District News

District News

Two Byram Hills High School Students Named as Finalists for Neuroscience Research Award

Two Byram Hills High School seniors were selected as finalists for the Neuroscience Research Prize given by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society.

Seniors Samantha Abbruzzese and Rachel Chernoff, both students in the high school’s Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program, are among the 12 finalists chosen from a field of 74 high school students around the country.

Two Byram Hills High School seniors, Rachel Chernoff, at left, and Samantha Abbruzzese, were chosen as two of 12 finalists for the Neuroscience Research Prize given by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. They were selected out of 74 students nationwide. Four winners will be announced in February.



The 12, notified of their finalist status this week, advance to the next round, which culminates with four winners being announced in February.

“We are very proud of these two accomplished women who are passionate about neuroscience and have the highest standards for the work they produce,” said Stephanie Greenwald, director of the three-year science research program.

Rachel's novel study used ischemic preconditioning, a research technique that protects the brain from future stroke damage by depriving its blood supply in short episodes. Using this technique, she investigated the source of a specific type of brain cell that helps with immunity and clearing cellular debris.

As part of her work, Rachel noticed behavioral differences after ischemic preconditioning between male and female mice, which may point to a hormonal difference in their reactions to neural trauma. Together, her results lay the groundwork for the use of ischemic preconditioning as a potential preventative technique to reduce the damage from strokes.

Samantha investigated the development of neurons in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. She determined the impact that different gene-regulating proteins have on these neurons. Her findings could be used to develop a therapeutic approach for people with Huntington's disease.

The Neuroscience Research Prize, which has been awarded since 1993, honors students whose skill and talent show potential for scientific contributions in the field of neuroscience.

The four winners will receive $1,000 each. Three of those winners and their teachers will be invited to present their work at the academy’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, and the fourth winner and a teacher will have the opportunity to present to the society’s annual meeting.
 

Byram Hills Celebrates Two Athletes Committed to Playing at Division I Universities

Byram Hills High School is celebrating two student-athletes who have committed to playing at a Division I university next year.

Byram Hills High School is celebrating two student-athletes who have committed to playing at a Division I university next year.

At a signing ceremony at the high school on Wednesday, right-handed pitcher Carson Frye signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Georgetown. Byram Hills also honored Griffen Rakower, a goalie who has made a verbal commitment to play lacrosse at Princeton.

“The Byram Hills Athletic Program is extremely proud of the accomplishments of Carson Frye and Griffen Rakower,” said Rob Castagna, director of Athletics, Physical Education and Health at Byram Hills. “These two hard-working student-athletes continue to better themselves and everyone around them with their phenomenal work ethic and relentless competitiveness. We congratulate them as they make commitments to bring their talents to the Division I collegiate level.”

Carson and Griffen have established themselves as among the best in Section 1 for their sport.

Carson Frye & Griffen Rakower

Byram Hills High School celebrated two star athletes taking their talents to Division I universities next year. At a signing ceremony Wednesday at Byram Hills, Carson Frye, signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Georgetown. Griffen Rakower has made a verbal commitment to play lacrosse at Princeton


Last season, Carson posted a 4-1 record on the mound in five starts. He led the Bobcats with a .73 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 38 innings. In a major highlight, Carson threw a no-hitter against the rival Rye Garnets.

Carson Frye Signing Letter of Intent

During a signing ceremony at Byram Hills High School Wednesday, right-handed pitcher Carson Frye signed his National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Georgetown as his parents, Jonathan and Noelle, look on.


As a junior, Griffen had a 62.7 save percentage and finished the season with 132 saves. He held his opponents to under 10 goals in 14 out of 16 games. He earned an All-Section honor, a year after being an All-League player in his sophomore year.

Byram Hills lacrosse goalie Griffen Rakower has made a verbal commitment to play at Princeton next year. He poses with his brother, Bennett, and mother, Barrie.



Carson, who plans to study business, credits a mix of athletics and academics at Byram Hills with helping him reach the next level. “The academic environment that we have here is very competitive and everyone always strives to do very well in the classroom,” Carson said. “I tried to focus on my grades in the classroom first.”

“I knew that my talents on the baseball field, I was pretty good and I could go places, but without combining my skills on the field with my work ethic in the classroom, I definitely would not be here,” he added.

Griffen also cited athletics and the academic excellence at Byram Hills.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the Byram Hills varsity lacrosse for the past four years,” Griffen said. “I think the friendships I’ve made and the coaches I’ve been in contact with have really helped me sculpt my game on the field. I think Byram Hills is a great place to learn, to make relationships with teachers.”

2019 Kindergarten Registration

Registration will take place on March 11th, 12th, 13th and March 20th and 21st .

A child entering Kindergarten in September 2019 must be five years old on or before December 1, 2019.

**If this is the first time you are registering a child in the District, you will be required to establish proof of residency at the District Office before your scheduled registration appointment.

