Welcome to the Schools Section

Thanks to the community from Board of Education members

Plus results of budget vote and board elections
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
~ from Members of the CCSD Board of Education

On behalf of the Board of Education and the Administration of the Chappaqua Central School District we would like to thank the community for the overwhelming support of this year’s budget.  It is a victory for the students of the district and for education in Chappaqua.  The 82.4% of the voting community’s approval is a record pass rate for a Chappaqua budget.  We believe it is a mandate to preserve and expand educational programs while remaining fiscally responsible to the tax payer.

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68 Greeley seniors receive Cum Laude recognition

Saturday, November 8, 2014
~ from CCSD website

At a ceremony on October 29th, 68 students were inducted into the Cum Laude Society, which is an academic recognition program (determined by a specific GPA) for members of the senior class. Students must be enrolled in Greeley for four or more complete semesters to be eligible.


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Fifth Annual Chappaqua Spelling Bee at 7:00 p.m. Monday, November 10

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
by Eleanor Sadik-Khan, SHARE Executive

S.H.A.R.E., or Students Have A Responsibility Everywhere, the umbrella volunteer organization at Horace Greeley High School, invites you to its fifth annual Spelling Bee, a fun fund-raiser for the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund.

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“The Consequences of Being Clueless”—for parents of 7-12 grade students

Red Cups
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
~from R21K *

What’s happening in the basement and am I responsible?  My tenth grader is having a party and 30 seniors are on my lawn; what do I do?  Why didn’t my daughter go to her friend’s house for the Homecoming Dance pre-party?  If you don’t have a good answer to these and other parenting questions, come join us on Tuesday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Greeley auditorium for a panel discussion on strong>The Consequences of Being Clueless: What you need to know to help your kids and you navigate the teen years safely.

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WEDNESDAY: Chappaqua School Foundation celebrates the beginning of school with preschoolers

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
by Alicia Kalish

The Chappaqua School Foundation (CSF) is hosting a preschool event at Kidville in Mt. Kisco on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for children ages 0-5. This is the CSF’s first preschool event and is intended to help educate younger families in the District about CSF’s mission to enhance the education of Chappaqua’s students by funding meaningful initiatives beyond the scope of the school budget.

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Registration now open for Fall field hockey clinics

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
by Douglas Weill

Registration is now open for field hockey clinics in the Fall.  The New Castle Field Hockey Association (NCFHA) will run high quality, structured developmental programs for 3rd/4th graders and 5th/6th graders on Saturdays, from Sept. 6th through Nov. 8th.  The sessions will take place during the afternoon at the Horace Greeley High School at the Barn Field.  Specific times will be determined over the coming weeks, with consideration given to avoid conflicts with lacrosse and soccer programs.

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HGHS schedule conflict? Fill in online form so counselors can help fix them last week of Aug

August 22, 2014

Editor’s Note: On Wednesday of this week the following message from Greeley Principal Robert Rhodes went out to high school students and their families instructing them on how to resolve course schedule conflicts with their counselors during the week before school begins.

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Contingency Budget: What would a defeated budget mean?

Thursday, May 15, 2014
~ from the Chappaqua PTA

Are you wondering whether your voice will matter at the school district budget vote on Tuesday, May 20th?  Do you think that because the Board of Education’s adopted budget stays under New York State’s tax cap that your vote is somehow less important?  Are you wondering whether a “NO” vote is a good way to communicate your personal dissatisfaction with a district decision, practice or program?  Have you wondered what would happen if the budget were voted down?

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SATURDAY: Plastic Bag Art Expo by Greeley’s “Students and Teachers for Our Planet”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
by Meaghan Townsend

Looking for a great way to have fun, support the environment and get involved in the New Castle community? Come to the Chappaqua Train Station on Saturday, May 31st from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a morning of fun and eye-opening entertainment! For the first time, Horace Greeley’s environmental club S.T.O.P. (Students and Teachers for Our Planet) will not only be hosting an exciting new art expo demonstrating the negative impact of single-use bags, but also supporting the movement to transition to more environmentally-friendly reusable ones.

