Kudos Corner

Submitted by: Laurie Knapp
As this school year is rapidly coming to a close, I wanted to honor some important staff members at Marbletown Elementary who are retiring after years of dedication and service to our students, our staff. and our school community. These educators have been loyal employees to the Rondout Valley School District  for years and deserve to be recognized. 

Kathy Yeager, has been providing AIS reading services to Marbletown students for the past 24 years. She has not only taught students to read during the school day but she has taught many after school programs, at no cost to our district or students.  I can remember her showing students how to sew, by hand and on a sewing machine, and then boiling water to help them prepare a spaghetti and meatball feast. She is an excellent team partner as well. Kathy and I cotaught a very successful reading / writing pilot program for numerous years. Together we also took a plethora of in-service classes. I remember when we were Colonial Soldiers, forging for our food at Fort  Ticonderoga, riding on an open air bus touring historical houses, and developing a Career unit, with the help of Port Ewen BOCES, for our second grade students at MES. Kathy is a wealth of information, when it comes to reading, student development, and writing. She even headed one of our district's Strategic Planning Committees many years ago. Her years of experience, knowledge, and wisdom have made her a huge value to the students she served, as she taught them to read, and to our district. I'm happy to say that not only has she been a close colleague but a fabulous forever friend.

Down the hall, to the right, is Ina Cole's room. She is a speech pathologist who has been a faithful employee for the past 27 years. One of her gifts is she can walk into a room, listen to a student speak and can tell whether or not that student requires her expertise. She can rectify a tongue thrust, get a student to know the difference between above and below, and will consult on a regular basis ,with a classroom teacher, to make sure that her student gets exactly what he / she needs. I can remember Ina help prepare, cook, and serve at our after school dinners, that our staff used to host, as a thank you to our PTA. I will miss seeing Ina everyday at school but will still look forward to seeing her at our holiday and summer get togethers.

Carol LaGoy, whom I met 34 years ago, as her kindergarten classroom was across the hall from me not only became a colleague but a roommate, in our younger days, and a friend. Carol has been a kindergarten  teacher for many years but is ending her profession as a first grade inclusion teacher. Carol has a love of learning and teaching younger students. She greets them every morning, with a smile on her face and instills her love of learning into her classroom lessons.  I remember going to NYC with her and a few other professionals, for a week, to attend Columbia Teachers College, to learn the Lucy Caulkins reading and writing program. Upon return Carol eagerly embraced what she learned, brought it back into her classroom, and her students were the ones who truly benefitted. As she packs her classroom up and ventures out into her next phase, it won’t be goodbye. I’ll be visiting her, on the beach in the sunshine state, on our yearly trip.

Down the hall in room 10 is Maryann Beare, a kindergarten inclusion classroom teacher. She has been part of the Rondout Valley School District for the past 33 years. Her students are referred to as the “Bear Cubs.” A perfect name for her children as they become a close knit class community. She gives her heart and soul to these students, brings her love of NASCAR into her classroom, and will help them learn in any way possible. During the holidays not only does Mrs. Beare bring the season to her students but also brings the entire spirit to Marbletown Elementary School. The classrooms decorate their doors, for a contest she organizes, and the teachers sport their ugliest holiday sweaters. Mrs. Beare, using her own monies, buys gifts for the participants and winners. Everyone in the building eagerly gathers into the gymnasium, on the last day prior to our winter recess break, to eagerly anticipate the results. It’s an exciting event! As a fellow animal advocate, I will always continue staying in touch with Mrs. Beare to try to help all our local critters that are in need.

As you bring the students to lunch in our cafeteria, you hear children singing as you pass our music room. Inside that room is Mrs. Joy Miller. She has been teaching music for 40+ years! She is a staple here at Marbletown Elementary School and the only music teacher I have known at our school. Under her guidance and dedication the students enjoy singing, dancing, and learning to play the recorder. She has organized so many concerts, for the students, here at our school. I vividly remember one concert in particular. In the “olden days” the concerts were for the entire school and were held in our schools' side lawn. The  students were on the bleachers singing and the families were sitting on blankets and lawn chairs. Suddenly, someone noticed a big bear lumbering across the street towards the direction of our concert. Mrs. Miller maintained her composure and in an orderly fashion directed the students and their families back into the school. That concert and bear will be engrained in my memory forever.  I hope to still see Joy as maybe, just maybe, she still  might come back to Marbletown Elementary School to teach piano lessons to students. In the meantime she will be enjoying her brand new house and her grandchildren.

Our last retiree is Ms. Kyra Sashusabudhe. Prior to meeting her I would hear nice things about her as a teacher. She originally taught in Rosendale Elementary School and when that building closed she joined us here at Marbletown Elementary School. She has taught numerous grades but is ending her career as a second grade teacher. Since I am a third grade instructor I tend to get some of her students the following year.  In September as I am reviewing curriculum, from the year before, her students would always raise their hands and say, “I remember that we did that last year or Ms. S. taught us that and we did this follow up activity.” This was always “ music” to my ears as I knew they were coming into my classroom prepared. Kyra is also very generous. Not only does she offer our staff well needed yoga lessons but every year she offers her beautiful house and property to host our yearly end of the year party. There we toast to another year completed and to a happy summer. Even after her departure, Kyra will continue to host our party. Therefore, there is no goodbye necessary.

As we are in unprecedented times and our school year is ending like no other year, it is important to honor these individuals. Together they have over 100+ years of service! Our students, staff, and school community will definitely feel the impact of losing these fabulous educators. There is definitely something to say about longevity and their base of educational knowledge that only years to a district and a profession can buy. Happy Retirement Kathy, Ina, Carol, Maryann, Joy, and Kyra and congratulations on extending your weekends with 5 days. 😀 All the best, to each of you, as you journey into this new chapter in your life!

Kudos to: Rita Stoddard
Submitted by: Lucy VanSickle
Mrs. Stoddard has been spending hours upon hours fabricating and sewing cloth masks for both district staff, people in the community and essential workers of all kinds. Nurses, firefighters, teachers etc  She estimates she has made over 200 masks, and is still sewing.. Thank you to Rita for her valiant effort helping keep us all safe during this pandemic!


Kudos to: Carolyn, Frankie, & Wally at the HS
Submitted by: Barbara Jordan
It’s been a while, but I’d like to give Kudos to Carolyn, Frankie and Wally, three incredibly kind and helpful custodians at RVHS.  On Curriculum Night, while trying to navigate my freshman son’s schedule, going from the auditorium to his various classrooms, I didn’t notice that my brand-new Galaxy S10E had fallen out of my backpack.  As Curriculum Night came to an end and I realized my phone was missing, I searched my car and the parking lot with a flashlight and then drove home assuming I had left it home.  Seeing that my phone was not at the house, I used the “Find My Android” app on my laptop and confirmed that my phone was indeed in the RVHS building. So, I drove back to the school where Carolyn, Frankie and Wally helped me search the auditorium, every classroom, restroom and the parking lot, retracing my steps with flashlights, and continually calling my cell number hoping that we would hear it, but to no avail. My family was leaving for a long-awaited weekend getaway the next morning and I was anxious to find my phone before we got on the road. Carolyn, Frankie and Wally were so helpful and understanding of the situation. The next morning, my husband and son drove to the school where Carolyn, Frankie and Wally once again helped search for my phone, but to no avail.  They told my husband that they had continued looking long after I had gone home the night before, but couldn’t find it.  I had resigned myself to the fact that I would have to go on vacation without a phone.  As my family was heading out, I convinced my husband to drive to the school again for one last attempt to find it before we headed south for the long weekend.  And once AGAIN, Carolyn, Wally and Frankie were there to help, and they were truly as happy as I was when we finally found my phone stuck in between two seats in the auditorium.  They never once complained about all the time they spent searching for my phone and were so incredibly friendly, kind and helpful.  I can’t thank them enough for all their time and effort, and more importantly for being such wonderful, good-hearted people. 

Kudos to: Teresa Marzec
We, at Marbletown, all wish to thank Dr. Teresa Marzec for her professionalism and tireless work as our school’s physical therapist. Over the years we’ve relied on her expertise to identify, diagnose, and treat students who face physical limitations. Even before she earned her doctorate in physical therapy, many of us would refer to her as “Doctor” Marzec because of her medical knowledge. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Teresa has volunteered to help maintain the school’s garden, bringing the same sense of purpose and industry to the garden as she has to her professional life. Teresa earned her doctorate in 2016 with the intention of sharing her knowledge with pre-service therapists. What a wonderful mentor she would be! We all wish to bid Teresa a warm farewell, and all the very best in retirement.

