Upper School History teacher Christopher Loomis writes about the great opportunities for discovery that were born out of this year's Independent Research in History and English project. From War of the Roses to Harry Potter, 17 juniors and seniors participated in this new academic opportunity.
As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we recognize the unrest happening around the country beyond the challenges of COVID-19. Inspired by Community Council President Taylor Robin, Head of School Michael Wirtz reflects on the current climate and his hopes for a better "new normal" in this Hackley Perspectives piece.
John Canoni, Hackley Class of 1986, has announced his decision to resign his role as President of the Hackley Board of Trustees, effective June 30, 2020 after five years serving in this role. He will continue to serve Hackley School as a member of the Board. Trustee H. Rodgin Cohen will succeed John Canoni as the sixteenth President of the Hackley Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2020.
As we conclude the 2019-2020 school year, Hackley's Middle and Upper School Music faculty have created video tributes in appreciation of our eighth grade students and graduating seniors -- a warm and celebratory send off into summer in appreciation for all their excellent work, with our congratulations as they move on to the next adventure!
George Yancopoulos MD, PhD, (P ’12, ’14, ’16, ’18) Co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, did an inspiring Zoom call with Dr. Ying’s Independent Research Program (IRP) students regarding Regeneron’s work on COVID-19 treatments.
Jed Dioguardi, Director of Information Technology, is this week's voice on Hackley Perspectives, with this thoughtful reflection on the ways in which our current situation highlights the limitations of technology.
During this challenging time, Hackley’s community has responded courageously by actively volunteering to help people in need. While our K-12 students wrote over 150 gratitude letters to first responders and essential workers though a school-wide campaign, our families have been no less active at home!
In the midst of COVID-19 and Distance Learning, Hackley’s Service Team organized a campaign for students to create letters expressing their heartfelt thanks to essential workers and emergency responders in our local community. The response from all divisions was heartwarming.
Twelve Hackley seniors are recipients of the 2020 3x4 award for their commitment to being three-season athletes in each of their four years in Hackley's Upper School. This award attests to the commitment, dedication and love these athletes have for sport on the Hilltop.
For the last faculty Chapel Talk of the 2019-20 academic year, Head of School Michael Wirtz addressed the Class of 2020. He spoke about looking through the windows of time and making connections with the past and future. Watch the Chapel Talk video.
Hackley’s 7th and 8th grade art students rose to the challenge of recreating famous works of art on Zoom with imagination and panache! Their work is featured in The Arrow, the Hackley Middle School art magazine.
During Hackley's spring break, Zach '22 and Zara '23 Yusaf made face shields for healthcare workers at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Emergency Department, one of the first Epicenters for COVID-19. The doctors and nurses reportedly all use them and really appreciated the well made masks. Thank you, Zach and Zara!
Ten Hackley debaters, including juniors Lily Napach and Kiri Fitzpatrick, sophomore Michael Potanin, freshman Amy Kliatchko, Arushi Chandra, and Mason Napach, along with 8th graders Jake C., Harper K., and Jad B., took part in a 5 round Parliamentary online debate tournament hosted by Westfield Academy, debating such impromptu topics such as “This House would tax men to reduce the gender pay gap,” “This House would eliminate adoption preference on the basis of race and ethnicity,” and “This House would support the significant automation of the justice system.”
On April 18 2020, Hackley's Board of Trustees met virtually for the first time in the school's history. Much of the agenda focused on the school's response to COVID-19.
Even as the Board reflected on the present and helped school leadership anticipate future needs, trustees expressed their profound appreciation for the Hackley community's response to this situation, and recorded this video.
Please join us on April 28 for a conversation with Mark Boswell on grading for equity based on Joe Feldman’s book, Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms. Read on for details and registration.
Middle School science teacher Dan Lipin changed up the fifth grade curriculum to teach students about the work that scientists are doing to fight the coronavirus infection. He started by creating video and activities that showed them viruses, their effects on the body and the process of a clinical trial, and then scheduled live Zoom classes on Friday, April 17 with two scientists who shared their expertise. Upper School Cell Biology students and students in the science Independent Research Project also joined the sessions.
Hackley Lower School teachers and students aren't letting distance learning dampen their joy in connecting with each other and having fun! Check out these examples of the real fun they are sharing in the virtual space!
