BSF Updates

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

Facilities:

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 www.BronxvilleSchoolFoundation.org

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” https://gitwff.org/watch/.

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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BRONXVILLE SCHOOL FOUNDATION SUPPORTS DIVERSITY AWARENESS THROUGH INNOVATIVE GRANTS

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.”

Helena McSherryBRONXVILLE SCHOOL FOUNDATION SUPPORTS DIVERSITY AWARENESS THROUGH INNOVATIVE GRANTS
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Helena McSherry Appointed as New Executive Director of Bronxville School Foundation

The Bronxville School Foundation has appointed Helena McSherry as its new executive director. McSherry is excited about her new role “With my two children away at college next year, I am really looking forward to being able to contribute my time to fostering the Foundation’s mission, which will allow me to maintain a special connection with the School and many of the faculty and parent volunteers in town, whom I have come to know and respect over the years.”

McSherry comes to the role with an impressive record both professionally and through her work at the Bronxville School. She attended Boston College and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Finance from the Carroll School of Management in 1992. McSherry attended Fordham Law School and after graduating in 1995, worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Charles L. Brieant, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Before moving to Bronxville in 2001, she worked as a litigation associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel and as a staff attorney with the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange commission.

McSherry and her husband, John, have two children, one a recent graduate and one attending the Bronxville School. Helena has volunteered in numerous capacities at the school. She served a six-year term on the Bronxville School Foundation board working on numerous committees including Public Relations, Grants, and Nominating. In addition, McSherry has worked in various roles on the PTA Council including the Hospitality, Character Counts and Apparel Committees.

McSherry succeeds Peggy Benziger Williams who is retiring after 16 years of dedicated service to the Foundation. Eddie Sulimirski, 2019-2020 Board Chairman said, “We knew it would not be easy to replace Peggy, but were incredibly impressed by the broad and very accomplished slate of candidates who applied for the role.  We were particularly impressed with Helena who brings a wealth of institutional knowledge, professional experience and relationships with both the school and the community. We are thrilled to have someone with her drive, vision and dedication to lead the Foundation into the next decade.”

The Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance quality education and sustain excellence in academics, arts, and athletics at the Bronxville School. Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $10 million to support facility design and renovation, faculty training and professional development, state of the art technology and equipment, and pilot programs and new curricula. The impact of these grants is felt by each student across the school, every year through the years.

Helena McSherryHelena McSherry Appointed as New Executive Director of Bronxville School Foundation
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Foundation Announces Search for New Executive Director is Underway

 

Peggy Williams to Retire after 16 Years of Service — Bronxville School Foundation begins search for Executive Director

By Romy Coquillette, Vice Chair, the Bronxville School Foundation

December 11th, 2019: Peggy Benziger Williams has announced her plans to retire as the Executive Director of the Bronxville School Foundation (Foundation) after 16 years of dedicated service. 

Peggy comments, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Foundation. The school is a vital component of the Bronxville community and the opportunity to help lead an organization that provides resources to enhance our students’ education has been amazing. It has been a privilege to work towards a common goal with many talented and dedicated Foundation board members and school faculty. The Foundation has been involved with almost every major educational initiative of the school and I am extremely proud of our accomplishments together.”

Eddie Sulimirski, the Foundation Board Chair, adds, “Peggy has been a jewel to the Foundation and the Bronxville School for the past 16 years. As a BHS alum, parent of three alums and the Foundation Executive Director, Peggy has accumulated a wealth of Bronxville School history which is invaluable to our organization. In her tenure, Peggy has overseen the approval of 452 grants totalling $7.4 million, while maintaining excellent relationships with school faculty, board members and our generous donors. She has been an ardent champion of the Bronxville School and has left an indelible mark on our community.”

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance quality education and sustain excellence in academics, arts and athletics at the Bronxville School.  Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $10 million to support facility design and renovation, faculty training and professional development, state of the art technology and equipment, and pilot programs and new curricula.  The impact of these grants is felt by each student across the school, every year and through the years.

The search for a new Executive Director is being initiated. The Executive Director is responsible for leading and managing all aspects of the Foundation in order to successfully achieve the organization’s mission. To be considered for the position, candidates should be able to demonstrate strong leadership, interpersonal, organizational and financial skills. Experience with not-for-profits and knowledge of the Bronxville School and our surrounding community is helpful.

A more detailed description outlining desired qualifications and job responsibilities for the position is posted here: BSF Executive Director Job Description.
Interested candidates should forward their resume and cover letter to Romy Coquillette, chair of the Foundation board’s search committee at romy.coquillette@me.com by January 21, 2020.

Helena McSherryFoundation Announces Search for New Executive Director is Underway
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Annual Katie Welling Run Draws over 300

Start of Katie's Run on Pondfield Ave

The Saturday after Thanksgiving featured a blue bird sky and brisk weather. Not daunted by the cold over 300 racers came out to participate in the Annual Katie Welling Run/Walk. The 2.5-mile race route starts at the front of the Bronxville School on Pondfield and winds its way thru several neighborhoods surrounding the Bronxville School. At the 30 corners along the route Safety Volunteers cheer participants along their way, many have staffed “their” position for several years. The corner of Vine and Tanglewylde featured Lisa Sorenson and her mother, Dee Sorenson, perhaps our most senior volunteer wrapped in a stadium blanket in her chair sporting her safety vest. In addition, we would like to recognize the BHS Boys Varsity Basketball team who stepped out and participated as a team in the run.

