BSF Updates

The Bronxville School Foundation Announces 2021 Grant Cycle; Deadline of March 1

By Katie Shah, Board Member Bronxville School Foundation

Jan. 28, 2021: The Bronxville School Foundation is pleased to announce the start of its 2021 grant cycle. Faculty, administrators, staff, students, parents, and community members are invited to submit grant applications.

The Foundation is eager to support grant requests that enable students to lead, to innovate, to engage the world, and to think critically, particularly during these uniquely challenging times. The deadline for grant applications is March 1, 2021.

The Foundation’s mission is to raise community funds in order to provide resources beyond the district’s budget across Bronxville’s Elementary, Middle and High Schools. Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has awarded more than $11.2 million in grants that focus on piloting new programs, pursuing creative ideas, and providing equipment and facilities in the areas of science, arts, athletics, technology, and curriculum development.

“This year has presented significant challenges but those challenges have forced rapid advancements in many areas of technology and the re-examination or re-creation of ‘how things are done,’” said Won Giuriceo, who heads up the grants committee this year. “The Foundation is so impressed by and grateful for the efforts of the administration, faculty, and staff at the school. This year’s challenges have also emphasized the importance of connectivity at our schools and within our community. We at the Foundation are looking forward to partnering with the school to fund grant applications that will advance the school in these and other priority areas.”

The grant application, information about the application process, and summaries of recently approved grants are available on the Foundation’s website,

For further information or inquiries, please contact vice president of grants, Won Giuriceo, at, or the Foundation’s executive director, Helena McSherry, at

Pictured here:  Greg DiStefano and his Middle School Technology Class students using robotics kits, courtesy of a Foundation grant.

Photo courtesy of Helena McSherry.

Helena McSherryThe Bronxville School Foundation Announces 2021 Grant Cycle; Deadline of March 1
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Bronxville School Foundation Accepting Nominations For Board of Directors Until February 8, 2021

By Nancy Marshall, Board Member Bronxville School Foundation

Jan. 27, 2021: The Bronxville School Foundation will accept nominations through February 8, 2021, to fill open positions on its Board of Directors for the upcoming year.

Candidates are village residents who would work with current board members to raise funds and support grants that will enhance educational programs in the Bronxville School district.

Senior citizens, parents of current students and graduates, alumni, and community members without children are encouraged to express interest. The directors reflect a broad and diverse cross-section of the community.

The Foundation was established as a nonprofit in 1991 by the Trustees of the Bronxville School Board of Education, citizens in the community, and supporters of the school who understood that raising private funds from school families and village residents to supplement the district’s budget was important to maintaining excellence at the Bronxville School.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors consists of thirty people, including one member of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of Schools, and the Vice President of the PTA.

The primary role of the Foundation’s Nominating Committee is to identify motivated, hard-working leaders for possible nomination to the Bronxville School Foundation.

The Committee considers recommendations from within the board itself as well as from individuals who express interest through the
Foundation office.

To express your interest, propose candidates, or learn more about the Foundation, please contact Executive Director Helena McSherry at 914-395-0515 or via email at Written correspondence should be forwarded to Helena’s attention at The Bronxville School Foundation, 177 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, New York, 10708, and include specific information about involvement in the community and the school. Other details regarding background or relevant experience should also be included.

Additional information about the Bronxville School Foundation can be found at

Photo by H. McSherry.

Helena McSherryBronxville School Foundation Accepting Nominations For Board of Directors Until February 8, 2021
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Bronxville Students to Connect With Award-Winning Author

As a critical piece of the district’s diversity, equity and inclusion work, K-5 students and members of the International Club will connect with award-wining author and illustrator Grace Lin during a virtual visit on Feb. 8-11. 

During her visit, which was generously sponsored by the Bronxville School Foundation, Lin will provide the elementary school students with insight into her writing process and the inspirations for her books. She will also read stories from her novels and engage the students in interactive activities, including teaching them how to draw a dog and a Chinese dragon. There will also be an opportunity for Q&A. In addition, Lin will share her story with faculty members during a virtual districtwide assembly and will connect with high school students to discuss her experiences of growing up Asian in upstate New York. 

According to the author, her experiences have influenced her books, including her Newbery Honor, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”; her Geisel Honor, “Ling & Ting”; her National Book Award finalist, “When the Sea Turned to Silver” and her Caldecott Honor, “A Big Mooncake for Little Star.” Lin is also a radio commentator and podcast host and recently gave her TEDx talk, “The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf.” Lin has been recognized by former President Obama’s office as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling, and in 2016, her art was displayed at the White House.

Helena McSherryBronxville Students to Connect With Award-Winning Author
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The 14th Annual Katie Welling Run Shows the Strength of Bronxville Bonds

In its fourteenth year, the Annual Katie Welling Memorial Run/Walk had to adapt and adjust as so many of us have in the last nine months. This wonderful Bronxville tradition, which benefits the Bronxville School Foundation, normally takes place on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. This year, however, given Covid-19 restrictions, safety and flexibility became the chief goals as Katie’s Run pivoted to a virtual event.

From November 16th to the 30th, friends, school faculty and families, community members and alumni were invited to run/walk/bike on a safe route anywhere or indoors on treadmills or stationary bikes. “Our hope was that by having the virtual event run for two full weeks and inviting participants to run, walk or bike any time and anywhere, it would offer the most flexibility,” said Lori Beecher, Bronxville School Foundation Chairperson. “While still honoring Katie, we could complete the race in any way we wished and safely.” 

Since participants could not be together in person, the Foundation’s team found ways for them to share in the event virtually.  Frequent social media posts allowed participants to stay connected, a virtual photo album was created, and a beautiful video in honor of Katie and this wonderful community event was produced by Peter Coquillette and Sean McGrath in Bronxville High School’s TV studio. 

The way that Bronxville’s school faculty and families, alumni and community members rose to the occasion was remarkable.  The virtual event raised more than $20,000 from over 200 participants and donors. 

A silver lining was that friends far and wide were able to participate even though they were not in Bronxville.  Katie’s virtual event this year clearly showed that the bonds built in this community stretch far wider than our one square mile.  Beyond the Bronxville area, people participated from California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  

People of all ages, many donning masks, came up with creative ways to participate — running, walking or biking.  “The photo gallery is just incredible,” said Lansing Martinelli, the Foundation’s Public Relations Chair. “Some participants completed the race on Peloton bikes and treadmills, while others jumped on real bikes or took runs or walks getting back to nature.” Still others honored the beloved traditions of the event that they could by taking their photos at the Bronxville School track where the race finishes each year.  

Katie Welling, a 2002 Bronxville High School graduate, died in an off-campus fire at Miami University in Ohio. She had just turned 21. Katie’s Run was established  by Katie’s many friends and her family to commemorate Katie’s wonderful sense of humor, infectious laugh, and love of life. 

Thanks to the support of the Bronxville community, Katie’s Run has generated nearly $240,000 since its inception.  Contributions to Katie’s Run allow the Foundation to fund grants for equipment, curriculum, and specialized programs at the Bronxville School. The Foundation’s work is now more critical than ever as we help the school to navigate the challenges of the pandemic.

“We are so happy that we were able to continue this very special community tradition safely and honor Katie,” said Lori Beecher.  “The spirit and love for Katie were evident, even with our unique circumstances this year.”

For more information on Katie’s Run/Walk and to view the full photo album from the 2020 virtual event, please visit or contact Executive Director, Helena McSherry, at

Article written by Helena McSherry, Executive Director of the Bronxville School Foundation.

Helena McSherryThe 14th Annual Katie Welling Run Shows the Strength of Bronxville Bonds
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The Bronxville School Foundation Announces Fourteenth Annual Katie Welling Run/Walk Is Going Virtual

The Annual Katie Welling Memorial Run/Walk will be conducted virtually in this, its fourteenth year. This beloved Bronxville tradition, which benefits the Bronxville School Foundation, is typically held the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. This year, however, due to Covid restrictions Katie’s family and the Foundation have decided to honor Katie’s memory with a safe, contactless event.

The traditional Run/Walk will be a Run/Walk/Bike this year. Participants are invited to complete a 2.5-mile run/walk or bike any time between November 16th and 30th. Friends, community members and alumni are encouraged to run/walk/bike on a safe route anywhere or at home on treadmills or stationary bikes. To preserve the wonderful sense of community Katie’s Run always creates, participants are asked to upload photos of themselves, families and friends “competing” to a community photo album on the event’s registration website. “Although we can’t be together this year, hopefully seeing friends, alumni and neighbors upholding this wonderful Village tradition will preserve that special sense of community all of Bronxville feels during Katie’s Run,” said Lori Beecher, Bronxville School Foundation Chairperson.

Katie Welling, a 2002 Bronxville High School graduate, died in an off-campus fire at Miami University in Ohio. She had just turned 21. Katie’s Run was created by Katie’s many friends and her family to commemorate Katie’s wonderful sense of humor, infectious laugh, and love of life. 

Katie’s Run has been supported throughout the years by a loyal group of Katie’s friends, village residents, Bronxville School faculty and staff and Village merchants.  Thanks to their efforts, and the enthusiasm of the entire Bronxville Community, Katie’s Run has generated nearly $220,000 since its inception.  Contributions from Katie’s Run have allowed the Foundation to fund grants for equipment, curriculum, and specialized programs that the Bronxville School would not otherwise have been able to afford.  

To register for the 14th Annual Katie Welling Run/Walk, please visit:

There is no registration fee this year, but a tax-deductible contribution would be welcomed.  All donations will benefit The Bronxville School Foundation.

For more information on Katie’s Run/Walk or the Bronxville School Foundation, please contact Executive Director, Helena McSherry at (914) 395-0515 or

Article written by Kristen Evans, Bronxville School Foundation Board member.

Helena McSherryThe Bronxville School Foundation Announces Fourteenth Annual Katie Welling Run/Walk Is Going Virtual
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Bronxville School Foundation Announces Fall 2020 Campaign & Nine New Board Members

Article written by Nancy Marshall, Board Member, Bronxville School Foundation

October 28, 2020:  The Bronxville School Foundation has launched its fall fundraising campaign and welcomes nine new board members as well as a new slate of officers. Since 1991, the nonprofit organization has given more than 11 million dollars in grants to the Bronxville School to enhance the quality of education by funding new curriculum, technology, faculty training, facilities projects, and special materials and equipment. 

The Foundation’s Grants Committee actively engages with the District to identify high priority needs that are beyond what the school’s budget is able to cover. Since August, the Foundation has approved four off-cycle grants to support the school’s re-opening and operating plans. These grants, as well as past grants, helped the school open safely and prepare for and sustain live, hybrid and virtual learning models. Each year, the Foundation relies on its fall campaign to help fund these critical grants. Won Giuriceo, Board member and Grants Committee Chair, commented, “The support we receive from school families and community members through our fall fundraising campaign gives us the ability to fund grants that fill the gap between what the school budget provides and transformative education demands. We depend on the generous support of our community each year and, in the current climate, that support is even more critical and appreciated.”

Newly appointed Chairperson, Lori Beecher, joins Won in encouraging participation in our community drive and also expressed her gratitude to the Foundation’s nine newly appointed Board members for their commitment to the Foundation and the school in these unprecedented times.  “This group brings a broad range of talent and experience to our Board and have been engaged members of our school and larger community for many years.  They each bring qualities that will serve our Board well, particularly this year as the school navigates the unique challenges of the Covid pandemic,” said Beecher.  