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TONIGHT: LWVNC to hold Library Board Candidates’ Night at Chappaqua Library

League Logo
Thursday, May 15, 2014
~ from the League of Women Voters of New Castle

Three candidates for one Library Board position will take part in Candidates’ Night on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Chappaqua Library Theater, 195 S. Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, and is being sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New Castle. Candidates’ Night is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

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Ltr to Ed: If there’s nothing to be learned from taking the test, then why take it?

April 25, 2014
by Maggie Christ

Here in New York State, we’re in the middle of testing season. If you’re a parent of a child in grades three through eight, you know that the beginning of April brought three days of the English Language Arts tests, 70 to 90 minutes each day (depending on grade level), or, when you factor in set-up time, roughly five hours out of the week devoted to testing. Testing continues next week, with three days of NYS math tests, for a similar amount of time. Also, not only do the children miss instructional time while they’re taking the tests, their teachers are pulled out of class to score the exams, and substitutes have to be hired (at an additional cost to the school system).

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NEW: Chappaqua Board of Education encourages community advocacy

April 4, 2014
by Victoria Tipp, on behalf of the Chappaqua Central School District Board of Education members Jeffrey Mester, President; Karen Visser, Vice-President, Alyson Kiesel, Warren Messner, Victoria Tipp

A significant number of laws and regulations (commonly referred to as “mandates”) are formulated at the state and national level without input, feedback, or cost-benefit analysis from local school districts, and often result in unintended negative educational and fiscal consequences. Our elected representatives are better informed about local concerns and their magnitude, and are most likely to respond when they hear directly from individual constituents. We encourage you to contact them.

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Town-Gown discussion on Chap Xing, tax certioraris, “Sell-Bell,” mandate relief

March 14, 2014
by Christine Yeres

When Board of Ed and Town Board officials met on Wednesday to talk about issues common to both, BoE President Jeffrey Mester brought up the recurring “Sell Bell” mantra and asked Superintendent Lyn McKay to explain why it’s not in the cards.  They also discussed development at Chappaqua Crossing and Summit Greenfield’s tax certiorari claims totaling $6.5 million.

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School Spring Sports Coaching Appointments

Spring sports began today!
Monday, March 10, 2014
~ from the CCSD Board of Education

In its February 26 meeting, the Board of Ed made the following spring coaching appointments.

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Schools Superintendent’s proposed budget shows $2 million increase, or 1.77%, is within tax cap

Monday, March 3, 2014
by Christine Yeres

Last Tuesday, Superintendent Lyn McKay presented her proposed budget of $116,856,988 for School Year 2014-2015, an increase over the current year’s budget of $ 2,028,900 or 1.77%.  The budget shows a loss of 12.2 “full-time equivalent” teaching positions, corresponding, according to McKay, to population shifts at the three school levels.  Figures for the next school year show 27 fewer elementary students, 60 fewer middle school students, but an increase of 46 students at the high school. 

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A cautionary tale for Board of Ed members from a Scarsdale teacher

Monday, March 3, 2014
by Christine Yeres

Last Tuesday’s Board of Ed meeting was packed, not so much by budget-watchers, but by students, parents and one parent-and-teacher who had all come to plead that the Board find a way to retain tech teacher and wrestling coach Mike DeBellis in next year’s budget.  John Harrison, a resident of Chappaqua with three children (one in the wrestling program) in CCSD and Chair of the History Department at Scarsdale High School, told board members a story of “how my own professional life has benefited by some of the decisions this school district has made over the last few years.”

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L. to E: Hearing on Veterans’ Tax Exemption, Superintendent’s proposed 2014-15 School Budget

February 21, 2014
by Jeffrey Mester

Dear Editor,

You recently published an article by me updating the community on upcoming events in February.  I would like to follow-up that article with a reminder that this Wednesday, February 26th at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the public hearing on the Veterans Tax Exemption, Superintendent Lyn McKay will be presenting her proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year to the Board of Education and the community.

The district would like to invite ALL members of the community, those with children in the district and those without, to attend and provide feedback.  As always, there will be a chance for the public to comment and ask questions immediately following the presentation.

