From the Superintendent
Dear Mahopac Community,
- We are building the 2020-2021 school budget to be in line with the MCSD Strategic Plan which is the cornerstone of the District’s priorities. We have a very difficult road ahead of us, as NYS will be operating with a rolling budget as a result of close to a $15 billion dollar budget deficit. I have recorded a series of “Spotlight” discussions in which I will explain where we are in the budget process to date and possible impacts a state rolling budget can have on the 2020-2021 school year. See the latest on at the bottom of this page, on our cable channels, and on social media.
The Board and I are committed to maintaining the quality programs and extracurricular activities that make our District one of excellence. We cannot do so without State Aid. Cuts to our funding will be devastating to the Mahopac Schools. Please contact our representatives to tell them that Washington must deliver more help to states and public schools. Call Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (845) 561-1259, Senator Charles Schumer (518) 431-4070, and Senator Kristen Gillibrand (518) 431-0120. Or send an email using this Voter Voice link from the Westchester Putnam School Boards Association (www.wpsba.org/domain/57).
As a reminder, meeting schedules, links to agendas and virtual meetings, and the most current information about the vote and election is posted on the District homepage in the District Clerk box.
Please be assured that I will continue to provide updates to the community as they become available.
Superintendent of Schools
News & Headlines
Meet the Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Mahopac High School Seniors Thomas O'Brien and Matthew Luongo have earned the school’s top honors. They were named the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Class of 2020.
Throughout his high school career, Thomas O’Brien has proven to be a stellar student dedicated to achieving great academic success and being an active member of his school community. “I started in Mahopac Schools in 1st grade at Fulmar Road Elementary School with Mrs. Stefunek.” He excelled in rigorous courses, was awarded Signature Student on multiple occasions, is an AP Scholar, and will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors and Mastery in Math and Science.
“I’ve enjoyed numerous classes at MHS. Some that stand out are Algebra 2, Geometry, Personal Finance, and Introduction to Engineering,” he said. “My parents have inspired me both in my studies and in life to do my best and give my best effort in everything I do. I would like everyone to know that with hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I would like to thank all of my family, teachers, friends, coaches, and peers who have helped me succeed and have always been there for me.”
In addition to being a top-notch student, Thomas has been a member of and has held leadership positions for various clubs and activities, has volunteered and worked in his community, has earned All-Section for Cross Country, and is a member of our Varsity Basketball and Lacrosse Teams.
“Thomas has been a positive role model to his peers and demonstrates a value for excellence that is beyond compare,” said Principal Matt Lawrence. “We are so proud of all of his accomplishments and wish him continued success in his future.”
Thomas, who will attend Notre Dame University in the Fall to study business analytics, added, “I would like to thank all healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers helping us through this tough time. I want them to know their work is appreciated by the entire community. I am very disappointed to miss out on all of the senior year milestones like prom, graduation, and my final lacrosse season at MHS. I am staying optimistic and hope for the best. However, I understand the greater picture. Go Pac!”
“Matthew Luongo’s focus, confidence and unwavering drive has led him to many accomplishments over the past four years in both academics and athletics,” said Dr. Lawrence about this year’s salutatorian. “Over the course of his high school career, Matthew has taken the most challenging classes offered at Mahopac High School, including eight honors classes and eleven AP and college level classes, earning high honor roll throughout every semester of high school.”
A student in Mahopac’s schools since Kindergarten, Matthew's stellar academic performance was matched by both his athletic talent, and commitment to community through clubs and service. On the field, Matthew is captain of both the Varsity cross-country and baseball teams, earning the NYSPHSAA Student Athlete award every year since he was a freshman. He is also the vice-president of the senior class, president of the Italian Club, captain of the Math Team, member of the Student Athletic Council, Biology Club, National Honors Society, Science National Honor Society, Italian National Honors Society, and Math National Honors Society.In addition to his participation and leadership in school, Matthew has given back to his neighbors and peers by volunteering over 300 hours of community service through his work as a youth basketball coach and peer tutor.
“My parents have inspired me throughout my life, both in and out of the classroom,” Matthew said. “They’ve always stressed the importance of having balance in my life between school and fun. I would like to thank my family, my teachers, my coaches, and my friends. They’ve all inspired me in different ways and have all been a part of my successes.”
Matthew, who will be attending University of Southern California in the Fall, majoring in Engineering, added, “I like math and science and would love to make a positive impact on the world. This is why I chose engineering.”
Echoing the sentiments of many seniors in the class of 2020, he said, “It’s devastating to think about missing graduation and my senior baseball season because those are the things that I have worked the hardest for my entire life. It’s also sad to possibly miss out on events like prom, senior day, and Seaside because I’m missing out on all these memories I could have been making with my closest friends before we go off to college. It’s been a process working through all these monumental senior events that we’ve lost, but I understand it is more important that everyone stays safe so we can go back to our lives before this. I hope that everyone stays safe during these unpromising times and thank you to everyone who is helping in any way.”District News & Headlines
Austin Road Welcomes New Principal, Bryan Gilligan
At the Board of Education meeting on May 21, Bryan M. Gilligan, Austin Road’s Assistant Principal for the last five years and acting principal from February to June 2019 and March to May 2020, was named Austin Road Elementary School’s new principal. He takes the reins from Mr. Jim Gardineer, who will retire on May 29, 2020.
“I speak for the entire administration in saying that I am pleased that The Board of Education selected Mr. Gilligan as Austin Road’s new principal. We look forward to bringing his many ideas and plans to fruition as he builds on the sturdy framework that Mr. Gardineer so carefully constructed during his years as principal,” said Superintendent of Schools Anthony DiCarlo. “Bryan is an elementary-years expert who is child-centered. I look forward to working with him as he leads Austin Road forward with passion and dedication.”
As assistant principal, Mr. Gilligan attended Teachers College Reading and Writing Institutes with a team of his teachers, was a member of the District Teachers College Reading and Phonics roll-out team, and facilitated a K-5 Writing Committee to develop a district-wide writing program. As a member of the District’s Response to Intervention (RTI) team, he worked to help struggling students through skills and lessons designed to help them succeed in the classroom. He also facilitated the renovation committee for the new Learning Lab and was instrumental in a variety of professional development and safety committee initiatives.
“I am honored to be named Principal of Austin Road,” said Mr. Gilligan. “For the last five years, it has been a pleasure and privilege to work closely with Mr. Gardineer and all of our dedicated teachers, staff, and families. I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Gardineer’s leadership. In my new role, I am determined to continue building on his strong foundation to ensure that our students have a wonderful Austin Road experience. Truly, it is the commitment and enthusiasm shown by our teachers and staff that motivates me to do my best every single day. I work with such an amazing community! I cannot highlight enough how thankful and humbled I am by their support.”
“Jim Gardineer’s kindness, understanding, dedication, and love of learning have benefited all of us in Mahopac. It is inspiring to realize the impact he has had on the entire community as both a teacher and administrator,” Mr. DiCarlo said about Gardineer who began in September 1991 as a teacher and in 2008 became an assistant principal and a principal in 2010. “We will miss Jim and we wish him well as he embarks on his retirement.”
Mr. Gilligan, who lives in Ossining, NY, earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, in elementary education and special education respectively, from Manhattan College. He went on to Bank Street College in 2006, where he earned his certification as a New York State School District Administrator. Before joining Austin Road in 2015, Mr. Gilligan served as a fourth grade teacher, literary coach, and assistant principal at P.S. 8 Briggs Avenue Academy in the Bronx.District News & Headlines
Luciana Appointed as Mahopac Athletic Director
The Mahopac Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Anthony DiCarlo are pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Luciana as Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics for the Mahopac Central School District. He was appointed during a special meeting on May 6, 2020.
Luciana has an extensive background in physical education, health and athletics and will join Mahopac from the Pelham Public School District, where he served as director of health, physical education and athletics. During his tenure, he worked collaboratively with each department implementing the district’s philosophy of inspiring excellence to address the academic, physical, and emotional needs of his students. Specifically he increased the number of athletic teams, created a student athlete committee, and played an integral role in capital improvements related to district athletics. Prior to Pelham, he served as the Assistant Director of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics in the Yonkers Public Schools and taught physical education at Greenburgh Eleven and P.S. 32 in the Bronx. He has also held various coaching positions in football, baseball, basketball, and lacrosse in Ardsley and Chester.
“I am pleased to welcome Mr. Luciana to Mahopac,” Superintendent of Schools Mr. DiCarlo said. “His commitment building school spirit and promoting a positive culture will be an excellent fit in Mahopac as we work to define the future of our programs. His passion for athletics and his student-centered approach will serve us well in leading our physical education, health and athletics department. ”
Luciana earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland and his master’s degree in school administration Mercy College.
“I am honored and humbled to join a team of administrators that fosters such a high standard of student achievement and pride,” Luciana said. “I would like to thank the Board of Education for entrusting me with the highly-respected athletic programs of the Mahopac Central School District. I am eager to begin our partnership and bring my dedication and experience in fostering academic and athletic excellence to the Mahopac community.”
Mr. Luciana succeeds Frank Miele who came out of retirement to step back into the Athletic Director position in Spring 2019, “Frank provided us with steady, reliable leadership just when we needed it most, “DiCarlo said. “He re-established the connections among our athletic department, student athletes, coaches, and community which have positioned us well for the next chapter in Mahopac Athletics. His legacy in Mahopac will live on forever. I cannot thank him enough.”
