Yonkers Mayor Spano Presents School Spotlight Award to School 17

  • (February 15, 2024) Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today joined Yonkers Board of Education President Rev. Steve Lopez and Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Luis Rodriguez to present his School Spotlight Award to the deserving administration, faculty, staff, parents and students at School 17. Under Principal Jonathan Cartica’s leadership, School 17 is being recognized for rejuvenating the school community, fostering an inclusive learning environment and boosting academic engagement.

    "School 17 has become a beacon of educational excellence. The school has made a remarkable transformation, driven by its commitment to diversity and academic excellence” said Mayor Spano. “I commend Principal Cartica and his team at School 17 for their tireless efforts and perseverance.”

    Mr. Jonathan Cartica and his team at School 17 have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of their learning community in the past year. Their dedication has resulted in significant improvements in the school’s performance.

    Some of the initiatives that have contributed to the school’s success include:

    • My Sister’s Keeper and My Brother’s Keeper initiatives have been implemented to foster an inclusive and engaging environment. The mentors from these programs play a crucial role in nurturing student agency.
    • Extended Learning Time at School 17 extends the school day and offers students extra academic engagement. It also provides opportunities for students to indulge in activities like singing, dancing, acting, and yoga.
    • The school offers a comprehensive intramural sports program for students in grades 4-6, managed by the teachers.
    • Students are recognized during ceremonies for Student of the Month, Perfect Attendance, and Positive Behavior and Support.

    The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) at School 17 plays a crucial role in coordinating various fundraising activities with the staff, such as the cookie dough fundraiser and square art fundraiser. These efforts fund enrichment programs like “Dinosaur Rocks” for students from pre-k to grade 6. The PTA is also in the process of planning family engagement nights, featuring activities like art and bingo for family bonding and learning. In the near future, School 17 will host a literacy night where parents/guardians and their children can create their own books, emphasizing the significance of reading.

    "In honoring School 17 with the Mayor's School Spotlight Award, we celebrate not just an institution, but a community dedicated to academic excellence and holistic growth. Principal Cartica and his team have exemplified tireless dedication to fostering an inclusive environment where every student thrives. From extended learning opportunities to impactful mentorship programs, School 17 embodies the spirit of collaboration and innovation. We commend their efforts and extend our gratitude to Mayor Spano and the community for recognizing their outstanding achievements," noted Board of Education President Rev. Steve Lopez.

    Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Luis Rodriguez added, “School 17's journey to remove the school from accountability status is a testament to the power of collective effort and unwavering commitment to student success. Through initiatives like My Sister's Keeper and My Brother's Keeper, the school has cultivated a culture of inclusivity and empowerment. The comprehensive intramural sports program and recognition ceremonies further enrich the student experience, promoting not only academic growth but also character development. We are proud to honor School 17 and look forward to witnessing their continued impact on the Yonkers community." 

    Mayor Spano’s School Spotlight Award highlights four Yonkers Public Schools within the academic school year for their significant academic success, extracurricular achievements and community involvement.