Wellness Day Expands in Many Ways at Byram Hills High School
December 11, 2017 This year’s Wellness Day at Byram Hills High School was particularly noteworthy because for the first time students from all four grades participated in the morning sessions and discussions that encourage positive self-confidence and healthy lifestyle choices.
The students from freshmen to seniors enjoyed taking time from their academics to focus on issues like mindfulness, good eating habits and how to understand their differences and strengths.
“Students don’t always take the time to learn how to reduce stress and become healthier young adults, but Wellness Day is an annual event designed to help them do just that,” said Doug Carpenter, Health Education Teacher and Varsity Football Coach who was the lead faculty member in organizing this along with Rob Castagna, Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics.
“As a school district we promote good healthy choices by the students in many ways. Wellness Day is an ever-expanding program that helps our students increase their awareness of emotional issues and learn about healthy lifestyle options, and understand ways to reduce stress and enhance self-confidence,” added Mr. Carpenter.
But this is ultimately a student-organized agenda. Members of the school’s Student Wellness Advisory Committee and peer leaders work for many weeks to discuss what the day should include so this program is also about students helping other students.
“We tend to keep in mind what we think will be the most beneficial (for students) as our overarching goal is to establish a more relaxed sensibility with the school community,” said senior Chandler Glat, a member of SWAC and a peer leader.
“Wellness Day serves to make students more cognizant of their own individual well being,” he added.
Keynote speaker guest Shaun Derik, a motivational speaker who focuses on connecting with young adults, got the Byram Hills students smiling, laughing and thinking about their own individuality and how they can shape themselves into the adults they want to be.
He urged the students to take on the advice that was given to him: “Stand out for being great.”
Derik struck the right chord and connected well with the students, said Chandler.
“He took an interesting approach of using comedy and music to get a really strong message across: The endeavors we choose to pursue and the goals we set for ourselves are more attainable if we have people who encourage us to be our very best self. With this encouragement, and by looking towards the future as opposed to fixating on trivial aspects of the past, we can all establish a very fulfilling future for ourselves,” the student added.
The Debra Leipman Yale Memorial Fund (in partnership with Byram Hills Education Foundation) generously funded the event.
Following Derik’s presentation in two assemblies, students were asked to choose from more than 15 breakout sessions with topics ranging from goal setting and mindfulness, to art therapy and kickboxing.
Participating organizations included local professionals Talia Baurer from My Sister’s Place, who talked about healthy relationships; Amy Rosenfeld from Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, who shared recipes and tastes of healthy snacks; and parents such as Stacy Bergman, who lead a yoga class.
22 Seniors Inducted into Cum Laude for Academic Success
November 1, 2017 Twenty-two seniors were inducted Thursday, October 26 into the Byram Hills High School chapter of the Cum Laude Society for their academic achievements.
Byram Hills High School Principal Christopher Walsh congratulated the inductees for being in the top ten percent of the class academically while performing community service and showing leadership in clubs, theater, athletics and music.
“We are incredibly proud of all your accomplishments,” Walsh told the students, urging them to view induction into Cum Laude “as a springboard to continued learning and personal growth.”
The newest members of the Cum Laude Society are: Alexis Aberman, Rachel Ackerman, Christina Baris, Mathew Behar, Alexandra Brocato, Alexandra Cvern, Jackson Deitelzweig, Jonathan Freedman, Brian Glat, Chandler Glat, Arjun Goyal, Ross Greenfield, Stella Li, Malorie Lipstein, Jack Lorenzo, Alexander Melnick, Zachary Milewicz, Jonathan Mui, Jason Roden, Marina Triebenbacher, Sophie Van Leeuwen and Devon Wolfe.
Founded in 1906, the Cum Laude Society honors scholastic achievement of students in secondary schools. The founders of the society modeled Cum Laude after Phi Beta Kappa and the organization has grown to 382 chapters, approximately two dozen of which are located in public schools and the rest in independent schools in the United States and other countries including England and France. Byram Hills High School is one of only three public high schools included from Westchester County.
The seniors were also congratulated by Dr. Sandra Abt, the chapter president, who welcomed them into the prestigious society dedicated to honoring scholastic achievement in secondary schools.
This year’s faculty inductee is Joy Reynolds, a special education teacher.
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.