School Board Discusses Music Stars, Budget, Newts, and Ducks

    Seventh graders Esther Yu and Miteki Ochi aren’t stars in the firmament of classical music yet, but look for those names one day soon.

schools - yu kraut ochi
Published May 14, 2013 6:59 PM
2 min read

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schools - yu kraut ochiSeventh graders Esther Yu and Miteki Ochi aren’t stars in the firmament of classical music yet, but look for those names one day soon.

 

schools - yu kraut ochi

 

By Sarah Varney

 

Seventh graders Esther Yu and Miteki Ochi aren’t stars in the firmament of classical music yet, but look for those names one day soon.

 

At the May 7 Board of Education meeting, Rye Middle School orchestra director Lynn Kraut joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Alvarez in presenting Yu and Ochi with Rye Recognition of Excellence Awards. Yu, a cellist, recently was named First Chair Intermediate Cello for the All-County Orchestra. Ochi, a violinist, earned perfect scores at the recent New York State State Schools Music Association Solo Festival. Yu studies cello at the Julliard School pre-college program. Ochi is a student at Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale.

 

Then it was on to business. Friends of the Rye Schools President Mary Emery and Board candidate Nicole Weber spoke separately in favor of the $76.8 million school budget proposed for 2013-2014. Weber stood to thank the Board of Education for its hard work and for making “thoughtful decisions that preserved many wonderful programs.” Emery stressed that getting more parents out to vote will be crucial for passing the budget on May 21. Voting takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. “Thirty-three percent of registered voters in Rye have children in the public schools but over half of our parents did not vote last May,” Emery said. Voters also can cast ballots for the three candidates — Bob Zahm, Weber and Katy Keohane Glassberg — running for two open seats.

 

Perhaps the most impassioned discussion of the evening came near the end as Dr. Mary Anne Evangelist detailed the new elementary school science curriculum called Science 21. Kindergarteners will observe the hatching cycle of newts. Currently, the neophytes are studying the hatching cycle of ducks. “So, the students will be hatching newts instead of ducks?” asked Board member Ed Fox. Evangelist assured Fox that newts are even more interesting. “Newts are surprisingly fun,” said Evangelist, who began her career as a science teacher. “Well, I like ducks,” Fox said. And with that the curriculum was informally expanded to include both the hands-on hatching cycles of both newts … and ducks.

 

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