Submitted by: Tim Wade, Iris Goliger, Meg Berean, & Robin Doick
Kudos: The PPS Department would like to thank and congratulate all of the staff who helped to advocate for, coordinate, plan, prepare for and support the valuable University of NC “Introduction to TEACCH” training that was offered to special educators, paraprofessionals and general education colleagues working with students with developmental disabilities this August, 2018.  Special thanks are in order for Katie Chase, Louann Miszko, Shane Churchill, Marybeth Lunati, and recently retired Denise Szekeres!  These hard-working and dedicated staff members all went above and beyond to make this happen smoothly, get a large number of staff members here during a vacation to participate, provide materials, and balance their other responsibilities and needs—all showing their commitment to the work we do and a deep understanding of the needs of our students and staff.  Feedback shared from many who attended was remarkably positive, and many indicated that the training and techniques they learned gave them inspiration for their direct service to our students, and would positively impact their work in the future.  From all of the PPS Administrators, we want to take this moment to say thanks to these dedicated people for bringing TEACCH to our District and for showing once again just how special Rondout Valley staff and students are!

The RVBA Education program and the RVHS Parents Association hosted a very successful 4th annual Mock Interviews on Thursday, April 19th and on Friday, April 20th in the library. A once a year program open to all high school students, accommodated 40 students to participate and learn the skill of job interviewing with 6 business leaders. We would like to thank our interviewers: Erick Roosa, Human Resource Training manager at Mohonk Mountain House, Deborah Briggs, VP Human Resource at Ellenville Hospital,
Linda Bradford, co owner of Bacchus Restaurant in New Paltz, Judy Hauser co owner Vision Pilots, Jesse Marcus, Publisher/Owner-Visit Vortex, Nik Gerner co owner Sophie's Farm. Grace Bonney, Founder and EIC Design Sponge and Julia Turshen, Founder Equity At The Table.com
Teachers: Eileen Quinn, Debra Neumann and Carol Sturm for signing up their students to join us and have their resumes ready to share with our interviewers.
Special thanks to Tara Edmond RVHS Librarian.
Submitted by : Lynn Gilbert- chair RVHS PA

Kudos to: Alison Abbruzzi
From: Anonymous

Kudos to Alison Abbruzzi for taking extra time from her already very busy schedule to address my concerns regarding my son’s reading level.  Ms. Abbruzzi consulted with the reading teacher, promptly arranged a formal reading assessment and provided detailed feedback when she received the results.  She then followed up with the reading team and kept me informed of their assessment.  Although, it was ultimately determined that my son’s reading was at grade level, Ms. Abbruzzi gave me good solid advice on how to help further improve his reading skills. Many thanks to the reading team for their help, and especially to Ms. Abbruzzi for being such a wonderful, caring teacher and for going above and beyond to help a student reach his potential.

Kudos to: Joann Redmond and Krista Kelly
From: Lee Cutler and Charlie Tadduni
This past week we had a student get stung by a bee. This student had no history of allergic reaction to insect bites, however a brief period of what the nurses thought was a localized reaction soon turned into a tightening in the student’s throat, labored breathing and a full blown anaphylactic reaction. Joann and Krista went into action like a well-oiled machine: they administered the school issued Epi Pen, called 911, called the parents and just as important stayed calm and offered the best bedside manner in all of Ulster County. Then when the child was not responding well, they administered the other school issued Epi Pen and kept the student calm and distracted till the ambulance arrived. After the student was transported to the hospital Krista and Joann kept in touch with the family throughout the weekend, checking on the student’s progress and keeping the principals updated on how the child was doing. We could not be prouder to be working with such tremendously professional and gifted school nurses who are great with students, faculty and staff day in and day out, who go above and beyond on a daily basis and who occasionally save lives!

Kudos to: Rebecca Horowitz & Natania Kellerhouse
Submitted by: Colleen McGarril
Yesterday I was invited to a picnic organized by Rebecca Horowitz and Natania Kellerhouse for all the ESL students and their families attending Rondout Valley.  It was such a thoughtful and fabulous thing to do for those students new not only to our district, but for many new to our country. The students were so happy to share food from their culture and share smiles with one another.  Rebecca and Natania volunteered their time and energy to make these families feel welcome and part of our community. Thank you, ladies! I am proud to have you both as colleagues.

