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Principal's News

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January 2020

I hope all is well with you and your families as we head into the holiday season!

In an ongoing effort to support the raising of awareness to the harmful effects of the overuse of digital devices, we are encouraging all students to monitor and reduce their screen time. Students can click on the following link to access the Google form and submit their screen time each week.Screen Time Reduction Contest Form

Our goal is to continue to raise awareness to the challenges of balancing the positive effects of our digital society against the potential harm and addiction these devices can cause. For more information on this issue please visit Common Sense Media. Also, for the latest research, click on the following:Common Sense Media Research

Also, please be reminded that we are closed from December 23 through January 3rd. Classes will resume on January 6th. Shortly after we return, the semester will end on Friday, January 24th. That leaves us only three weeks upon return to finish the semester!

Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Joe Spero, Principal


Panas Players Is Featuring…

Panas Players of Walter Panas High School is pleased to announce its spring production Legally Blonde. The performances will be held on April 24th at 7:30PM and April 25th at 1:00PM and 7:30PM in the Dr. James Filippelli Performing Arts Center at Walter Panas High School. Tickets can be reserved in advance for $10 each and will be $12 at the door.  You may make reservations beginning March 1st by calling 914-603-9288 or emailing - Seating is assigned.

Elle Woods appears to have it all. Her life is turned upside down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law. Determined to get him back, Elle ingeniously charms her way into the prestigious law school. While there, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex. With the support of some new friends, though, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.


HUGH O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY)

Alexis Rapacioli has been selected as Walter Panas High School’s Ambassador to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar Program.  Alexis will attend a weekend seminar to participate in hands-on leadership activities, meet leaders in the state, and explore personal leadership skills, while learning how to lead others and make a positive impact in the community.  Nicolette Frattellone has been selected as the alternate.  The students were selected based on their leadership essays and demonstrated or potential leadership ability

The Prudential Spirit of Community Award

Thomas Milani has been selected as the Local Honoree to represent Walter Panas High School in the Prudential Spirit of Community Award competition.  The Prudential Spirit of Community Award recognizes young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and inspiring others to think about how they might contribute to their communities.

Coca-Cola Scholar Semifinalist

Madison Colombo has been named a Semifinalist for the 2020 class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program.  From a pool of 93,075 submitted applications from across the country, 1,928 high school seniors were selected as Semifinalists based on their academic excellence, leadership and service demonstrated in school and community activities.  The Semifinalists are in the running for 150 college scholarships worth $20,000.


Our most recent meeting was held on December 10. We had the privilege of meeting Dr. Karen Gagliardi, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for Lakeland Central School District. This is a new position for Dr. Gagliardi, previously she was principal at TJ. Dr. Gagliardi spoke of her platform and how she wants to reach out to all students and families. Her vision is the heart of the classroom and developing a vertical alignment from K-12. She is focusing on developing creative ways for teachers to teach. She is looking at STEAM initiatives in the high schools, getting the middle schoolers outside and enhancing the music program.

Nadia Potter is our new district guidance coordinator. This is a new role for her and the district. She previously was a counselor at Copper Beech. She is focusing on establishing Naviance in the middle school. Naviance is a career, college and online tool and it has many activities focusing on self-esteem and confidence which work well in middle school. Previously it was not used by students until High School. She is also establishing access to guidance counselors at the elementary level, based on a new NY State regulation. She continues to have information sessions for Juniors and Seniors and their parents in regards to prepping for college and she is available by phone and email to all parents and students.

Our Board of Ed student reps Victoria Margenat and Matthew Chisolm introduced themselves to the group and described their role as part of the Board of Ed.

Mr. Spero was unable to attend the meeting but did send an update. There have been some bathroom issues. If parents have questions or concerns, he asked that you contact him directly. Writing across the curriculum has been rolled out in the classrooms and is focusing on writers voice and critical thinking. Some other initiatives that are in the works are Design Thinking for teachers and decreasing screen time for students. Interim reports will be out on 12/19, and the quarter ends 1/24. Scheduling for next fall will begin in February.

Our next Panas Parents Meeting is March 10, 2020 at 7:30pm in the Library.

Our new email is  Contact us for bracelets, signs, and umbrellas. Thank you for your support!

Happy Holidays

Evelyn Flores and Becky Burfeind, Co-Presidents
Tricia Straub, Vice President
Jinu Easaw, Treasurer
Sheryl Scott, Secretary

Important Dates:


Juary 16 - Incoming 9th Grade Orientation 7PM (Snow Date January 21)
January 20 - Dr. Martin Luther
January 21-24 – New York State Regents Exams
January 23 - High School Early Release Day 1PM
January 23 – Bd of Ed meeting at Benjamin Franklin ES 7:30 PM
January 27 - District Parents’ Council Adm Bldg. 7PM
January 31 - End of Second Quarter


February 7 – WPHS Junior Class event 7 pm (snow date 3/6)
February 11 – Secondary School Report Cards
February 17-18 - Presidents’ Day Weekend - Schools close
February 20 - Guidance Department Event, 8th Grade high school transition daytime - (snow date 3/19)
February 20 - High School Early Release Day 1PM
February 20 - Bd of Ed Meeting at WPHS 7:30PM
February 21 - “Mr. Panas” Competition 7PM (snow date 2/28)
February 28 – Debate Tournament at LHS, 2/28-3/1
February 28 - PTA Multicultural night 6 pm – 9 pm (snow date 3/6) at Van Cortlandtville ES


March 4 - SADD/Cortlandt Coalation Volleyball 2:10PM (snow date 3/5)
March 10 – Panas Parents Club 7:30 pm
March 12 - Gallery One Walter Panas HS Reception at Admin. Bldg 5-7PM
March 13 – Superintendent’s day, school closed
March 19 – High School Early Release Day 1 PM
March 19 – Bd of Ed meeting at LHS 7:30 PM