Message from the Superintendent
Dear Tuxedo Community,
Welcome to the inaugural edition of ‘Tuxedo Talk’, the new TUFSD monthly e-newsletter! I am thrilled to have an additional way to communicate to the families and staff of our great district, while highlighting the amazing things happening in our buildings. Released the first week of the month, ‘Tuxedo Talk’ will serve as a window into the classrooms of George Grant Mason Elementary and George F. Baker High School, where learning is flourishing and our students are exceeding expectations. Each edition of 'Tuxedo Talk' will spotlight members of the student body and staff, look back at the events of the previous month and provide a sneak peak of what's ahead. On behalf of the Board of Education, I welcome you to 'Tuxedo Talk' and hope you will enjoy seeing the many ways our district is getting results.
Who do you look up to? Our youngest George Grant Mason Elementary Students have plenty of role models to choose from, thanks to the district’s Peer Tutoring and STEM Capstone Internship programs. January was “National Mentoring Month” and the perfect time to recognize the George Baker High School students who dedicate time each week to assist in the GGM gym and classrooms. From freeze tag and skipping to STEM and reading, see how these students are assisting our elementary teachers and coaches. Read More
Winter Book Fair
Another book fair is in the books! Thank You to the Tuxedo PTO for putting together a successful Winter Book Fair! The annual event serves as an opportunity for students and their teachers to connect through the power of reading. The Book Fair not only builds up personal libraries, but the libraries of our George Grant Mason classrooms. Students and parents purchased books off of their teachers “wishlist,” allowing the entire class to thumb through the pages of a new adventure. Read More
January Character Trait
At George Grant Mason Elementary, 'Honesty' was January's character trait. At the start of each month, GGM Grades K-5 gather in the school’s multipurpose room for a read-aloud and character trait lesson led by a member of the faculty. To kick off the new year, third grade teacher Mrs. Rocklin chose “A Bike like Sergio’s” to highlight honesty. The book tells the story of Ruben, a young boy who returns lost money to its rightful owner. Throughout January teachers highlighted the honesty of their students by writing their accomplishments on a paper flower and "planting them" in the schools entryway. Read More
Mindfulness is just a stone's throw away. As part of a lesson on emotions and support, George F. Baker High School psychology students started the new year carrying a pouch of stones in their pockets or bookbags. The rocks embodied challenging emotions being harbored by each individual. After a week of nurturing the stones, students threw them in the Ramapo River to confront what was facing them. Read More about Ms. Jones' lesson.
THe TH Lesson
Speech Language Therapist Stephanie Bussard paid a visit to Ms. Blume’s second grade classroom last month to teach everyone about the TH sound. Ms. Bussard used a large mouth model and mirrors to help students learn the mouth position for a noisy and quiet TH. Bussard’s classroom visits at George Grant Mason Elementary benefit students and teachers alike. “Its an opportunity to see everyone’s smiling faces,” says Bussard. Speaking of smiling, February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) and Bussard has arranged for a local dentist to visit several of our GGM classes. Read More
Pajama Movie Night
On what was a perfect day for a movie, the National Honor Society, Junior National Honor Society and Interact Club members transformed the GFB auditorium into a theater and hosted George Grant Mason Elementary students last month for an after school showing of Disney’s ‘Encanto.’ Before the lights dimmed and the credits rolled, all 29 GGM students were linked up with a GFB companion and set up with snacks and drinks donated by the Tuxedo PTO. Click Here for more pictures.
Martin Luther King Jr. Lessons
At both George Grant Mason Elementary and George F. Baker High School, several lessons focused on the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. during the past month. At GGM, fourth grade teacher Mrs. Rota used the “I Have a Dream” speech to inspire her students to channel “their inner Dr. King” and identify dreams for their family, school and the world. Meanwhile at GFB, the AP Government class began a course unit on ‘Civil Rights and the Expansion of Equal Protection.’ Timed to the holiday, Mr. Fitzsimmons used Dr. King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” as the basis of the lesson.
Ramapo River Sign Refurbishment
Congratulations to the George F. Baker High School Interact Club for advocating and leading the drive to get the the NYSDEC (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) to refurbish the Ramapo River Public Fishing Stream sign. The familiar sign is located near the public parking lot in the East Village. This endeavor started in the Fall of 2022 when a concerned citizen came to the Interact Club inquiring if they could assist in identifying and contacting the various government agencies to refurbish the weathered sign. Read More
Athlete of the Week
Introducing the Tuxedo Tornadoes ‘Athlete of the Week,’ showcasing the accomplishments of our Tuxedo athletes. The program, started by Interim Athletic Director Marco Margotta, provides coaches an opportunity to recognize the work of their players both on and off the court or field. “Between practices, games and school, our student athletes work hard,” says Margotta. “The ‘Athlete of the Week’ is an excellent way to acknowledge their participation and highlight their achievements.” Varsity Basketball player Sean Essoka was the first Tornado athlete to receive the honor. Read more
Tornadoes Basketball is back! For the first time in more than five years, George F. Baker High School has a varsity squad on the court. Led by Coach Matt Takeuchi, our JV and varsity teams have made great strides since the season tipped off in December. The season wraps up later this month. Click Here for Schedule
NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team Award
Congratulations to the Tuxedo Volleyball team for being recognized by the NYSPHSAA with the Scholar-Athlete Team Award. Our Tornadoes achieved a collective ‘A’ average throughout the fall season, with every player holding a 90 GPA! The team's average was an impressive 96.7. Players were presented with the award during the annual volleyball dinner held in December.
Chima Oparaji, George F. Baker HS Senior
This September, an average fifteen hundred students will begin their first year as Princeton University undergraduates, class of 2027. George F. Baker High School senior Chima Oparaji will be one of them. Enrolling into a prestigious Ivy League University, that only accepts 4% of applicants, is just one of Oparaji’s several achievements this academic year. In addition to being elected a co-President of the Student Council, he was honored by the College Board in the fall with a National Rural and Small-Town Award and the National African American Recognition Award. Oparaji is also a successful Cross-Country runner, National Honor Society member and President of the Environmental Club. Read our February Student Spotlight here.
Amanda Sayles, AIS Reading Teacher
February's 'Faculty Spotlight' is AIS Reading teacher Amanda Sayles. Sayles, who has been teaching at George Grant Elementary School for nineteen years, takes a unique hands on approach with her students, and targets intervention lessons to the individual. Whether its using pom-poms or puppets, Sayles identifies their interests and keeps learning fun. Her methods have proven successful. In the 21-22 school year, every TUFSD AIS reading student, Grades 1-5, jumped reading levels based on their Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) assessments. Read the entire spotlight article here.
At the Board
The History of Tuxedo Union Free School District
One hundred and twenty years in the making, a book chronicling the history of the Tuxedo Union Free School District will be released this year. Documenting the school’s history was the idea of School Board President Joe Rickard, who also serves as the book’s author and editor. Collaborating on the project are board member Kimberley Breiland, former board member Meg Vaught, and Tuxedo Town Historian George Langberg. Read More about the project.
"Golden Apples" were handed out during the December Board of Education meeting. A TUFSD tradition, the Board of Education and Superintendent present the awards each year to past trustees as a token of recognition and gratitude for their service to the district. Honored were Mike Arone, Nancy Bourke, Kimberly Breiland, Lucy Cerezo-Scully, and Meg Vaught. Pictured with Superintendent Jeff White (L-R) are Vaught, Arone and Breiland.
For the full agenda and documents pertaining to the January 18 meeting and all previous Board of Education meetings, please visit the Tuxedo Union Free School District Board of Education section of BoardDocs.