Leaders of Tomorrow and the Rye Recreation Department invite you to SUMMERFEST, the 24th Annual Field Day of Fun for Kids of All Ages, on Sunday, September 23. The fun begins with the Jack Curran Memorial Bare-Handed Baseball Game at 3. The Jack Nye Memorial Ice Tea Family Tennis Tournament and the races and contests start at 3:30.

Test your skills at the Water Balloon Challenge, the Bean Bag Toss, and the Golf Challenge. Take part in the Potato-Sack Race, the 30-Yard Dash, and the Peanut Scramble. You may not win the Ice Cream Eating Contest, but you’ll have a smile on your face.

Enjoy catching up with new neighbors and old over hot dogs from Kelly’s. Toast the annual honoree. The John Carey Jr. Memorial Music Program begins at 5.

Ann Hirsch in the bright and newly painted hall of Christ’s Church Nursery School

New CCNS Director Steps Right into Role

By Robin Jovanovich

What does Ann Hirsch love about her new job as Director of Christ’s Church Nursery School? Everything, from the moment she met members of the search committee, all past and present parents, this spring to last week when she was helping arrange the new furniture and reviewing upcoming projects.

“It’s nice to do something you love,” said Hirsch, who comes to Rye with 25 years in the field of education, the last 19 at Landmark Preschool in Redding, Conn. She taught elementary, middle, and high school classes before discovering that preschool was where her heart was.

The Christ’s Church Nursery School board held a coffee for her in June, giving her the opportunity to meet the staff before they scattered for the summer. “There is tremendous energy and passion here. Everyone here wants to take the children on a journey,” she noted.

Having stepped into the position July 1, Hirsch has had time to learn — about what the nursery school does really well. She’s not looking to make any major changes. “My job is to make sure we continue to appreciate each child individually and model the right things to do. The kids are here to learn life skills, including taking care of one another.”

She’s already thinking ahead to the Separation Workshop they’re holding before the first day of school; Back to School Night, which is on a Friday night so it’s social as well; and the Touch-a-Truck Fall Fair in October.

All of the class presidents have reached out to her, and she describes everyone who works or volunteers at the school as “happy, competent, and committed

She isn’t worried about fitting into the community. “I’d only been here four days when I was invited to the Rye Arts Center by Meg Rodriguez. And I enjoyed the Sidewalk Sale, especially meeting the people at Carpet Trends.” What she knows is that “Rye is going to be a wonderful place to be.”

Hirsch, who has a Bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Journalism, as well as a Master’s in English Education, positively beamed when we said that we expected polished press releases at the paper starting this fall.

On her nightstand at the home in Goldens Bridge, a 30-minute commute, is “Hillbilly Elegy,” which she just finished and loved. “News of the World” is her next read, but it may have to wait. She and her husband, who met in college and married when he was in law school, have to get their 20-year-old son off to his junior year at Boston University. And they’re hoping to see their 24-year-old son, who lives and works in Washington, D.C. before summer’s end.

Meanwhile, Hirsch, who enjoys taking care of adults too, is a New York EMT and president of her local Ambulance Corps, so some bell is always ringing.

Open for Business

By Janice Llanes Fabry

Named for the Goldilocks’ Three Bears, Three Gōms in Korean, has something for papa bear, mama bear, and the kids. The shop, at 15 Purchase Street, is just right for back-to-school essentials that are snazzier than what students typically find.

As owner Paul Kim noted, “The composition notebooks I carry have great designs. The Decomposition books are made with recycled paper and soy-based ink. Even the variety of pens are unique and interesting, like all the things in my store.”

Kim, whose flagship store is located in Larchmont, carries erasable pens, pens with pressure ink barrels that enable one to write upside down, pens that dry glossy, and 4-color pens with a variety of color cartridges to choose from. On hand are unbreakable mechanical pencils, staple-less staplers, correction tapes in rare widths, and themed clips and pencil cases. Kim’s repertoire also includes miniature stuffed animals/mascots to embellish school backpacks.

Like most of the merchandise, these Miffy bunnies, Rilakkuma bears, and Sumikko Gurashi plush lines are imported from Asia and are available in different sizes. They originated from Japanese animation and have captured the hearts of kids everywhere, much like the Hello Kitty character created by a Japanese artist in the 1970s. Also highly popular are Three Gōms’ figurines and collectibles.

“When I first opened the Larchmont store, I was surprised at the reaction,” admitted Kim. “I thought I’d have a hard time introducing the merchandise to the community, but the kids all knew what I had because they’ve seen the items on YouTube. Here in Rye, I’ve had the same reaction.”

Salesperson Helen Tornese agrees, “It’s so nice to see how happy and excited the kids get because they’re getting something they love. They even take selfies with the merchandise to post on Facebook.”