Please join us in welcoming the Foundation’s newest Board members:

Deirdre Doheny

Deirdre Doheny graduated from Fordham University with a BS in psychology and holds an MBA from Iona College and MSEd in Counseling from Fordham University. Deirdre’s professional experience ranges from administration at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, consulting at KPMG/Bearing Point, and her work as an inclusive education coordinator/adjunct professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education. Deirdre has volunteered in various roles at the Bronxville School, including as a Class Parent and member of the Character and Community and B*Well committees.  She served as a catechist at St. Joseph’s Church where she taught CCD to first and second graders. Deirdre is a past President of the Bronxville Junior League and Board Chair of Bundles of Joy, NY. She and her husband Michael, have been Bronxville residents since 2013 and have two children attending the Bronxville School.

Mike Dimitri

Mike Dimitri received a BA from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Mike currently works at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and is their global head of leverage credit trading. Mike serves on the Advisory Board for the Fixed Income Leadership Summit. Prior to joining the Bronxville School Foundation, Mike worked with iMentor, an organization that provides mentors to empower first-generation students from low-income communities to graduate high school and succeed in college. Mike and his wife, Caroline, moved to Bronxville in 2010. They have children in the Elementary and Middle School at the Bronxville School. 

Wendy Fahy

Wendy received a BA from the University of New Hampshire and a MS Ed from Bank Street College. Prior to moving to Bronxville in 2009, Wendy worked for 16 years as an elementary school teacher, most recently at The Spence School. In addition to her education background, Wendy is currently a stylist for the New York City based women’s retail company, Charlotte Brody. Wendy has been active in the Bronxville community, first as Fundraising Chair, then Board Chair of the Reformed Church Nursery School and has also volunteered in various roles at the Bronxville School, including Chair of the Elementary School Council. Wendy and her husband, Chris, have two children attending the Bronxville School.

Jennifer Heathwood (ex officio member, PTA President-Elect) 

Jennifer received a BA from the University of Connecticut and spent more than a decade in marketing and media in New York City. Most recently, she was Director of Brand Marketing at OppenheimerFunds, Inc. A Bronxville resident since 2011, Jennifer has served in a number of leadership positions at the Bronxville School including Class Parent, Grade Chair, Elementary School Council Secretary and Middle School Council Chair. Jennifer and her husband, Paul, have three children in the Bronxville School.

Christopher Horvers

Chris holds a BS from the University at Albany, an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU and is a CFA® Charterholder and a CPA. Chris started his career in public accounting and worked at Bear Stearns before joining JP Morgan in 2008, where he is currently a Managing Director in equity research. Chris and his family are active members of Immaculate Conception Church where Chris has recently volunteered as a catechist. Chris and his wife, Michelle, have lived in Bronxville since 2013 and have two children in Bronxville High School and one child in the Elementary School. 

Julie Meade

Julie Meade received an AB degree from Duke University and an MBA from The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. She has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry including at GE Capital and Barclays de Zoete Wedd and is currently a Managing Director at Encina Private Credit. Prior to joining Encina in 2019, Julie had been with Cancer Support Team, a non-profit licensed home care agency for cancer patients, for 10 years serving as Director of Finance and most recently, Executive Director. At the Bronxville School, Julie has served as 7th Grade Chair, MS Community Service Club Parent Chair, PTA President, Assistant Treasurer of the 2011-2012 Auditorium Project fundraiser, and 2014 High School Graduation Chair. Outside of the Bronxville School, Julie has served as Co-Chair of the Bereavement Center of Westchester; President, Endowment Fund Chair and Discretionary Grant Chair of the Junior League of Bronxville; Advisory Board member of Concordia Conservatory; Board member and Vice Chair of Heartsong, Inc.; and currently serves as an evaluator for the Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe. Julie moved to Bronxville in 1994. Her daughter is a 2014 graduate of the Bronxville School and her son attended through ninth grade.

Heather Miner 

Heather received a BS in Finance from Boston College and MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU. Heather has worked at Goldman Sachs for the majority of her career and has served in a variety of roles including Investor Relations, Treasury, Corporate Finance and Asset Management. She is presently a Partner in the Executive Office. Heather serves on the Executive Committee of the Boston College Wall Street Council and was a 10-year Board member of Sanctuary for Families, a NYC-based non-profit that supports domestic violence survivors and their children. She recently retired to join their President’s Circle, a senior advisory council.  Heather and her husband, Mark, moved to Bronxville in 2012 and have three children in the Bronxville School.

