Board of Education Meeting
A Board of Education meeting will be held at the Falls School Auditorium at 7:45, July 1st, following Re-Organization meeting
Dear Lakeview families,
It seems like such a short time ago we were welcoming our students on the first day of school. It has been a wonderful school year and our students have made tremendous growth!
The month of June brings us fun activities and events but it is important that our students continue to work hard on academics through the end of the school year.
We look forward to the last weeks of school with all of you. Please continue to keep solid routines at home as we come down the home stretch. I want to thank you for a great school year and all of the work you do to support your children and help them to succeed and grow.
Lakeview third graders, along with their teachers Ms. Terri DiMicco and Ms. Danielle Romano and teaching assistant Angela Pace, may have taken the most memorable field trip of their lives without even leaving the classroom. With support from a grant provided by the Mahopac Special Education Parent Teacher Organization (SEPTO), the class participated in a virtual field trip to the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida.
Located on an island in the middle of the Florida Keys, the research center’s marine mammal trainer, Noelle Belden, and dolphin “Delta” spoke with the class “live” via video conference in a lively exchange filled with unusual facts and a question/answer exchange. Delta was an active part of the dialogue and would answer questions by nodding “yes,” “no,” and even high fives. Some interesting anecdotes about dolphin life discussed included:
The “trip” fell on World Ocean Day, a day devoted to a global celebration of the ocean, June 8. In preparation for the “trip” the students studied the bottlenose dolphin and read Winter’s Tale by Juliana Hatkoff, which inspired the movie Dolphin Tale. The story emphasizes the importance of water pollution which was instilled in by Belden to the students. “Think about what you can do every day to make sure dolphins have a healthy ocean. Let’s remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle. A big part of what we can do is to stop using plastic bags. Plastic in the ocean is polluting and dangerous,” said Belden.
The visual and audio “field trip” components were facilitated by John Ressanovich, senior facilitator for instructional technology at Southern Westchester BOCES. As the students were exchanging with the dolphin and trainer, Ms. Romano would recap highlights on the white board for students.
“As teachers…we were very excited to make this study come to life for our students. We’re so impressed with their questions and enthusiasm,” said DiMicco.
Educators from the Dobbs Ferry, Newburgh and Pine Bush school districts visited the Lakeview Elementary breakthrough classrooms today. From the way teachers use space, to the way they use technology, to the integration of makerspace, the visiting teachers and principals saw firsthand how Lakeview is fostering innovation, creativity, collaboration and the ability to solve complex problems into the education experience.
Mahopac Central School District has four Breakthrough Classrooms in each elementary school, six at the middle school, and five at the high school. Breakthrough classrooms help students learn the way information is presented to them today. The traditional system of education emphasized content because content was hard to get. Now content is easily accessible. Students who can use this content to solve problems, innovate, invent, and the like, will be college and career-ready.
Donn Tobin was named National Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award by SHAPE America — Society of Health and Physical Educators. Tobin’s selection is the highest honor a physical education teacher can receive in the country. He was also named the 2019 District Teacher of the Year in Elementary Physical Education in the Eastern District earlier this year which geographically includes Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virgin Islands.
“To be the recipient of the national Teacher of the Year Award SHAPE America is a distinguished honor. It is an acknowledgement of his commitment to professional excellence and to his students. Donn and his family should be exceptionally proud of his accomplishment,” said Colleen Corsi, executive director, New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYSAHPERD).
Although not confirmed, due to archive information not being available past 2004, it is believed that Tobin is the first elementary teacher in New York to win the national teacher of the year award.
“I am humbled and truly honored by this recognition. It is an absolute privilege to teach the children in the Mahopac community. Our students are eager to learn and I cherish getting to watch them grow. It’s wonderful to be part of a place which parents and caregivers truly support our students’ education and livelihood,” Tobin said.
Since his youth, teaching and working with children have been a big part of Tobin’s life. When he was young, he was involved in martial arts where he learned the notion of breaking down skill instruction into simple steps; this is something that he still uses with his students today. As a teen, he worked as a counselor with children at summers sports camps.
Tobin’s father was the true motivator for encouraging him to become a teacher which resulted in a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York College at Cortland in Physical Education with a concentration in elementary education. Tobin earned his master’s degree in school administration also at Mercy College.
“My philosophy to teaching is to keep instruction as simple and as positive as possible so I can help create a lifelong commitment to health and fitness with my students,” says Tobin. His favorite part of teaching is seeing students grow and improve, especially when they reach the “aha” moment of skill mastery.
“Mr. Tobin’s dedication to inspiring students, nurturing their natural abilities, and encouraging them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle makes it no surprise for us that he was awarded this prestigious national honor,” said Jennifer Pontillo, Lakeview Elementary School principal.
“We are so proud of Mr. Tobin and his recognition as national teacher of the year is duly deserved. He serves as a positive role model for all students and is an inspiration for us all to be healthy, fit and active for a lifetime,” said Anthony DiCarlo, superintendent of schools.
Fulmar Road Elementary and Lakeview Elementary School, along with schools throughout the nation, participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, January 28-February 1. Organized by the school’s Building Coordinator, Leigh Galione, and Assistant Principal, Elizabeth Blessing, this challenge was devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible in and out of the classroom. “From generously donating to a local food drive, to creating a kindness checklist at home, to reading kindness-focused literature, the students, teachers and staff all participated. You could really feel the kindness spirit throughout the schools,” said, Blessing.
Evidence of this kindness spirit was found in Jacqueline DiRusso’s third grade Lakeview class. During a group discussion, one of her students asked DiRusso if the class could do something to help other children. This immediately sparked enthusiasm from the entire class and they were on board.
DiRusso turned the idea into a teachable moment. She worked with the class on selecting a cause that benefited children. Collectively, the students discussed charity options and agreed to fundraise for the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York City. The hospital serves the tristate area, including Putnam County, for children with serious diseases, and those whom need surgery.
The students decided to host a “Valentine’s Day boutique” on February 13 to sell items to the Lakeview student body during their lunchtimes. Students spent their recess time creating items for sale, such as rainbow loom bracelets, student made books, and “slime”. A few of the student’s parent also donated small-gift items. Card Smart in Mahopac also donated items for the sale. DiRusso and her students also practiced their “sales pitch.” “We wanted our Lakeview peers to know that we were inspired by the Great Kindness Challenge and are raising money to help the lives of children who are very ill,” said DiRusso.
A total of $656.00 was raised. The check was delivered to Hassenfeld, along with hand-written stories and cards for the patients.
“Throughout the whole journey leading up to our fundraiser, the students and I had meaningful discussions about being aware of the needs of others, how to care for one another, and the true meaning of kindness. The students mindset was the idea of creating a little miracle - that is bigger than them to make a difference” said DiRusso.
For more information and to donate to Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, go to https://nyulangone.org/locations/hassenfeld-childrens-hospital-34th-street
What a treat! It was impossible for Lakeview students and teachers to not get into the groove as the Mahopac High School steel drum band performed a range of favorites from Little Mermaid’s “Kiss the Girl” to Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana." Led by Mahopac music teacher Donald Flynn, this steel band performance for Mahopac elementary students has been a tradition for nearly two decades. Flynn gave students a brief history lesson of the steel drums. He explained how the steel pan, possibly the only instrument made of industrial waste, has become a cultural symbol for Trinidad.