Kudos to: Tara Hyland 

Submitted by: RVHS Parents Association
On Thursday May 18th a resume writing workshop was offered to all high school students in the library as part of the PA’s very successful lunch period guest speaker program. Tara, who teaches the business courses, introduced the Five Elements of a Strong Resume to those who attended. Thank you Tara for the time and effort you put into this event.

KUDOS to: Intermediate School Student Council

From: Mrs. Ayasse
Congratulations to the Intermediate School Student Council and Advisors on a successful Spaghetti Dinner. This year, the dinner supported the Make a Wish Foundation.  Their amazing efforts raised $1000 for the foundation!  I am so proud of my students and our community for their support. Thank you to everyone that was involved.

Kudos to: Eric Loheide
Submitted by: Rich Gohl
Eric is not only an astounding Health teacher but a great colleague. Mr. Loheide is always coming up with fun and creative ways to get the students engaged and retain important and relevant life information. Eric is always ready to lend a hand, an ear, or just a friendly chuckle to keep his colleagues on a better path. You’re a good man Charlie Brown

Kudos to: Allison Beesmer
Submitted by: Anonymous
This year, Allison Beesmer took on a new position working in the Junior High Behavior Management program. Allison takes a tremendous amount of pride in performing all of her daily duties to the very highest level.  Allison’s professional demeanor, as well as her ability to work with alongside all staff, truly makes her the ultimate team player.  
Allison is a role model that also holds very high standards for all of the students in our program.  She routinely challenges our students to reach their very highest potential, and the students have responded positively to Allison’s approach. 
She cares immensely about all students and continually goes above and beyond her job description to make positive everlasting impressions on all of those that come in contact with her.   
Allison Beesmer is a true professional, and her all around effectiveness with everyone that she comes in contact with makes Rondout Valley Central School district a better place.

Kudos to: IS Students & Staff, Rich Gohl & Matthew Wasyluk
Submitted by: Laura Ayasse
A HUGE thank you to the Intermediate School students and staff, Rich Gohl and Matthew Wasyluk for doing what they do best and making our 4th annual costume parade an enjoyable success...

Kudos to: Marbletown Elementary Teachers
Submitted by Pete Colomer
I would like to thank all of the MES teachers who took time out of their busy schedules and allowed their students to participate in the Poster making contest. All of the posters looked great and created a lot of interest at the HS. Thank you for letting my class be apart of your class.

Stephanie Peacock & Lora Kishel
Submitted by: Anonymous
As a parent, I cannot begin to express how much I appreciate and admire Stephanie Peacock and Lora Kishel for their remarkable generosity of time, professionalism and heartfelt dedication. 
I went to Mrs. Peacock and Mrs. Kishel with some concerns about my child’s pragmatic language and social skills.  Their sensitivity, keen insight and prompt, detailed response was extraordinary. Cutting into their already very busy work schedules, they both took steps to evaluate the situation over an extended period of time, share their observations and insight and suggest clear-cut, positive actions to address the issue.
I trust both of these professionals immensely and appreciated their honesty and sensitivity, as well as their cooperative effort to address my concerns in an individualized, yet unified voice.
The best part is that other students may also benefit from their planned course of action in the near future.
Thank you Lora Kishel and Stephanie Peacock for your generosity of time, professionalism and spirited dedication. 
With much gratitude, 

John Cook
Bus Driver
Submitted by: Julie Martin
I would like to thank John Cook, our bus driver, for constantly being a thoughtful, caring, and safety conscious person, who always remains pleasant despite a difficult and demanding job! Not only does he have to deal with drivers who can be dangerous on the 209 corridor, but he remains respectful when dealing with our children. So thank you to John and all the bus drivers who work hard to safely transport our children to and from school.

Pat Cymbal
High School
Submitted by: Kathy Hill
I would like to thank my colleague, Pat Cymbal for always pitching in and lending an extra hand when ever help is needed.  Pat is reliable and a true asset to our high school. Thank you Pat for everything that you do!