Hackley Trustee Eric Gyasi ’01 Hosts Night of Ghanaian Cuisine with Top Chef Eric Adjepong!
Global Journeys 2020 - Casten Trip: Ghana
By Wil Lobko
Although the global coronavirus crisis resulted in the postponement of Hackley’s various Global Journeys, that didn’t stop Hackley students and families from celebrating the food, flavor, and spirit of Ghana.
We would like to share these Distance Learning Service Opportunities with the Hackley Community. Hackley’s Service Team has compiled this resource as a helpful reference for students and families who seek help, wish to find ways to volunteer during these unprecedented times, or both.
Hackley Junior Arjun Dayal was inspired by outreach to the 3-D printing community to help health care professionals by making masks and face shields, and was interviewed by local news. Watch the feature here. Way to go, Arjun!
Sofia Graziano '20 of the Hackley Girls Varsity Basketball team has been named to Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) 2020 All-State Team, as part of the All-State Private School Second Team. Congratulations, Sofia!
Hackley English teacher Wil Lobko reached at random for a poem to share with colleagues to kick off the month, and the poem he happened upon has particular resonance as we enter into "Day 3" of distance learning on the Hilltop.
Hackley students and faculty across all three divisions made bowls in this week's Empty Bowls event, part of a collaboration with the Clay Art Center in Port Chester to raise money and awareness of hunger and food insecurity in Westchester County.
On Friday, February 27th, Hackley Ethics Bowl NYC winners Daniel Cai, Greg Occhiogrosso, Kiri Fitzpatrick, and Ava Lattimore traveled to Summit, New Jersey to take on the New Jersey champion team, Kent Place School for the right to compete in Nationals later this spring.
The 2019-20 Hackley Hornets Boys Varsity Basketball Team finished the season on a very high note, winning two of our last three games, including an exciting 79-75 win on Senior Night versus Leman Prep. It was a great way to honor the four seniors, Matt Wiele, James Sexton-Holtmeir, Enzi Teacher, and Andrew Abrons.
The Boys Varsity Squash Team concluded their 2019-20 season last weekend at High School Nationals. The team was led at No.1 by Ryan Chen ‘21, who excelled, especially in the match against Tabor Academy against a very strong Egyptian player.
The Hackley Girls Varsity Basketball Team ended the season with an overall record of 12-12 and an Ivy League record of 7-5, good for third place. The girls earned the #9 seed in the NYSAIS state tournament where they won their first round game before losing to the #1 seed and eventual NYSAIS Champions Horace Mann.
The 2019- 2020 season for Girls Varsity Squash ended with a total of 12 wins and 13 loses. Captain and senior Jordan Miller led the team with great integrity, character and dedication, setting an excellent example for our future squash captains.
Hackley's Winter Track & Field athletes each saw improvement this season, setting personal bests in their events, with new records set, and strong Ivy League and NYSAIS finishes, and four athletes qualifying for the Federation Indoor Track meet.
Led by Ivy champions Mary Rotenberg ’21 and Max Hardart ’21, the Hackley Girls and Boys Swim Teams had strong seasons, the girls team finishing second in league behind the strong and large Trinity team, and the boys finishing fourth.
At the February 22 Sumo Bot Robotics tournament at Long Ridge School in Stamford, CT, Hackley 5th and 6th graders were challenged to build and program Lego robots to battle each other in various autonomous and remote control competitions -- and won four out of the six competitions.
Inspired by the Strategic Plan’s challenge to explore new opportunities for cross-disciplinary experiences within the Creative Arts, Hackley’s Visual and Performing Arts Departments recently held their first ever co-departmental Upper School Creative Arts Field Trip.
To conclude their Biography Research project -- an interdisciplinary effort that brought together literacy, history, library research skills, and technology skills -- Hackley fourth graders launched their "Hall of Fame Museum" on February 19.
Congratulations to Lara Schechter and Hadassah Henderson, who will compete at NY Girls State Folkstyle Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, February 22nd at Truman High School, and to Cole Joseph and Jack Bosco, who will compete at NY State Federation Championships at Times Union Center in Albany on February 28 and 29.
