Morse School Celebrates Sleepy Hollow’s 150th Birthday in Style

Left to right Students with Art Teacher Jeannette Dietz, Principal Torrance Walley and Sleepy Hollow Mayor Martin Rutyna. Photo Tim Grajek

W.L. Morse School Principal, Torrance Walley, orchestrated a grand birthday bash for over 400 enthusiastic first and second-grade students on Tuesday morning, May 14th. The occasion? The 150th birthday of the Village of Sleepy Hollow. “Just like each of you has a special day, our village has its own birthday too,” Mr. Walley shared with the jubilant student body.

Adding to the festivities, Mayor Martin Rutyna of Sleepy Hollow joined the celebration, applauding the students for successfully navigating the first 150 days of school. With a playful spirit, he teased, “Only 200 more days to go!” eliciting laughter and smiles from the anticipating students as summer break loomed closer.

Describing the village as an extended family, mayor Martin, as he is affectionately referred to by the students, emphasized the rich tapestry of community life. He asked the assembly if they had attended some of the previous 150th-anniversary events, including the Pumpkin Ball drop in January, ice skating and story time in February, St. Patrick’s Day parade in March, and the Earth Day tree planting in April. Dozens of students responded positively at the mention of each occasion.

Inviting the students to the upcoming 150th Anniversary Car Show on May 18th, the mayor highlighted the village’s historical ties to the auto industry, tracing back to the once-thriving GM plant in North Tarrytown. The mayor’s engaging presentation included a captivating slideshow featuring glimpses of Sleepy Hollow’s past, from a quaint one-room schoolhouse to the Morse School’s original mascot, a horse named snowball.

The event culminated in a heartwarming gesture as the students presented mayor Martin with a giant card signed by nearly every member of the school, followed by a spirited rendition of “Happy 150th Birthday.” Led by the Morse School’s music teacher and art teachers, Jeffery Mizen and Jeannette Dietz, respectively, the celebration concluded with a musical tribute that playfully counted down the village’s years.

School mascot Snowball. Photo courtesy of The Historical Society, Inc. of Sleepy Hollow & Tarrytown.

Looking ahead, the Sleepy Hollow community is gearing up for a series of exciting events to mark the milestone, including the 150th Anniversary Car Show on May 18th, the inaugural Sleepy Hollow Music Festival on June 8, the Mermaid Festival on July 20th, and the grand 150th Anniversary parade and block party on Beekman Avenue on September 14th.

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