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NEW: RESCHEDULED: Public Hearing on Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption Resolution

February 21, 2014
by Jeffrey Mester, President
CCSD Board of Education

Editor’s Note: The Board of Education’s public hearing for the Veterans’ Tax Exemption has been rescheduled for 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday, February 26, in Greeley’s Academic Commons.  Assistant Superintendent for Business John Chow has estimated that enactment of the exemption might cost an average $60 per property, per year.

As a follow-up to my article published on February 3, again we encourage members of the community to attend the meeting at 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday, February 26, and give us feedback.  Because there is a legislative deadline of March 1st there is a distinct possibility that the Board will be voting on a resolution either at the hearing or later that evening at the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

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TUES & THURS: Recruiting season for Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps Youth Corps

Info Sessions on Tue. Feb. 11 and Thu. Feb. 13
February 7, 2014
by Warren Hart

If you’ve ever had a visit from the Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corps, you may have noticed a high school student as part of the crew. The CVAC Youth Corps is made up of 22 juniors and seniors who help on calls and who help keep the ambulances ready to respond. It’s a great opportunity for students to grow, build skills, and help their community.

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With a town-gown meeting coming up, some lessons from our fraternal twin, Scarsdale

February 1, 2014
by Christine Yeres

Remember the old “Contrast and compare . . . ” assignments?  From time to time, I find it instructive to look in on Scarsdale’s “hyper-local” news coverage.  With our Town Board and Board of Ed members meeting jointly next week—at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, at Greeley’s Academic Commons—I checked to see what Scarsdale is thinking and talking about.

A “high-performance” school district with roughly the same population and number of households as New Castle, Scarsdale is grappling with some of the same issues that are front-and-center here, too: Pressure from Governor Cuomo to consolidate services; prodigious school budgets (Scarsdale had to go to its public for approval a second time last year); and property revaluation (well on its way to completion, now with a debate about whether to tax condos as single-fee).  This is a take-home exam—take-home and open-book!

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NEW: Attention Parents and All New Drivers!  This Can’t Wait!

It can wait
Monday, February 3, 2014
by Katri Backman-Koster

On Thursday, February 6th at 7:00 p.m. the Greeley PTA is hosting a New Driver Orientation for students and parents in the Greeley Auditorium.  While this event is targeted primarily to students who have recently turned or will soon turn 16, we strongly encourage all new drivers to attend prior to applying for senior year parking privilege at Greeley.

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FRI-SAT-SUN: Seven Bridges production of “Anything Goes” is ready to set sail!

anything goes
January 31, 2014
by Ellen Davis

Get ready to board the S.S. American for a fun filled cruise as the Seven Bridges Theater Company gets ready to set sail with “Anything Goes.”  You will certainly “Get a Kick” out of the performances on Friday, February 7th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 8th at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee, February 9th at 2:00 p.m.

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YEAH ! ! !  You’re invited!—to Greeley’s Homecoming Saturday, September 20

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Message from Board of Ed: Please come and make your voice heard.  Vote.

Monday, May 19, 2014
~ from Board of Education members Jeffrey Mester, President; Karen Visser, Vice President, Alyson Gardner Kiesel, Victoria Tipp and Warren Messner

It has been said that complacency is the enemy of democracy.  This Tuesday, May 20th, the Chappaqua Central School District will be holding its annual vote on the proposed budget as well as a vote for two seats on the Board of Education.  We ask that all eligible voters in the school district please come and make your voice heard.  Vote.

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Op-Ed: A six-lane intersection between Greeley and CC shopping center is a monstrosity

December 12, 2014

Editor’s Note:  What follows is an op-ed + public comment.  Since today is the deadline for comments on the proposed rezoning of Chappaqua Crossing as a retail shopping center, I am submitting into the record an email discussion with Town Board and Board of Education members.  It was triggered by my email to them suggesting they consider a roundabout rather than a “signalized” six-lane intersection at the high school entrance.  Roundabouts have been proven safer for pedestrians and vehicles that conventional intersections with traffic lights.  In the group email below, Supervisor Greenstein and Board of Ed members Jeffrey Mester and Vicky Tipp weighed in.  Thanks to a reference by Mester to a previous article in NCNOW, I found that the Town’s traffic consultant Michael Galante had told Board of Ed members in August of 2013 that only 5% of traffic could be “counted on” to use the back road into Chappaqua Crossing; the Greeley entrance and the main entrance on Bedford Road would serve as main access drives.