 

The Bronxville School Foundation and the race coordinators wish to thank those of you whose support made the Annual Katie Welling Run/Walk a huge success. This event, organized by Katie’s classmates and friends 13 years ago has become an important community Thanksgiving weekend tradition. The Class of 2002 at BHS was a very close-knit group and they remember Katie as a special person who had a gift of bringing people together. Katie’s Run is a recurring manifestation of this community spirit of caring.

 

Thank you to Chief Satriale and teh members of the Bornxville Police Depaartment for their invaluable assistance: the Running Company Store (which again made its store available for registration on Friday) as well as several local businesses. J & G Deli, Langes Deli and Park Place Bagels contributed a post race feast. Mrs. Morgan's and Tryforos & Pernice contributed and Neal Gelfand took many wonderful pictures.

Congratulations to all our finishers.

Thank you to all who participated, whether you ran, walked, volunteered or just cheered from the sidelines. Your presence honoring Katie truly makes a difference to our Bronxville School family and community. 

 

Helena McSherryAnnual Katie Welling Run Draws over 300
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$361,000 in Grants for the School

The Bronxville School Foundation announced its 2019 grant awards, giving $361,000 in resources to benefit children in kindergarten through 12th grade at The Bronxville School.

The Foundation grant requests came from teachers, administrators, 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.

"Thank you to the students, parents, teachers and administrators who submitted grants this year.  The grants awarded will continue to enhance the Bronxville School Community by providing additional resources throughout the school,” said Eileen Marshall, the Foundation’s vice president of grants.

Foundation chair Romy Coquillette added, “The Foundation is so grateful for our generous donors for their continued support. We value the collaboration of the community whose ideas, talent, and energy bring exciting new programs, curriculum, technology, facilities, and other resources to our children. Together, we all make The Bronxville School a better place for our children.”

The following is a complete list of the approved grants for the 2018-19 school year:

Program, Curriculum Development

  • TV Studio Technical Training
  • Fifth Grade Video Creation:Navigating Social Media
  • Middle School Video Creation: Healthy Eating Initiative
  • High School Mandarin Courses
  • International Thespian Society for High School
  • National Orchestra Festival for High School Music Students
  • "Winning Mindset" Training for Athletes
  • Technological Education Conference
  • Puppet Building Workshop for High School Musical

Facilities

  • Innovative Designs in Education: Classroom Redesign Phase II
  • Auditorium Audio, Spotlights and Moveable Lighting
  • Inflatable Batting Cages and Hitting Turtle for Baseball Team
  • Additional Classroom Seating and Portable Desk Cushions
  • Acoustic Technology for World Language Classrooms

Equipment and Materials

  • Headsets for Second Grade Literature Program
  • iPads for the Elementary Music Program
  • Elementary School Archeology Pit
  • iPads for K-12 Visual Arts Program
  • Materials for High School Robotics
  • Skeletons for High School Science Classes
  • New Computers for App Design in the High School
  • Football Helmet Program

Professional Development

  • Middle School National Social Studies Conference
  • Design Thinking on High School Experience
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning

The Bronxville School Foundation has supported our school for 28 years. The Foundation's fundraising had strong results this year: our community understands the important role the Foundation plays in enriching the school's programs and providing a first-rate education for our children. Thanks to the generosity of our community, all of your donations go directly to our grant program.  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, Peggy Williams, at 914-395-0515.

Helena McSherry$361,000 in Grants for the School
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Bronxville Bards: A Sneak Peak at the Process

Originally supported through a grant from the Bronxville School Foundation, the Bronxville Bards: Playwrights in Performance was founded in the fall of 2016 to give interested students a chance to develop, construct and eventually perform their own one-act plays.  The Bards was offered as a full playwriting class starting in the 2017-18 school year.

A group of 11 talented Bronxville High School student-playwrights presented their original 10-minute plays during a special evening of Playwrights in Performance event. Under the direction of English teacher Franco D’Alessandro, the students worked for months developing, crafting and producing each of their stories, which were performed by fellow playwrights and actors from the school’s drama department. The plays that were developed vary in subject matter and demonstrate creativity in the treatment of their characters and plot.

The talented playwrights include: seniors Andrew Babyak (“The Power Of The Tides”), Rachel Billings (“Red Light, Green Light”), Jeb Burnell (“Baby Stuff”) Ashley Kaye (“Dinner For Three”) and Viena Pentakainen (“Title”); juniors Sophie Geer (“Walking Through The Storm”), Lock McKelvy (“Oxy-Moron”), Katherine Moynihan (“Road Trips”) and Seamus Watters (“Deep Cuts”) and sophomores Molly Denning (“Beating The Cycle”) and Molly Palma (“First Name Basis”).

Helena McSherryBronxville Bards: A Sneak Peak at the Process
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