Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Warwick Valley School Board President Lynn Lillian opened the Board of Education meeting on Mon., Jun. 11 by saying, “This is one of our favorite meetings of the year.”
The first commendation went to District Superintendent Dr. David Leach, who was named Board of Education honoree by NYS Senator John Bonacic.
Lynn Lillian then introduced the Jodi Denmead Outstanding Parent Volunteer Award. This award has been given for the past seven years to deserving volunteers, in honor and memory of Jodi Denmead. Denmead’s husband and Elizabeth Fineman presented the 2018 award to Erica Grundfast. Fineman said that Grundfast has volunteered many hours in her roles in the Middle School and the Sanfordville PTAs.
Orange County Green Star School Program Award
Lillian announced with pride that all four schools in the Warwick District were awarded the Orange County Green Star School Programs Award. Principals from each school accepted their awards from Orange County Recycling Coordinator Irvin Siljkovic. The award is given to schools for using reusable or compostable lunch trays; pairing the garbage and recycling bins; evidence of green purchasing; composting/anaerobic digesting; outreach to students to reduce, recycle and reuse; carton and plastic bottle recycling; use of water bottle refilling stations; the Board of Education Sustainability policy; and waste analysis.
The retirees for 2017-18 were announced as follows: teacher Mary Jane Breedveld with 29 years, teacher Linda Buteau with 30 years, school monitor Ghada Dawud with 12 years, teacher Susan Degonge with 14 years, library media specialist Linda Devries with 28 years, teacher Jane Diermeier with 29 years, M. Chris Fox from Administration with 15 years, teacher MariPat Barlow-Layne with 29 years, teacher Denise Markt with 20 years, school secretary Donna Masker with 35 years, custodian Joseph Michulski with 18 years, teacher Paul Myruski with 22 years, typist Margaret Reilly with 18 years, teacher Christina Taylor with 29 years, teacher Katherine Valentine with 25 years, and teacher Sarah Woglom with 20 years.
2018 Superintendent’s Art Awards
Talented art students were recognized and presented with the Superintendent’s Art Awards. The recipients were: Mathew Abel and Lily Corcoran from Park Avenue Elementary School; Nora Finnegan and Ellie Ford from Sanfordville Elementary School; Maya Bieling and Kelly Teskera from Warwick Valley Middle School; and Vanessa Bosch and Summer Green from the Warwick Valley High School.
PTA Reflections Program Merit Award
Warwick resident Dylan Van Duzer, who attends Orange-Ulster BOCES Chester Academy Satellite, was recognized as a Merit Award winner in this year’s PTA Reflections Program. His winning photograph entitled, “Future,” was on display at the meeting.
Recognition of Outgoing Student Member
The student Board member for 2017-18, Anna Costa, was recognized by the Board of Education. Lynn Lillian said that she had shared the students’ perspective from the high school with the Board. Anna will attend Ithaca College in the fall.
Protection for Girls’ Lacrosse
Board member Robert Howe expressed his concern that the girls’ lacrosse players don’t wear helmets. James Yap commented that the girls are wearing goggles and gloves and that some girls are wearing a cascade helmet. Superintendent Leach acknowledged the concern and assured everyone that the Board will continue to look into the issue and offer updates on Section IX rules.
Howe also reported on the recent Warwick Coalition meeting, a community organization that is dedicated to preventing substance abuse among teenagers. Howe said that right after the news came out that there will soon be a marijuana processing plant in Warwick, it was announced that there will be a brewery there also. He called it a “sober meeting.”
He shared the public concerns voiced regarding the possible proliferation of drug and alcohol use amongst teenagers in the community with the establishment of these two facilities. The marijuana processing plant and the brewing company will both be located at the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park, which was the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility.
The Board will hold a special meeting on Mon., Jun. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, located at 225 West St. in Warwick.