Sam Patterson

Sam Patterson received a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Sam works for Success Academy where he currently teachers math at Bronx 2 Middle School in the South Bronx. Previously, Sam worked at Moore Capital Management where he was the Head of Macro Trading for Asia. Since moving to Bronxville in 2016, Sam has been active coaching youth sports in the community. Sam and his wife, Carlie, have three boys all attending the Bronxville School. 

Katie Shah

Katie received a BA from Randolph Macon College and an MBA from New York University. She has held business development, marketing and brand licensing roles in the media and retail industries at companies including Time Inc. and American Express Publishing. Katie is currently on the board of The Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe and has served as a Committee Chair of the Bronxville Non-Partisan Committee and the Junior League of Bronxville. She has volunteered at the Bronxville School as Elementary School Council Treasurer and Elementary and Middle School Grade Chair, and has taught religious education at the Church of St. Joseph. Katie and her husband, Vivek, have lived in Bronxville since 2006 and have four children who attend the Bronxville School.

The other directors and officers for 2020-21 are Rob Crystal, VP Development; John Kelty, VP Alumni Affairs; Lansing Martinelli, VP Public Relations; Nancy Marshall, VP Nominating; David Outcalt, VP Finance; Ian Putnam, VP Legal; Eileen Marshall, Secretary; Helena McSherry, Executive Director.  Returning board members are:  Brian Bodell, Gio Cutaia, Kristen Evans, Mary Gay, Erin Krestinski, Chris Krieg, Jennifer Lescott, Vincent McBride and Robert O’Hare. Additional ex officio members include the Superintendent of the Bronxville Schools, Roy Montesano, and Michael Finley, School Board representative.

For more information about the Foundation, or to support our fundraising efforts, please visit

Helena McSherryBronxville School Foundation Announces Fall 2020 Campaign & Nine New Board Members
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Bronxville School Foundation Awards $1,009,166 in Grants

By Kristen Evans, VP, Public Relations, The Bronxville School Foundation

May 29, 2020: The Bronxville School Foundation announced its 2020 grant awards, giving $1,009,166 in resources to benefit the Bronxville School’s K-12 student body.

The grant requests came from teachers, administrators, coaches, parents and students. This year’s grants continue to reflect the school’s work toward creating a sustainable model of excellence, aligned with the district’s goals of delivering the best possible curriculum and instruction, integrating new technologies, and providing improvements to school facilities and equipment that best support the current and future learning needs of students. After careful consideration from the grants committee and the board of directors, grants were awarded to all areas of the school.

“Like every other organization, the Foundation’s board did a thorough assessment of what was feasible for this year’s awards. The pandemic forced us to postpone some very worthy grants which were simply not practical in the current environment. However, the grants we were able to approve will enhance The Bronxville School by providing exciting new resources, training, technology and wellness programs to students, faculty, and administrators. We are particularly pleased to approve four grants submitted by students. Their interest in bettering their school really shows The Bronxville Promise in action.” said Eileen Marshall, the Foundation’s vice president of grants. 

Foundation chair Eddie Sulimirski added, “The Foundation is grateful to our donors for their generous and continued support. We received many donations, even post quarantine, which is a testament to the spirit of the Bronxville community. We also appreciate the teachers, administrators, parents and students whose ideas, talent, and energy bring about important new programs, curriculum initiatives, technology, facilities, and other resources to our children. Together, we all make The Bronxville School a better place.” 