Hackley hosted its inaugural teaching artist -- a drama educator -- during the week of February 9-14. The Creative Residency program is part of the new strategic plan, Redefining Excellence: Learning Beyond Boundaries, and will serve to “promote the Hilltop as a learning hub” by bringing creative teaching artists in Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Digital Arts to campus.
Hackley Girls Varsity Basketball competes in the opening round of the NYSAIS Tournament on Wednesday, February 19, 5:00 PM vs. Rye Country Day School at RCDS. The winner of that round will play Horace Mann on Thursday in the quarterfinal round. Semi-finals and finals are scheduled for Saturday and Monday, respectively.
Over the past two weeks, the Hackley Lower School students, teachers, and many parent volunteers participated in the Building Bridges program. The primary goals of “Building Bridges” are to increase student awareness and understanding of people with different abilities; to provide first-person experiences in order to develop empathy and compassion; and to reinforce the belief that all people — no matter their differences in abilities — have the same social-emotional needs and feelings.
Ten talented Hackley senior artists are participating in this year’s annual Katonah Museum Young Artist Exhibition. The exhibition, generously hosted by the museum administration and staff during their busy winter exhibition calendar, features outstanding senior paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photography from selected regional high schools.
On February 10, Hackley Boys’ and Girls’ squash teams hosted the quarterfinals of the NYSAIS Squash Championships. Both teams advanced to the semi-finals and will compete here at Hackley School on Wednesday, February 12th.
Seniors Josh Saha and Yingshyan Ku joined 550+ students from Westchester/Rockland County to present their scientific work at the Westchester/Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020.
Madeline Zuckerman '20 represented Hackley at the English Speaking Union NYC Branch Semi-Finals on 2/10. Madeline was one of fifteen students selected from various schools in the NYC Branch to compete in this prestigious competition. Fellow Hack-tors Amanda Mooney, Liz Hetzel and Conor McMahon attended to cheer her on!
The 8th grade gathered in the dining hall after school on Feb 7 for a fun session of Cupcake Wars. Students worked in teams to bake cupcakes from basic ingredients, and then decorated their cupcakes using icing and fondant. It was an enjoyable evening for everyone who participated.
On Thursday, February 6, fifth grade students joined their second grade buddies up at the Lower School to make Valentine’s Day cards for the Hackley Buildings and Grounds staff, Flik employees, and Hackley security guards.
Hackley is presenting its first musical in many years! The Upper School Musical Theater Workshop Class will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Tuesday, February 11 at 5:00 and Wednesday and Thursday, February 12th and 13th, at 7:00 in the Bridges Theater. Check out the promo video!
As part of the Creative Residency established through the Strategic Plan, Hackley's first visiting artist, Elizabeth Anne Smith, arrives on February 9 to begin a week-long residency working with drama students in grades 7-12 during the week of February 10.
The Independent Research Program was lucky to be able to host Dr. Yancopoulos (Co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and parent of alumni in the classes of '12, '14, '16 and '18) on Friday, Jan 31, 2020.
Sarah Coble, Seth Karpinski, Dan Lipin, and Tony Maisonet have been appointed to endowed chairs starting with the 2020-2021 school year. Sarah Coble will be the new holder of the Parents' Chair. Seth Karpinski has been chosen for the Head of School Chair and Dan Lipin for the McLean Chair in Mathematics and Science. Tony Maisonet has been named to the M.H. Davidson Chair in History.
On Tuesday, February 4th Upper School Chinese 5 students visited with Hackley second graders to teach a lesson about the Chinese/Lunar New Year, connected to the second grade Social Studies curriculum.
Thanks to Director of Health Education Renee Pabst for this wonderful cross-divisional partnership, in which 7th grade students taught 1st graders about proper nutrition. Enjoy the article on Hackley Perspectives.
Hackley's Middle School Squash teams competing at the MS Squash Nationals won their respective divisions on February 1. The girls team won division 2 and the boys division 3, both finishing with strong 3-2 wins in the championship.
With the end of January comes the departure of Thomas Tung-Yep, our visitor from fellow Round Square school Trinity Anglican School in Cairns, Australia, and today his English 12 class celebrated him with treats and well-wishes.
On Saturday, January 25th, ten middle school students volunteered at the Loaves and Fish Soup Kitchen in Ossining. It was wonderful to see all four grade levels represented among the volunteers, united to serve their local community.
