District News

Byram Hills High School Senior Wins Third Place at ISEF for Behavioral Science Project

Edtih BachmannByram Hills High School senior Edith Bachmann won a third place award at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for her behavioral science research project, which studied the cognitive benefits of students sharing stories with each other.

Edith compared pairs of fourth grade students who practiced storytelling, the act of retelling a story from memory while maintaining eye contact, with pairs that practiced story reading, or reading from a picture book and showing the pictures as visual aids. 

Her research found that each form of story sharing helped executive function and language skills in different ways.

Storytelling showed more improvement in reading comprehension and auditory sustained attention while story reading showed more benefits to working memory, visual sustained attention and vocabulary. The results show the need for both story reading and the less common peer-to-peer storytelling to help children’s development, Edith explained.

“I hope that both activities will be given a place in the classroom and at home, since they are both easily accessible and low-cost,” Edith said. “It is through these kinds of interventions that we will be able to help all students.”

She was gratified by her ISEF award, which came with a $1,000 prize.

“It’s such a great honor and I’m beyond excited,” said Edith, who plans to major in English at Wellesley College. “I’m very proud of the‚Äč work I’ve done and I’m really grateful to all of the teachers and friends who have helped me along the way.”

She plans to conduct a new phase of her study this summer and possibly continue it next year.

“Edith’s project was just extraordinary and I’m incredibly proud of her,” said Dr. Caroline Matthew, a Byram Hills teacher in the Authentic Science Research Program. “Her research represents the importance of finding ways to improve education for our youngest children in accessible and meaningful ways. I couldn’t be more pleased that she created such a great project and found good results.”

Edith and Byram Hills seniors Jack Blackmar and Gabriella Colabello competed at Regeneron ISEF, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia, from May 7 to 13 and involved 1,750 students from 63 countries.

The three Byram Hills seniors qualified to compete at ISEF by finishing in the top 20 at the Regeneron Westchester Science and Engineering Fair in March.

Byram Hills Budget Approved, Four Board of Education Trustees Elected

The Byram Hills Central School District’s 2022-2023 budget was passed by the community on May 17 by a vote of 1,039 to 211.

The $96,939,312 budget reflects a budget-to-budget increase of 1.78% and a 1.84% increase in the tax levy, which is $560,365 below the tax levy limit.

“Thank you Byram Hills for supporting our school budget for the upcoming school year,” said Superintendent Jen Lamia. 

“This budget supports all programs that promote student success,” she added. “It maintains all academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs. It also enables the District to continue to develop new initiatives in a fiscally prudent manner that will enhance the Byram Hills student experience.”

The Byram Hills Board of Education had four open seats to fill - three for a three-year term and one for a one-year term. The three candidates with the most votes, Mia DiPietro, Jason Berland, and Melissa Jacobs, were elected to three-year terms. Lara Stangel was elected to fill the one-year term.

Board of Education trustee vote totals:

Mia DiPietro: 944
Jason Berland: 841
Melissa Jacobs: 786
Lara Stangel: 772
Scott Meyer: 499
Danielle Orellana: 442
Tiziana Didonna: 352


NYS Triple C Award Recipients

Byram Hills High School is pleased to announce Samantha Grech and Owen Kenny as this year’s recipients of the New York State Attorney General’s Triple C Award. This award has been presented since 2006 to deserving graduating seniors across New York State in recognition of three primary traits: courage, character, and commitment.

The NYS Triple C Award was established to honor seniors whose high school journey included unique circumstances and achievements. Whether overcoming personal obstacles, succeeding in academic pursuits, participating in community service, or displaying leadership skills, these students provide us with hope for a brighter future.

Samantha GrechSamantha Grech is an outstanding student, academic researcher, and athlete who is always committed to tackling the next challenge and is no stranger to grit and resilience. In November 2021, Samantha was diagnosed with cancer. Samantha has battled through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery with remarkable courage and positivity. Her recovery has been anOwen Kenny inspiration to her family, friends, and the entire Byram Hills community. Samantha will be attending Boston College in the fall.

Owen Kenny showed exemplary self-discipline and fortitude to excel in the face of challenges. He has become a role model of academic achievement and excellence who inspires others with his dedication and generosity of spirit. Owen will seek a major in science at Siena College in the fall. 

Byram Hills High School Welcomes Five Students into Tri-M Music Honor Society

Recognizing their outstanding musicianship, scholarship, character, leadership and service, Byram Hills High School inducted five seniors into the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

At an induction ceremony during the spring concert on April 27, the students, Edith Bachmann, Amelia Chung, Rebecca Frieden, Nora Lowe and Eleana Morse, were praised for their accomplishments in music.

“They have displayed leadership throughout their career in their high school ensembles, showing a high degree of loyalty, cooperation, leadership, compassion and of course, service,” said Aaron Lockwood, the Byram Hills Orchestra Director and Tri-M adviser. “They have been selected to and participated in honors ensembles both at the County and All-State levels, and they’ve also always been willing to lend a hand or volunteer their time to perform for students at Wampus or H.C.C.” 

