Event Archives

2013-2014 Event Highlights Archive
2012-2013 Event Highlights Archive

Upcoming Events and School Highlights 2014-2015
Upcoming Events and School Highlights has been created to keep you posted of district happenings during the 2012/2013 school year. This page is updated frequently so please do check back often. To view many of the student achievements at SOCSD, go to Student and Staff Achievements.

Orangetown Substance Abuse Committee has established an anonymous underage drinking hotline and text line 845.826.4026 to report underage drinking parties, kids in crisis, etc.

View School Highlights

SOCSD Upcoming Events

TZHS Blood Drive!
Thursday, March 5 from 8am - 8pm

Zumba for Charity Night for the
Penguin Plunge

Thursday, March 5 from 7:00 - 8:00pm
(Registration begins at 6:30pm)
Additional Details


Annual We the People
A Multi-Cultural Festival

Sunday, March 8th
11:00am to 2:00pm

4th Annual Flying Dutchmen 5K
Saturday, March 21, 2015
8:00 - 8:45am - Check In
8:45am - Kids Run (8 & Under)
9:15 5k Race/Walk

COURSE:  Course will run through the towns of Orangeburg and Blauvelt with splits given at 1 and 2 mile marks, water station.

WHERE: Tappan Zee High School (Orangeburg, NY)

Details & Registration Form

Show Off Your STEAM 
2nd Annual STEAM Expo
(Grades K - 12)
SOCSD's 2nd Annual STEAM Expo Tuesday, March 24th at TZHS from 6:00 - 8:00pm
Did you create an experiment, participate in a competition or create a project in science, technology, engineering, art or math this year? Then join your fellow students and show off your hard work to the community in South Orangetown’s Second Annual K-12 STEAM Expo!

Students must register by March 3rd.

Registration forms are available at each school, by clicking the QR code on posters in each school or by clicking the links below:

Click Here to Register
Click Here for Expo Guidelines


School Highlights  2014-2015


A Night at the Opera

The Tappan Zee High School Italian classes and Italian Club recently sponsored its 15th Annual Night at the Opera. After studying Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata in their Italian classes, students and their families were given the opportunity to attend an evening performance of the opera in the prestigious Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The group met at the high school for a pre-opera reception before embarking on this cultural journey. The trip was a tremendous success. The following day, students shared their experience with their classmates discussing the similarities and differences between the stage production they had just seen and the production they had been watching in class. The Italian classes and Italian Club were so motivated by the experience, they have already begun planning next year’s trip.





TZHS LEOS Zumba for Charity

Over sixty TZHS students, community members and LEO Club members joined together for an hour of Zumba at the LEO Club Zumba for charity night on December 4th in the TZHS Gymnasium, raising over $600 for Hospice of Rockland. Zumba instructor Judith Richards led the group in an hour of dance and exercise. “Everyone had a wonderful time and came away with a tremendous sense of satisfaction in having burned all those calories while having contributed to a wonderful cause”, said LEO Club Advisor Tricia Castelli. “Everyone is already looking forward to the next Zumba for Charity night to be held on March 5, 2015 to benefit the Penguin Plunge”, she added.




Spanish Club Members Celebrate El Dia de los Muertos

Spanish Club members enjoyed a variety of activities to celebrate the Mexican holiday El Dia de los Muertos by decorating paper skulls and creating papel picado, which are colorful cut-out tissue paper designs. Students also had fun preparing and eating very tasty quesadillas, guacamole, and sangria; they also had an opportunity to order a full Mexican meal in Spanish during the Spanish Club’s restaurant outing in December to Fiesta Mexico.







SOMS American Idol Club Goes to Nyack Manor

On Monday December 15th, the South Orangetown Middle School American Idol Club traveled to the Nyack Manor Nursing Home to perform a Holiday show. The students put on a wonderful performance that was enjoyed and appreciated by all.






TZHS Italian Honor Society Spreads Holiday Cheer to Seniors

Italian Honor Society members from Tappan Zee High School brought some holiday cheer and Italian culture to the residents of Sunrise Senior Living in Old Tappan, NJ on Wednesday, December 10th. Close to 20 students spent a very pleasant hour with many of the residents, teaching and playing Tombola, the Italian version of Bingo which is traditionally played on Christmas Eve and throughout the rest of the season. Students worked side by side with their Sunrise friends, some of whom were repeat participants at what has become a bi-annual activity. Seniors and students alike had an enjoyable afternoon and look forward to the next tombola afternoon in the spring.






Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee Provides SOCSD With Legislative Grant

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe has provided SOCSD with a $25,000 legislative grant to extend more opportunities to students in the area of science and STEM. This grant will help the district continue to meet the expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The District will allocate a portion of these funds to participate in The Jason Project and Engineering is Elementary. It is also anticipated that a portion of the funds may be used to participate for a second year in the Students Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP).

The Jason Project is geared toward connecting students to real science and exploration in an effort to inspire and motivate them to study and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). This partnership will enable students to engage in: real connections to STEM role models, interactive online and printed activities, STEM related articles, Hands-on lab activities, and Videos, games, digital labs, and other multimedia resources.

Engineering is Elementary is a program which combines science content learning with real life engineering projects. For each unit there is a realistic fiction story containing science content. Each lesson has an experiment/engineering activity associated with it. The final product is an engineering project used to solve the problem presented in the story.




TZHS DECA Club Helps Wishes Come True

On December 7th, the TZHS DECA Club members held a fundraising event outside of both Marty's Bagels and Gino's Bagels from 8am - noon to help raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition to the event, the club for the past several weeks has been selling Make-A-Wish paper stars for $1. each that contributors can write their names on to be displayed on a wall in the High School. Through the fundraising, DECA members have raised $600, which the club will match for a grand total of $1200. That will be sent to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help create a dream for children suffering from childhood illnesses.





Leos Out On the Prowl - Helping Others

Wherever there is work to be done, the Blauvelt Lions Leo Club at Tappan Zee High School is there to assist. The Leo Club was asked by Mayor Chris Sanders to help clean out the Garden Beds in the Piermont Library Parking Lot. On November 8th close to 20 Leos, along with advisor Tricia Castelli, Piermont Landscape architect Dan Sherman and Community Garden member Colleen Duffy Céile Leidy worked hard pulling weeds for two hours, that had suffocated the beautiful grasses in the parking lot beds. The Leos were extremely satisfied at the work done, and were happy the community will once again be able to see the lovely grasses that will flourish in the beds.

On December 1st, Leos and Lions once again joined forces to help out at Soup Angels in Nyack, serving dinner to over 60 persons in need while the day after thanksgiving brought over 25 Leos in a joint effort with the Immaculate Conception Church on a Midnight Run bringing clothing, toiletries, food and good will to the homeless of New York City.




TZE Field Turns Into Mission Control Central

Despite freezing temperatures, the TZE field was alive with expectation over the much anticipated Rocket Launch. Students in Mrs. Mary Danner’s third grade class designed rockets with the Tinkercad program and printed them with 3-D printer technology. Mrs. Kimberly Guzas, TZE technology teacher, worked with the entire third grade in designing the rockets and helping with the 3D printing. Mr. Marc Eckert, the district’s technology coach, assisted the students in the 3D training and also built the launch pad. The rockets were propelled through the use of pressured air which the students, using a bicycle pump, pumped into the tube prior to each launch. Rockets were propelled one by one into the sky and in between each launch, the students quieted down and watched with a sense of pride as the next one went up. The entire third grade will have a chance to launch their rockets, class by class, through the week.

In the district’s ongoing effort to enhance student’s 21st Century skills in the STEM areas, projects like the Rocket Launch exposes third grade students to the critical analytical thinking and hands on skills necessary to carry them through their school and lifetime careers. SOCSD, as always, takes pride in the accomplishments of the students through the work of its staff and the continued essential support of their community without whom these programs could not be created or sustained.



TZ Boys Basketball Bake for Memories

On Saturday, December 6, the TZ Boys Basketball baked cookies for the "Baking Memories For Kids Foundation". The foundation bakes cookies to sell and monies raised goes toward sending families who have children with terminal illnesses to Disney World for an all-expense paid, once in a lifetime trip that creates memories they otherwise may never get to experience. The TZ Boys Hoops program baked for 7 hours last Saturday resulting in over 38,000 cookies. For more info about the foundation check out www.bakingmemories4kids.com







Coach DiDomenico Attends First Annual NFL Character Education Summit

TZ Varsity Football Coach Andy DiDomenico was one of only 55 High School Football coaches Nation-Wide and the ONLY NYS Coach to be selected by the NFL to take part in the first annual NFL Character Education Summit in Orlando, Florida last weekend. Among the 55 coaches who attended the summit were 19 former NFL players who are now coaching at the high school level. Coach DiDomenico took part in multiple workshops and sat on a special panel examining the importance of infusion of character into athletics.







