District News

District News

Elena Lowe, left; Christina Ferrari, middle; and Kallie Hoffman, right.

Three Byram Hills High School Seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The students are Christina Ferarri, Kallie Hoffman, and Elena Lowe.  

"These three students have worked incredibly hard throughout their academic careers.  I am very happy that they are being recognized for their achievements on a national level,"  said Principal Christopher Walsh.

The Byram Hills semifinalists were among approximately 16,000 chosen in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition which offers 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $31 million, to be awarded next spring.

“Over 90% of the semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship earning the Merit Scholar title,” according to a National Merit Scholarship Program release.

Kristina Wilson, Byram Hills Guidance Department Liaison said, "This is a wonderful accomplishment for our students; a high honor."

Byram Hills is extremely proud of the success of these semifinalists.  Congratulations.

Elena Lowe, left; Christina Ferrari, middle; and Kallie Hoffman, right.

Elena Lowe, left; Christina Ferrari, middle; and Kallie Hoffman, right.

 If you are looking for an engaging summer read, consider picking up Frank Bruni’s “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.”

Where You Go is Not Who You'll Be Book Jacket

The book is the subject of the first Byram Hills Community Book Read, and will be discussed at the Byram Hills High School library on October 17 at 6 p.m. The event is open to the entire Byram Hills school community, including parents, students, teachers and community members.

The book talk, led by the Byram Hills Challenge Success Steering Committee, will engage the community in a productive and respectful discussion about the college application process.

“We hope to broaden the community’s understanding of the college application process and the stress our students are often under,” Principal Christopher Walsh said.

The book appears on the independent reading list for Byram Hills students. “We are hoping many of them will read it, especially our incoming 11th graders as they really start to ramp up the college admissions process,” Mr. Walsh said.

Byram Hills High School has been working with the nonprofit Challenge Success to help redefine what it means to be a successful student and to help bring more balance to the college admissions process.

In addition to the October book read, future discussions are planned for January and April.

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).

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.