SKHS Principal's Newsletter

January, 2017

From the Desk of Mr. Mezzanotte...

Well, let me begin by wishing a Happy New Year to all our valued SKHS families! As we begin 2017 we look ahead to many important and exciting events in the near future. It is important, however, that we also take some time to reflect and celebrate our wonderful students and teachers. The 2016-2017 school year thus far has featured remarkable achievements across multiple academic disciplines, the arts, music, athletics, community service, and many others. Once again, our students have distinguished themselves as young men and women of character, hard work, and achievement, and thus have proudly carried on the rich tradition of South Kingstown High School! At SKHS, we strive to educate the "whole child", to respect the individual differences of each student, to foster personal growth through setting high standards of achievement, providing access and opportunity to a comprehensive program of studies, and applying innovative and progressive teaching practices. Thank you for taking the time to read the newsletter...I hope you enjoy!

Scholastic Art Awards

The SKHS art department is proud to announce that we have 14 Gold and Silver winners in this year's RI Scholastic Art Awards. This is the most awards of any public high school is the state of RI!

We are also proud to announce our very own senior Elinor Swanson won the art cover contest for the invitation for this year's Hera Gallery's High School Art Competition and Art Show which will be held in February. Congratulations to our talented students and thank you for all your continued support of the arts in SK!

Here are the students:

Morgan Alley- Gold Key, Photography

Seth Barney- Silver Key, Photography

Lilliana Berube- Gold Key, Photography

Julia Bollentin- Silver Key, Drawing and Illustration

Seneca Brown- Silver Key, Drawing and Illustration

Lauren Cardente- Gold Key, Drawing and Illustration and Silver Key, Photography

Amber Hunley- Gold Key, Drawing and Illustration

Alina Krafton- Gold Key, Drawing and Illustration and Silver Key, Printmaking

Nicole Kring- Silver Key, Painting

John Mitrano- Silver Key, Photography

Caroline O'Hara- Silver Key, Printmaking

Elinor Swanson- Silver Key, Drawing and Illustration

Wipatsayaporn Tirapongprasert- Silver Key, Photography

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SKHS Music

The SKHS music department has much to celebrate:

The High School Jazz Band recently received the highest possible rating, SUPERIOR, given at the RIMEA High School Jazz Festival on Saturday, January 14th at URI!

The group was adjudicated by three independent college judges who gave detailed verbal comments on tape and written ratings while the band played. The kids were praised for their musicianship, authentic performance of style and groove, and improvised soloing. The judges scores averaged to 37 out of a possible 40 points, highlighting the wonderful job the kids did at the festival, performing among many of the best HS jazz programs in RI.

The students pictured are (from L-R): Mitch DiMartino, Michael Robinson, Spencer Barber, Eric Fay-Wolfe, Kaitlyn Sweeny and Stephen Hanson

Here are the jazz musicians:


Allison Marcellino

Kaitlyn Sweeny

Elizabeth Moore

Andrew Precious

Allison Haberlin


Ethan Auger

Will Hartmann

Emily Redmond

Michael Robinson

Luca Simeone

Stephen Hanson


Spencer Barber

Mitch DiMartino

Ed Wild


Alex Crudale

Adam Brown


Ryan Moran

Johnny Santini


Ian Dahl

Eric Fay-Wolfe


Adam Brown

Joe Mega

We are pleased to announce that the following hard-working, dedicated student musicians were selected to this year's All-State Music Ensembles. SKHS had 55 students audition for adjudication this past Saturday at Moses Brown School in Providence. Once again SKHS is well-represented with 34 students selected this year!

Congratulations to the following All-State Musicians:

Elissa Axelrod

Spencer Barber

Faares Deeb

Emilia Delemontex

Haley Dionne

Cailin Fairbrother

Eric Fay-Wolfe

Isabelle Fisher

Thea Henry

Caroline Krekorian

Devin Lloyd

Lauren MacDonald

Jessica Macinanti

Laura McCarty

Peter Meyer

Seung Eon Miner

Elizabeth Moore

Callan Napier

Sam Perrin

Ian Pierce

Emily Redmond

George Richter

Charlotte Roberts

Michael Robinson

Sierra Rowley

John Santini

Julia Santini

Luca Simeone

Olivia Sipperly

Ian Sroka

Meredith Stone

Norman Winn

Hossam Zaki

Our High School Music groups gave successful performances for our Winter Concerts in December for parents, family and friends and also performed for students at SKHS as well as Curtis Corner Middle School. Special thanks to music teachers Laurette Vitello and Eric Drew for bringing their 8th graders to the High school for the in-school concert!

