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Somers High Principal Braces for More Students

SOMERS, N.Y. - Somers High School opened its doors to returning students this week with four new social studies teachers, one new math teacher, a new guidance counselor and a new school nurse. Former nurse, Deborah Field, retired in June after 35 years at the high school.

There are new paved walkways and, also new this year, students can "charge" their lunches to personal accounts. Parents and students no longer have to worry about forgetting lunch money.

Principal Irene Perrella reports that the school has the highest enrollment she has seen since she began in Somers 12 years ago. There are nearly 1,100 students, coming from seven different zip codes, including Somers, parts of Katonah, Yorktown Heights and North Salem.

“We expect it will top out between 1,200 and 1,300 students in the next few years,” she said. “It’s not just the ninth grade, all the classes are bigger. We started adding classrooms some time ago because we knew this was coming.”

Perrella described the school staff as “professional and cooperative. There is a strong sense that we all work together as a team.”

In discussing last year's college acceptances, Perrella said, “It’s not about college name recognition. We emphasize finding the right place for every student. And each one is different. It needs to be a good fit." She added, "The economic climate had a bigger influence last year than ever before.”

Somers High has garnished several grants recently. The Somers Education Foundation awarded a Power Library Initiative grant and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded the high school a grant to construct solar panels on the roof of the new classroom addition. The panels will service the entire school. Any energy not used can be stored for the future.

How has education changed during Principal Perrella’s tenure? “For the most part, it’s the way students access information to keep up with the demands of the 21st century,” she explained. “We stress the four C's of education: communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity in all areas.”

A far cry from the three R’s!

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