It was a toy collectible, a cartoon-style representation of a bear, that initially inspired Kim to set up shop. “As a Bearbrick collector, I discovered that there are hardly any stores on the east coast that carry them. In Asia, these items are so popular that they have to be pre-ordered and are gone by the time they hit the shelves,” he explained. “I decided to put all the collectibles, plush lines, toys, gift items, and stationery items that are so popular in Asia in one store.”

Many of the collectibles that Kim carries are limited editions that cost anywhere between $50 and $700. In addition to Bearbrick, he offers Kidrobot vinyl art toys, produced in limited numbers as well. They’re also available in Blind Boxes, small containers of tiny art toys and figurine collectibles, whose identities are discovered only upon buying and opening.

They certainly are a big hit with the young set, as are Three Gōms’ Gundam animated robot building sets and the challenging Hanayama metal brainteasers and puzzles. Rye Middle School seventh graders couldn’t get enough of them.

“I like the puzzles, because they make you think and they’re really fun,” said Matty Clarke.

“I really like the whole store,” added his buddy Max Greenspan. “It’s got great things for my room.”

As for papa bear and mama bear, Three Gōms carries pretty nifty gift items. A Tea Fisherman, for instance, holds one’s tea bag while it seeps. If wine is the beverage of choice, novelty wine markers in the shape of hedgehogs and pug dogs will hang over one’s glass. Other novelty artifacts include Foodie Gardens for growing tomato, basil, and peppers, as well as Eggling Crack and Grow that hatches a plant before one’s eyes.

The store also offers extra special balloon gift-wrapping at no charge. Three Gōms’ is open Monday through Saturday from 10-6.


Plush lines at Three Gōms’

Among the Vinyl collectibles

Rye Neck Middle School seventh-grade customers Matty Clarke and Max Greenspan

Plush lines at Three Gōms’


Among the Vinyl collectibles

By Sophia Cetina

There’s summer camp, and then there is pre-college camp, which is what I was fortunate enough to participate in earlier this summer.

As a person who loves writing, mental challenges, and air conditioning, being accepted into the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop was better than discovering $50 in my wallet.

For two weeks I was immersed in a writer’s haven in the rolling hills of Gambier, Ohio, at Kenyon College. Gambier is a nine-hour drive from Rye, and, as was noted in my 13-person Kenyon workshop, it can be defined in three words: “Cornfields and cows.”

But these two weeks exceeded my expectations. I did, however wonder whether this was the college environment for me. Would I prefer a more urban setting? Would I be happy this far from home?

In addition to the social experiences and recreational itineraries, pre-college summer programs provide the valuable opportunity to explore a college campus, focus on a field of personal interest, meet students from all over the country, and live in a dorm away from home, a pre-curser to college life.

Another reason to participate in a pre-college program is that they provide great depth on a subject. At Kenyon, we were immersed in workshops five hours a day. We read a variety of poetry, from Bob Hicok (1960- ) to Sylvia Plath (1932-1963). Every day we were also given a prompt and once the teacher yelled, “Go,” we had 30 minutes to carve out worthy prose.

While I learned more deeply about a field I’m considering pursuing, I also experienced the social advantages these programs provide. I enhanced my own perspectives while meeting people whose lives are very different from my own. My roommate was from Seattle, and I now have friends in L.A. and Taiwan. Late-night chats with my roommate, a swimming excursion at the college’s athletic center, planned activities, group activities, free time, sightseeing, and fast friendships all lightened the long workday. I went on walks and explored Kenyon’s picturesque, medieval layout. I found out that this college was considered as the Harry Potter filming site because of Pierce, the bewitchingly beautiful dining center that resembles Hogwart’s Great Hall.

When I returned, I was enriched with memories, information, and the soul-soothing nature of a vacation experienced in rich, 24-hour cycles.  

My advice to other high school students: Explore the summer college programs out there. Find a topic that interests you, a part of the country you’d like to see, a college you might be considering. You could be a Google search away from the summer of your dreams. This summer, Kaitlyn Zion, a Rye High school senior, attended Marymount Manhattan Musical Theater summer intensive. She says, “It was amazing. I learned so much.” Greta Filor, a Rye High junior, enjoyed three weeks of government and politics at Georgetown in July. Of her experience, she says, “It was interesting to meet people from so many different backgrounds.”

While enjoying a program that indulges your interests and allows you to meet others who share those interests, you just might find the college best suited for life after Rye High School. I discovered that my experience offered inspiration, laughs with friends, writerly frustration (and progress!), many memories, and two weeks that passed by in a second.

An online search will help you find the program right for you. Start by going directly to the sites of colleges you’re interested in, or log on to

On a beautiful day in late July, The Osborn held its fourth annual Dog Days of Summer event. Residents, their families, and staff members participated with their dogs in a parade, and watched in delight as their furry friends showed off their agility skills and performed tricks.

