To the Early Birds Go the Awards

There are lots of annual occasions we might occasionally skip, but not the Rye Youth Council Awards Breakfast. It’s good for the soul, and not just because it’s held in church.

On April 25 at 7:30 a.m., the Rye Presbyterian Church Westminster Room was filled with students of high caliber, their parents, and well-wishers from Rye’s schools and community organizations.

In her welcoming remarks, Rye Youth Council Executive Director Diane Rosenthal encouraged all the students in the room to think about who encouraged them. “We thank those families, schools, and the community.”

Casey Carlucci DeCola, Director of Teen Services, said she is always heartened to help cultivate an environment that helps young people reach their greatest potential. “Our kids truly aspire to be agents of change.”

Alec Jautz, a Rye High junior, offered a student’s perspective of the ways in which the Youth Council embraces the whole Rye community. “Many of us have enjoyed not only helping Rye’s senior citizens ‘connect with tech,’ but have gone beyond a mere reach-out to seniors. We’ve also started discussion panels with parents.”

In her closing remarks, Board President Lisa Faries sent the students off to school with “We look forward to seeing you all grow and shine.”

  • Robin Jovanovich


#0920 Executive Director Diane Rosenthal

#0953 Penelope “Penny” Dean received the Feffi Stiassni Memorial Award from Margot and Sandy Stiassni.

#0933 Cheryl Flood presented the Deane Flood Spirit Award to Ellen Scully.

#0948 The recipient of the September 11th Memorial Award, presented by Andi Hessekial, was Matthew Zar.

#0928 Alec Jautz

#0946 Sorcha McCrohan sharing a moment with Emilie Murphy Nimocks, who presented her with the Suzanne Murphy Memorial Scholarship Award.

#0938 Spencer Hunt, winner of the Rye Youth Council Award, flanked by Casey DeCola and Lisa Faries.

#0936 Leslie Gutelius received the Dick Murdoch Legacy Award from Sarah Bowen, Rev. Murdoch’s daughter.

#0929 Dylan Senkiw with Shari Balaish, who presented him with the Janice C. Pierce Award.

#0958 Kristin Jautz with Sandra “Sunny” Sousa, recipient of the Lorraine Levinson Speak Out for Social Justice Award

#0956 Ethan Sears with Kelley Somerville, who presented him with the Karena Somerville Award.

#0971 Zach Samberg, recipient of the Gail Harrison Roman/Rye Arts Center Award, with from left: RAC Executive Director Meg Rodriguez, his mom Sandy, Lisa Faries, and Gail Roman

#0966 It was a doubly good morning for Matthew Zar, who also won the Rye YMCA Scholarship Award, presented to him by Gregg Howells.

#0973 Ellen Scully with her proud mom, Caroline


The Rye Neck High School Mock Trial Team won the 2017 Westchester County Champions. They are headed to the regional competition on Saturday at Pace Law School to face the Duchess and Orange County winners.

“I was always optimistic about our team’s chances, but our students are even better than I could have hoped,” said Rye Neck history teacher and mock trial team coach Marcella Scalise.

Osborn School partnered with Boosterthon to raise money for new gym equipment and donate to local food banks. At the weeklong school-wide event, children worked as a community to earn pledges and build school spirit. In the process, they had a great time and exceeded their financial goals with a 93% participation rate.

Photos by Annette McLoughlin

Steer for Student Athletes, a nonprofit organization based in Rye, is committed to provide funding and services for identified student athletes to achieve better personal development and educational outcomes through athletic participation. On May 17 from 6:30-9:30, Steer will host its Third Annual Spring Graduation Banquet at Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester.

The evening is primarily dedicated to commemorating the graduates of the Steer program, which includes three student athletes, all of whom will be attending four-year colleges or universities in the fall. The event will also feature the unveiling of a new collaborative partnership with Laureus USA.

Laureus, a global sport-based nonprofit organization founded by Nelson Mandela, works to improve the lives of young people. At the 2000 inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards, Mandela said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.”

Regarding the new partnership, Michael Eck, Steer for Student Athletes co-founder and CEO states, “We are honored to be working with Laureus USA to build a New York-centric coalition around the national Sport for Good initiative. Laureus is the largest and most impactful Sport for Good organization in the world and our partnership further demonstrates the power and effectiveness of the Steer for Student Athletes model.”

Steer has launched a significant capital campaign to support having 100 student athletes successfully participate in the program across multiple schools in some of the largest and most challenged public school districts in the country by 2020. To learn more, visit

They have also introduced a Steer Ambassador Program hoping to gain the support of individuals, families, and named sponsors who share the value system that positive engagement with sports can be used to change educational and social outcomes. Learn more at or call


Caption: Steer students with co-founder Michael Eck, back row center

The League of Women Voters of Rye, Rye Brook, and Port Chester has chosen Carly Kabot, a sophomore at Blind Brook High School, and Reanna Rosenfeld, a junior at Port Chester High School, to attend the Students Inside Albany (SIA) Conference next month.

SIA, sponsored by the LWV New York State Education Foundation, is designed to increase students’ awareness of their responsibility in a representative government and to provide the tools necessary for meeting that responsibility. The conference brings together approximately 60 high school students from across the state. Students participate in a series of interactive discussions with Albany insiders on topics such as the state budget process, the role of lobbyists in the legislative process, the rights of citizens to access government information, and the role of the media in politics.

“We are pleased that outstanding young people such as Carly and Reanna will have the opportunity to experience government in action,” said Joan Feinstein, student outreach coordinator of the local league.


Carly Kabot

Reanna Rosenfeld

Over spring break, the Rye High School Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Team hosted eighth graders from San Miguel Academy in Newburgh for a clinic and lunch. Only 60 miles from Rye, San Miguel is located in one of the most dangerous areas of the state, in a city filled with gangs and drug warfare. San Miguel, established in 2006, is described as a “lighthouse” on the banks of the Hudson, serving as a beacon of hope to the low-income students who come from a local public school system where fewer than 30 percent of underserved students graduate from high school.

One hundred percent of San Miguel graduates enter high school supported by the Graduate Success Program, which provides tuition assistance, mentoring, and tutoring for the student as he continues his educational journey. 

This was the second year the Rye High team hosted a fun-filled day for all the boys. Donations were collected and provided to the boys so they can begin to learn the sport of lacrosse.

Thanks to the Rye Lacrosse Association for organizing the event and providing lunch from Jerry’s; Blueline Sports and Sports Barn for equipment donations; and many parent volunteers for their generous support of this program.


The RHS Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Team with eighth-grade students from San Miguel Academy