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North Castle Daily News

Byram Hhills HS Merit Finalists
Eight Byram Hills High School Seniors Named National Merit Finalists

February 16, 2017
All eight of Byram Hills High School’s National Merit semifinalists have advanced to the next round of the 62nd annual academic competition and are now finalists, the school has announced.

The finalists are William Amorosana, Isabelle Chong, Thomas Daillak, Indra Dan, Timothy Eng, Noah Jacobs, Sabrina You and Juliana Zepf. They comprise roughly 4 percent of the school’s senior class of 207 students.

“We are extremely proud of these exceptional students for their hard work and for their achievements,” said Byram Hills High School Principal Christopher Walsh. “Being named a National Merit finalist is a great accomplishment, and the fact that eight of our seniors have reached that level is testament to the incredible student body here at Byram Hills High School.”

The seniors were named semifinalists in September by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. That achievement was based on their PSAT scores. They are now among the 15,000 students nationwide to be named finalists, for which they were required to show consistently high academic achievement throughout all four years of high school and in any college coursework.

The designation allows them to compete for about 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth $33 million that will be offered in the spring.

“Our National Merit finalists are pursuing a wide range of interests in the sciences and humanities, and we know that they are going to excel in whatever they choose to do in the future,” said Mr. Walsh.

Happy 50th to Byram Hills High

September 7, 2016
On September 7, 1966, half a century ago, Byram Hills High School opened its doors. Former students who remember that day recall the distributed buttons they wore on that very first day  that said, "Behold. Byram Hills Has Pizzazz. Welcome."  

Although not quite a full-capacity high school--as it had no senior class yet--it nevertheless boasted having "PIZZAZZ" -- as audaciously coined in the commemorative buttons distributed when "its 1966-67 inaugural school year trail blazed Byram's hills forever," said Chris Morris, class of 1971.

New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller later helicoptered in to speak at the dedication ceremony on September 27, 1966, landing on the football field and arriving that morning from his Pocantico Hills estate. Rockefeller held the office of New York Governor from 1959 to 1973 and went on to serve as the United States Vice President in 1974 under President Gerald Ford.

Rockefeller told the Patent Trader newspaper that he visited North Castle in 1946 when the town was being considered for the world headquarters of the newly formed United Nations. While the United Nations wanted Armonk, Armonk didn't want the United Nations; the proposal was voted down in a referendum that year and the site later became the corporate headquarters for IBM. The Rockefellers later contributed land at Manhattan's Turtle Bay, which became United Nations headquarters in 1952.

On dedication day, September 27, 1966, Byram Hills High School students were assembled in front of the Governor. Tara Hilton appeared on the front page of the North Castle News with the guest of honor.. Said her brother Gregory Hilton, “She was the only one with the courage to initiate a conversation with Rockefeller.” Her graduating class of 1968 called themselves, "The first and the best."

The price tag to build the new high school was $3.8 million. With the arrival of IBM Corporate Headquarters in Armonk in 1964, the school became financially feasible. By 1967, IBM was paying 37% of North Castle taxes.

After the 1966 dedication ceremony, Rockefeller was quoted in the Patent Trader as telling the audience of 1,000, “About $2,200,000 in state aid is involved in the financing of this new school and in your district’s two new elementary schools completed last year.”

Rockefeller's ceremonial closing words to the assembled Byram Hills students still hold true for Byram Hills  graduates today, “The world is waiting for you. It’s the most exciting world anyone ever graduated into. Best of luck to you.”

Byram Hills alumni Chris Morris and Gregory Hilton contributed to this article.