Lakeview ROCKS the Community
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.
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.
During this critical time when the nation is facing a severe blood shortage, the Lakeview Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) organized its annual community blood drive on January 27 for the New York Blood Center. Donors included a balanced mix of high school students, Mahopac Schools teachers and staff, and members of the community.
Winter storms, frigid temperatures and widespread flu are making it harder for local communities to maintain their blood supply. According to a recent NYBC media release, currently, the center has just a 3-4 day supply with types O- and B- at drastically low levels. This year’s blood donation is worse than expected and donations are thousands below what is needed to maintain an ideal 6-7 day supply of blood.
Challenged by the winter weather, Copeland and the Lakeview PTO were creative with their outreach for recruiting blood donors. Lakeview students were offered a “hot cocoa and donut party” for the class that provided the most blood donor referrals. High school students earned community service hours for donating and or providing donor referrals.
“I am happy to report that thirty two units of blood were donated which equals to 96 lives potentially saved,” said Lisa Copeland, blood drive organizer.
Another community blood drive will take place in May when the Mahopac Middle School’s PTO hosts the annual Relay for Life Blood Drive. Once confirmed, details will be provided on https://www.mahopac.k12.ny.us.
“On behalf of the Mahopac Central School District and the entire community, I want to express how grateful we are to Lisa Copeland and the Lakeview PTO for the hard work that went into making this happen, especially now when there is a dire need for blood donations,” said Anthony DiCarlo, superintendent of schools.
Those who would like to donate can visit www.nybloodcenter.org to find a nearby donation center or mobile unit. It only takes one hour to donate, and a single donation has the potential to save multiple lives.