Byram Hills Senior Drew Siskin Wins Gender Fairness Essay Contest

Drew Siskin, Class of 2021Congratulations to Drew Siskin, Byram Hills senior, for her award-winning essay sponsored by the Ninth Judicial District Committee to Promote Gender Fairness in the Courts.  The competition was in celebration of Women’s History Month 2021 and was open to all students in accredited high schools in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange Counties.  Drew won first place in the junior/senior category. 
The essay topic was: Has COVID-19 had a disparate impact on the workplace based on gender, and what should be done about it?  Drew wrote eloquently about the gender gap in the workforce and how the nation should increase the availability of pink-collar jobs to create a better balance between work and home.  
Drew will be recognized at a virtual event held on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, where she will have the opportunity to read her award-winning essay aloud.  

Byram Hills Junior Sydney Levy Receives St. Vincent's Hospital Youth Award

Sydney LevyCongratulations to Byram Hills junior Sydney Levy selected to receive the 2021 St. Vincent's Hospital Youth Award. This prestigious award honors local high school students who best exemplify St. Vincent's Hospital’s mission of charity, excellence in healthcare, and lifelong volunteering.  
"Passionate about health care, Sydney has volunteered at Blythedale Children's Hospital and Northern Westchester Hospital in unique ways showing dedication, creativity, and a genuine orientation toward charity and serving the needs of others,” said Gregory Quirolo, Byram Hills High School Counselor.  
Sydney has been on the President’s Junior Leadership Council (PJLC) at Northern Westchester Hospital for many years, facilitating the connection between the hospital and the broader community on public health, safety, and well-being.  She led an effort to produce COVID-19 videos encouraging peers to find safe and fun activities during quarantine and spent her summer creating multi-media health-related education videos in a Virtual Internship.
Although there will not be a traditional ceremony held in person this year, Sydney’s accomplishments will be acknowledged through the U.S. Congressional Certificate of Achievement and St.Vincent's Presidential Certificate.  The 2021 winners will also be featured on the St.Vincent’s Youth Award Website.
Sydney hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics in the future.  She feels her hospital experience helped confirm her interest in serving others while focusing on health and medicine.  Sydney’s dedication to her broader community is outstanding and embodies the core values of respect, integrity, compassion, and excellence.

The Growth of Interdisciplinary Courses

The Byram Hills community is always asking, “What will it take for its students to be productive and responsible citizens of the 21st Century?”  It has recently become more apparent that the world is more interconnected and interdependent. To continue to prepare students, the high school faculty has started to create new courses focused on interdisciplinary learning.

Teachers have collaborated to combine elements from traditional courses, such as English, Art+Design, and Social Studies. This holistic approach weaves together topics from different content areas in a way that has tangible, real-world applications. 

Multimedia Journalism focuses on writing skills, editing, web and print design, A student taking photos for yearbook senior poll layout. podcasting, storytelling, ethics, and privacy. “We wanted to give more choices in the English curriculum in addition to grade-level and advanced placement courses,” said Duane Smith, Byram Hills English Chairperson. “This course was cemented by the idea of an authentic experience for students.” The most significant responsibilities are producing the yearbook (The Arch) and providing newspaper content (The Oracle). The advisors were already in place, making it the perfect fit.  Teachers, Catherine Eshoo, English/Oracle Advisor, and Amy Menasche, Art/Arch Advisor, knew their skill sets would complement each other and spent the summer collaborating and developing the class. 
“I like that this class allows me to express my creative side and that there are no strict rubrics to follow,” said Matthew Quintiere, Byram Hills senior. Unlike most traditional writing or English courses, Multimedia Journalism allows students a unique opportunity to write creatively for different audiences. “Students choose their topic and article style from club profiles to sports stories and conduct interviews in person, through email, or by phone,” said Ms. Eshoo. “They are fully entrenched in the writing process and learning the value of revisions.”
Breaking away from the conventional educational style, and exposing students to real-world skills and challenges is among the top priorities of these courses. “Students will always need to be good communicators, well-organized, and have the courage to approach people, which will transfer to any future job,” said Ms. Menasche. 
Another new interdisciplinary class, Race, Class, and Culture, aims to combine English and social studies components to deepen the understanding and perspective toward other cultures. Co-taught by social studies teacher, Mr. Ruben Torres, and English teacher, Ms. Jessica Shaw, the class studies literature and history and models a college freshman humanities seminar.  “We had the opportunity to visit other schools that were offering similar classes,” said Ms. Shaw.  “Then, we spent a year creating the class to offer students an exceptional educational experience.”  There is so much content to draw from, past and present, making the class very timely.

