Centennial Celebrations Continue!

This April, the centennial celebrations continued with an Alumni Career Fair on Friday, April 5. A school-wide assembly featured two alumni, Ray Dotoratos and Billy Reilly, who spoke about their Edgewood experience. Later, students had the opportunity to interact with visiting alumni to learn more about their careers and how their lives have been influenced by their experiences growing up in Edgewood

There were a variety of  alumni who shared their stories. Laura Neale of Black Kettle Farm drove all the way down from Maine to speak to the students about being an organic farmer. Another alum, Anne Cefola, spoke to students about being a poet.

Tours of the school’s pop-up museum took place that afternoon. The tours were given by third, fourth and fifth grade docents, who led visitors around the building to examine artifacts from the time capsule, maps of the neighborhood through the years, and other fascinating pieces of Edgewood history.

The Edgewood Gala took place the next evening, Saturday, April 6, at the Westchester Country Club. The sold-out event was a hit, with guests dressed to the nines (or like it was 1920) and dancing late into the evening in front of the live band.

Click here to check out many more photos from the event! If you’re interested in reprints of the photos taken by the Scarsdale Inquirer, please contact the photographer, Charles Wiesehahn, directly. He can be reached via email or at 914-629-7427.

Behind the Scenes of the Edgewood Talent Show

On stage, the music is blaring and the lights are shining as two students belt out “Don’t Stop Believin’.” They’re later followed by a string duo, a troupe of dancers dressed as pink ladies, and a third-grade drummer keeping the beat to “We Will Rock You,” among other acts. There’s no lack of talent and enthusiasm at the triannual Edgewood Talent Show — but it’s not limited to just the performers. 

Backstage, student stage crew members dash around, making sure the curtains go up in time and all the right performers are on deck. They’ve been training for this moment for more than a month, giving up their recess periods to learn their jobs.

There are about a dozen committees that make up the stage crew, from lighting to backstage interview to set design. Fifth grader Elena and third grader Lucy monitor the mics. Fourth grader Bhargava is in charge of the curtain. Fifth grade stage manager Laura and her fourth grade manager-in-training Leah scurry back and forth, loudly whispering instructions to crew members. A big part of her role, Laura says, is “making sure people aren’t goofing off.”

We caught up with the masters of ceremony this year, fifth graders Tessa and Phoebe, on what’s involved with their roles. Do they write their own material? “We actually don’t write anything down,” Phoebe says. “We have a list of the performers, and that’s it. We make up everything on the spot.” Tessa chimes in, “We want to keep things fresh.”

In the balcony above the auditorium, fifth grader Grace is poised to take photos of each act. Fourth grader Jacob and fifth grader Noah occupy the lighting and sound booth. And high above the stage, the sign that proudly states “100 Years of Talent” was created by a set design team led by art teacher Mr. Fitz.  

The production of the talent show is overseen by about a dozen faculty members, including Mr. Yang, Mr. Tomizawa and Mr. Cadalzo. Teachers like Ms. Pagel, Ms. Aberman and Ms. Meyer help to choreograph group performances. But the adults are only there to provide guidance. The show is really run by the students — they’re the ones setting up the equipment, doing the sound check, and making sure everything goes smoothly. Since the inception of the talent show in 2010, it’s always been understood that “students would need to be responsible for taking a lead in the production,” says Dr. Houseknecht.

The talent show began as a suggestion by a student council member named Joaquin a decade ago. That first production didn’t have as many roles, but some traditions started then have continued. “Joaquin was the emcee for every show that first year,” Dr. Houseknecht recounts. “He also started the tradition of everyone who works in the show goes on stage to dance at the conclusion.”

“What I love about the talent show,” Dr. Houseknecht adds, “is how supportive our students are of all the performers, how serious our student crew is about their role, and how interest has grown with the faculty.”

Students can apply for stage crew positions by writing a letter to Mr. Yang. Once hired, they’re involved for the rest of the year, honing their skills for three separate performances. They’re assigned runner or assistant roles when they start out in the younger grades, then get promoted to more involved positions. Older students who’ve held these positions for years mentor younger students who will eventually take over. 

This year’s projector operator, a fifth grader named Dean, started working with the stage crew as a second grader four year ago. Now he’s training second grader Kyle to take on his position as he prepares to head off to middle school. The hardest thing about his job? “Getting the images up on time,” says Dean. But for this performance, at least, everything goes off without a hitch.

Welcome to Edgewood Academy!

In celebration of the Centennial, Edgewood children were invited to take part in a very special education program: the first-ever Edgewood Academy. They learned the good news at an assembly.

Edgewood Academy pairs students with break-out courses on topics related to the Centennial, and it will meet for six Fridays after lunch. Courses include Edgewood Pop Up Museum, Treats from the Orchard, Study of the Time Capsule, Puzzle Making and more.

Children were asked to rank their top choices for courses before hand, and at the assembly, the course teachers led them to their classrooms. Many children were excited with their placements.

Mr. Riley gets kids excited for Edgewood Academy.

Off the children go to their courses at Edgewood Academy.

Roll Out of Bed and Read!

With the opening of the new library, the PTA offered a wonderful program for Edgewood families this year: Rise and Read. It’s a chance for children to come to school about thirty minutes early to spend time in the library with a parent or caregiver.

Not only did parents enjoy exploring the new library, but children snuggled right up to family and friends for a good story. Keep your eye out for more of these special mornings to come. The PTA is sponsoring multiple Rise and Reads this year. Take a look at how Edgewood families enjoyed this day below.

Planting Bulbs for the Edgewood Centennial Friendship Garden

On Nov. 29, several young children and parents braved the chilly temperatures to plant the daffodil garden. After digging numerous holes, the children dropped in the bulbs. Even Dr. Houseknecht came out to help.

The garden will be located at the front of the school, blooming in a ring around the Edgewood Elementary school sign.

Next spring, more flowers will be planted in the area to create a garden. A design plan is in the works, but eventually the area will be named the Edgewood Centennial Friendship Garden.


Thanksgiving Assembly Inspires Giving

Every year Edgewood Elementary holds a Thanksgiving Assembly to celebrate the upcoming holiday. This year, like every year before, the student body gathered together as a show of school spirit and community. Children in the first, fourth and fifth grades sang early American songs.

Leading up to the assembly, the PTA collected donated food items in boxes outside of classroom doors. Think: mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, stuffing. Many were overspilling with donations. And in all, there were 22 boxes filled with food for people in need. A representative from the Salvation Army came to take boxes, thanking the school for its generous donations.

Each child that donated a food item received a paper feather to write what they are thankful for this year. The feather was then posted on a giant turkey outside of the main office.


The Book Fair Was a Hit

In  November, Edgewood’s annual Book Fair was held in the new school library. There was plenty of space to spread out the wide selection of picture and chapter books, and children appreciated the elbow room. Children attended the fair with their classroom teachers, and they were also invited to return with their parents to shop later.

The book fair was a big success, in big part to an amazing group of volunteers.