SKHS Principal's Newsletter

Robert Mezzanotte November 2015

From the Desk of Mr. Mezzanotte...

Well, the school year is in full swing and we are busy here at SKHS with so many exciting initiatives and activities. I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed here by so many people. The work that I see happening on a daily basis is truly inspiring. Although I have not been here very long, I can tell already that South Kingstown High School is a special place. I have witnessed first-hand examples of students and adults displaying acts of selfless generosity and compassion. These acts are not random. Rather, they are part of the very fabric of our school's culture. I am truly humbled to lead our school, and I will continue to do my very best each day to ensure that all students receive the great education they deserve in a safe, inclusive environment.

The purpose of this newsletter is to periodically update parents on important events happening at SKHS. We have much to be proud of, and I will do my best to highlight the accomplishments and achievements of our students. So far this year, we are off to a great start with our 1-1 laptop initiative. Students and teachers report that access to technology has made learning more dynamic, interactive and accessible. Administration and faculty are continuing to refine our knowledge of high-impact technology integration to benefit all learners.

It is important to me that students and parents have a voice in our school. We have many opportunities for involvement, including the Parent-Teacher Group, the School Improvement Team and the Student Advisory Board. If you would like more information about any of these groups, or if you would like to contact me about anything at all, I can be reached by email at or by phone at 401-360-1003.

Thank you for your continued support for education in South Kingstown. Go Rebels!

SKHS Fall Athletics

The fall sports season has been extremely successful for our Rebel teams, with many contending for state championships. Sophomore Ellie Lawler won the Girls Cross Country state meet with a remarkable time of 17 minutes, 29 seconds. This time set a new state and course record! Ellie now advances to the New England meet. Our Boys Soccer team reached the state championship game, losing to LaSalle Academy. The team finished the season with an overall record of 13 wins, 2 losses and 2 ties, good for one of the best seasons in school history! Our football team is right in the thick of the Division 1 playoff race with a 5-2 record, good for third place in Division 1. The Girls Soccer team recently finished its regular season with a record of 9-6-2, good for second place in Division 1 South. They advanced to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, where they lost to eventual state runner-up Cumberland. Rebel field hockey finished with an impressive league record of 12-1-3, good for first place in Division 2 South. The Rebels advanced to the Division 2 Finals, where they unfortunately came up short against Cumberland. The Girls Tennis team finished their Division 2 regular season undefeated at 13-0. They advanced to the finals, but unfortunately dropped a heart-breaker to rival Prout. Finally, the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams respectively completed successful seasons. The boys team finished with a league record of 9 wins and 3 losses, while the girls team finished with 10 wins and 1 loss. Overall, the fall sports season has been extremely successful for our Rebel teams. Our student-athletes and coaches deserve a tremendous amount of credit not only for their competitive performance, but also for their sportsmanship and school spirit! Congratulations to our student-athletes!!!

Sports photographs courtesy of Daniel Gagnon

Rebel Pride

There is no doubt that school spirit is alive and well at SKHS! SK students show pride for their school, their community and each other in so many ways. Here are some note-worthy examples of how SK students have demonstrated kindness, compassion and school spirit in 2015...

  • Tomorrow Fund: Administration, teachers, and students went Gold for Gavin. Gavin is a son of a teacher at the school who has cancer. We raised and donated over $1200 to the Tomorrow Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports children and families that afflicted by pediatric cancer. Student Council also gave out gold ribbons at all of the doors in the morning to spread awareness.
  • Sadie Hawkins: Sadie’s has been a long lasting tradition at SK!. This year, we had an in-school pep rally the day before the dance. The pep rally featured the infamous administration played by seniors who were in SKPADES, the football team, the cheerleading squad and of course the whole school did The Rebel Yell. Student Council tried something new this year: making scarecrows that were dressed as teachers, admin., or celebrities. They were showcased at the football game. The traditional Sadie Hawkins relay games were featured during halftime. The dance followed the football game later that night and it was a great turnout!
  • Hat Day: Hat Day was on Thursday, October 29, in support of Carol Leahy, the head custodian. Over the summer, she was diagnosed with cancer. Because of chemo-therapy, she wears a hat to school, so SK decided to join her. She was very appreciative of everyone being on her side and supporting her through this rough period. She loved the posters that Mrs. Bianchi made..WE SUPPORT YOU CAROL!
  • Fan Bus: Student Council got a bus through Mr. Lynch and was able to transport 50 students to the LaSalle Football game on October 23rd. It was a blast. Mr. O’Malley and Ms. Hathaway chaperoned. The school spirit was great...the game...a tough loss. Fun was had by all despite the loss. Go Rebels!