Race, Class, & Culture hybrid discussion.
 “We cover things more expansively than in Regents History, and I think the students appreciate that,” said Mr. Torres. “We are not on a quest to rush through content.”  The discussion-based class begins with teaching students what respectful discourse looks like.  They work on ways to approach emotional and passionate topics, generate productive conversations and handle opposing views.  “I am thankful for how this class opened my mind and taught me that it is okay to respectfully have a different opinion than my classmates, without either of us being wrong,” said Byram Hills senior, Drew Siskin.
Teachers set aside time for “hot topics” where students propose current events and vote on what to discuss for critical takeaways.  Students choose an issue that compels them and then write an argumentative paper reflecting their perspective. “The teachers made this class fascinating by using current events and pop culture to spice up their lessons and keep us engaged,” said Drew Siskin.
Offering unique and relevant classes that students are excited and motivated about fosters a love of learning. Byram Hills has successfully introduced two interdisciplinary courses this year that teachers will tweak and expand upon in the coming years.

Regeneron Science Talent Search Winners

Byram Hills is proud to announce that six members of the class of 2021 were recognized as semifinalists and one as a finalist in the 80th Regeneron Science Talent Search. This talent search is the most prestigious science and math competition in the nation. Olivia Canter, Mia Dittrich, Bailey Goldstein, Ali Hafez, Jared Ilan, and Raquel Kanner were chosen from a pool of 1,760 students and received $2,000 for their school to support ongoing research.  
On January 21, Jared Ilan became one of 40 finalists based on his projects’ scientific rigor and potential to become a world-changing scientist and leader.  Jared has been awarded $25,000 and will participate in a week-long virtual event in March to compete for up to $250,000 in college scholarships. The winners will be announced in a live virtual awards ceremony on March 17, 2021.  
“These students deserve all of the recognition they are receiving,” said Chris Walsh, Byram Hills High School Principal.  “All of their projects had to be modified in some way due to the constraints of the pandemic.  Their ability to overcome those challenges speaks to their grit, resilience, and hard work.”  
Student Projects:
Olivia Canter: Birds of a feather age together: Telomere dynamics and social behavior predict lifespan in female Japanese quail.
Mia Dittrich: Epigenetic editing of Cdk5 leads to sexually dimorphic stress responses.
Bailey Goldstein: Investigating differences in the relaxation of non-photochemical quenching and its implications for crop photosynthetic efficiency.
Ali Hafez: Using artificial neural networks to accurately simulate carbon nanotube field-effect transistors.
Jared Ilan - Finalist: Modulus of elasticity of the ideal decellularized plant material scaffold for the production of cultured meat.
Raquel Kanner: How do others perceive me?  An exploration of the influence of self-disclosure statements on viewer perceptions of emerging adults who stutter.

Regeneron semifinalists and finalist

Marketing & Media Students Hit It Big With The eByram Blitz

Although times are different, members of the Byram Hills High School Marketing & Media Club are developing some very inventive and informative original content.  The E-Byram Blitz is hosted and produced by a talented group of Byram Hills High School students and has been receiving great attention.  “I love how the Blitz connects and reaches the whole school.  Everybody on the Blitz team is great to work with, and I love the content we produce,” said Markian Nychka, Co-President.

Ansh Arvati, Drew Krevolin, Jesse Wild, Evan Weiss, and Brian Zhang are the program’s team members and co-hosts, and Markian Nychka and Matthew Marinozzi are the club’s co-presidents and co-producers.   "The Blitz is so great,” said Evan Weiss, Co-Host and Blitz Producer. “I love all my co-hosts, and talking about stuff we love makes it 1000 times better."  Together they collaborate on all aspects of production, including research, scripting, coordinating, conducting interviews, filming, and editing. These students do it all.

The team saw an opportunity to outline what was happening in athletics during the pandemic and provided a venue for athletes to speak candidly about their experiences.  “I am extremely proud of these students,” said Brian Melso, Byram Hills High School Marketing & Media Club Advisor. “Their dedication to the club, the Byram Hills Athletic program, and their craft is remarkable and a wonderful asset to our school community. Wrapping on an episode is always a great feeling for the team, but seeing 1,000+ views across our social platforms knocks the experience out of the park.”

Aside from producing more Blitz episodes, the team is excited to begin live streaming and commentating on winter and spring athletics. 

Please view the most recent episode:


Five Byram Hills Students Named National Merit Finalists

Byram Hills High School is proud to announce that five seniors have been named Finalists in the 2021 Competition for National Merit Scholarship awards. The students are Jordyn Bernard, Luke Briody, Talia Dinstein, Jared Ilan, and Kathryn Petlyuk.  
Over 1.7 million juniors took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Test in October of 2019, and more than 15,000 were named Finalists.   
“This year, five of our students earned the prestigious distinction of becoming Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship program,” said Ms. Kristina Wilson, Byram Hills Guidance Department Chairperson. “Finalists were chosen not only for their PSAT scores but also for their SAT scores and general academic performance. Congratulations to our Finalists for earning this honor.”

Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC, National Merit Scholarship Corporation, notifies approximately 7,600 Finalists that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. NMSC is a not-for-profit organization established in 1955 to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and to encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.

