

The Jefferson Book Award- Rosalind Lucier

Brandeis Book Award- Kate Deboer

The Bryant University Award- Michael Robinson

Elmira College Key Award- Abigail Cobb and Matthew Greene

Holy Cross Book Award- Molly Keefe

Sage College Award- Haley Reed

St. Michael's College Book Award- Emily Rodriguez and Matthew Vetter

University of Rhode Island Book Award- Isabelle Fisher

Wells College Leadership Award- Sofia Desimone

Wellesley College Book Award- Nicole Kring

Regis College Award- Hanna Southwick

SKHS Class of 2016

The Class of 2016 was honored at their commencement ceremony on June 13, 2016 at the Ryan Center. Below are pictures from the event, as well as pictures from other senior events such as Decision Day, the class trip, and the Senior Prom. Enjoy!
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Student Memorial

A student memorial was held on May 26th in the SKHS Courtyard to honor Steven Hashemi-Haeri. Steven was a special young man who inspired all of those who knew him. He was a valued member of our student body, and those who knew him will miss his warm smile and his passion for life. Below are pictures from the memorial. A special thanks is in order for Mrs. Rita Toolin and grade 12 student Grace Roebuck for their efforts to organize this event.


The second annual Mr. SKHS competition was held on Friday, May 19th to support the Josie Fox Memorial Scholarship. The event was led by advisors Mrs. Roe Colao and Mrs. Andi Kenyon. Senior Ben Matthews was named the winner, with Owen Tally and Reymi Acevedo finishing as the runners-up. A special thanks is owed to faculty judges Tom Cauchon, Terry Lynch, Daniel Gagnon, Val Gagnon and June McDermott.
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SKHS Academics and Community

  • Junior Sofia DeSimone was recognized with a Regional Award in the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Sofia received one Honorable Mention (Science Fiction/Fantasy), two silver Key awards (Dramatic Script and Flash Fiction), and one Gold Key (Short Story). Only the top 40% of nearly 320,000 works receive some level of recognition.
  • SKHS students produced the annual literary journal, under the direction of Mrs. Eileen Gannon. The works of the journal were extremely creative and impressive.
  • Ms. Ana Garza led her advisory through a poverty project in Guatemala. The project is through a website called They organized a fund-raiser by selling bracelets, and they were able to raise $490.00 to support two young students, Oscar and Sindy, who are Guatemalan students who have fallen behind academically because of having to support their family.
  • With the help of Ms.Katy Thomas, SKHS students and their families donated over 500 pounds of books to a school in St. Lucia that is renovating its library. The Roseau RC Combined School in St. Lucia is working to make its library into a welcoming space that will help instill a culture and love of reading. At SK we too share a love of reading and know the important role it plays in education, so we were excited to be a part of this great project. Special thanks to Ms. Hathaway and the student council for helping with shipping costs!
  • Three SKHS science teachers- Mary Kutcher, Brenda Dillman, and Neile DiNitto, were accepted into the Teachers on the Estuary program this summer. The link is here. Additionally, Mrs. Kutcher was awarded a $900 grant through the South Kingstown Educational Fund to purchase wireless dissolved oxygen probes to complete a water quality project in her chemistry classes.
  • Mrs. Kenyon's AP United States History classes completed their "Great Debate". The topics this year included Syrian refugees, Affirmative Action, and SKHS music. The topics were entirely student-driven.
  • Junior Zach Ribas was awarded the prestigious Prudential Spirit of Community Rhode Island Distinguished Finalist for his extensive community service activities. Zach received an engraved bronze medallion for his efforts.
  • On Friday June 10th, over 100 students came to the SKHS Courtyard for our monthly open mic night called Project Venue. Approximately 20 student-musicians performed and over 100 pounds of non-perishable food was collected at the door to benefit the Jonnycake Center. Sophomore Seneca Brown did a performance-art painting to kick off the festivities.
  • Two students were awarded by the Academic Support Academy- Jonah Cutting received an award for "Most Improved" and Anthony Diebold received the award for "Outstanding Student".
  • Sophomores Tommy and Aohdan Meyer have been volunteering at Kettle Pond, (and other local wildlife refuges) for the past 2 and a half years. They do any and all jobs that Neil Anthes, the manager, asks of them. Sometimes the job requires picking up trash. They usually do trail and grounds maintenance and help with community outreach programs. Great work, Tommy and Aohdan!
  • On June 7th, students from the Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse (VAASA) and the South Kingstown Partnership for Prevention (SKPP) went to Broad Rock Middle School to lead an activity with the 5th grade students. The lesson focused on self-esteem and was taken from the Above the Influence Campaign. Also the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) sponsored the Day of Silence on May 19th. This is a day where students pledge to be silent in solidarity with the LGBT community and stand up against the harassment and injustice they have faced.
  • SKHS was fortunate this year to be visited by several wonderful exchange students. We are grateful that we were able to welcome these outstanding young men and women to our school this year. They are Katarina Tinkova from Slovenia, Kai Strickler from Germany, and Donna Lass from Germany. Congratulations, good luck and you will be missed!

Farewell to Respected Educators

The end of the year is always bitter-sweet, and this year is no exception. The end of this year signals the retirement of valued educators John O'Malley, Rebecca Johnson, Diane Paulhus and Joyce Bazinet. You will all be missed and you are always welcome back at SKHS!