By Patrick Harrigan
The start of a new school year is always an exciting time for the members of our educational community in the Half Hollow Hills Central School District. Like the beginning of a new day, it reminds us of the infinite possibilities that the future holds.
In this spirit, on behalf of the Board of Education, administration, faculty and staff of Half Hollow Hills, it is my pleasure to welcome our students and their families back for the 2018-2019 school year, especially our incoming kindergartners in the Class of 2031! We begin this year inspired and motivated to continue our important work of providing all students in Half Hollow Hills with opportunities to excel in academics, athletics and the arts.
But first, it is important to reflect on the many remarkable accomplishments of our students from last year, which was truly a banner year for our great district. In 2017-2018 we had our first ever national champions in the Siemen’s Competition in Math, Science and Technology, comprised of a group of young women representing both High School East and High School West.
Our boys basketball team at East and boys soccer team at West both reached the state finals, and we had individual student athletes that were state champions in boys swimming and girls gymnastics. We were also proud to count 16 all-state musicians, two all-national musicians, five Hunting-Tony winners, three Long Island Scholar-Artists and one Scholar-Artist Award of Merit winner among our students.
This summer we welcomed many new talented staff members including Ms. Diana Ketcham, the new assistant superintendent for elementary education. Our staff has been busy working on many important capital projects to improve our facilities including a Visitor Management System at all schools and new roofs at Paumanok, Signal Hill and Candlewood. We are installing a new auditorium floor at West Hollow, new entry doors to the gymnasium at High School West, new fire enclosure doors at Candlewood, and new school signs at all elementary buildings.
Other additions for the upcoming year include 10 sections of our new AP Seminar class, offering over 200 sophomores at East and West an innovative class that equips them with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills needed in college and the 21st century workforce. We are also adding a bowling team, expanding on our offering of Sandy Hook Promise programs that support inclusivity and safety preparedness, and working with the Anti-Defamation League on programs that challenge bias and bullying.
This year we look forward to continuing to develop the strong culture within Half Hollow Hills of equity and excellence, which translates directly to significant opportunities and outcomes for the children of the community. We are excited to see all of our students on the first day of school, and wish you a productive and rewarding 2018-2019 school year.
Other back to school stories:
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Health Fair at Jack Abrams