WOS Students Utilize 21st Century Technology

WOS Librarian and School Media Specialist Patricia Eyer has been working with WOS students in honing their 21st Century skills. The students have been using ThingLink for Education which is a hands on interactive program that allows students to create interactive images and videos while enriching their enthusiasm for learning. Students in Mrs. Alison Costello’s second grade class were shoulder to shoulder teaching their counterparts in Mrs. Mary Fleming’s second grade class how to use the interactive website to share what they recently learned about non-fiction.




TZHS Japanese Culture Club Entertains COVE Students

Last week, the TZHS Japanese Culture Club hosted an after school event together with the COVE students. Culture Club students read the story, Kamishibai Man by Allen Say. The book tells of a Japanese man who made his living as a storyteller using a special kamishibai stage. The Club was able to borrow a kamishibai stage from the WOS Library. The stage is used to show the pictures that provide a visual accompaniment to the story.

After the first story was read, refreshments of baked sweet potatoes, which are a favorite Japanese treat, along with other snacks and green tea were served. While the COVE students and club members enjoyed their snacks, the officers of the Japanese Club read a second story of Momotaro, The Peach Boy, using the kamishibai stage. The event turned out to be both pleasurable as well as educational for all involved.





Welcome to the TZ Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2014

It was an evening of accolades, tributes, praises and awards at the 6th Annual Tappan Zee Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held on Sunday November 16th at the Colonial Inn in Norwood, NJ. For the 6th year, TZ Athletics honored "its own", as they welcomed seven individual inductees as well as the 1975 Girl's Swim Team. The TZ Athletic Hall of Fame committee was established in 2008 with the goal of properly recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of Tappan Zee High School athletes, coaches and administrators to the school community. This year's evening of celebration went to: The 1975 Girls Swim Team, Coach Nick Mottola (posthumous), John Mercurio ’53, Don Scheulen ’66, Tom D’Amato ’74, Mitch Norotsky ’81, Joanne Monks-Morris ’86, & Emilio Collins ‘90.

Slideshow of Event





SOCSD Welcomes Newest Instructional Science Coach

SOCSD has just announced the appointment of their new Instructional Science Coach. Samantha Levine will begin her employment with the district on November 10th and will be working with K-8 students. This is Samantha’s 13th year of teaching, having most recently taught elementary and middle school level science at PS 110 in Manhattan. At the same time she taught elementary science to graduate students at Metropolitan College. Samantha is Starlab certified and has extensive experience in Lego Robotics.







Leos and Lions Working Together for Others– A Perfect Match

The Blauvelt Lions LEO Club at Tappan Zee High School and the Blauvelt Lions have been working together to help others in a seamless arrangement of cooperation. So far this Fall, Leos and Lions have volunteered at two Soup Angel soup kitchens in Nyack, prepared and baked close to 100 apple pies which were sold at the Blauvelt Lions Applefest in September raising over $6000 for charity. Over 100 Leos and Lions manned the event, which included activities and inflatable rides for children and close to sixty vendors. The groups volunteered at the Fall Work Day at Visions Camp for the Blind on Oct. 11th, and a Road Cleanup in Blauvelt on October 25th. Leos also volunteered at the Orangeburg Family Picnic, the AT Children’s Project Fundraiser, OMM opening day ceremony and the Fragile X Syndrome Fundraiser. The Leos are presently running a toiletry drive to collect items needed for their Breakfast and Midnight Runs to bring food, clothing and toiletries to the homeless of New York City. They are collecting men’s and women’s deodorant, shaving cream and razors, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, small sized shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, hand lotion. They will also be collecting men’s socks, undershirts and underwear, hats, gloves, scarves and men’s pants, sweatshirts, coats and shoes. Donations can be dropped off in the Tappan Zee High School lobby collection box.





SOMS Students Participate in Take A Veteran To School Day

On Friday, November 8th, students in Ms. Sorensen's 6th grade Challenge Lab class participated in Take a Veteran to School Day. The national program, originally launched in 2007 was developed by the History Channel in an effort to link veterans with students nationwide. Schools, classes, students, and communities take the opportunity invite veterans of all generations, wars and backgrounds to share their stories and receive thanks for their service. To date, thousands of schools nationwide have participated in the event.

