The Rye Neck School District’s new Co-Directors of Counseling and Guidance Services, Valerie Feit and Corinne Ryan, are implementing an educational model that integrates the most effective traditional counseling services
Rye Neck’s Cutting-Edge Guidance Program
By Janice Llanes Fabry
The Rye Neck School District’s new Co-Directors of Counseling and Guidance Services, Valerie Feit and Corinne Ryan, are implementing an educational model that integrates the most effective traditional counseling services with talent development programs and today’s innovative technologies. The District is creating a new model by merging a comprehensive group of services under one hub, made possible by the accelerated growth in computer software and data management.
“We’ve always had a guidance-strong, student-centered college and career center,” said Superintendent Peter Mustich. “This year, we are combining the best of two worlds, the use of data driven instruction to ensure student success with our existing schoolwide enrichment model.”
Proceeding in their longtime roles in the district, Feit will continue to function as Enrichment Coordinator and Ryan as Chief Information Officer. While both will be overseeing academic and college advisement, Feit will be developing opportunities for students to maximize their strengths and talents and Ryan will be responsible for aggregating and applying information technologies, interpreting and utilizing student data. They plan to provide a cohesive experience from grades K through 12 that will ultimately facilitate each student’s transition to higher education and meaningful careers.
“Valerie and Corinne have years of proven success in our district and in their respective areas,” said Mustich. “By tapping their strengths and the strengths of our guidance department, this model will prove a powerful resource for students, staff and parents as we move forward.”
Both Feit and Ryan view the guidance counselors’ roles as crucial for truly understanding students. The team includes High School Counselors Susan Hannon, Frank Gizzo, Amanda Mahncke, and Middle School Counselors Meegan Lawlor and Brendan Nelson.
The new co-directors expect that streamlining invaluable information will assist the counseling team in focusing on each student’s educational and career goals, as well as tailoring the college admissions process more effectively.
“Our students are more than just test scores,” said Ryan. “As CIO, I have found that data can really tell a story. A school district like ours allows for the analysis of data and adds the personal touch needed for each individual student to be successful.”
“Counselors today wear many hats because they are at the core center of an education delivery system,” noted Feit. “Integrating strong academics, talent development opportunities, and technologies will improve our effectiveness in serving each child holistically.”
At the outset, they intend to help parents become “educational partners,” so they can feel increasingly comfortable with shared information, such as parent portals. “As teachers, counselors, and parents, we are all stakeholders in every child’s educational journey,” Feit remarked.
Panthers Ready to Pounce
Last year, Rye Neck’s football team was undefeated and not scored against during regular-season play. They beat Dobbs Ferry in the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, but lost in the Sectional finals to Woodlands.
The Panthers lost nine players to graduation, but there are currently 11 seniors on the team, including the five captains.
Coach Nick Ianello, who is in his 11th season of coaching at Rye Neck, is optimistic that the team can build on last year’s success and go “all the way.”
Making Playoffs Top Panthers’ Goal
Boys’ Soccer Coach Bryan Iacavelli is counting on the leadership of 12 returning players, nine of them seniors. Last year, the team finished 7-7-3 and graduated seven seniors.
Among the players to watch this fall, says Iacavelli, are Scott Regan, Angelo Spedafino, Shotaro Oikawa, Cameron Shaw, and Mark Rosenberg.
In addition to growing as a team, the Panthers have set their sights on making the playoffs.
The season opens September 9 at home against Pleasantville.
Girls’ Tennis Team Ready to Raise a Few Racquets
The Panthers finished second in the league last year and their top three players — senior Oaklea Kearney and juniors Ekim Buyuk and Diana King — are returning as tri-captains. Last season, Buyuk was 12-1 at No. 1 singles and King was 12-1 at No. 2 singles. They paired up and placed third in the Sectional Doubles Tournament and made the quarterfinals at States. Coach Mark Canno says they have a strong chance to win Sectionals and go far in States this year.
At 3rd singles, is eighth-grade phenom Alala Proudian, whom Coach Canno says has an amazing future ahead of her.
With three talented singles players, and younger players continuing to improve their serves and net games, Coach Canno believes the team has a good chance to win the league this year.
The Panthers season opener is September 10 at home against Briarcliff.
— Melanie Cane
League Champs Are Back on the Prowl
In 2012, the field hockey team won the league title with a 9-2 record, and lost in sectional quarterfinals against North Salem. Coach Elisabeth Gulotta says she hopes to build on last year’s success. “I have a lot of confidence in our seven returning players,” she said.
The captains will be chosen by next week. The Panthers’ first matchup is September 9 at Holy Child.
Sprinters Aim to Reclaim the League
The Panthers entered last season as League champions. Coach Lori Penesis wants to win the title back. She will look to the four seniors, Sameer Noeem, Gordon Mackenzie, Luis Ferrara, and Jack Lynch, to run well. She also has high hopes for junior Ryan O’Day and freshman Jack Van Buren.
Last year, the team did not have enough girls to compete, but this year, in addition to the Vinzons twins, there are four other girls on the team, which is enough to score points.
Currently, the team has a total of 23 runners.
Their first meet is September 9 at Byram Hills.
RYE NECK SCHOOLS
Rye Neck High School
Year Founded: 1885
Rye Neck Middle School
F. E. Bellows Elementary
Daniel Warren Elementary