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Mamaroneck, Rye Neck Principals Talk Students' Future

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Mamaroneck High School (MHS) is preparing its students for the future by engaging them in more authentic learning opportunities, MHS Principal Elizabeth Clain said Tuesday at a Local Summit meeting.

The Larchmont/Mamaroneck Local Summit, a citizen's action group, invited Clain and Barbara Ferraro, principal of Rye Neck High School, to discuss what their schools are doing to get students ready for life after high school.

This year, MHS set a goal to provide more opportunities for its students to learn experientially, meaning outside the classroom.

Several teachers and programs mentioned were said to have pushed that initiative forward, including advanced placement government and politics teacher Joe Liberti's field trip to New Hampshire to volunteer for Republican presidential candidates. The foreign language department also hosted students from Beijing in a day of cultural exchange at MHS and teacher Nick Cucchiarella piloted an online architecture course that featured a trip to the Tour 7 and Tour 2 in New York City.

MHS is also piloting an intern program for seniors during their last five weeks of school, something Rye Neck High School has done for 16 years, Ferraro said.

"We want to make this a meaningful experience for the five weeks the kids are out of school," Clain said.

While MHS has placed 30 of its seniors in local businesses, all Rye Neck seniors are required to intern for their final five weeks of school. Ferraro said the program teaches them how to apply skills, such as organization, personal responsibility and time management, in a real work environment, as well as to test the waters for potential fields of interest.

Ferraro and her staff don't just send students out unarmed. All ninth-graders take applied statistics, public speaking and global awareness in an effort to equip them with basic skills.

"Communication is really important for us," Ferraro said.

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