Monticello CSD recognized with a “Friend to Extension” award

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Evans, Hub Coordinator Marty Colavito, Monticello, Senator Jen Metzger, Mayor George Nikolados and MCSD Board President Lori Orestano-James stand on the steps of the Hub. The group had just wrapped up a press conference where Senator Metzger announced a $200,000 grant for the Hub.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County announced Monticello Central School District (MCSD) as one of the recipients of the organization’s Friends of Extension awards. The award recognizes individuals, farms, businesses and community partners who go the extra mile to support CCE work in Sullivan County. The CCE selected the MCSD to receive this award for its support and its hosting of the new St. John Street School Community Hub.  

The Hub was launched in the 2019-20 school year with the ultimate goal of becoming a multi-generational community center. Before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered its doors, it was serving as many as 60 students per day in after-school activities including open gyms, the My Brother’s Keeper program, art, theater and social-emotional wellness activities. Aside from youth programming, it had also begun to offer social activities for senior citizens. 

“The district, particularly Board of Education President Lori Orestano-James and former interim Superintendent Dr. William Silver were instrumental in launching this vision,” Hub Coordinator Marty Colavito, who nominated the district for this recognition, said. “We were able to build a place where kids could be kids and have their developmental needs met. Even though the pandemic gave us an unexpected bump in the road, we haven’t stopped working. We’re still meeting, we’re still planning and we’re only going to continue to grow from here.”  

The award will be formally presented to the district during the CCE’s annual meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. The community is welcome to attend. Please register by calling 845-292-6180 or by emailing Attendees may also register by visiting 

 “The CCE has been a tremendous partner in helping the district provide new opportunities and experiences for our students,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Evans said. “We are honored to receive this recognition and grateful for their partnership in building a stronger community.”