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Michael Regan honored as Orange County Rising Star

Nov. 23, 2015

Monticello High School Social Worker Michael Regan was honored as an Orange County Rising Star at an annual awards banquet held Oct. 8 at Anthony's Pier 9 in New Windsor, NY.

The Orange County Rising Star program recognizes individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 who are up-and-coming leaders in their professional and volunteer lives.

Regan was chosen for this award after demonstrating leadership and innovation in his role as a Case Manager at the Orange County Department of Mental Health, and for creating a program which spread throughout several counties to help ex-offenders overcome the barriers of a criminal record. He was also chosen for this award after volunteering to speak to school districts about the dangers of addiction in his role as a Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor.

The 2015-16 school year has been packed with accomplishments for Regan, who joined the district in September as a social worker at Monticello High School. In the high school, Regan focuses on assisting in the development and implementation of the A.S.P.I.R.E (Achieving Success through Preparation, Inspiration, Readiness and Enthusiasm) Program, which was created to transform the in-school suspension experience into a restorative learning process.

“Through A.S.P.I.R.E, I have the opportunity to reach out to students in need of a helping hand. I am honored to be a part this innovative program as it allows me the chance to help students transform their mistakes into learning experiences that will guide them on their journey to a bright and successful future,” he said. “Every student deserves an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, and it is my mission to show them that this school believes in their ability to be greater than the average.”

In lieu of the isolated environment that a traditional in-school suspension setting brings, the A.S.P.I.R.E room offers a supportive environment which involves student intervention and counseling. There, counselors work with students to support their academic and social-emotional learning in order to address the behavior that got them there and help each student be their best self.

At the end the day, an A.S.P.I.R.E supervisor will complete a rubric form which determines whether a student would benefit from additional time in ASPIRE to meet expectations and strengthen the skills that will allow them to be successful in school and life.

“I couldn’t be more appreciative of the award and for my new position at Monticello Central School District,” Mr. Regan said. “I hope that my work at the high school motivates students to also chase their passion.”

For more information about A.S.P.I.R.E, contact Mr. Regan at