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Greeley Girls Varsity Swimming Wins Third Straight Section 1 Title

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
by Jim Hadley

With a total of 363 points, Greeley swimmers surpassed Fox Lane (266 points) and Clarkstown (239 points) to win their third straight Section 1 title at Felix Festa Middle School on Wednesday Nov 5.

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Winners of Greeley’s 5th Annual Spelling Bee; biggest winner—HG Scholarship Fund

November 14, 2014

The 5th Annual Spelling Bee on Monday, November 10th was a huge success thanks to all the sponsors, participants, and HGSF executives Emme Nagler (12), Eleanor Sadik-Khan (12), Owen Ruggiero (11) and Ellie Loigman (10). With help from their advisors Ms. Mullen and Mrs. Devane, their efforts raised $15,000 for the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund.

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Miracle season continues for Greeley Field Hockey

Saturday, November 1, 2014
by David Hauptman

Few leaves remain on the trees, the weather is cold, and the fall sports season in Chappaqua is over, sadly.  Wait, what did you just say?  It’s not over??  How can that be?  Soccer, tennis, curling, football are finished for the year, right?

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Get your PINK on!

by Jenna Berkower
October 9, 2014

Want to be stylish and contribute to the fight against breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Well, thanks to Chappaqua’s Salon 228, you now can! Throughout the month of October, walk right into Salon 228 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM and get your pink hair extension!

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Report analyizing where education dollars go, and changes over time

September 26, 2014

Editor’s Note:  The New York State Association of School Business Officials released a report this month entitled, “Where Does the Education Dollar Go? How Has This Changed Over Time?” examining NYS school district spending and funding over a ten-year period.  Below NCNOW has reprinted its “Executive Summary” and “Conclusion,” and has provided a link to the entire document.

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Parking by the numbers at Greeley

School-Day Parking at Greeley
September 19, 2014
by Lori Townsend, Greeley PTA Chair

While we’re waiting for new signs for the Greeley parking lot, we have an important update regarding parking during school hours. In an effort to ensure parking for teachers and to have control over the parking lot in light of staffing and budget cuts, a new plan for parking is in effect for the 2014-15 school year. 

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Continuing Education Fall Course Catalog is now available online

September 6, 2014
~ from Chappaqua Continuing Education

Whether you’re curious about social media, looking to learn a new language, would like to play acoustic guitar, or want to improve your digital photography skills, the catalog’s 15 pages are packed with over 70 courses in a wide range of categories to choose from, including returning favorites such as mixed media art, college prep, intro to computers, cooking essentials, yoga, meditation, and zumba. Most classes begin in October; some are one-off, others run through December.

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Newton, MA, student paper exposes former Superintendent of CCSD for borrowing parts of speech

Tuesday, August 4, 2014
by Christine Yeres

In a special July 23 edition of their student newspaper, two Newton South high school students broke a story that their schools superintendent, David Fleishman, had delivered a graduation speech on June 9 that was “marred with unoriginality.”  In his four-minute speech to graduates, Fleishman, CCSD superintendent until July 2010, had borrowed repeatedly from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s 11-minute speech the month before at Boston University’s commencement.

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Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival Goes to Summer Reading Buddies Program

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
by Madeline Finesmith

Summertime usually means two precious months of sweet, sticky freedom. But it can also mean “Summer Slide” which can sneak in when summer activities don’t include reading. Children who do not read over the summer can lose more than two months of reading achievement – and it’s cumulative.  By the end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates.

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UPDATE:  Swim Across America nets $35,000 so far

Monday, July 14, 2014
~ from Carrie Dillon

We had nearly 50 swimmers and raised $35K this morning and donations are still going strong.  It was quite an outpouring from the community.  Many participants were swimming in memory of loved ones who had battled cancer or to honor those who are battling it now. For some of the them, including a number of adults, it was their first time swimming these distances and they were encouraged by enthusiastic parents, volunteers and spectators.