Rich Gohl & Austin Cook
Intermediate School
Submitted by: Dana Delaura
I would like to thank Rich and Austin for a fantastic job teaching the TCI course. They were highly effective and very professional. I thought I would only be learning restraints, however there is much more to this course and I highly recommend it to anyone who has not taken it.

Kathy Hill
High School 
Submitted by: Anonymous
An enormous thank you to Kathy Hill for spearheading Rondout Valley Relay for Life.  It was a huge success and a  fantastic event for our district and community!  Also, thanks to the district and community members for participating and supporting the cause.

Submitted by: Doreen Frey
To the Teachers, Assistants and Aides of all the Special Olympic Athletes. What a tremendous job you have all done. As I sub around the buildings, I was able to see the effort that went into all the practices and each individual event. I was touched by the dedication of these hard working people to help their students thrive and succeed. It brought tears to my eyes to see how much encouragement they gave, and ran along side them, jumped with them, and chased around all the balls and javelins that were thrown. For the hard working professionals in Katie Chase's class, Deb Storr's class, Angela Longway's class and Elisa Shafran's class, I am so proud of you all, and your athletes.

Submitted by: Laura Ayasse and Charlie Tadduni
Congratulations to the Intermediate, Junior High and High School Life Skills students, faculty, coaches and staff that were at West Point this past Saturday for the Special Olympics. Our kids did a fantastic job and displayed time and time again the triumph of the human spirit. Our coaches did a wonderful job getting our students prepared for this event and coaching them through their numerous events. Our aides, assistants and teachers were excellent, as usual, in taking great care of our students in between events, taking photos and cheering our student athletes on to victory. Special KUDOS to Carlos Perez for taking the lead on another successful, fun and well-organized Special Olympic Event for our students!

Adam Countryman
Middle School
Submitted by: Susan Bruck
A huge thank you to Adam Countryman, the Tech teacher at the Middle School!  His talent and generosity led to the completion of four new costume racks for the district's costume shop (which is currently housed at the former Rosendale Elementary School).  He worked with the students in Deb Storrs' class to create racks that can be used for years to come.  It was incredible to watch him work with the students.  He is patient and funny and brings out the best in his students - an absolute pleasure to work with!

Stephen Protoss 
Marbletown Elementary
Submitted by: Stephanie Peacock
Given absolutely no time and little notice, Stephen Protoss, our new and talented art teacher, stepped in to create a phenomenal bulletin board in our school cafeteria to serve as the backdrop for information pertaining to our first annual Abilities Awareness Month at Marbletown Elementary School. Stephen, I don’t know how or when you found the time to do it but it looks incredible and it is so appreciated – thank you!

Anna Brudvig
Intermediate School
Submitted by: 6th Grade Teachers
The sixth grade teachers would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to our sixth grade guidance person Anna Brudvig. Anna has gone way above and beyond her job description this year. She has reached out to so many families. Anna has arranged countless parent teacher conferences and email links. This extensive family contact has really helped to make our transition to departmentalizing a lot more effective. Anna really knows our sixth grade students. She has taken the time to learn their strengths and their weaknesses. She understands when and how to reach out and how to create a change in the positive direction. Anna has not only created a bridge between families and students but she has brought us all closer together. Anna has been a tremendous asset to our sixth grade team this year. We don't feel like we would have been nearly as successful this year without her efforts! Anna is an integral part of our team and we  applaud her. 

Darlene O’Donnell and the Marbletown School Community
Marbletown Elementary
Submitted by: Alison Chapin
The transition to Kindergarten has been smooth thanks to our amazing teacher, Darlene O’Donnell. Entering the ‘big school’ after pre-K can be daunting, but Mrs. O’Donnell provides the hook that students need in order to foster a lifetime love of learning! From the very first day, Kindergarten has been exciting and fun as well as filled with loads of individualized learning. Despite the common core pressures on even our Kindergarten teachers, Mrs. O’Donnell weaves magic into the everyday! Her warmth creates a nurturing classroom where students thrive. The Marbletown school experience has exceeded my greatest expectations. Big thanks!