Thirteen veterans visited Ms. Sorensen's students to share with them stories of both fear and heroism from as far back as the Battle of the Bulge. Participating veterans were: Tom Williger, Vietnam; Ben Roujansky, WWII; John Trachten, WWII; Jack King, Vietnam; Chester Lubeck, Battle of the Bulge; Tim White, post war Korea; Jake Miragia, Korea; John Ouderkirk, Desert Storm; Simon Jeruchim, Korea; George Hockett, Korea; Tom Shine, Korea; John Antonucci, Vietnam & Cuban Crisis; Len Feroldi, Korea. Many of the vets attended SOCSD themselves and now have grandchildren attending school in the District.

All the veterans had important stories to tell, and Take a Veteran to School Day provided them a wonderful platform to share that history first hand and maintain a connection with the younger generation..

Their one unanimous request for Veteran’s Day: Whenever you see a veteran, just say, “Thanks for all you’ve done”.




D is for Dictionary

This past Wednesday, members of the South Orangetown Rotary Club and Orange and Rockland Utilities were at TZE as part of the annual dictionary assembly and distribution. Orange and Rockland opened the assembly with as short question and answer period and an explanation of their job in providing electricity to our homes. Dr. Mitchell then spoke to the students about their dictionaries made possible through the O&R and Rotary contribution. He introduced Mr. Bruce Wooley, from the Rotary Club, who explained more about the Rotary's mission. Students then lined up across the front of the gymnasium as each student received a copy of “A Student's Dictionary. The students were excited to receive their new dictionaries and began looking through them immediately. Dr. Lee then challenged the assembly of students to find the longest word in the English language which is on page 373 and to be able to come to his office and pronounce it. Thank you to the Rotary Club and Orange and Rockland Utilities for this wonderful annual event.




SOMS & TZHS Italian Language Students Combine to Celebrate Italian Heritage Month

Over 150 families of students of Italian in the South Orangetown Central School District joined South Orangetown Middle School Italian Club and class members and Tappan Zee High School Italian Club and Italian Honor Society members and Italian teachers Roberta Avantifiori, Tricia Castelli, Christina Nilson and Maria Stillo, for the groups’ first annual Italian Potluck Family Night held on October 24, 2014 in the Tappan Zee High School Cafeteria. The Potluck dinner, organized as a celebration for Italian Heritage Month, featured over 50 Pasta and Main dishes brought by each family group attending, desserts provided by the two clubs as well as families, and an hour of entertainment which included the dancing of the Tarantella, a traditional Italian folk dance, a sing-along of Italian songs and a round of Tombola, a form of Italian bingo. The evening was a huge success, and everyone left eager to participate again next year.

- View Slideshow of Event


WCBS Newsradio 880's Sean Adams Interviews TZ Athletes & Coaches

WCBS Newsradio 880 reporter Sean Adams came to TZHS after having read the Journal News Article which ran two weeks ago regarding TZ Athletics’ positive attitudes concerning character, citizenship, public spirit and social responsibility. He wanted to interview some of the student athletes and coaching staff about life rules and sportsmanship off the field.

Audio clips which were aired on his show throughout the day on Monday, October 27, 2014 are below:

Part 1            Part 2

TZ Athletes Continue To Pay It Forward

TZ teams were very busy over the past few weekends as they proved the most important wins are not always on the field. TZ Volleyball teamed up with Pearl River Volleyball to host the 5th Annual Orangetown Volley for the Cure game in the fight against Breast cancer. The teams raised over $1,000 for the cause........ (and TZ won the match!).

Last weekend TZ Boys Lacrosse and Middle School Volleyball took part in the Light the Night walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Boulders Stadium.

Back at home, the Middle School Girls Soccer took time out of their practice to donate and pack up packages for the troops. Each package included a personal note from the girls.



Another Crowd Pleaser for the SOCSD Acoustic Underground

SOCSD’s increasingly popular Acoustic Underground did not disappoint on Friday evening, October 10, as thirty-seven TZHS student musicians and singers performed twenty-four acts for their peers, parents, and teachers in the TZ Band room. This mélange of musical performances was a true crowd pleaser with its variety of groups, duets, and solo artists on guitar, piano, bass, violin, cello, drums, and ukulele. And, as tradition has it, Dr. Mitchell took his place on harmonica. The semi-annual Acoustic Underground, sponsored by the Spanish Honor Society, is enjoying a growing popularity with the community who enjoys hearing and singing along with the musical talent of TZHS students and faculty members. The audience was entertained by witty emcees and members of the Spanish Honor Society, Lily Alig and Lily Samett.




TZ Athletes in Service to the Community

It’s not all about the game for TZ athletes. At the 2nd Annual Rockland-Westchester Boys Soccer Challenge for Breast Cancer, twelve teams took part in six games over the Columbus Day weekend raising over $3,500 for the cause. In the six games pitting Rockland vs. Westchester teams, Rockland was 4-1-1 including a convincing 4-0 TZ win over Harrison. Special recognition should go out to TZ Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Jon Jacobs who organized and oversaw the entire event.

On the Sunday of the Columbus Day weekend, the TZ Modified Volleyball team who took part as a team in the Mickey Reeve Duathalon for Huntington’s Disease.

On that same day, the Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country team who took part in the Nyack Hospital Blow Away Breast Cancer 5K.

“Community service, citizenship, respect, and team spirit are as important to our athletes, teams and coaches as any game they compete in,” said SOCSD Athletic director Liam Frawley. “We are extremely proud of our Athletes in school, on the field, and in the community”, he concluded.




Up, Up, and Awayyyyyyyy......SOCSD Unveils STARLAB Planetarium

One small step for man....one GIANT step for South Orangetown Central School District as their brand new Starlab Planetarium was unveiled at last week's Board of Education meeting. With the help of a legislative grant from Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffe, and a donation from the South Orangetown Education Foundation, the Milky Way and the entire Solar System became reachable for the first time to every student in the district.

The Starlab is capable of holding 2 classrooms of students and is easily portable from school to school. Right now Starlab is scheduled to travel to each SOCSD building at least twice during this school year. Every student will have the opportunity for learning experiences that are aligned with the science curriculum and the Next Generation Science Standards, which focuses an emphasis on space and Earth at every grade level.

Assemblywoman Jaffee, representatives from the Education Foundation were present at the meeting and, along with the SOCSD BOE were able to get a firsthand glimpse inside the Planetarium to hop a ride into outer space.




WOS Students Celebrate National Library Card Sign-Up Month

The month of September is National Library Card Sign-up Month when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all for students. The event was launched in 1987 by then Secretary of Education William J. Bennett who said: "Let's have a national campaign...every child should obtain a library card - and use it."

Since that challenge was offered, thousands of public and school libraries now join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child joins their local library.

This month, Library Media Specialist Patricia Eyer met that challenge with students at WOS when she invited librarians from each of the five local libraries, on a rotating schedule, to come in and speak with all the children about the value of getting a library card, and also reading books to each of the groups. Palisades’ Librarian Lillian Gunther came to read The Day The Crayons Quit to Mrs. Berube’s 1st grade class. Librarians from Tappan, Blauvelt, Orangeburg, and Piermont Libraries came at different times throughout the week to share books and information with students.




SOCSD Italian Clubs & Honor Society Dance at Italian Feast

An enthusiastic audience joined the South Orangetown Middle School Italian Club Members and the Tappan Zee High School Italian Club and Honor Society Members as they danced the Neapolitan Tarantella on Sunday, September 14th, at the Rockland Lodge Italian Feast which was held over the weekend at the Masonic grounds in Tappan, N.Y.. This is the 5th year that the combined groups have kicked off the entertainment on the last day of the ever more popular 4 day Feast. Following a demonstration of the Tarantella by the students, Italian Teachers Roberta Avantifiori, Tricia Castelli, Christina Nilson, and Maria Stillo, community members were invited to participate alongside the students in the second round of the dance. A large number then joined the group and both students and community members thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Click here for additional pictures of the festivities





....with liberty and justice for all

On a particularly somber morning, SOCSD students in all buildings observed the 13th anniversary of the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Moments of silence were observed, books were read, music was shared, discussions took place and the overall emotion throughout the day was that even though so many lives were senselessly lost, the heroism, strength and compassion of that day as well as the days that followed confirmed what we already knew about this great nation.





TZ Braves the Chill for ALS
See how the TZ Dutchmen get the job done!


Space mission recalls pioneering Apollo 11 lunar landing
- Our Town by Suzanne Daycock