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Ossining Recognized as Top Science Department

OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining High School beat out nearly 28,000 high schools around the country Wednesday to become an Intel Schools of Distinction Finalist.

The Intel Schools of Distinction competition recognizes excellence and innovation in math and science programs that can serve as models for schools across the country. Intel announced the 18 finalists from high school, elementary and middle school levels Wednesday and Ossining High School is being recognized as one of the top three high school finalists. The recognition comes with a $5,000 grant from Intel and a trip to Washington D.C. for a four-member team from the district. The school is also in the running to be named the Star Innovator, which comes with a $15,000 grant.

Science teachers at Ossining High School say becoming a finalist makes official what many in the district have thought for years.

“It’s really gratifying for so many of us,” said Angelo Piccirillo, co-director of the high school’s science research program. “For those of us on the front lines who see our department every day and see how much work our teachers and students do, it feels really great. I think it’s important for people to recognize that this is a science department award and the entire department deserves credit for it.”

Piccirillo’s co-director Valerie Holmes said former science director Andra Meyerson and other previous science teachers deserved recognition for their work.

“Clearly she must have contributed so much to building the success the science department has had,” Holmes said.

The recognition came as no surprise to 17-year-old Junior Sam Rude.

“My teachers have helped me so much preparing me for exams and competitions as well as preparing me for the real world applications of what we’re learning,” Sam said, adding that he’s competing in an international science competition in Houston for science research.

Phyllis Glassman, superintendent of the Ossining School District , referred to the recognition as an honor.

“We’re thrilled and excited to be named among the finalists in Intel’s prestigious competition,” Glassman said in a press release. The awards honor schools that “provide a rich, rigorous science or mathematics curriculum incorporating hands-on investigative experiences which prepare students for 21st century jobs,” according to information released from the Intel Foundation .

Six winners will be selected from the finalists and will receive an additional $5,000 grant in September and a Star Innovator will be selected from those winners and receive an additional $15,000. Intel’s sponsorship of the Schools of Distinction Awards is part of the Intel Education Initiative, a sustained public-private partnership with governments in more than 50 countries, according to the release.

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