Monticello CSD’s Executive Director for Special, Summer and After-School Programs, Dana Taylor, received the 2019 School-Based Friend of Extension award from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC). The award highlights a Sullivan County school district or district staff member who partners with CCE Sullivan to involve young people in making changes in their schools to promote health, wellness and school/community connections.
“Dana was selected because of her unending energy and commitment that allowed CCE Sullivan to design, test and offer innovative policy interventions in all district buildings, bring new teaching tools like Yoga4Classrooms to school faculty and provide fun, outdoor, hands-on learning experiences for kids on school property,” CCESC Operations Coordinator Abyssinia Pla El said.
Mrs. Taylor is a life-long member of the school community, having attended and graduated from Monticello CSD. She worked as a speech therapist in the district for more than two decades, a role in which she developed a keen understanding of the link between language development, poverty and academic achievement. Determined to ensure that all students and families have the tools and resources necessary to achieve success, she became an integral part of the district’s initiative to provide a wealth of social/emotional wellness programs, extracurricular activities and community partnerships as Supervisor of Special Programs, and later, Executive Director of Special, Summer and After-School Programs.
“It’s because of partners like [Dana Taylor] that we are able to bring science-based information to our friends and neighbors, empowering them to improve the quality of life in our community for all,” CCESC Executive Director Colleen Monaghan and CCESC Board President Robert Kaplan wrote in a joint statement.
“The MCSD is fortunate to have a dedicated, innovative force like Mrs. Taylor,” Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. William said. “On behalf of the entire district, I congratulate her for receiving this honor.”