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Board of Education Recognition Awards

April 26, 2013

At its April 18 meeting, the Monticello Schools Board of Education honored "individuals who give countless hours volunteering their time to our school community. Volunteers provide an essential ingredient that helps our schools focus on teaching and learning."BOE Awards 4/18/13

The following individuals were honored for their commitment to our students and schools

Alexis Bivins Presented by Dana Taylor, Speech Therapist

Alexis Bivins is an eighth grade student at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School. Since her diagnosis of a rare form of cancer, Alexis has found strength and courage in sharing her message to the students at the Monticello Central School District. Alexis has recently volunteered to speak to the High School group, Teens Against Cancer and at a school-wide assembly at Rutherford Elementary School on March 1, 2013.

“Courage is doing the right thing when the wrong thing looks good. It is like getting back on the bike after falling off.” These are the words that Alexis Bivins shared in the packed gymnasium at Rutherford Elementary School. May all students and staff of the Monticello Central School District strive to face our fears with courage just as Alexis has done. Thank you Alexis for being an inspirational role model of courage, strength and perseverance for the students of Monticello Central School District!BOE Awards 4/18/13

High School Safety Committee Presented by Lori Orestano-James, Principal

Chella Ascatigne, Albee Bockman, Cheryl Crumley, Mark Friedland, James Gerrard, Mark Johnstone, Karen Martin, Robert Mir, Byron Powell, Michael Pushanski, Hildy Rosenberg and Jim Steinberg

The adage is it takes a village to raise a child. And it takes an outstanding safety committee to keep that village safe. Never was this more apparent than during the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy. At Monticello High School, student, faculty, staff and visitors feel safe because of the efforts of our Safety Committee. The committee is comprised of teachers, guidance counselors, safety staff, administrators, support staff and school nurse. In addition, we have a group of dedicated volunteers from our community that are instrumental in making our school safe on a daily basis.

Without their expertise, enthusiasm, keenness and commitment, what we do would not be possible. They help by their presence; their work in providing an added “eye” to what is happening in our building. They organize and participate in our annual Safety Drill Professional Development and student training prior to the promBOE Awards 4/18/13 with Not One More and the Mock Crash Simulation. More importantly, when there is a crisis or emergency in our building, we can count on these dedicated volunteers to be the professional and friendly faces to respond to our school. We are proud to have them as community partners and are honored by their willingness to give of themselves to make Monticello High School a safe environment for all. Thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of our school!

Chase Elementary School Presented by Bill Frandino

Elisa Baum and the Chase PTO, Kelly Creighton, India Walsh, Nancy Kaufmann, John Moul, Linda Nittoli, Kathy Walker and Esther Walsh

Elisa Baum and the Chase PTO have worked this year to provide the students at the Chase School with exciting activities and programs beyond the curriculum. They have raised funds to provide our students with fun assemblies such as Mad Science and activities like Craft Night, Book Bingo, Family Reading Night and Movie Night just to name a few. Our newest Chase students are always delighted when they attend Kindergarten Kick-off sponsored by the PTO each summer. Through their commitment and dedication to providing the most current technology to our students they have paid half the cost of the newly installed Wi-Fi in the Chase building.BOE Awards 4/18/13

Kelly Creighton has volunteered to organize and coordinate the 5th grade class fund raising and activities this year. Any past 5th grade parent knows this is no small feat! The funds raised through the 5th grade are used to send them on a field trip, supply food for their end of the year brunch and buy them Chase School T-shirts making their last year at Chase a memorable and special one.
India Walsh volunteers each week in Mrs. Furman’s kindergarten class where her son is a student. There she helps students with centers by keeping them on task and helping them sound out words. She has even been known to send her husband in her place when she is unavailable.

Nancy Kaufmann volunteers in our library each week and helps our librarian in various ways. There she shelves books, reads to the students and is currently helping Mrs. Szarowski re-organize the library collection. She is very helpful!

Mr. Moul is known to most as “Coach” for good reason. He takes on the responsibility of organizing and coordinating the Mamakating Basketball and Volleyball Youth Programs and new this year Baton Twirling. We are most grateful to him for his dedication and support as these programs are essential to the well-being of our students. BOE Awards 4/18/13

Linda Nittoli has volunteered at the Chase School for over 14 years. She supports the school in many ways. She donates her time among various classrooms supporting the teachers and working with their students. She is instrumental to the success of our concerts and student performances by providing sound, stage and technical support.

Ms. Walker volunteers weekly at the Chase School. She currently spends time in 1st and 3rd grade classrooms where she reads with students and helps them with math and writing. She is generous and supplies snacks, contest prizes and school supplies. Mrs. Walker is very knowledgeable about nature and shares that knowledge with the students. Often she will bring in samples of nature such as a birds nest, leaves or most recently pussy willows.

Esther Walsh is part of the Foster Grandparent program at the Emma C. Chase Elementary School. As a retired math teacher her expertise and support in the area of mathematics helps to provide students with a kind and encouraging individual to work with them to improve their skills.

We sincerely appreciate all of our volunteers and what they do to support the Chase School. BOE Awards 4/18/13

Rutherford Elementary School PTO Presented by Kimberly Patterson, Principal

Shannon Leaney-Levenson, Nancy Price and members of the Cooke/Rutherford PTO have worked tirelessly this year to provide the students with exciting activities and programs beyond the curriculum. They have sponsored assembly programs on bullying and character education among other programs that benefit children. They also run the book fairs, support fifth grade field day, buy agendas and folders for our students, as well as involve themselves in fundraisers to support learning and academics. This group of volunteers has also worked to plan evening activities like craft night, bingo and fall festival for Halloween.

Joan Bortolotti, Donna Mayerson and Joyce Rivenburg

These three wonderful women volunteer their time each week at the Rutherford Elementary School. These women help the students in our school in countless ways and we appreciate everything they do. Two of these women, Joan Bortolotti and Joyce Rivenburg are our school grandmothers. Joan, Joyce and Donna come into the school each day. They continually support, comfort and give reassurance to those who need it. Throughout the day, they spendBOE Awards 4/18/13 their time volunteering in classrooms, working with individual students to support and help them improve their academics and behavior.

Each of these volunteers build important relationships with the students, allowing the children to depend on someone to talk to during the day. We wanted these wonderful women to know how much we appreciate their contribution to our students and our school. You all truly do make a difference at Rutherford and we love you. Thank you Joan, Joyce and Donna for all that you are and all that you do.

Cooke Elementary School Presented by Sandra Johnson-Fields, Principal

Debra Levine - Ms. Levine is a newly retired teacher from the Monticello Central School District. She continually volunteers her time and resources to support the students at Cooke Elementary. Debi has brought in community members, clothes and shoes, books, and plenty of love for the students. She volunteers her time and talent to support classroom lessons and mentors many students. Debi is a passionate and tireless advocate for all of the students in the MCSD school district.

We are fortunate to have her as a Cooke Elementary family member. The students, faculty and staff appreciate her dedication and contribution to our school community.

Photos by June Lomdardi