Please click here to complete the form to request a registration packet. Registration packets will be mailed on February 22, 2019.

Byram Hills High School Inducts 22 Seniors into Cum Laude Society

Twenty-two Byram Hills High School seniors were honored for their academic achievement as they were inducted into the Cum Laude Society during a ceremony Thursday evening.

In congratulating the newest members of Cum Laude, Principal Christopher Walsh noted that the requirement for being inducted into the Byram Hills chapter is straightforward: It’s the students who comprise the top 10 percent of the class, based on their weighted GPAs.

“Fairly simple mathematics, but their paths are anything but simple,” he said. “Behind each GPA, there are stories of perseverance, struggle, growth and enlightenment, late-night studying, weekends spent with schoolwork, extra time with teachers after school and many other sacrifices that helped them get here.”

“This induction is just a small acknowledgment of all of your hard work, dedication and sacrifice,” he said.

The students inducted into Cum Laude are: Samantha Abbruzzese, Ellen Amico, Abigail Binder, Alan Chang, Zachary Cogan, Rahul Gupta, Tyler Harp,  Isabelle Ilan, Elyse Kanner, Emma Lucchino, David McDaniels, Sydney Nepo, Pietro Perez, Brent Perlman, Lindsey Perlman, Griffen Rakower, Jonah Schwam, Hayley Siegle, Dylan Starker, Nicole Tissot, Zachary Tuzzo and Spencer Weinhoff.

Twenty-two Byram Hills High School seniors were inducted into the Cum Laude Society during a ceremony Thursday night. Pictured in front, from left, are: Samantha Abbruzzese, Ellen Amico, Abigail Binder, Alan Chang, Zachary Cogan, Rahul Gupta, Tyler Harp, Isabelle Ilan, Elyse Kanner, Emma Lucchino, David McDaniels, and in the back, from left: Sydney Nepo, Pietro Perez, Brent Perlman, Lindsey Perlman, Griffen Rakower, Jonah Schwam, Hayley Siegle, Dylan Starker, Nicole Tissot, Zachary Tuzzo and Spencer Weinhoff.


Dr. Sandra Abt, president of the Byram Hills chapter, urged the students to “respect perspective,” continue their educations and train their minds to think.

“You have gotten an excellent foundation here at Byram Hills,” she told them. “Cherish your remaining days here, appreciate the knowledge and the skills that you are learning, appreciate your teachers and friends, and strive to make a difference and do good. Don’t be complacent, use the unexpected in your life, and the occasional failure, to make good choices.”

The Cum Laude address was delivered by Joy Reynolds, a special education teacher, and the faculty inductees were Jennifer Laden, the Social Studies Chairperson, and Christopher Lewick, who teaches math.

The Cum Laude Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1906 that honors academic achievement in secondary schools. It has 382 chapters, primarily in independent schools. The Byram Hills chapter is one of about two dozen public school chapters.

Byram Hills High School Senior Wins Rising Scientist Award

Byram Hills High School senior Ellen Amico was honored by the Child Mind Institute and the City University of New York with a 2018 Rising Scientist Award.

Byram Hills High School senior Ellen Amico

Byram Hills High School senior Ellen Amico was one of five New York-area students to win a Rising Scientist Award.


Ellen was one of five high school students in the New York metro area to win the award, which is presented to students who “demonstrated extraordinary promise in research in the fields of child and adolescent mental health or pediatric neuroscience.”

“Each recipient of the Rising Scientist Award shows drive, commitment and vision for the future of mental health and neuroscience,” said Dr. Harold Koplewicz, president of the institute. “At such a young age, these impressive students already have the motivation and the promise to make strides towards changing the way we look at and treat mental health disorders.”

Ellen received the award and a $2,000 scholarship on Thursday at the On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium, the institute’s annual celebration of scientific achievement in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology and developmental neuroscience.

Through the Byram Hills Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program, Ellen conducted research aimed at improving the ability of people with autism spectrum disorder to recognize emotions. She tested whether computerized avatars are an effective teaching tool in emotion recognition.

“It felt good to be recognized for my work,” Ellen said. “Working with people with autism was a great experience, and I loved it.”
As part of her research, Ellen worked with a mentor at Vanderbilt University, studying teenagers with and without autism. The subjects viewed videos of human faces and computerized avatars.

“Avatars are used a lot in research and treatment for people with autism spectrum disorder, but no one so far has tested to see if avatars are similar enough to humans,” she said.

The research found that “they are similar to humans and they’re a useful tool in simulating real-world interactions for people with autism spectrum disorder,” she said. “A real-world interaction can be a source of anxiety, but replacing it on the computer in a virtual way, it’s less anxiety-inducing, and they can practice.”

“Hopefully other researchers can use my study to back up or support their use of avatars in treatments they may create for people with autism spectrum disorder,” she said.

In addition to recognizing the winners for their scientific contributions, the award also honors students for their leadership and extracurricular involvement. The award is given by the institute and the Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.