Story by Lisa Rice
The School Board of the Warwick Valley Central School District (WVCSD) held their final meeting of the school year on Mon., Jun. 10 with standing room only attendance.
“It’s our favorite meeting of the year,” commented Board president, Sharon Davis. “We get to recognize a lot of people.”
Following tradition, the Board recognized District retirees, newly tenured staff, and the outgoing student member, but first was the awarding of the Jodi Demeand Outstanding Parent Volunteer award. This year’s recipient, much to her surprise, was Sharon Davis, who prior to her tenure with the School Board served as president of the Sanfordville PTA.
District Retirees Honored
WVCSD Superintendent Dr. David Leach invited the four district principals to join him in calling each staff member up to receive a gift, a handbell, and a wooden, engraved music box.
Sanfordville Elementary School principal Johnna Maraia announced the retirement of kindergarten teachers, Kathleen Frazier, with 30 years of service and Susan Bonetti, with 32 years of service, as well as reading teacher, Annette Greco-Sanchez, with 21 years of service.
Sandra Wood, principal of Park Avenue Elementary School, announced that teacher aide Jeanne Long and social worker Cindy Wall, with 25 and 23 years of service respectively, were retiring.
Principal of the Middle School, Georgianna Diopoulos, announced several retirees: school secretary Joyce Darcey (13 years), typist Susan DiMartini (21 years), school monitor Nancy Friedler (27 years), teacher aide Donna Kowal (13 years), teacher Debra Leporati (33 years), teacher Mary Mallon (24 years), teacher aide Frances Sinclair (18 years), and teacher Robert Slutsky (26 years).
Dr. Larry Washington, Warwick High School principal, congratulated special education teacher Cynthia Kooy for her 31 years of service and teacher Pat Villanueva for 25 years of service.
District retirees, congratulated by the School Board, were Edward Botbyl from building and grounds (17 years), custodian Deborah Crandall (19 years), custodian James DeBlock (18 years), teacher aide Nancy Jacobsen (20 years), custodian Kenneth Kovatch (17 years), custodian Mary McGuiness (16 years), custodial worker Thomas Smith (19 years), Diane Spector from transportation (13.5 years), receiving clerk Sharon Walsh (32 years), and custodian Jacob Weslowski (19 years).
Teachers Recognized for Receiving Tenure
The Board also recognized the employees granted tenure: secondary associate principal Marguerite Fusco, guidance counselor William Menkens, guidance counselor Margaret Wright, students with disabilities teacher Mark Botta, students with disabilities teacher Lillian Gaytan-Castro, ESL teacher Ineka Menken Pirovitz, physical education teacher Eric Rosa, and physical education teacher Kaitlin Rodriguez. Also receiving tenure was math teacher Thomas Kelly, who was not present because his wife recently had a baby.
Reflections Program Awards
The recognitions continued as High School PTSA President Laura Kelly presented art teacher Kristin Spano with an award for always going above and beyond with her students. Kelly and Spano then presented the National PTA-sponsored Reflections Award of Merit in Visual Arts to 10th grader Grace Hoyt and an art award to Patrick Gardiner.
Superintendent Art Awards
This year’s Superintendent art awards were presented to Riley Kimiecik and Aveline Gujar from Sanfordville, Leah Scalo and Alexis Hayden from Park, Ben Walter and Hannah Ali from the Middle School, and Naya Vasquez and Jaqlyn Jordan from the high school.
Farewell & Thanks to Madeleine Wadeson
The final recognition of the evening was to student member Madeleine Wadeson, who is graduating and will be attending the University at Albany this fall. Leach noted that she gave outstanding support to the Board and joked that after her first detailed report, he had to up his own game. Later, after providing her report on high school happenings, Wadeson stated that two students, Natalie Daigle and Adam Lazina, will be the student members of the Board for the 2019-20 school year.
“Thank you for giving me this opportunity. It influenced my choice to go into politics,” said Wadeson.
Commercials by Communications Preview
Students in the Communications program created commercials for local businesses and Dr. Leach played several of them for the Board. In return for the commercial, the businesses donated $300 to $500, which was used for scholarships that replicate the CTEC/BOCES scholarships for Warwick’s Career and Technical students who attend the program in Warwick rather than the Goshen campus.
Women’s Choir Takes 1st Place in Hershey
In her final report to the school board, Wadeson reported that the Women’s Chorus, under the direction of Noreen Hanson, won first place in both their division and best overall choir at the Music in the Parks Festival in Hershey Park which was held on Fri., May 31.
Wrapping up the school year, seniors in the Science Research program presented their projects which were three years in the making, there was a ceremony for students who completed a Senior Project, a Scholar-Athlete breakfast, and $61,000 in scholarships was awarded.
The first Board meeting of the 2019-20 school year will be held on Mon., July 1 at 7 p.m. at the Dorothy C. Wilson Education Center, located at 225 West St. in Warwick.