Story by Shelley R. Clapper
The Warwick Valley Central School District (WVCSD) Board of Education (BOE), at their meeting on Mon., Jun. 12, offered commendations and awards to many deserving individuals.
BOE President Lynn Lillian thanked high school senior and student member of the Board, Molly Little, for her two years of service to the Board saying, “Molly has shown us exactly what we have to be proud of at Warwick. She has been an exemplary board member giving us great insight into our students.”
Exiting board member Erin Maxcy was commended and recognized for her years of service to the board. Her term expires in June 2017.
WVCSD Superintendent Dr. David Leach commended high school principal, Dr. Larry Washington saying that he demonstrates, “High accountability, commitment, trust and is a very loyal individual. We are very proud to have you as part of our family.”
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, James Yap, was commended by Dr. Leach who said, “James has a laser-light focus on improving our curriculum.” Dr. Leach said that Yap is available after school hours whenever there is a problem. He said, “Whatever it takes, James is behind the scenes. It has been an honor and privilege to serve with you.”
Superintendent’s Art Awards
Winners of the Superintendent’s Awards for Art were introduced by the students’ art teachers. The winners in the high school were Olivia Sicherman for two dimensional art and Natalie Hawkins for three dimensional art. Olivia is a Senior who will be attending F.I.T. in the fall.
The winners in the middle school were Julie Brown for two dimensional art and Alyssa Monroe for a three dimensional work of art.
At Park Avenue Elementary School, Danila Barillas won the award for her work of two dimensional art and Lea Finucane won the award for her work of three dimensional art.
At Sanfordville Elementary School, Sophie Amato won the award for two dimensional art and Ashlyn West won the award for three dimensional art.
Jodi Denmead Outstanding Parent Volunteer Award
Parent Sandy Singh’s proud family was in attendance as she was awarded the Jodi Denmead Outstanding Parent Volunteer Award. This is the eighth year this award has been given to deserving volunteers in honor and memory of Jodi Denmead, who was a very active volunteer in the school PTAs. Jody’s husband, Don Denmead, introduced the award saying, “My family and I are honored to keep her spirit alive.”
Fellow volunteer Kim McGowan said that Sandy Singh is a long-time member of the PTA, volunteering with such projects as the yearbook and school dances.
BOE President Lillian presented Dory Masefield with a certificate for Board Achievement. This is in recognition of the hours Dory has spent going to board workshops and meetings.
National History Day Presentation
Middle school students from the social studies classes of Thomas Rauschenbach, William Zwart and Joan Rueckert competed in the Mid-Hudson Regional Competition of National History Day which was held on Mar. 11 at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY. All the entries qualified to move on to the New York State Finals held in Cooperstown on Apr. 24.
Julia Mosier, Sophie Romano and Emma Samberg presented their group performance on “The Midnight Ride of Sybil Ludington” at the Board meeting. Other qualifying student entries included Oliver Bieling with his historical paper on Todd Beamer, “Let’s Roll!”; Kelly Sullivan with an exhibit on Emma Hart Willard, “Creating a Foundation for Women’s Education;” and Austin Post, Olivia Demke and Kailey O’Brien with a group documentary on Malala Yousafzai, “Her Fight for Universal Girl’s Education.”
Warwick Retirees Announced
President Lillian thanked the 26 retiring members of staff for their dedication and service. Those retiring are: Marie Altieri for 23 years as an instructional aide, Patricia Babin, for 16 years as a security aide, Rosetta Bastek for 37 years of as a teacher, Theresa Blake for 16 years as a monitor, Lloyd Blauner for 30 years as a teacher, Donna Brierley for 21 years as an instructional aide, Betty Bryant for 26 years as an instructional aide, Amy Cassidy for 24 years as a teacher, Veronica Cram for 18 years as a custodian, Debra DeFrancisco for 24 years as an instructional aide, Denise Dickten for 16 years as a typist, Patrick Dool for 14 years as a teacher, Diane Ernst for 18 years as an instructional aide, Kathleen Etheridge for 35 years as an instructional aide, Jo-Ellen Gambino for 20 years as an instructional aide, Claudia Gerbino for 16 years as a teacher, Thomas Jones for 30 years as a custodian, Barbara Katz for 23 years as a teacher, Donna Kipp for 26 years as a typist, Marie McGill for 19 years as a teacher, Robert O’Connor for 29 years as a school psychologist, Joy O’Leary for 16 years as a teacher, Della Powderly for 19 years as a teacher, Danuta Previtera for 13 years as a custodian, Michael Thompson for 17 years as a teacher, and Barbara Watch for 28 years as a bus driver.
Other Matters of Business
A motion was made for an emergency generator replacement at the Middle School passed. Tim Holmes said that three different vendors had been unable to fix the present generator.
In other matters of new business, a motion to approve the resolution for the Orange Ulster BOCES Cooperative bid for student transportation services for the 2017-18 school year passed. Quality Bus Service LLC, the low bidder, has been awarded the contract by BOCES.
During public comment, a parent asked the Board to expand their tolerance and diversity efforts as she had been dismayed by a recent incident involving her child at the middle school. Although the policy of the Board is not to respond to public comments at the meeting, they made an exception at this time for this incident, which they took very seriously.
James Yap said that he had two conversations with the Jewish Federation that day regarding their suggestions on how to proceed and that his dialogue with them is continuing. He said that as part of expanding the District’s educational efforts about religious tolerance, field trips to the newly reopened Holocaust Center in Rockland County will take place. It was also suggested that education on the theme of tolerance and diversity start as young as kindergarten.
Superintendent Dr. Leach said, “We need to provide our teachers with the support to engage the students.”
The parent thanked the administration for responding so promptly following the incident.
The next regular Board business meeting will beheld on Mon., Jul. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, located at 225 West St. in Warwick.