Luciana will step into his new position on July 1.District News & Headlines
Congratulations Vincent Vitanza, our National Merit Scholarship Finalist
A Mahopac High School student has advanced to finalist standing in a national scholarship competition. Vincent Vitanza, a senior who is in the band and orchestra at MHS playing saxophone, cello, piano, base, violin, and viola, was one of more than 1.5 million students in nearly 21,000 high schools to enter the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) qualifying test in the fall of 2018. The pool of approximately 16,000 semifinalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, included the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Approximately 15,000 semifinalists met all the requirements to advance to finalist standing in the competition sponsored by The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and as one of them, Vitanza is now in the running for the prestigious National Merit Scholarships which will be awarded between now and June.
Vitanza said he was shocked to learn that he had made the first cut in September when he was named as one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the program, “There’s only so much preparing you can do for the test. I got a good night's sleep and showed up to take the test without really thinking about the possibility that I might be named a Semifinalist.”
“Vincent was a pleasure to have in class,” said Mahopac High School science teacher Robert D'Alessandro about Vitanza’s characteristics as a student. “He has demonstrated an ability to evaluate environmental issues and provided scientific solutions for these matters. This strength is one of the reasons why he was chosen to be part of the team that represented Mahopac High School at the Hudson Valley Regional Envirothon his freshman year. Vincent was one of the leaders of his team and helped assist them to a second place finish for Putnam County.”
In addition to being named a National Merit finalist, Vitanza is on the varsity tennis team, and an active member of both the National and Spanish Honor Societies and the secretary of the Science National Society. He is also the president of the Teen Leaders Group at YMCA Camp Combe in Putnam Valley, which focuses on volunteer service, team building, and leadership exercises. Vitanza plans to attend Fordham University and major in environmental science.District News & Headlines
Family Math Night Adds Up for Mahopac Students!
For the second year in a row, Greg Tang, Jr., math guru, and international mathematics-thought leader, facilitated Family Math Night at Mahopac High School earlier this month.
Students in all elementary schools have been exposed to “Tangy” activities and challenges throughout the course of the school year, which promote an excitement for math while encouraging students to think critically and creatively.
Throughout the day (Tuesday, Feb. 11), students at Lakeview Elementary took part in activities led by Tang and their teachers (last year this event was held at Austin Road and next year it is scheduled to happen at Fulmar Road), before all the elementary school students headed off to the main event at the high school.
The evenings’ activities were coordinated by 70 Mahopac teachers, led by Sharon Foreman and 40 members of the MHS Math Honor Society (Mu Alpha Theta) and helped provide parents with a peek inside the Mahopac math program and a chance to see exactly what happens in the classrooms.
During the lead up to the event, Tang posted a comment on Twitter regarding Math Night saying, “I have never seen a district so excited about math. Students, teachers, administrators, parents, and siblings! The world needs more of this excitement, encouragement, teamwork, community. It’s just terrific!”
There was even a special edition of Spotlight on Mahopac Schools taped all bout the evening. It can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/e52PD3gL1UQ.District News & Headlines
DISTRICT CLERK ANNOUNCEMENTS
May 21 at 7:30 p.m. - Regular MeetingDistrict Clerk
May 18 at 7:30 p.m. - Work Session
Please read Superintendent DiCarlo's 5/16/2020 Budget Message to Community here.
If you have any questions about the 2020-2021 budget which you would like the Board of Education and Administration to address at their meeting on Tuesday, May 19th, please send them to District Clerk Melody LaRocca at email@example.com or call her at 845-745-3722 by 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 19.District Clerk
Board of Education Election Information
Voters will elect three (3) Trustees for a three (3) year term. Candidates for the 2020-2021 Board of Education Election are: Ben Dilullo, Tanner McCracken, Gilbert McMahon, Michael SimoneDistrict Clerk
Board Of Education Election Notice
Pursuant to Executive Order 202.26, the 2020-2021 Annual School Board Member Election Vote will be held virtually on June 9, 2020 at Mahopac High School from 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Prospective Candidates, please see attached:
- Letter to Prospective Candidate
- Qualifications of Prospective Candidates
- Campaign Timeline
- Affidavit of Expenditures and Applicable Attachment
There are three (3) vacancies. Petitions are available upon request and must be filed no later than May 11th at 4:00 p.m. If further information is needed, kindly contact District Clerk, Melody LaRocca (firstname.lastname@example.org)District Clerk
May 12 at 7:30 p.m. - Special Meeting
The Board of Education will meet via videoconferencing technology and immediately motion to enter a virtual executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Due to technical difficulties, it will not be possible to begin or end the meeting with a virtual public session. Please be advised that the Board of Education will take no action prior to or after executive session, other than to ask for a motion and a second to enter executive session, and to adjourn, and then to ask the members to vote on those motions. A record of the time the motions are made, and the result of the votes taken will be made by the District Clerk and included in the minutes of the meeting.District Clerk