Kristin Baker
Intermediate School
Submitted by: Barbara Jordan 
Kristin Baker is one of the most caring, generous, kind-hearted, intelligent people I know and I am filled with such gratitude for all she has done for my son and his 4th grade classmates.  Not only has she made the transition from MES to the Intermediate School easy, stress-free and fun, she has gone above and beyond on several occasions in helping my little guy through more than a few academic, as well as personal challenges. 
What makes Mrs. Baker so special is that it doesn’t take a big crisis for her to reach out, step in or go the extra mile to help one of her students.  She always generously gives her time and helps “with all the little things” that mean so very much to her students and their parents.  Mrs. Baker’s commitment to providing a caring, positive, safe, honest, open, interesting and dynamic environment so critical for learning is evident in everything she does.  Every time I receive a letter, email or phone call from her, I am amazed at her dedication to teaching and so grateful for the manner in which she genuinely cares for each of her students….and she does it all with grace and a wonderful generosity of spirit, patience and good will. Thank you, Mrs. Baker for all you do….your gift of teaching our Rondout students is priceless!

Nisha Valle
High School
Submitted by: Anonymous
On behalf of the RVHS staff, I want to offer sincerest thanks to Nisha Valle for her hard work on the January testing schedule for students with accommodations. Nisha put in countless hours to ensure that our students received the best possible test accommodations and made sure that all of their needs were met. Thank you for being such an advocate for our students and going above and beyond to make it as convenient as possible for the adults, as well. Your time and diligence is much appreciated.

Tom Crotty
District Wide
Submitted by: Charles Tadduni
Fare Thee Well to a Good Man – You may have not known Tom Crotty, he was a soft spoken, unassuming man, though large in stature and strong as a bull. Tom was a maintenance worker with the district for over ten years. However, you would know if he wasn’t around because your heat might not have been working or your roof might have been leaking. Tom knew every in and out of every building in the district and was at the Middle School many a day fixing our heat, hours before any of us arrived at the building; cleaning the vents to keep our air clean, tackling hornet nests on the roof, rewiring the building over and over. Tom was the type of guy who would respond for one maintenance problem and fix a handful of others without having to be asked. Tom won the district’s Distinguished Service Award this year and boy did he deserve it. We wish Tom Crotty the best in his retirement. He will be missed around these parts.

Aileen Rutigliano, Joanne Velsor, Kevin Mutz, Lou Denise  
Submitted by: Laura Ayasse
Thank you for being creative as well as flexible in order to create a field day for the Intermediate students during the last three days of school.  What an awesome way to end the year!  You all rock!

To my colleagues ...
Submitted by Heidi Racioppo (Mz.R)
The phenomenal Kindergarten team at Marbletown Elementary School; Maryann Beare, Michelle Juric, Dianne Melville  and Darlene O'Donnell with Nancy Brammer, Robin Carroll, and Kathy Hikade. Thank you for collaborating and creating the extravagant  Kindergarten Extravaganza for our students and parents on 6/13. Your creative ideas and talent made it the show stopper that it was. Many, many thanks for a year filled with fun and learning for our students. You are the champions... Of the school!

Joe Reeder
Submitted by Renee Balestra
Your friendship, loyalty, support, ethics and strong moral compass are appreciated.

Carolyn Mesceda  
District Wide
Submitted by Kathleen Hill
Carolyn Mesceda is a colleague and old classmate of mine that goes above and beyond the call of duty for everyone. She works very hard and is always willing to go the extra mile. Even when she is in the middle of doing something she will drop whatever she is doing to help you out. Carolyn is the most warmest and most caring person that I know.

Laura Walker 
Submitted by Richard Gohl
Statement in support of your recommendation _Mrs. Walker is a testament to what a generous and humble person should look like. She
not only goes the extra mile as a staff member looking out for her students, she will give you the shirt off her back if you need it. (But not before washing and pressing it). Laura always puts the needs of others before her own, and has no problem speaking up for others to right a wrong. And for this I say “THANK YOU.”