The following is a complete list of the approved grants for the 2020-2021 school year:

Program and Curriculum Development:

ES Diversity Book Club Visit from Author Grace Lin 

Canine Integrative Therapy for ES & MS Special Education

First Grade Math Curriculum Updates

Hadestown the Musical: 8th Grade Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies

MS & HS Book Club

HS STEM: Interdisciplinary Curriculum Pilot

HS World Language Fellows – Inquiry Based Projects Program

HS Project LUSY: Seed Money for Entrepreneurship Classes

HS International Thespian Society Troupe – Year 2


Design & Innovation Center

Innovative Designs for Education: Classroom Redesign Phase III

MS Art Room Renovation

Equipment & Materials:

3-D Printer for MS Science

Unruly Splats: ES Coding & Active Play

Bronco TV Studio Consultant & Equipment

iPads, Headphones & Milo Robot for ES & MS Special Education Classes

VEX V5 Robotics Kits for MS Technology Class

Acoustical Shells for MS and HS Music & Performing Arts

Upgrade Moving Lights for Auditorium

Local Live – Live Stream Sports and Special Events

Blended Learning – New ES PE Audio Visual Equipment

Portable Recording Studio for Performing Arts

ES Sensory Path Hallway

HS Sports Vertical Jump/Speed Training Equipment

Wireless Sound Systems for Indoor/Outdoor School Events

Professional Development:

Leadership Development Learning for Curriculum Leaders

MS & HS Voluntary Reading in World Language Classrooms

Health & Wellness:

HS Portable Meditation Cart

One Love Curriculum for HS & MS

HS Social Issues Awareness Club Speaker: Kevin Hines

Wise Corner Mindfulness Pilot for 4th Grade & Resource Room Classrooms

The Bronxville School Foundation depends upon contributions from school families and the community. If you would like to learn more about the Foundation, please contact the Foundation’s executive director, Helena McSherry, at 914-395-0515 or visit the Foundation’s website at

Pictured here:  Elementary School students at The Bronxville School.

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School Foundation.

Helena McSherryBronxville School Foundation Awards $1,009,166 in Grants
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The Foundation Congratulates Students Set to Compete Nationally at NHD Competition

A group of Bronxville High School students – freshman Jack Evans and sophomores Rowan Baror, Mia Berkolayko, Olivia Cevasco, Zana Gjoni, Olesya Gorbunova, Avery Jones and Julia Narkaj – have advanced to compete at the national level of the 2020 National History Day (“NHD”) competition. 

“Our students competed against the best ninth through 12th grade history students, from the best schools across New York State, and were awarded the top honor of competing nationally,” said teacher Christina Reidel, who co-facilitates the program along with fellow teacher Dana Landesman. “This is an extraordinary achievement. We are extremely proud of the way they represented themselves, the Bronxville School and the historical past.” 

Over the last several months, the students have been conducting extensive historical research on a topic of their choice on this year’s NHD theme of “Breaking Barriers in History.” Students’ work is displayed in one of five ways – paper, website, documentary, performance or exhibit.

Evans will compete in the Individual Exhibit category with his project, “Martin Luther: The Original Whistleblower.” Cevasco and Baror will compete in the Group Documentary category with their project, “Mercury 13: Breaking Barriers for Female Astronauts at NASA.” Berkolayko, Gjoni, Gorbunova, Jones and Narkaj will compete in the Group Exhibit category with their project, “Let My People Go: The Refuseniks and Fighting for Their Freedom.” 

“This is the largest cohort of students from the district to be selected for the national competition, and the first time we have had a ninth grade student move on to the national competition,” Reidel said. 

To prepare for the nationals, the students have been meeting virtually with their history teachers and revising their research projects based on the judges’ feedback from the state competition. Similar to the regional and state competitions, the national competition will be held virtually. Students are required to submit their work by May 22 before they are judged by professors and scholars.

The Bronxville School Foundation has provided important support to help pave the way to this wonderful accomplishment.  The Foundation funded the teachers’ attendance at the National Social Studies Conference, where they first learned about National History Day.  In addition, the Foundation funded work with renowned performance coach Karen DeMauro who has given students individualized strategies and targeted feedback to help enhance their presentation skills.

Helena McSherryThe Foundation Congratulates Students Set to Compete Nationally at NHD Competition
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Foundation Grants Intersect to Promote Social Awareness

Perfect synergy: two new high school classes were seeds of Foundation grants and a BHS alum provides important insights for our high school students.