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A Greeley student’s view from inside Albany, sponsored by League of Women Voters

Hilfer with Assemblywoman Mayer and fellow Greeley student Dev Jhaveri
June 28, 2014
by Brandon Hilfer

The Students Inside Albany Conference (SIA), sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State, is a unique opportunity for high school students to explore government, politics and leadership in New York State. The SIA conference brought together sixty students from all across the state to Albany. I was honored to attend this year’s conference. I met a diverse group of high school students who, like me, were all invested in honing their leadership skills to benefit their communities.

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Salutatory Address by Emma Benack, HGHS Class of 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
~ from HGHS Graduation Day

It’s great to be here – and it’s great to be seventeen. Why? Well, for starters, we can stop looking over our shoulders when we sneak into R-rated movies. We can drive without an adult passenger criticizing our “lead foot”. And we can be here, at our high school graduation.

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Valedictory Address by David Shimer, HGHS Class of 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
~ from HGHS Graduation Day

Good afternoon everyone,

I am honored to have the opportunity to address you all today. To start things off, I would like to thank the excited family members, teachers, and friends in the audience for coming. Only the excited ones though, if you’re not excited, feel free to take a nap.

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Winners of the 34th Annual Friends of the Chappaqua Library Young Writers Contest

Sponsored by the Friends of the Chappaqua Library

Young writer Horace Greeley
June 13, 2014
by Cheryl Ehrlich

We are pleased to congratulate the following writers for their achievements in this year’s Young Writers Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Chappaqua Library. All entries are judged “blind” by a panel of writing and editing professionals.

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In post-election Kittle House conversation, BoE members decide to write in support of Shapiro

Monday, June 9, 2014

Editor’s Note: In a May 28 press release, A Thank You to Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, Supervisor Rob Greenstein wrote, “It should be noted that we recently received an email from the entire school board in support of Jill.”

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Board of Ed response to publication of its letter to TB supporting Shapiro

Monday, June 9, 2014
~ from Jeffrey Mester, President, Chappaqua Board of Education

The letter we wrote to the Town Board speaks for itself.  The letter, by its tone, was obviously meant to be private, but the School Board has no objection to the message in the letter being made public.  While sending a letter to a public board has no expectation of privacy, we did expect discretion.

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At Greeley House a HGHS “Senior Experience” project, “The Evolution of Hats”

June 13, 2014
~ from the New Castle Historical Society

On Saturday, June 14, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. please join us for a reception for Emily Simon, our HGHS “Senior Experience” student, who worked as an intern for the Historical Society and produced an exhibit we think you’ll love.  Stop by to meet Emily and then shop at Gold in Your Attic’s Special Spring Antiques and Collectibles Sale – open Friday, June 12 and Saturday June 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

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In Recognition of our 2014 Senior Athletes at HGHS

June 13, 2014
~ from the Greeley Sports Boosters

The annual Senior Athlete Awards Dinner, hosted by the Greeley Sports Boosters, took place on Sunday, June 8 at the Westchester Marriott. One hundred athletes attended with their family members as well as coaches from every varsity sport.

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Strongman brings strong rain, sun and results!

June 13, 2014
by Rita Ciero

Strongman 2014 was held Saturday, May 31st,  at Greeley in front of a record crowd of parents, alumni, and spectators to witness Youth, Modified, JV and Varsity football players along with New Castle Youth Officer & Detective, Daniel Corrado.  They were put through feats of strength, speed, and endurance as they intensely competed in the 40-yard dash, farmer’s walk, shuttle, tug-a-war, 3-cone drill and most challenging event of all—the tire flip.

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NEW: Springfest 2014!—short plays written and directed by Greeley students Mon-Thu June 9-12

Monday, June 9, 2013

A girl and guy are mentored by their friends on how to text the opposite sex A man decides that his old family sucks, and so he sets out to find a new one. But, is his new life any better? It is fast and it is funny •  A dysfunctional family comes together to convince the father of the family to cut off his disgusting new ponytail A family’s dead dog comes back to life as a human   A typical scene in a high school cafeteria and a not so typical scene in a high school cafeteria . . .

Watch the students of “playwriting & directing” put theories into practice with the development of their written and produced plays. The students have chosen a cast, rehearsed, and will stage a 10 – 30 minute play to be performed for the public. ADMISSION IS FREE.  See several plays on any of four nights—Monday, June 9 through Thursday, June 12—starting at 7:00 p.m.

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