Alison Abbruzzi  
Submitted by Anonymous

Alison Abbruzzi is more than a beloved English teacher at the HS. Her actions are an example to all of us about what makes a “community” more than just a place that we live, work or play. Ali shows in all aspects of her life that she is truly a part of what happens here in Rondout Valley. As a teacher, Ali is compassionate and kind. As a colleague, she’s a good friend, a reliable team player, and does what’s needed to support students. What she does outside of school, though, is a true testament to the incredible person she is, and should be recognized, even though Ali never seeks praise and is the picture of modesty and humility. In addition to what she has given to staff by offering yoga on conference days and afterschool, I recently learned that Ali teaches yoga within our community. She utilizes local studio space for this and has a “drop in” class that anyone can attend for a small fee, regardless of experience. It is my understanding that the proceeds from this activity are routinely donated to the local food pantries that support many of our students and their families that struggle with poverty. Ali literally gives of her time, energy, skills, intellect and heart to the community here at Rondout. She is truly an asset to us and illustrates the very meaning of “community.” Actions truly do speak louder than words. Her generosity of spirit has impacted me, and in very real ways impacts the lives of others among us every day. I can’t think of anything more praiseworthy than action taken to help others because it is the right thing to do. I’m very grateful that Ali Abbruzzi is part of the Rondout community.

Desiree Vandemark  
Submitted by Lucy VanSickle
Desiree Vandemark took a CPR class with her son at their firehouse. She recently used those skills learned to save the life of her friend who was choking on food in her store in Woodstock.  Desiree should be commended first for being willing to learn the skill and then for being able to utilize those skills in an emergency environment! KUDOS!!

Kelly Shalian   
Submitted by Brenda Decker
I would like to send kudos to Mrs. Shalian as she has helped my daughter from a mediocre French student last year to now high 90's. My daughter has benefitted from her teaching style with hands on projects and her time and patience. I believe teachers should be rewarded or acknowledged for this type of dedication.

Daryl Schoonmaker, Jason Clinton, Randy Loder
Submitted by Alison Abbruzzi
Bravissimo to Rondout’s fabulous music teachers Daryl Schoonmaker, Jason Clinton, and Randy Loder for their tremendous dedication to improving the culture of our district by offering such a comprehensive and dynamic music program.  The Pops Concert was thrilling and delightful, and we are so fortunate to have music teachers of your caliber in our schools! 

Planning Committee for the 1st Annual RVCSD No Name Calling Week Creative Expressions Exhibit, KES PTA, MES PTA, KES SIT
Submitted by Christine Wynkoop
I would like to thank everyone for their part in the success of our First Annual No Name Calling Creative Expression Exhibit. Thank you to the PTAs for their financial support, and special thanks to the committee members who worked so hard to make the event the success that it was, especially: Donna Henebery, Shannon VanNorman, Cathy Turner, Cindy Carubia, Jane Feinberg, Angela Rion and Deb Marinucci. I am proud to work with such a great group of dedicated professionals. Thank you. 

Jackie Vannosdall 
KES principal
Submitted by Christine Wynkoop
Thank you for hosting the First annual RVCSD No Name Calling Week Creative Expression Exhibit at Kerhonkson Elementary School. It was a fabulous event and I thank you for all that you did to make it so!

Sarah Touri and Stephen Protoss 
Submitted by Christine Wynkoop
A debt of gratitude is owed to both Sarah and Stephen, both extraordinary art teachers, for their part in the organization and execution of the First Annual RVCSD No Name Calling Week Creative Expressions Exhibit. Their enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication to our students was apparent to everyone that attended this wonderful event. Thank you for taking this project on and pulling it off so well!

Colleen Vitti  
Submitted by Charlene V. Martoni
I want to thank Mrs. Vitti for her support, guidance, and kindness during my time student teaching at Rondout Valley Junior High School.  Working with and learning from her has been an honor; she is a caring and outstanding person and educator. 

Kate Rice, Toni Cincotta, Sue Brenner and Karen Vertucci.   
Submitted by Laura Cullen
As a new staff member of the Junior High School, I would like to recognize my amazing team. Working with Kate, Toni, Sue and Karen has been and continues to be a valuable learning experience. They inspire me every day with their professionalism and dedication. Thanks ladies!

