The weather was glorious, the grounds were beautiful, and the students were delighted! All beginnings are hard, but the ninth-graders at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls had the opportunity to start the new school year in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere at their freshman retreat on Monday and Tuesday, September 9 and 10, upstate at Camp Kaylie. Two days of making new friends, meeting their grade-level advisers and freshmen faculty members, and having a very enjoyable time in a cozy setting gave the girls a comfortable foundation for their first year of high school.
Cupcake wars, duct-tape boating, and other fun activities, such as go-karting and swimming, enabled the girls to mingle with schoolmates who had come from other elementary schools. The evening’s educational component, “Choose Happiness”—presented by Ms. Raizi Chechik, principal, grades 9-10—focused on recognizing the positive in all experiences and learning how to promote resiliency. At the evening bonfire, Mrs. Helen Spirn, head of school, shared her personal and professional Hurricane Sandy experience as an illustration of the power of resiliency. Also in attendance were Rabbi Daniel Eisenbach, mashgiach ruchani; Ms. Erica Chaimowitz, admission liaison and GLA; Mrs. Sheila Leibtag, social studies teacher and GLA; Ms. Leah Pariser, chesed coordinator and GLA; Mrs. Beaty Menchel, limudei kodesh teacher; the dedicated G.O.; and others, joining Rabbi Yosef Zakutinsky, director of student services and the organizer of this wonderful event. SKA’s class of 2017 is off to a great start! v