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News

TPS' Stellar Spellers
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Zoë Steinberg-DiStefano

On Monday, April 5, under the watchful, and sometimes anxious eyes of parents, teachers, fellow students, and staff (on Zoom) 5-8thgrade students competed for the coveted prize of being named champion for 2021.

 

The Green and Gold Competition, based on academic and athletic dedication, was instituted in 1942 by Headmaster Tony Barber and has created a friendly rivalry between teams every year since then. This year’s Spelling Bee was no exception!

 

On Monday, April 5, under the watchful, and sometimes anxious eyes of parents, teachers, fellow students, and staff (on Zoom) 5-8thgrade students competed for the coveted prize of being named champion for 2021. All the participants, having previously competed in qualifying rounds, demonstrated their spelling prowess to the crowd. 

 

 

C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S, to this year's TPS Spelling Bee champion, Reuben A (8th Grade), and runner up, Michael M (6th Grade), for their stellar performances. With some challenging words like guidance, quadruple, and perpendicular, the annual Spelling Bee was just as exciting as ever. The final word of the last round was ridiculous. 

 

All of our spellers who competed deserve a T-R-E-M-E-N-D-O-U-S round of applause for making it to this level! The contenders and their grades can be found below:

 

Reuben Akinyemiju 8th

JJ Chung 8th

Holly Machado 8th

Emily Sharff 8th

Emma Daino 7th

Wynston Ditchfield-Agboh 6th

Michael Maris 6th

Morayo Olateju 6th

Sally Dwek 5th

Rebecca Hartman 5th

Charlotte Helgeson 5th

Madeleine Nicholson 5th

Solomon Reichgott 5th

Lohgan Shepherd 5th

Octave Seraile-Yam 5th

What would you like to know about Mr. Johnson? TPS student curiosity is piqued by our new Head of School!
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Zoë Steinberg-DiStefano

Students are curious about Mr. Johnson and their questions range from what his favorite animal and childhood role models are, to his passions and hobbies.

Tuxedo Park School Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Stuart Johnson as the 13th Head of School, effective July 1, 2021. Stuart joins us from St. Bernard’s School, a Kindergarten through 9th-grade school for boys in Manhattan, where he served as headmaster for 35 years. The quiet setting of Tuxedo Park School, nestled into the Ramapo Mountains, will be a refreshing change of pace from the busy city environment that Stuart is familiar with. 

 

Mr. Johnson has been getting a taste of winter in the Hudson Valley in weekly trips to the school where he is meeting with students, faculty, and staff.  

 

Students are curious about Mr. Johnson and their questions range from what his favorite animal and childhood role models are, to his passions and hobbies. However, foremost on their minds is finding out more about Mr. Johnson as a person, what makes him happy, and what he is most excited about in his transition to TPS.

 

In weekly episodes on TPS social media platforms, a catchy little tune precedes students’ questions closely followed by Mr. Johnson’s interesting answers. Middle School students, with the help of their teacher, Mr. Alex Wise, composed and recorded this song in their music classes. Visit Tuxedo Park School’s Instagram or Facebook to check them out!

 

Students are soaking up every moment with current Head of School, Todd Stansbery, at recess, in their classrooms, and at morning drop-off before the transition begins in full. It will undoubtedly be an adjustment for all, but what has 2020-21 taught us if not that we are all capable of embracing change with an open heart?

Second Grade student at Tuxedo Park School is skating into 2021 with flying colors!
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Zoë Steinberg-DiStefano

Isabella’s love for skating began at only 4 years old when she “felt like a princess floating across the ice” at the Learn to Skate program in Newburgh.

Second Grades’s Isabella Paes,  is skating into 2021 with flying colors!

Isabella’s love for skating began at only 4 years old when she “felt like a princess floating across the ice” at the Learn to Skate program in Newburgh. Her skills developed, as quickly as her passion to learn, and soon she began to catch the attention of coaches.

Isabella’s training began with Aaron Gunderson-Smith and she is now training under the guidance of Olympic Silver Medalist pair, Oleg Makarov, and Larissa Selezneva. Four to five days per week, for three hours every day, Isabella can be found mastering the technicalities of ice skating. That time increases exponentially during breaks from school and is evident in the progression of her skills. In the past year, she learned the single axel, double loop, and double salchow.

Success in competition came early to Isabella. In her first performance, she skated to, ‘This Girl Is On Fire’ at Ice Time, and later, at only four years old, she landed 3rd place in her division at The Wollman Competition in New York City. She has also had her share of disappointments as her mom, Devangini attests to. However, in true champion spirit, loss has motivated Isabella to train harder. 

“Isabella has learned that to be good at anything, you have to keep trying, even during periods of failure. Success is not only defined by medals and awards, but also by a level of commitment,” she explains. Most recently, Isabella competed in the 2020 Boston Open in November. She was the youngest in her division, outdoing many of her competitors.