Osborn staffer Debbie Garvin judged the pups in a variety of categories, including obedience and swimming. Dr. Paul Amerling of Miller Clark Animal Hospital provided information about proper veterinary care and Michelle Larocco from Pet Pantry Warehouse shared training tips. Alison Thresher of the Good Dog Foundation brought along her therapy dog Amstel, who made lots of new friends.

Photos by Melanie Cane

Dr. Sarah Sosnow and Dr. Paul Amerling of Miller Clark, Alison Thresher with Amstel, Michelle Larocco of Pet Pantry Warehouse, and Osborn CEO Matt Anderson.

Cedar Street, Rye


Year founded: 1869

Headmaster: Scott Nelson

Grades Pre-K-12

Enrollment: 896

Tuition: $25,700-$41,900

Financial Aid: Rye Country Day provides $5.5 million in need-based financial aid to 16% of the student body. This year they are supporting 141 students.

The Rye Country Day School campus was a busy place this summer with a variety of programs, as well as two major construction projects.

The School held its Mini-Camps and Wildcat Camp sports programs. In June, many faculty and staff participated in the annual Digital Wave program, a series of technology workshops taught by faculty colleagues. Several members of the faculty led a one-week Ethics in the Media Seminar for Upper School students. The six-week Summer School focused mainly on accelerated math courses, while continuing to offer driver’s education classes. On a different part of the campus, Rye Country Day hosted Academic ACTION, an academic enrichment program for 75 middle-school students from several public schools in Westchester and the Bronx. Just prior to preseason, the Upper School will conduct its annual Leadership Retreat for all team captains, elected officers, and club leaders.

The School launched two new off-campus student programs in June: The Public Purpose Office, in conjunction with The World Leadership School, offered a one-week trip to El Paso, Texas, where students studied various aspects of the immigration issue. The Classics Department, through the Padeia Institute, launched the School’s first Global Studies program, which involved a ten-day trip to Sicily.

While facilities were somewhat limited due to construction, the School still managed to support several non-school programs on its campus. In June, the Rye YMCA held its annual counselor training sessions, and Rye Youth Soccer offered an evening summer soccer clinic. In July, PlaySmart Academy offered a one-week program on academics and sports for underserved middle schoolers. Also New-York City-based Prep for Prep held its annual summer outing, involving 150 students, on campus.

The two campus construction projects currently underway include a new, 23,000-square-foot arts center and a major renovation of the existing Dunn Performing Arts Center. The new Cohen Center for the Creative Arts, which will house art studios, photography classrooms, a manual arts shop, a design-oriented Makerspace, and a black box theater, will be completed in July 2018. The renovation of the Performing Arts Center is scheduled for completion by February 2018.

As always, faculty were busy participating in a variety of professional development activities this summer, including technology and math workshops, a music-conducting conference, sustainability programs, summer graduate studies, curriculum development for individual courses, and Rye Country Day’s own Institute on Innovative Teaching and Learning, which provides five summer fellowships in support of faculty efforts to advance specific initiatives at school.


<<Upper School>>

Ellie Donnell


Ms. Donnell previously taught English at Marlborough School in Los Angeles, Calif.

Eric Drotch


Mr. Drotch, the new Art Department chair, previously served in the same position at Gann Academy in Waltham, Mass.

Eileen Q. Juico

Learning Specialist and Humanities Teacher (Psychology)

Ms. Juico returns to Rye Country Day from Barcelona, Spain, where her husband was the head of an international school.

Annie Michel


After serving as a long-term substitute the previous semester, Ms. Michel joins the French Department. She previously taught at FASNY.

Dasha J. Polzik


Dasha Polzik previously taught at Hotchkiss School.

Jessica Zalph


Ms. Zalph recently completed her Masters degree in History at Brown University.

<<Lower School>>

Lucia Carafas

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Carafas is a recent graduate of Purchase College.

Samantha English

Assistant Teacher

A graduate of Amherst College, Ms. English joins the school after two years as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in South Korea.

Juliana Killup

Extended Day Assistant

Ms. Killup, a graduate of Fairfield University, has been working as an Assistant Teacher at the St. Ignatius School in the Bronx.

Robert Landry

Assistant Teacher

Mr. Landry most recently taught at the Birch School in New Windsor, N.Y.

Torie Regan

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Regan previously served as the Extended Day Assistant at Rye Country Day.

Katherine Yuditski

Assistant Teacher

Kiki Yuditski joins the Lower School faculty from Rippowam Cisqua School, where she served as an assistant teacher.

<<Physical Education>>

Breann Joyce

Physical Education

Ms. Joyce, a graduate of Springfield College, has served as an assistant softball coach at Yale and Brandeis.