He noted that the students volunteered many weekend hours to help Byram Hills host a New York State School Music Association strings festival in the early spring. “It is yet another example of how truly they understand the importance of community, and supporting and inspiring the next generation of musicians,” Mr. Lockwood said.

Kimberly Dunkin, Westchester County’s NYSSMA representative and a music teacher in the Hendrick Hudson School District, congratulated the inductees in her welcoming remarks. 

“Tonight’s induction is an incredible honor for you all,” she said. “It represents the countless hours and dedication you’ve given to your music community here at Byram, and in turn, to your own musicianship.”

With graduation approaching, she urged the inductees to keep music as part of their lives, regardless of what they do after high school.

“That might mean finding the college a cappella group or the campus band,” Ms. Dunkin said. “It might mean joining a community choir. It might even be purchasing tickets to see the New York Philharmonic.”

Musicians are your people, she told them. “Find them again, wherever you choose to go in whatever you choose to do after high school,” she said. “Find them again so you can continue to nurture your creativity, learn new things and challenge yourselves.”

Tri-M Inductees
From left to right: Eleana Morse, Nora Lowe, Rebecca Frieden, Amelia Chung, and Edith Bachmann

Byram Hills High School Welcomes 62 New Members of Mathematics Honor Society

Byram Hills High School inducted 62 students into the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, which encourages the continued pursuit of mathematics and service to others.

Byram Hills Mathematics Chairperson Lisa Pellegrino welcomed students, families and guestsMain Address to an induction ceremony at the high school on April 26. “Congratulations to all of the students and welcome to Mu Alpha Theta,” she said.

Ms. Pellegrino thanked the inductees’ parents and family members.
“Without your support and your encouragement of the pursuit of mathematics, we would not be here today,” she said. “Please continue to support that mathematical inquiry at home and encourage your children to pursue the love and passion that they have for mathematics.”

Mu Alpha Theta, founded in 1957, is the national high school and two-year college mathematics honor society. The Byram Hills chapter is among about 1,800 across the United States and abroad.

For membership in the Byram Hills chapter, students need a 3.8 GPA in their core math classes and must perform 10 hours of community service. At least half of the hours need to be devoted to the honor society’s activities like puzzle day and helping students at H.C. Crittenden Middle School with math homework.

At the induction ceremony, Ms. Pellegrino recognized the Byram Hills chapter’s officers, Julia Lucchino, president; Arianna Tabankin, vice president; and Jake Goldman, treasurer; who spoke about the history of Mu Alpha Theta and the origins of mathematics, and the co-secretaries, Samatha Glusky, Arielle Goldman and Jane Zeltner. The senior officers also shared their experiences with math at Byram Hills.

In her sophomore year, Julia recalled that concepts weren’t coming easily to her and she thought about dropping down to a different class. She is glad she didn’t, because in 11th grade, everything began to click. 

With Ms. Pellegrino as her teacher, Julia said, it was the “first time in a math class where I was actually encouraged to try and fail, and I learned that mistakes are an important part of the learning process. This concept has helped me in all of my classes and so has math.”

Samantha expressed her appreciation for the circle, which has no start or end, and all of its uses in math and everyday life. 

Handshakes“Life would be very different without circles,” she said. “None of the planets would exist in a circular shape, there’d be no movement of wheels, cars or bicycles on the road. Clocks, coins, dishes and even pizza would look different without circles.”

She continued: “Although my time in math at Byram Hills is coming to an end, because of circles, I know I will take my knowledge, experiences in high school and in Mu Alpha Theta and continue my journey along the circle, but never let it end.” 

After the students spoke, the inductees were each recognized with a certificate and a blue and gold Mu Alpha Theta tassel.

The new members of the Byram Hills chapter of Mu Alpha Theta are: Aidan Aldea-Lustig, Ayaka Ammon, Lily Anchin, Drew Anikstein, Oscar Bachmann, Sydney Black, Connor Boekel, Gwyneth Brown, Samara Brown, Calvin Cai, Allison Cooper, Olivia Corpina, Benjamin Curley, Rohini Das, Gemma Dean, Katherine DeGeorges, Gregory Dekker, Abby Eickelbeck, Jacob Fenster, Amy Gagliardi, Samantha Gershuny, Emma Goldenberg, Zachary Goldman, Jesse Goldstein, Jack Herman, Lily Hirsch, Nathan Ilany, Charlie Jacobs, Alex Kahn, Sophia Kahn, Dale Kaiser, Adin Kersh, Zermina Khan, Ethan Kimmel, Jake Klein, Jessica Lammers, Aaron Lestz, Grace Lin, Jonathan Manowitz, Alexandra Meltzer, Brooke Mozarsky, Daniel Ndocaj, Amanda Nepo, Vienna Ouyang-Christiansen, Joseph Palackal, Gregory Parent, Jonathan Parent, Zachary Pero, Lauren Quintiere, Rick Rosenthal, Isabelle Sampere, Samantha Schaevitz, Casey Schreck, Jason Selkin, Sydni Shamus, Max Shayegani, Greg Shrayer, Wes Siege, Sarah Tillinger, Sander Versteele, Aidan Weiss and Magdalena Whelley.