  • Mahoney Family: Matt Mahoney graduated last year from SKHS and his dad recently died. During the summer break, his mom became critically ill. Leaving the family with no significant income, Student Council stepped in to help. Members went all over town in search of local businesses to donate money to the Mahoney Family. Between local businesses and our school community, we collected over $1000. The Mahoney family was very appreciative.

  • California Trip Fundraising- Ms. Colao and Ms. Kenyon have been leading a group of students to raise funds for a social studies trip to California. Thus far, their group has organized two car washes, a hypnotist, a princess party and a lip-sync contest. In addition, they will be hosting a Christmas Bazaar at Peacedale on December 5th and a Ladies Night at Main Street on December 3rd, in addition to many other fundraising activities.

  • Honoring Veterans- Ms. Colao invited four local veterans to speak to roughly 100 SKHS students on Tuesday, November 10th. Students listened intently as the veterans shared their amazing stories. At the conclusion of the presentation the students applauded and, without prompting, shook the hand of the four veterans before exiting.

Photographs courtesy of Daniel Gagnon

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Pumpkin Illumination 2015

After taking a one year hiatus, the Pumpkin Illumination was held on Wed. Oct 29th at Curtis Corner Middle School. This was the 11th year that the Illumination was held for the community to enjoy. This project is spear-headed by Physical Education teacher Karen Murphy. Students in PE/health classes and advisory carved over 200 pumpkins to illuminate part of the cross country path behind CCMS.

The Pumpkin Illumination was the idea of Ms. Murphy’s sophomore health class in 2003. The class wanted to help raise money for Matty’s Playground that was to be built at Hazard School. From there, an SKHS tradition was born. Since then the students have raised money for the Lindsay Anne Burke Fund, Angels on Horseback, the Union Fire District’s Burned Out Family Fund, and the Diane Rebelo Memorial Scholarship, just to name a few. This year, the students collected over $850 in donations for the Tomorrow Fund and Rebel Relief Fund.

A special thanks goes out to the following students that not only carved pumpkins, but also helped to transport, place and keep the candles lit that night.

Kailey Foster

Olivia Amante

Wasila Abualia

Healy Walsh

John Medige

Hannah Southwick

Julia Kutcher

Ella Zeyl

Aaron Edson

Cam Chadwick

Belle Fisher

Kallie Krekorian

Haley Manchester

Abby Cobb

Ryan Boetteger

Julia Thalman

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Gagnon

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Red Ribbon Week

South Kingstown High School celebrated Red Ribbon Week sponsored by the Youth Coalition and STAND in late October. This year’s theme was Respect Yourself, Be Drug Free. Students handed out red ribbons and participated in lunch time prevention activities. The week culminated with an assembly performed by the Improbable Players, an acting troupe out of Boston, highlighting the importance of substance abuse prevention. If you would like to further the discussion at home, here are some great examples.

  • Take time to discuss your family’s values and rules about drinking and drugs. Does your child know where you stand on these issues, and why?
  • Ask them if the program felt relevant to them, given their own experiences.

Photograph courtesy of Heidi Driscoll

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Guidance Corner

The Guidance Department has been busy this year helping students in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • hosted two mini College Fairs where 28 colleges were available for students
  • hosted over 60 visits from admissions representatives to meet with students in small groups
  • conducted numerous Common App Help Sessions with seniors during advisory
  • delivered lessons to 9th grade students in SK 101 class concerning grade point average and guidance services

Upcoming activities include the following:

  • ASVAB testing on Monday, November 16
  • Financial Literacy lessons with seniors in SK 104
  • Financial Aid Night on Thursday, December 10th at 6:30pm
  • Post-Secondary Planning Night on Wednesday, January 6th at 6:30pm
  • Early Awareness Night TBA early 2016

Fine Arts Happenings

The Music Department is happy to announce two upcoming concerns, featuring both Instrumental and Choral performances:

  • December 2nd- Winter Jazz concert
  • December 9th- Winter Classical Concert

The SKHS Green Team was the winner of the student category of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association 2015 Awards. The following students are co-recipients along with Tupelo Gardenworks Ltd. for their school. These student leaders will be honored at an RICAPA award ceremony on December 10th:

Grace Roebuck

Phoebe McCaffery

Jeremy Chang

Will Trager

Seamus Slade

Matt Meyer

Mat McGovern

Ella Zeyl

Joe Gallucci

Finally, yearbooks are now on sale for $75 at

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