On Saturday, January 25th, over 35 MS students debated at two separate events in our MS Public Debate League, one of which was hosted by Hackley. Though we have a lot of new and younger debaters who are still learning the ropes, one of our 8th grade teams placed 3rd at one of the events and we earned 3rd place overall as a school at the other.
The Hackley Fencing Team had thirteen medalist at the 21st Independent School Fencing League Individual Championships at Horace Mann on Saturday, Jan. 25th, including gold medals for James DiStefano ‘20 and Nicky Wind ’22. This medal count equaled the record breaking results of last season when Hackley took home 27% of the overall medals in the ten-school league.
Hackley Upper School students came together for a successful "Snow Ball" -- the winter-themed dance sponsored and organized by Community Council. Students dressed up and enjoyed the festivities -- thanks to all who made it possible!
The Hackley Independent Research Program was happy host Dr. Ianchulev (P’ 26) on Friday, January 17, 2020. Dr. Ianchulev gave an inspiring talk on innovation, and the various projects and products that he has founded since his residency.
Over the Martin Luther King, Jr, holiday weekend, in Lexington, MA, 12 debaters braved inclement weather and a tough national circuit debating Resolved: The United States should end its economic sanctions against Venezuela.
Hackley School is partnering with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to host the first Hudson Valley Young Musicians Concert on Sunday, February 2nd and we are pleased to announced that one of our Upper School chamber groups, comprised of Eliana Lee '20, Oren Tirschwell '20, and Marie Wurtz '22, has been selected to perform.
On Friday, 1/17, students in the Civic Engagement for Advanced Spanish Speakers course spent time with the Hispanic community at Neighbors Link, a resource center that aids the local community in Northern Westchester County.
During December, Hackley 8th graders learned block printing techniques in their regular art classes and created many prints of their own. They then designed a workshop to share their newfound knowledge with Hackley kindergarten students.
Hackley Review Winter 2019-20By Michael Canterino '03, Upper School English Teacher
While this academic school year offers Hackley’s first course explicitly designed around roleplay gaming as the central mechanism for understanding, analyzing, and creating content, games and simulations have been a tradition in Hackley classrooms for years.
Hackley Review Winter 2019-20By Cyndy Jean, Director of the Middle School
When I first accepted my new role as the Director of the Middle School, many colleagues and mentors offered me great insight and advice into the new career path I had chosen. Although I felt a tug at my heart knowing I was preparing to step out of the classroom and away from consistent, direct interaction with students, I was heartened by the first early interactions I had with the middle school faculty.
Hackley Review Winter 2019-20By Lisa Oberstein, Director of the Lower School
With less than half a year’s tenure on the Hilltop and in my role as Hackley’s new Director of Lower School, I get to experience so many “firsts,” and so many discoveries, that I feel a special kinship with the Class of 2032, our kindergarteners who began their own Hackley journey in September. Meeting so many wonderful people and experiencing the invitation to “Enter here to be and find a friend” myself, I am reminded every day that the root of “wonderful” is “wonder.”
Hackley Middle and Lower School students celebrated the Lunar New Year this week as they enjoyed performances of music, dance, and face-changing given by three Chinese artists on January 14th (in the Lower School) and 15th (in the Middle School).
On January 9, Hackley hosted Pavel Litvinov, this year’s Henry Wendt Visiting Scholar, who addressed Upper School students in the morning, visited classes, and then continued conversation with students over lunch.
On Sunday, January 26, at 1:00 p.m., in Allen Hall, Hackley's College Counseling Office and Athletics Department will offer a program on college athletic recruitment. This meeting is open to all, but since it focuses on the college athletic recruitment process, it necessarily targets very strong athletes.
The 4th annual Hudson Scholars Holiday Party on 12/15 brought together about 150 people--the Scholars and their families, over 20 Upper School mentors (and some of their families too), numerous Hackley teachers--and a great deal of Holiday cheer and joy!
Upper School students in the "Topics in the History of Warfare" class went to the Jacob Burns Film Center this week for a screening of "1917" with the goal of gaining better understanding of why WWI played out the way it did.
In the 2018-19 school year, Lower School students in the Brick Builders After School Club embarked on a year-long group project to create a Hackley-themed roller coaster, complete with Hackley Hornet mascot roller coaster cars.