Our High School Drama Club and Pit Orchestra will present "Young Frankenstein The Musical" February 2-5th, 2017 in the SKHS auditorium. We are excited for this show and hope you can come out and see it!

The High School Jazz Band and our Jazz Choir, eSkape, will perform at the annual Berklee Jazz Festival on Saturday, February 18th at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The Berklee festival is the largest High School music festival in the country, with over 1000 students participating from all over the country.

Mark your calendars! The High School music department will present its annual Spring Concert on Thursday, March 23rd at 7pm! See you there!

Standout Students!

Eli O'Brien was selected out of 200 RI students to participate in the US Senate Youth Scholarship Program, for which he will receive a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, DC for the week where he will meet some of Washington’s top policy-makers and our president. Also, Matthew McGovern was chosen as the runner-up for this program. It is a credit to our dedicated students and the social studies department that South Kingstown High School students have been selected for this prestigious award two out of the last three years! Congratulations!

Also, Peter Meyer (pictured below) was awarded the Primary Congressional Nomination for the United States Naval Academy from Congressman Langevin's office. Congratulations!

Finally, congratulations to Nicole Wills (pictured below) for being selected as the Rotary Club of Wakefield Student of the Month. She was selected as student of month for her commitment to volunteer work. She is an outgoing student who always goes above and beyond in all aspects and is always ready to assist others. Nicole is actively involved with the high school’s Buddying Up program. Nicole works closely with the teachers by organizing activities, recruiting students to help with the program, keeping attendance records and any additional duties that are needed. Nicole is an outstanding leader and is a true role model for other students. On a typical day, you will see Nicole sitting with the students in the lunchroom or escorting them to their class. Nicole is a caring, patient and considerate student and has plans on pursuing a career in the teaching profession.

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From the School Counseling Department...

  • Junior Families are invited to an interactive College Application Process Workshop, Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 6:30pm, SKHS Cafeteria

Students and families will learn about:

  • Creating the Post-Secondary List of Schools

  • How to Complete a College Application

  • Writing the Essay: What is your passion?

  • Paying for Post-Secondary School

  • SKHS Forms and Deadlines

  • Starting semester 2, CARES tutors from Navatek Engineering that will be working with our students in mathematics and science. The tutors will be in the library every Tuesday from 2:15-3:00. All students are welcome.

  • Course selection for the 2017-2018 school year begins early in Semester 2. Students in grades 9-11 will meet one on one with counselors to discuss course selection and post-secondary plans. Juniors are reminded to make an appointment directly with their counselor. Course selection forms are then sent home with students for parent/guardian signature. The 2017-2018 Program of Studies is now on-line for parents and students.

  • School counselors are completing one to one visits with sophomores, occurring during Advisory. Counselors are checking in with sophomores about academics and extracurricular activities. Each SKHS student is seen by his or her counselor at least twice during the school year - and students are always welcome to make an appointment to talk with their counselor anytime during the year.

  • Seniors learned about Financial Literacy and completed resumes during SK104. Counselors presented this information in collaboration with the SK104 teachers.

  • Counselors will be visiting with juniors during Advisory in Quarter 3 to introduce students to Big Futures, a free college search service from College Board.

  • Seniors are preparing for portfolio presentations on February 10. The SK104 teachers have been working with each presenter to review the completed the portfolio, and prepare and practice for Portfolio Day. We are looking forward to the presentations and learning about our seniors’ experiences!

  • The SKHS Alternative Education and Career Pathways coordinator has begun networking with local business owners to prepare for the new internship class that will be offered for seniors in the 2017-2018 school year. Interested juniors should see Mr. Rollins for more information.

SKHS Physical Education

The SKHS Phys Ed department would like to announce that the following students placed in the top 3 respectively among all 9th and 10th grade students in the Fitness Gram:

Pacer Test -

Boys - Brock French, Ian Mease, Lucas Simeone

Girls - Cassidy McGee, Meg Bodziony, Abby Foster

Push Up Test -

Boys - Jack Vetter, Josh Larmie Colin Leclerc

Girls - Allison Gencarelli, Taylor Colbert, Cassidy McGee

Devin Steere and Cassidy McGee placed in the the top ten in all three categories of the Fitness Gram.