 

“I feel happy and excited when I’m skating, but I also feel frustrated when I don’t land my axels,” Isabella explains. 

Undaunted, she's currently practicing a program that has a few axels and a sit-spin. She mastered the double axel off-ice and is preparing to land it on-ice soon! Another win for Isabella is the really close group of friends she has met through ice-skating, who encourage one another-what could be better than that?

 When she is not skating, Isabella loves playing the violin, making rainbow loom bracelets, and cuddling up with a good book.

We could not be prouder of Isabella and are excited to follow her journey and see all of her successes unfold in the future. GO Isabella!

Isabella with her first coach, Aaron

Isabella with her coach, Oleg Makarov

 

 

Mr. Wise involved in Video Production of Episcobuild’s 15th annual 12th Night Celebration
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Zoë Steinberg-DiStefano

Alex Wise, a Music Instructor and Private Lessons Coordinator at TPS is involved in a video production of Episcobuild’s 15th annual 12th Night Celebration.

Alex Wise, a Music Instructor and Private Lessons Coordinator at TPS is involved in a video production of Episcobuild’s 15th annual 12th Night Celebration.

Twelfth Night is an annual, festive celebration marking the end of the holiday season. For 13 years, EpiscoBuild has celebrated Twelfth Night with a gala concert by local area Episcopal choirs and soloists of their best seasonal music. This year, the tradition will continue, online. 

As part of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, EpiscoBuild has helped to build homes for seven Newburgh families. Any donations to this Twelfth Night Celebration will help raise funds to sponsor the 8th house. 

Despite the different conditions of this year’s event, EpiscoBuild will host, via the magic of the internet, the 14th Annual Twelfth Night Celebration for a Habitat Newburgh Home at 3 PM on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at this link: https://bit.ly/Episcobuild12thNight

You can donate online during the concert, or mail a check made out to "Habitat for Humanity" (noting “12th Night” in the memo) to: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, 125 Washington Street, Newburgh NY 12550. 

Appointment of Stuart Johnson, the Next Head of School at Tuxedo Park School
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Zoë Steinberg-DiStefano

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Stuart Johnson as Tuxedo Park School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2021.

Dear TPS Faculty, Staff, Administrators, Parents, Alumni, and Friends:

 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Stuart Johnson as Tuxedo Park School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2021. This unanimous decision by the Board of Trustees follows a unanimous recommendation by the Search Committee.

 

Stuart joins us from St. Bernard’s School, a kindergarten through 9th grade school for boys in Manhattan, where he served as headmaster for 35 years. During his time at the school, Stuart played an active role in admissions, secondary school placement, school publications, curriculum, strategic planning, fundraising, and the hiring, evaluation and development of teachers. He planned and executed significant capital campaigns, raising over $60 million during his tenure, and led a 63,000-square-foot expansion of the school’s facilities. Throughout his time at St. Bernard’s, Stuart continued to teach Latin, Greek, and modern European history and directed an annual Shakespeare play. Stuart’s references consistently spoke of his commitment to knowing and respecting each student, devotion to faculty, natural leadership skills, strong relationships with alumni, and love of education. He began his teaching career at St. Bernard’s, leaving briefly to teach at Groton School in Massachusetts. Stuart holds a BA in History from Yale University and is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Albans School.

 

Stuart is excited to join our warm community, to learn and embrace our traditions, and to lead TPS to realize its full potential, and that of its next generation of students. We are also pleased to welcome to the Tuxedo Park School family Stuart’s wife, Susan O’Connell, a former attorney and now active tour guide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and their son Stuart.  Stuart works as a coach and in high school admissions at Trinity School in New York and assists younger students with remote learning. 

 

Stuart’s appointment is the product of an extensive and deliberate search supported by Dr. Jerry Larson of Educational Directions. We had an extremely strong candidate pool, including several experienced sitting Heads of School. As previously communicated, 24 candidates completed formal application packages. The Search Committee interviewed eight strong, qualified candidates and presented four finalists to the TPS community. Based on the results of those virtual visits, two of the finalists were invited to campus for additional in-person visits with faculty, administrators, staff, and trustees. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support, participation, and flexibility throughout this search process. COVID-19 certainly presented some challenges, but our dedicated Tuxedo Park School community rose to the occasion. Our virtual visit days were well attended by faculty, staff, and parents and our candidates were impressed by our thoughtful and passionate community. 

 

As spring approaches, we will be in touch regarding plans to welcome Stuart as he transitions to his new role leading TPS.  Until then, we wish you a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday season.

 

Sincerely,

 

Suzanne Donaghy & Frank Peverly

Search Committee Co-Chairs