Story by Shelley R. Clapper
During the Greenwood Lake School Board meeting on Wed., Jun. 14, District Superintendent Dr. Christine Ackerman announced that she would be resigning effective Wed., Jul. 5. She has accepted the position of Superintendent in the Chappaqua School District in Chappaqua, NY. While sad to leave Greenwood Lake, she is excited for the opportunities afforded by her new position.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Instruction and Technology, Sarah Hadden, addressed Dr. Ackerman’s legacy saying, “Three years ago, Dr. Ackerman came to our district after a period of great change in the position of Superintendent. We’d gone through three superintendents in the period of a year. A force to be reckoned with – her instructional leadership and high standards had an immediate impact on the daily life of students in Greenwood Lake. Because of her, we have curricular alignment in English, Language Arts and Math. Because of her, we are better at teaching the whole child, with programs like Science 21, Project Lead the Way, increased commitment to the music instruction, two art teachers with specialties in their assigned grade levels, Spanish K-8, plus numerous additional club and athletic offerings.”
Hadden continued to speak about Ackerman saying, “She has a tough exterior, but her heart is huge. I’ve personally seen her buy food for families who have nothing in their refrigerator and headphones for a disabled student who had lost hers and was getting into trouble because of her sensitivity to noise on the bus. She had many tough decisions to make; she doesn’t do what’s easy – she does what she believes is in the best interest of students.”
Board President Ron Sommer said that the board was actively looking for a new part-time superintendent for roughly three and a half days a week.
Board President Ron Sommer Concludes His Term
Board President Ron Sommer will be leaving the Board as his seat is expiring. Sarah Hadden said of Sommer, “Board President Ron Sommer’s humble determination to improve all aspects of student life in Greenwood Lake over the past nine years is to be commended. His commitment to a continuous improvement cycle has led to renovating our buildings, ensuring sustained staff development, providing additional extracurricular opportunities for students, and enhancing our curriculum offerings. In recent years he began his campaign to support public schools, not just in Greenwood Lake but across Orange County by becoming Orange County School Board President. We thank you sincerely for the legacy you leave behind of putting students first while maintaining fiscal responsibility for the community.”
Expanded Athletic Opportunities at G.L.
Dr. Ackerman announced that the New York State Board of Regents ruled on Tues., Jun. 13 that existing regulations would be modified to allow seventh and eighth grade students in districts with K-8 configurations to participate in junior varsity/varsity sports at high schools in which they have multiple tuition contracts. Dr. Ackerman said, “I am pleased to say that GWL led the way for 12 other districts.”
Tenure Granted to Ellen Casazza-Collins
At the beginning of the meeting, tenure was presented to fifth grade teacher Ellen Casazza-Collins. Ellen is herself a graduate of the Greenwood Lake School District.
Rosemary DiBernardi, President of the Teacher’s Association, said, “She was actually in our class in fifth grade and she was on Maureen (Joseph’s) basketball team in seventh and eighth grade and so for us it is so incredibly special and an honor to be standing alongside her today. We are very proud to have her as part of our Greenwood Lake Teacher’s Association.”
Principal Matthew Lawrence said, “It is my absolute pleasure and honor to recommend Ellen for tenure.”
Next Board Meeting
The Organizational Board meeting, followed by the regular business meeting will be held on Wed., Jul. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Elementary School gymnasium, located at 80 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake.