District News

District News

Colleen O’Connor (left) and GenineMarie C. DiFalco (right).

Colleen O’Connor joins the District as an Assistant Principal at Byram Hills High School. She was a former assistant principal and special education teacher at East Brooklyn Community High School and most recently, assistant principal at Horace Greeley High School in the Chappaqua School District.

“From my first interview at Byram Hills, I knew this was a place I wanted to work. Their collaborative approach to providing students the best education possible is aligned to my own beliefs about education,” Colleen said.

GenineMarie C. DiFalco joins the District as an Assistant Principal at Coman Hill Elementary. She was a teacher at Chatsworth Elementary School in the Mamaroneck School District for 14 years, and prior to that she was a teacher at P.S. 180 in Brooklyn.

“I look forward to being a part of the Byram Hills School District and Coman Hill family where professionalism, commitment to social emotional learning, collaboration, and educating the whole child are paramount,” GenineMarie said.

Colleen O’Connor (left) and GenineMarie C. DiFalco (right).Colleen O’Connor (left) and GenineMarie C. DiFalco (right).

New Prom Success!

Students pose in front of the Step and Repeat for a photo op.For the first time in 25 years, the Byram Hills High School prom was held on land and for the first time in school history, the community was invited to attend the pre-prom event with all of the high school students.  Students and parents chatted, mingled, took photos and were grateful to share in the occasion. Thanks to the PTSA and Grade Activity Board, students arrived to a balloon arch, a red carpet, a step and repeat, snacks and great music.

The school administration, the Senior Grade Activity Board and the PTSA began their plan to update the prom over a year ago to make the experience more inclusive for students, safer, and with more community involvement.

Hundreds of fashionable couples walked the red carpet and were photographed, both inside and out of the high school they have called home for the past four years. For the students and their families, this was a most special and memorable evening.

The 2018-2019 Teacher Recognition Recipients

Four Byram Hills educators were honored at the June Board of Education meeting with the Teacher Recognition Award for their outstanding commitment to education. “The purpose of this award is to really highlight special service and special commitment to our schools,” Superintendent Dr. Jen Lamia said. “We are identifying a particularly distinguished contribution that a teacher has made.” “These teachers collaborate with others in a very special way to bring new insights into Byram Hills that can really help us grow and learn.”

Recipients of the annual award traditionally address the faculty at the start of the next school year and receive $1,000 for professional development or classroom materials.

The honorees were nominated by their principal.

Coman Hill Elementary School

“Leslie Goldfarb is an outstanding teacher and a remarkable individual. As math specialist, Mrs. Goldfarb models continuous reflection on her practice,” Coman Hill Principal MaryBeth Crupi said. “She uses student work samples, assessments, and her own observations to contemplate the best strategies to introduce new math concepts,” she said. “No teaching decision is taken lightly as Leslie carefully deliberates how to reach each and every student so they can achieve at their highest potential.”

Mrs. Goldfarb also collaborates with her colleagues at Coman Hill, and she was instrumental in the successful implementation of the new math program, Investigations.

Simply put, Mrs. Goldfarb is an amazing person.

“She is so humble that she never takes credit for all the work she does behind the scenes to help everyone succeed,” Ms. Crupi said. “Leslie has helped the students, teachers, and administration succeed in so many aspects of our daily lives. From Investigations math lessons to revising IST practices to having someone listen to you and ponder next steps, Leslie is the kind of friend and colleague that everyone dreams to have at least once during their lifetime.”


Wampus Elementary School

Cathleen Oliveto is deeply devoted to Wampus and the Byram Hills District. “Throughout the years, Mrs. Oliveto has always put the care of children at the forefront of her work,” Principal Peggy McInerney said. “Mrs. Oliveto is known as a teacher who will go the extra mile for her students inside and outside the walls of her classroom. Mrs. Oliveto has celebrated wonderful events in her students’ lives, and she has been a steadfast rock for her students and their families during difficult times.”

Mrs. Oliveto is dedicated to her colleagues and has taken the lead in beautifying the school.