One of the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise is to challenge our students to “engage the world around you and make it a better place”. A new social studies yearlong elective class, Global Leadership Seminar, has our students exploring issues of race, gender and identity through the lens of service learning. The class came about as a result of a Foundation grant. In the summer of 2019, two Bronxville High School juniors and a BHS teacher had the opportunity to attend the Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI) at the Punahou School in Honolulu. Our students joined approximately 70 of their peers, representing over 20 schools and 10 countries to collaborate on examining global issues, formulate solutions, engage the world and develop as leaders, thru participation in workshops, field trips, and seminars to understand the Institute’s 2019 theme of Moral Courage from multiple perspectives.

One of the requirements of the Institute was for participants to share the insights they learned to their high schools and to lead an initiative related to this theme. These seniors, Sabrina Mellinghoff and Chloe Slater, who are among those enrolled in the BHS Global Leadership Seminar, proposed the topic Moral Courage to the class for consideration for a project.

Piece #2 fell into place, last June Matt Behrens, BHS ’14, spoke to our senior class; his words were so meaningful that members of the junior class heard about his presentation. Those in the seminar elective class felt Matt’s views were a good example of moral courage in coming forward to speak about gender bias, gender inequity and sexual harassment.

December 2019 the students organized a High School Assembly with Matt Behrens BHS ’14 as the featured speaker. Matt’s presentation inspired seniors Eileen Marshall & Emma Estes to create a documentary.

Piece #3 falls into place as Eileen & Emma are students in the Bronco TV Class elective. Thanks to a Foundation grant for Bronco TV, (4t​h​ floor Studio B was converted into a TV studio with first rate lighting, cameras, teleprompter and news desk) students now have an opportunity to learn TV and Film production and are inspired to create in a state of the art studio.

Eileen and Emma entered the film documentary into the Girls Impact the World Film Festival (GITWFF). This organization provides the opportunity for high school and college students to submit original short films focused on critical women’s issues such as girls’ education, ending violence against women, poverty & economic independence, and authentic beauty/body image.

Congratulations to BHS Seniors Eileen Marshall and Emma Estes. Their documentary “Be a Man” with Matt Behrens BHS ’14, is up for an award in the “Girls Impact the World” film festival.

Please take a moment to watch the work of these talented students in ​“Be A Man”

This synergy of opportunities and connections both in the classroom and throughout the broader community in large part owes its origins to the original support of the Foundation.

Helena McSherryFoundation Grants Intersect to Promote Social Awareness
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A grant from the Bronxville School Foundation is funding new elementary school curriculum focused on diversity. “The Diversity Book Club” provides K-5th grade students the opportunity to learn about the ways in which religion, race, gender, and physical abilities affect their lives and the lives of others. The teaching is done through the context of children’s’ picture books. The books are read and discussed in the classroom, then sent home with a guide that includes questions for parents to use as prompts for family discussions.

This curriculum is the result of work done by the Elementary School Diversity Think Tank. The Think Tank began in 2017 and is comprised of 28 teachers with an interest in exploring issues of empathy, equity and culturally responsive teaching. The impetus for starting the Think Tank stemmed, in part, from students who expressed feeling of exclusion. In summer 2018, fifteen teachers attended an on-site training session, Talking About Race in the Classroom. In the summer of 2019, the Foundation funded a grant that sent educators to study at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The Foundation is funding work with Paul Gorski, of EdChange a leader in scholarship in the field of equity literacy and culturally responsive teaching and learning. Gorski is a world-renowned expert on racial, poverty, and class equality.

Fifth grade teacher Claire Hollocou says “We have made great strides in this work! Because of the ‘Diversity Book Club’ we provide space and time for conversations in which every student feels safe and that they have a voice in the classroom. This promotes multicultural competence, which is a top skill for college and work environments. Teachers feel really empowered when we see the beauty it brings to the students’ experience. I feel it when I walk into my classroom. We have the ground rules set in place to have the conversations that, in the past, would have been uncomfortable. The impact that this is having is huge.”

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