The Newburgh Enlarged City School District is proud to announce that the Newburgh Free Academy Solar Racing Team participated in the 2012 Shell EcoMarathon in Houston, Texas from Thursday, March 29, until Sunday, April 1, 2012, resulting in the NFA Solar Racing Team becoming the 2012 Solar Prototype Champion of the Americas.

The team took 28 students and four vehicles- two solar vehicles and two battery electric vehicles, to the event. Competing against other teams from as far away as Brazil and Alberta, Canada, the NFA Solar Racing Team not only out-distanced the other competitors, but ended with a surplus of energy from their solar panels.

According to Advisor Christopher Eachus, the team members worked hard throughout the competition constantly fixing problems and improving efficiency in order to have both solar vehicles place in the top three by the end of the competition. Eachus explains that the high school team members were very proud of the fact that they were able to produce, maintain and compete in solar car racing and efficiency against college teams and other high school teams from around the Americas. The team members hope to return again next year to defendtheir title and be competitive in other categories of the competition.

Press release by Kerry Butrick

Recently, three dozen students from Italy visited Newburgh Free Academy as part of a twenty-year-old exchange program between NFA and Liceo Scientifico Ettore Majorana, a high school in Sicily. The Italian students spent nine days in the Hudson Valley and lived with Newburgh Free Academy students during their stay here.

As part of their trip, the group traveled to Albany, New York City, and historical sites such as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, in addition to various points of interest in the Hudson Valley. In the coming weeks, NFA students will head to Italy for the opportunity to experience Italian culture.

Italian exchange student Guiliano Conti explained that having a high school education and continuing on to college are highly important in Italy, and the opportunity to travel aboard and learn about other cultures is one of the best learning experiences for a student.

Press release by Kerry Butrick

Students in George Hoisl’s accounting class at Newburgh Free Academy recently volunteered to be trained, in conjunction with Lillian Evans of Kids Zone VITA, to become certified tax preparers. The organization provides free tax preparation services to low-income members of the Orange County community. Through a coalition of libraries, public agencies, and faith groups, the mission is to increase financial literacy among low income taxpayers.

“This is the first time that we have had someone come in to Newburgh Free Academy to train our students,” explained Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus Acting Principal Melissa Siegel.

After completing a study of tax rules and regulations, as well as learning about tax preparation, the students began taking online exams to receive their certification.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to get hands-on training and be able to work with our community members. The program is a win-win for our community and our students,” said Siegel.

Press release by Kerry Butrick

Students in Newburgh Free Academy’s Cosmetology program, a facet of the Career and Technical Education Department, put their skills learned in the classroom to use recently by fitting wigs, creating 50’s hairstyles and applying make-up for the cast members of Newburgh Free Academy’s Spring Musical “Hairspray”.

Under the guidance of teachers Vicki Di Ceasare and Maria Susan Lastowski, the students prepped their fellow schoolmates for the show making sure they were flawless. Courses in the cosmetology sequence include Hair and Makeup Design for Theater, a half year hands- on course in theatrical make-up and hair design. Students learned how to apply character, and special make-ups for use under theatrical lights. As part of the course, students are also required to participate in make-up and hair design for AARTS Academy productions.

In Cosmetology 1 & 2, students practice and study the fundamentals of manicuring, shampooing, styling, shaping permanent waving, straightening, coloring, facials, and massage techniques. Following their completion of the Cosmetology sequence, students will be eligible to take the examination for a New York State Cosmetology License.

Press release by Kerry Butrick

On Tuesday, March 27, 2012, seven students from South Middle School’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program, along with SMS Family Nurse Practitioner and FUTP 60 Advisor Nancy Faust, Newburgh Enlarged City School District Director of Food Services Andy Calvano and Board of Education President Dawn Fucheck, attended a special youth summit held at the New York Giants’ MetLife Stadium sponsored by the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc., in conjunction with Fuel Up to Play 60. The Fuel Up to Play 60 program focuses on teaching students about the importance of proper nutrition, which not only gives them healthy bodies, but also healthy minds.

Press release by Kerry Butrick

Newburgh Free Academy will present the musical Hairspray! on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. Hairspray is a sensational musical that will make you want to get up and dance! The music is by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on the 1988 John Waters film Hairspray. The songs include 1960s-style dance music and “downtown” rhythm and blues.

In 1962, Baltimore, Maryland, teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV dance program based on the real-life Buddy Deane Show. When Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight. She then launches a campaign to integrate the show. While full of light-hearted song and dances, Hairspray is a social commentary on the injustices of parts of American society in the 1960s.

NFA’s production is directed and choreographed by Mandy Clifford, with vocal direction by Karen Sheehy, technical assistance from Rick McCurdy, and conducted by Chris Zoutis.  Hairspray is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International, Inc.

Tickets are $10.00 or $8.00 for senior citizens and children under 12. Reservations can be made online at or by calling the NFA Bookstore between the hours of 9:10 a.m. and 2:20 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus is located at 201 Fullerton, Avenue, Newburgh, New York.