“Most recently, she created a display of handmade butterflies along the library/cafeteria corridor,” Ms. McInerney said. “She invited all members of Wampus to add colorful flowers to these walls. Mrs. Oliveto understands how to build a community of care, compassion and kindness.”

“Mrs. Oliveto exemplifies the District’s goal of building communities of care and compassion where service to others and kindness prevail,” Ms. McInerney said.


H. C. Crittenden Middle School

Barbara Barthelmes, the school’s library media specialist, embodies HCC’s mission of creating an active learning community where everyone is empowered to take risks and embrace rigor while maintaining a healthy mindset.

Last summer, she was instrumental in the transformation of the school library into a state-of-the-art media center, thanks to the support of the Byram Hills Education Foundation. This is a space that fosters curiosity, creativity and collaboration for students and staff alike. 

“Mrs. Barthelmes dedicated long hours, sifting through books and resources to ensure that this renovation not only changed the physical appearance of the library, but also the manner in which students could utilize the resources within the space,” Ms. Lapple said. “Through these actions, she modeled risk-taking by moving beyond print materials and introducing new avenues for the H.C. Crittenden community to access information electronically.”

She has integrated her own professional learning into the fabric of the new media center. She has refined her practice with Makerspace activities and has brought the Green Screen technology to HCC. Finally, she never forgets the importance of bringing literature to life and finding organic connections to grade level curriculums.


Byram Hills High School

English teacher David Hubbs is a leader who is dedicated to the principles of continuous improvement and student engagement.

“What truly distinguishes David’s teaching is his knowledge of students as individuals,” Principal Christopher Walsh said. As a mentor teacher, Mr. Hubbs plays a key role in introducing freshmen to the Byram Hills culture. 

“A student-centered educator, David’s communication with students and parents alike involve all parties in the discussion of the whole child,” Mr. Walsh said. “Well before the District formally partnered with Challenge Success, David was working to help students manage anxiety. I can think of countless hours and emails sent by David that get to the heart of what we care about in Byram-providing students with a supportive learning environment.”

Outside of the classroom, Mr. Hubbs has been stockpiling used formal wear for years as part of the Operation Prom clothing drive. This year, he supported students in the Youth Against Cancer Club by serving as one of the advisers.


The 2018-2019 Teacher Recognition Recipients

The 2018-2019 recipients are Leslie Goldfarb, a math specialist at Coman Hill Elementary School; Cathleen Oliveto, a fourth grade teacher at Wampus Elementary School; Barbara Barthelmes, a library media specialist at HCC Middle School; and David Hubbs, an English teacher at Byram Hills High School.

Grade 8 Moves Up

The HCC Moving Up Ceremony brought excitement to students and their families on June 24th, 2019.  Students received their diplomas and kind words from H.C. Crittenden Principal, Ms. Kim Lapple.

“As a grade, you’ve excelled both as individuals and as a collective group,” said Ms. Lapple.  “This class has become such a positive force.” She then proudly handed the grade over to Mr. Christopher Walsh, Principal of Byram Hills High School.

“Your class will be the 55th in our school’s history and I look forward to seeing the distinct identity that you create,” said Mr. Walsh. 

"September 3rd is in 71 days and we can’t wait to have you all at the high school. Congratulations to the class of 2023.”

H. C. Crittenden eighth graders shine on stage during their Moving Up Ceremony.

Longevity at BHHS

Byram Hills honored 17 members of the faculty and staff with the Longevity Service Award for their many years of service to the District. “These dedicated employees have worked in Byram Hills for a combined 390 years,” Superintendent Dr. Jen Lamia said during a June 25 Board of Education meeting.

Recipients pictured: (in back row from left) Matthew Allen, Nicole Cavalieri, Theresa Hanrahan, Susan Tyrrell, Angelo Ancona, Joanna Nash, Chris Rasquin, Elise Feder (in front row from left) Jean White, John McNamara, Susan Liebman and Judy DeJarlar. 

Missing from photo: Jill Berner, Kim Costello, Richard Peterman, Alison Rosenfeld and Brenda Toohey.