Byram Hills National Merit Finalists

Byram Hills Senior, Jennifer Mui Wins Con Edison Athlete of the Week

Byram Hills High School is proud to announce that senior Jennifer Mui is this month’s winner of the Con Edison Scholar-Athlete of the Week Award.  This award honors and highlights student excellence in sports, academics, and community service.

Since the seventh grade, Jennifer has been a member of the cross country and spring track teams, a two-time captain for each, and holds the school record for every cross country course in Section 1. On January 30, 2021, at the Darin Gillenwater Classic at Iona Prep, she won the 800 meters (2:33.79) and placed fourth in the 1,500 meters (5:11.42). During the cross country season, Jennifer broke the school record in the 5,000 meters in a time trial (18:59) and won both of her dual meets against John Jay/Cross River and Horace Greeley. At the Milton Invitational, she finished 7th in her division (19:44).

Jennifer finished 5th in the Regional Championships among Putnam/Northern Westchester small schools, earning All-League, All-County, and All-State Honorable Mention. She holds every school record for cross country and six school records in track for individual and relay events. Jennifer’s commitment to athletics is evident on the basketball court as well. She has played on the Byram Hills Varsity Basketball Team from grades 8 to 11. She earned All-League and All-Conference Honors twice and was the team MVP last season.

In school, Jennifer is a member of the Athletic Advisory Council, the Captain’s Council, and SALT (Student Athletic Leadership Team).  She participates on the Acting With Integrity Committee and is a member of the Science Olympiad Team. Jennifer coaches basketball at fourth-grade clinics through the Junior Bobcats program. When she is not participating in school-related events, she is a member of The Youth Group of the River Church of New Jersey. 
Jennifer is an exceptional student who has a remarkable ability to engage in learning with singular focus and devotion.  She thrives on challenges and has excelled in her coursework at Byram Hills.  Jennifer Mui embodies all of the qualities that this award stands for.  She will be attending Binghamton University in the fall, competing in Division 1 track and field and cross country. The Con Edison Scholastic Sports Award celebration will be held virtually in June.
Jen Mui Con Edison Athlete of the Week


Byram Hills Honors 16 Seniors at Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

Byram Hills congratulates 16 seniors who won special recognition at the 58th Annual Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on January 30, 2021. JSHS is designed to challenge and engage students (Grades 9-12) in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics by presenting their original research before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. Regional presenters will participate at the 2021 Upstate New York JSHS and compete for a spot in the national symposium. Congratulations to the following Byram Hills students.

1st place
- Kristen Eickelbeck - Physical Science
- Olivia Canter - Biological Sciences

2nd place
- Luke Briody - Neurology/Genetics
- Mia Dittrich - Neurology/Genetics
- Ali Hafez - Engineering & Technology

3rd place
- Lily Deitelzweig - Neurology/Genetics

5th place
- Raquel Kanner - Behavior
- Lizzie Manowitz - Behavior
- Bailey Goldstein - Biological Sciences

1st place 
- Jared Ilan - Math, Engineering & Technology
- Chloe Weissman - Behavior
- Gabriella Ripka - Behavior
- Tessa Schwartz - Math, Engineering & Tech
- Alexa Jindal - Medicine & Health

2nd place 
- Griffen Nenner - Biological Science
- Sophie Stumacher - Behavior

Byram Hills Earns AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

Byram Hills High School has earned the College Board's AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to AP Computer Science Principles. This award acknowledges 1,119 schools for their work toward equal gender representation during the 2019-20 school year.  This distinction honors the outstanding work that Byram Hills is doing to engage more female computer science students.

The College Board is celebrating schools that have either reached 50% or higher female examinee representation in one or both AP computer science courses, or whose percentage of female examinees met or exceeded the school's female population. 

“I think this award speaks to our school's continued dedication to our mission statement of preparing students with 21st Century skills, as well as the District's desire to develop leadership qualities,” said Lisa Pellegrino, Byram Hills Mathematics Chairperson.  “Technology has demonstrated, over the past five years, to play an ever-increasing role in every aspect of life, and we work to ensure all students can meet these dynamic challenges.”

Byram Hills is preparing all students by providing them the opportunity to help solve society's most challenging problems.


Byram Hills Announces Finalist for Regeneron Science Talent Search

Byram Hills is proud to announce that Jared Ilan has been named one of 40 finalists in the 80th Regeneron Science Talent Search for 2021 - the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. 
He was selected from 1,760 highly qualified entrants based on his projects’ scientific rigor and his potential to become a world-changing scientist and leader. 
Jared has been awarded $25,000 and will participate in a week-long virtual event in March to compete for up to $250,000 in college scholarships. The winners will be announced in a virtual awards ceremony on March 17, 2021.

His project involved the development of cultured meat produced from growing animal cells without slaughtering livestock. Ultimately, his results point to the development of sustainable food production. 

This achievement is remarkable any time, but especially in a year as challenging as this one.