Here is an update for some of our recent grants:

1)  Jamie Mandel - Avid Media Composer Software

Lights, Camera, Action!  This past summer, a BMEF TEACHER'S INSTITUTE GRANT enabled English and Film teacher Jamie Mandel to receive advanced training in Avid Media Composer Software at the Manhattan Editing Workshop.  She teaches the Introduction to Film and Digital Editing class, a college-credited class at Briarcliff High School where students learn Avid Media Composer, the leading software in movie production.  The movies Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 all used this software.  Introduction to Film and Digital Editing is a full year course in which students learn the lexicon of film as well as pre-production, production and editing of films.    

Ms. Mandel thanks the BMEF TEACHER'S INSTITUTE for making it possible for her students to learn cutting edge computer skills to succeed in film and communication careers and the BMEF is delighted to support these efforts.

2) Wilma Messenger,  Handbells

Music to our ears! Wilma Messenger, Todd Music Teacher shares her appreciation for the BMEF grant that refurbished the music department's handbells.  

"Thanks to the BMEF, the handbells look and play like new!  The bells are used in general music class to teach children about melody, harmony, and chord structure. Sometimes we use them to accompany chorus songs in concert. When the children play songs on the handbells they become part of a centuries old tradition that began in England in the 16th century and continues to the present day throughout the world.  Learning about tower bells, bell-ringing, and carillon bells is an interesting part of the general music curriculum."

3) Tracy Campanile, ISTA Conference

BHS' Dr. Tracy Campanile
was able to attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas in June 2017.

Dr. Campanile states, "I had the opportunity to attend many hands-on workshops, training sessions, discussions, and lectures that focused on educational technology, as well as sample and view the latest technology and curriculum materials and network with experts in the field.  In my role as an instructional technology coach at Briarcliff, I have been able to share many of the things that I learned at ISTE with my colleagues.  This conference introduced me to the newest ideas and further enhanced my enthusiasm for teaching and technology.  Thank you to the BMEF for helping me continue my growth as a technology mentor and educator."

4) Laura Gualtiere, NYSCSS Conference

BHS Social Studies teacher Laura Gualtiere, attended the New York State Council for the Social Studies (NYSCSS) Annual Conference in Albany in March 2017.

Ms. Gualtiere states,  "It was fascinating to observe and absorb different perspectives on longstanding topics relating to literacy and social justice.  One added benefit was being able to reconnect with a Briarcliff alum and former student, Sara Pinsker, who was presenting her vision for her co-taught English/Social Studies class.  The highlight of the conference was the update given to the membership regarding the new Global History and Geography Regents, which will be administered in 2019.  New York State has released limited information about the new assessment, so those in attendance were given a special insider’s view of the new format.  After the conference, I shared best practices and assessment information with the 6-12 social studies and special education teachers.  Our collaboration helps to better prepare our Briarcliff students for the upcoming changes in the Social Studies curriculum."

5) Tara Phethean, American Association of School Librarians conference

Todd librarian Tara Phethean presented at the American Association of School Librarians national conference in Phoenix, Arizona in Feb. 2017, on “Ferry Master or Bridge Builder: Student Empowered Learning,” which highlighted Briarcliff district-wide instructional shifts. Mrs. Phethean shared with fellow school librarians how they can teach as facilitators or bridge builders, providing strategies and resources as students need them.  This student-centered learning leads to higher student engagement, and works well with a problem based, technology-infused approach. She also attended workshops and panels, met numerous authors and illustrators, networked with librarians, and talked with vendors and publishers, which will all benefit teachers and students as she continues to bring best practices in the field to Briarcliff.

6) John Brooks, DSLR Cameras

John Brooks teaches the digital photography class at BMS.  Thanks to the BMEF for the first time each of his students will have their own Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera.  Up until this year,  there was only one DSLR camera for the whole class.  One of the highlights this year will be using the cameras for stop motion claymations.



The BMEF is happy to announce the following grants that were awarded for the 2016-2017 year:


Leslie Newman – Kinetic Sand

Kinetic Sand will be used for sensory awareness, fine motor, creativity, stress reducing, relaxing, therapeutic and maintains attention to enhance the Kindergarten curriculum.  The sand will be used in letter writing, number writing, creative building (STEM) and cooperative work. 


Tara Phethean – Digital Photo Frames

Grant is for two Aluratek 14 inch Digital Frames to display photos from the author visit and video book talks in the Todd School Library. 


Audrey Curly and Dorene Tomaskovic - Optimal Choices in Alternative Seating

This grant is to further the first grade vision for the LATI Classroom ( Learner/Active Technology Infused Classroom).  This classroom design will promote a project based, student directed, fluid learning environment. 


Jeanne Smith and Bonnie Seligson – STEM Based Indoor Recess

The grant is for the whole Kindergarten grade and will be stored in a closet available in the K-2 cafeteria.  The objective is to provide the children with STEM play opportunities during the long winter months when they do not have access to go outside to play. 


Anna Correia – Flexible Seating for the Second Grand Classrooms

Grant is for the entire Second Grade team and calls for six different types of seating options for the students that will allow them to continue to transition into a flexible seating environment.


A.J. Thau – Middle and High School Fitness Center Upgrades

This grant will be replacing cardio equipment that was purchased in 2002.  These new items will enable the PE Department to teach life time fitness and wellness throughout the year with an emphasis on emotional, social and physical well-being of our students.


John D. Brooks – Digital DSLR Cameras

This grant is for ten Nikon DSLR camera kits to expand the capabilities of the Briarcliff High School digital photo class, computer art design class and the Photo II class.  As well as in the Middle School for the computer art classes.