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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Principal's News

Can you believe that we only have sixteen school days before the end of the year! The close of the school year brings with it much excitement for students and I would like to draw attention to a few events and issues. Meanwhile, please continue to provide strong encouragement to our students regarding a clear academic focus until the end of the year. For the next several weeks the high school faculty and staff will be busy preparing students for the finals and regents exams. If there are review sessions, please encourage your children to take advantage of teachers who are offering extra support. 

Graduation is rapidly approaching. Soon the class of 2017 will draw to a close their final school day and year at WPHS. We are so very proud of our seniors and their accomplishments and we will miss and cherish the time we were able to spend with them here at Walter Panas High School. The Class of 2017 Commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 24, 10:00 a.m. at the Westchester County Center. 

I would like to say thank you to all of our graduating seniors for a job well done. The class of 2017 has done many wonderful things during the past four years that have not only benefited Walter Panas High School, but also the greater Panas community as well. Congratulations class of 2017!

As many of our Seniors are getting ready for the Senior Prom, please be aware that students who are under the influence, or in possession of alcohol and/or drugs will be handled in accordance with the District Code of Conduct. Their parents will be called and asked to take their child and date home.

We would like to strongly discourage any post-prom activities that involve alcohol and/or drugs. It is the responsibility of all of us, parents and educators, to help the students have a pleasant, memorable, and safe experience.

The end of the school year is also a wonderful time to celebrate the achievement of our students. Please note that our Underclassmen Awards is on Wednesday, May 31 and Senior Awards is on Wednesday, June 7 at 7pm in the Performing Arts Center.


Student course selections for next year are being processed and finalized. It is very important that students are serious and committed with their course selections for next year so that the appropriate courses are scheduled to meet their needs. In the next 3-4 weeks, the master schedule will be developed using the students’ course   requests. Occasionally, conflicts occur with student schedules. If a course has been eliminated due to low student enrollment or two courses requested by a student are offered during the same time, guidance counselors will contact the enrolled students so that they can make alternate selections.

As many of you are aware by now, this is my final year at Panas. After spending six years as Assistant Principal and the last two and a half years as Principal, I have truly enjoyed being part of the Panas family. It has been very fulfilling to be part of a community filled with amazing students, dedicated staff, and supportive parents.

Thank you for being a part of my life!

Congratulations to Student of the Quarter

Jeremy Cestero - Art
Tara Straub - Art
Hailey Heiss – English
Michael Baumblatt - English
Maria Gordon – English/Theater
Ryan Russo – English and Social Studies
Karyme Raudales - ENL (English As A New Language)
Damariz Mendez – School Based Community Service - Library
Thomas Bryan – Math
Jason Keefe – Math
Millie Lichtenwalner-Seabaugh - Math
Racquel Romero – Modern Language
Colin Kelly – Modern Language
Sophie Sax – Music
Thomas Vaselekos - Music
Samantha Cavigliano - Business Ownership & Marketing andAccounting - Career Technical Education (CTE)
Peter Gardner – Math with Financial Applications - Career Technical Education (CTE)
Danielle Petrovich – PE
Christopher Solander – PE
Manvir Toor - Science
Michal Krenz - Science
Taylor Nolte – Science
Richard Le – Science
Maya Esters - Science
Agustin Bentancourt – Social Studies
Jade Pagel - Social Studies

Many thanks to our Panas Parents Club, and Mrs. Daly and Mrs. Coster


Panas Parent Club (PPC) News  

PPC President’s Message:

It is amazing that the year seems to fly by! Especially now that spring is here and those long, cold winter months seem so far behind us (when they were just a month ago).   We had a good year in the Panas Parent Club.  Though we didn’t do as well as we expected with our Harlem Magic Masters fundraiser, we were able squeak out the mini-grants and upcoming scholarships for some of our member’s graduating seniors.  All mini-grants awarded were $250 or less and total cost was under $1400.00.   We also kept a presence in the school and continued our annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon as well. 

The PPC proudly awarded our 2017-18 grant awards to the following:

School Psychologist:       Comfort Dogs Org. & Empathy Training
English Dept:                Hokki Stool to replace conventional seating for attention issues
Spec. Ed:                      Drawing & Graphics Tablets to work Chrome Books
Art:                              Building Mural Supplies for 2017/18
Math:                           Individual white boards for class instruction
Hiking Club:                  Trail maps/fluorescent orange headgear
Band:                           Double Reed Initiative
Physical Ed:                  Heart Rate Monitors for fitness education
Music:                          Individual Conducting Batons for workshops

We are still selling our amazing umbrellas.  Don’t get caught in the rain! Every little bit counts and is needed.   Contact   With the money collected, we ensure our ability to continue being a part of the community that is Walter Panas.

Additionally, we are having one more Bowling Fundraiser on the evening of Saturday, June 3rd at Cortlandt Lanes.  It’s not expensive and we have a great time so please try to come out and support our efforts.  Keep a look out for more information.

We are also looking for more participation in our board.  I, unfortunately, am stepping down from the presidency for personal reasons, and we need parents to come out and become involved.  If you are interested or even vaguely curious, let us know at the above email.  I promise it’s not that much work!

Thank you to the school and to the community for all the support you’ve given our club through the years.  Let’s continue to make Panas the best school ever!

Cathy Johansen

PPC President, 2017

  Guidance Counselors’ Corner

May 1st is National College Decision Day, the deadline for seniors to choose their college and usually make a deposit. A college may not establish an earlier deadline. There still may be time to apply for financial aid at but make sure you check your college deadline.

WPHS senior, Grace Bugara, is a local store winner of the "My Favorite Teacher Contest" sponsored by Barnes & Noble. Grace won a Barnes & Noble $50 gift card for submitting an essay describing how one of her teachers has influenced her life.


We are extremely concerned about marijuana use among high school students. Recent surveys of students indicate decreased perception of marijuana risk, decreased perception of peer disapproval of marijuana use, and decreased perception of parent disapproval of marijuana use nationally.  Due to the higher concentration of THC (the chemical in marijuana that causes the “high”) marijuana is having a more negative impact on the teens who use. This includes: greater irritability and sleeplessness when not using, and greater apathy toward school and relationships when using.  Specifically, youth are more likely to become addicted, develop mental health problems, and have decreased cognitive functioning.  It is important for parents to share the latest research with their children.  Let them know that using marijuana can be setting them up for trouble.  Scientists do not know enough about the risks of marijuana to the developing brain.  Starting to use marijuana at a young age increases the risk if dependency which negatively impacts a young person’s ability to perform well in school and have meaningful relationships.

Important Dates:   

May 18 High School Early Release Day 1pm

May 24 Powder Puff Game

May 25-29 Memorial Day Weekend Schools Closed

May 31 Underclassmen Awards 7pm

June 1 Student of the Quarter

June 2 Senior Class Activities

June 3 SAT at Lakeland HS

June 5 Spring Concert-Chorus and Orchestra 7pm

June 6 Spring Concert –Band 7pm

June 7 Senior Awards 7pm

          Board of Education Business Meeting-Admin Bldg. 7:30pm

June 13-23 NYS Regents Exams

June 21 Guidance Dept. Event 7pm

June 22 Senior Prom

June 23 Last Day of School

June 24 Graduation-Westchester County Ctr. 10am

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last updated: 05/18/17