A SADD but Important Day

By Janice Llanes Fabry

During each period of the school day April 7, the Rye Neck High School student body was exposed to the perils of driving while distracted through activities organized by the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club.

“Awareness is the key,” said Rye Neck counselor and SADD advisor Susan Hannon. “Recognizing how dangerous certain situations can be helps students make better decisions.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Six teens between the ages of 16 and 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries, as a result of distracted driving and impaired driving. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive.

Fortunately, teen motor crashes are preventable and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers. First, teens have to acknowledge the role they play and accept responsibility. SADD Day focuses specifically on the dangers of driving while texting or drinking.

High-risk situations are brought to light in a particularly graphic way on SADD Day. The 60 members of the club, freshmen to seniors, worked tirelessly on various presentations. They painted tombstones with students’ names and installed them outside on the campus. Students dressed as a grim reaper who visited classrooms and tapped students on the shoulder, representing victims killed by drunk drivers. A table was set up with candles, lit for the number of drunk driving deaths that occur during the school day.

Throughout the year, SADD presents programs such as Red Ribbon Week for drug awareness, Mental Health Awareness Week to help students alleviate high levels of anxiety, and, coming up, Stress Less Week during finals.


RNHS SADD Officers, from left: Justin Sturgis, Aliya Glattstein, Philip Beebe, and Kevin Reimers

<<Caroline Franchella>> was named to the Gettysburg College Dean’s Commendation List for the fall 2016 term. She is a member of the class of 2020.

Families are all invited to the Rye Neck PTSA Spring Fair on April 22 from 11-4 at the Middle/High School campus. There will be rides, arts and crafts, games, music, international foods, and raffles.

Claire Julian, a senior at Rye Neck High School, won a National Gold Medal for her short story. NAME? She will be attending a ceremony, along with the other gold medal winners, at Carnegie Hall on June 8.

With pix

Rye High School sophomore (and Rye Record contributor) <<Sophia Cetina>> holding Regional Scholastic Writing Award Silver Key for “Illuminating the Shadows: A Poetry Collection.”

By Sophia Cetina

The whole community is invited to G Fest on April 28 and 29. The fourth annual festival promises to entertain, encourage, inspire, and incite Garnet pride, and brings friends, neighbors, athletes, students – current and former – and their families together for a day of activities and sports.

Among the events planned are: Varsity Baseball, Varsity Softball, and Rugby on Friday, accompanied by two student performances of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” On Saturday, while Rye High students sell refreshments, and Jerry’s provides a hotdog cart, enjoy Varsity Tennis, JV Softball, Varsity Lacrosse, and more.

Although the event sprouted from Rye’s pride in its teens, G Fest has expanded to an all-ages community-enriching experience. Rye High Principal Patricia Taylor says, “It’s a great opportunity to bring together community and high school. By bringing in students that are raising funds, singing, it’s not entirely for athletes. Others are involved and everyone is encouraged to attend.”

In addition to the featured sports exhibitions, enjoy half-time shows, performances, face painting, food vendors, games, and entertainment for all ages.

G Fest is not only a showcase event, but also an opportunity for younger children and underclassmen to cheer on their siblings, role models, and mentors, and learn more about the opportunities available to them. Mrs. Potter, the Osborn School nurse, says, “Many of the kids are excited to see their siblings and friends participate. They idolize the older kids.”

Caroline Teaghe, a first grader at Osborn, is the embodiment of future Garnet pride. “I can’t wait to get my face painted and watch the sports,” she says.

This event is here to inspire all, whether you’re a past RHS parent, an RMS awaiting your turn, or an eternal Rye-Harrison rivalry fan.

G Fest highlights the elements of sportsmanship that benefit all of us. “It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase the character and success of our athletes,” says RHS Athletic Director Michael Arias.  

While the famous Rye-Harrison game might be the biggest draw of the year, G Fest has become the unifying phenomenon for the community. As the saying goes, “It’s great to be a Garnet.” Garnet Pride T-shirts and the red-and-black “G” lawn signs that stand proudly on so many lawns prove that G-Fest is a Rye-wide celebration. On April 28 and 29, come show your support and community pride.


By Janice Llanes Fabry


The Rye Neck High School mock trial team is going on to the quarterfinals on March 23 at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, after besting Clarkstown North High School 61-57 on March 16. They’ll be going up against Blind Brook in what will be the number one match up.


“We have a smart, dedicated team and the students are giving their heart and soul,” said coach Marcella Scalise. “It has been an eye-opening experience for them that gives them a different perspective of the legal system and behind the scenes insight.”


Rye Neck High School is competing against 23 other high schools in the County. A collaboration between the State Department of Education and the State Bar, the annual program is part of a larger state competition held in May. This year’s case is Robin Berkman v. County of Dover, a civil case involving a lawsuit by Berkman for malicious prosecution. He spent two years in prison, wrongfully convicted of second-degree robbery and first-degree attempted murder.


The mock trial teams alternate, arguing for either the plaintiff or the defense at each trial. Students represent lawyers, witnesses, and legal researchers. Their performance in the courtroom is judged by lawyers from the Westchester County Bar Association, who determine which school makes the most convincing argument. Point values are assigned to various categories, including opening and closing statements, as well as direct and cross-examinations. 


The 20 Rye Neck High School freshmen, sophomores, and juniors participating in the afterschool program have been preparing intensely since December. “We pick apart the case, establish a timeline, figure out the undisputed facts on both sides, and then assign students different roles,” said Scalise.


Assisting the team are local lawyers and Rye Neck parents Jonathan Michaels, Theodore Liebmann, Federal Court Judge Lisa Margaret Smith, and Scalise’s own mother, Deborah Scalise.


The coach not only grew up in a household where both parents were attorneys, but she also worked in their offices and in the Federal Court of the Southern District of New York. Hence, when she was hired at Rye Neck High School as the freshman Global History teacher this year, she welcomed coaching the Mock Trial team. 


“I had some experience and thought this would be a fantastic opportunity for me and for the students,” she said. “It is a perfect fit.”


On the team’s first go-round against Horace Greeley High, Rye Neck won. Although they lost to Blind Brook High School in their second mock trial, their previous high score guaranteed them a place in the third competition against Clarkstown North. Now they’re preparing to go up against Blind Brook again, this time on the plaintiff side.


“I want to take them as far as I can in one of the toughest, most competitive counties,” said Scalise. “We’re a pretty young team, so we have time to grow, develop, and work on our skills.”