On September 28th, the Project Adventure Physical Education classes had the opportunity to climb the National Guard Rock Climbing Wall. Many of our students overcame their fear of heights and attempted to climb to the top! Many students made it to the top to ring the bell signifying success. However success in Project Adventure is determined on the class and individual, every student that made an attempt was a success! We were proud of them all!

Rebel Athletics

The fall season was another successful campaign for the Rebels, as 7 out our 8 teams qualified for the playoffs. We also had some impressive individual accomplishments:

Anthony Shepard- First Team All-State, Football

Jonathan Sherman- First Team All-State, Soccer

Ellie Lawler- First Team All-State, Cross Country

Montaner Freselli- Second Team All-State, Football

Faith Hutchins- Second Team All-State, Soccer

Janelle Girard- Second Team All-State, Soccer

Alexandra Rekos signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division 1 Lacrosse at Siena College. Alexandra will enroll at Siena in the fall as both a student-athlete and a Presidential Scholar. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Ellie Lawler, who was named the 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year!

Both Anthony Shepard and Ellie Lawler (pictured below) qualified for Nationals at the Yale Invitational. Anthony finished in 2nd place overall in the Long Jump and Ellie finished 4th in the 3000 with a personal best time of 10:07!

The winter sports photo gallery (under the photos of Anthony and Ellie) are courtesy of Daniel Gagnon.

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SKHS Beautification Team

The SKHS Beautification Team is a group of caring, proud individuals who want to "go the extra mile" to make our school building a pleasant, welcoming place. We are very thankful to have numerous parent and staff volunteers, who over the years have planted flowers, cleaned up school grounds, and maintained our beautiful courtyard, just to name a few. Recently, a group of staff volunteers came in during school vacation to paint the walls of the cafeteria foyer area and the hallway outside the school counseling office. The new paint looks amazing! The volunteers are all SKHS educators. They are: Anahid Avedesian, Ann Bianchi, Shivali Finkelstein, Daniel Gagnon, Kathy Masi, Gail Saborio, Jeff Taber, and Katy Thomas. Below are some pictures of the group.

Noteworthy Items

  • The SKHS Science Department has successfully enrolled a group of students for the URI spring semester course, CMB190 Issues in Biotechnology. Upon successful completion of the course the students will receive three transferable college credits for free, courtesy of the Statewide PrepareRI Initiative. These students will have the opportunity to interact with scientists in the Plant Biotechnology Laboratory. Mr. Vincelette will serve as the instructor of record and will work with Mr. Johnson to mentor the students through the course.
  • The South Kingstown Partnership for Prevention (SKPP) has been busy sponsoring some fun evening events. They are looking to provide students with some healthy ways to relieve stress. The first event was a Holiday Cookie Competition held on December 22nd. They also have a Painting Party night planned for February 17th at 6:30. Also, members of Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse (VAASA) attended their annual leadership conference in November with many other high schools across the state and are preparing to head to Curtis Corner to facilitate activities and share their substance-free message with students.
  • Mr. Kimball of the Social Studies department has secured a fully-funded educational grant that allows all SKHS students to access free research based websites, including,, and

  • The World Language Department is offering an exciting new course to earn Honors Italian 1 and 2 credit in one year. The course title is Honors Italian 1 and 2 Accelerated and it will offer the opportunity for students to take double languages, or have more room in their schedule for additional elective classes.

  • Emilia Delemontex (pictured below) applied what she learned in Robotics 1 to design a program using the NAO robot to pass out flyers to guests at our 8th grade Parent Night!

  • In November, SKHS teacher Rita Toolin wrote and received a $500.00 Teacher Grant from Westerly Community Credit Union. The project name is SKHS Buddying Up and the funds will be used to purchase adaptive recreational equipment for the high school’s SKHS Buddying Up Club. The club connects students of all abilities and meets on Mondays and Tuesdays during advisory. While the club has a variety of board games, this money will enable Mrs. Toolin to purchase adaptive recreational equipment like a multi-ring basketball stand, a bowling ramp, and other hands-on games that will increase the participation level of students by providing accessible activities. Currently, we have three groups of students that meet once weekly with at least 40 student members and we hope to maintain the enthusiasm of the club through this generous grant.