Kathy Hill/Cheryl Strang  
Submitted by Doreen Frey
I would like to send out a kudos to these two ladies for all they do.  Kathy splits her time between the Counseling office and Ap's office in the HS and tries her best to keep everything running smoothly.  She always has a kind smile and kind words for you no matter how busy she may be.  Kathy also took on the task of the RVF bus trip to NYC this year and did an amazing job, and a big shout out for all the toys going to Toys for Tots!   Cheryl Strang works in the HS AP's office and  I could use the same words for Cheryl Strang also, a friendly smile and encouraging word and just a genuinely kind hearted person. Cheryl also was a big contributor to the NYC trip, with all these two ladies have to do, they both made time for their Rondout Valley family.  I sometimes sub in both office, and these ladies make you feel needed and like you are contributing so much to their day, the high school would be lacking without these two special women

Sheila Brown, Lisa Butler, and Stephanie Correa
Submitted by Stephanie Peacock
Over the years, I have been privileged to work with so many dedicated paraprofessionals; it is difficult to choose just one so I will begin with the K-2 Life Skills Team of Sheila Brown, Lisa Butler, and Stephanie Correa. It is not only my privilege to work with these women but also the children’s privilege to be on the receiving end of so much care, attention, investment and skill. In addition to being incredibly dedicated to their students, Sheila, Lisa and Stephanie are also knowledgeable in how best to engage students – Lisa is expert at discovering what motivates our students, Sheila never fails to smile, laugh, and provide ample hugs to our children, and Stephanie knows how to draw out our students’ inner artists. Our young students in the Life Skills program are a gift to us and Lisa, Sheila and Stephanie are a gift to them in return. 

Bonnie Schlosser
District Wide
Submitted by Nancy Birdsall
Here are long overdue KUDOS for Bonnie Schlosser. I wish with all my heart, I had thought about this earlier. Sadly, the school district and community has lost a incredibly valuable member of their staff and community. Bonnie worked in all areas of the school district, plus she gave so much of her personal time to the betterment of our district. Whenever she was called in to work in any area of the school, she made a difference in the lives of the students she was helping or the staff she was assisting. The kids loved her - Kids of any age. She was always met with hugs and earnest "thank you's" for helping me in class. She listened, she was patient, she was loving, she truly understood and never judged. She gave everything she had to others. If that was not enough, she continued to find more to give to the athletes of the school. She was the loudest supporter cheering in the stands. She shouted accolades and support to all athletes. Perhaps one of the best days for the RV Athletic Booster Club was when Bonnie joined us. She was a powerhouse who never took "NO" or "Can't be done" for an answer. She energized us and breathed life into a tired group who had been working for years to spread our mission to support our athletes and provide scholarships for our graduating athletes. Bonnie had amazing ideas for fundraisers and was always there with us to execute them. Her seat will forever be empty, because no one will be able to fill it. Bonnie was Rondout Valley through and through. I and many others will remember Bonnie as the SPIRIT of Rondout Valley. She was loved and will forever be missed.

Kris Miller  HS
Submitted by Rich Gohl
Over the past 8 years the high school has gone through transition after transition. Kris Miller has been a stable factor in making sure the building as a whole keeps on track. He is there for the students, the staff, and the families. He has seen us through changes in leadership, to construction projects and changes in educational standards, and through it all he has always had an open door and a funny story to make your day. Thank You!

Nancy Hickey  IS
Submitted by Iris Goliger
Nancy was very helpful in the interview process for an intermediate school psychologist, giving several hours of her time during the summer to participate in interviewing candidates. Nancy made herself available for this despite many personal demands on her time and energy. Her dedication to her students and ability to represent the needs of students and colleagues in the Intermediate School helped inform the process and decisions. She was a tremendous asset to the interview team and process.

George D’Allesandro  IS
Submitted by Iris Goliger
George volunteered several hours of his time to participate in the interviews for an Intermediate School psychologist. He was helpful in articulating the specific needs of special education students in the behavior management program and the overall needs of the building, and his input helped the committee identify several strong psychologist finalists. He was a tremendous asset to the interview team and process.

Barbara Rice  MES
Submitted by Lorraine Farina
It has been my great pleasure to have shared spaces with Barbara for the last two years, both at RES and at MES.  She is the very definition of what an educator should be:  learned, curious about the world, passionate about bringing an expanded world-view to her students, and intimately familiar with students’ needs, which she meets with compassion, and always in a quiet, unassuming way. The Rondout community is enriched by her presence.

Hinako Shapiro MES
Submitted by Laurie Ajemian
When Rosendale School closed the students and staff came over to Marbletown. I was fortunate this year to have Hinako Shapiro, who came from Rosendale, come to work in my second grade classroom at Marbletown. I personally did not know Hinako but everyone told me that she was a lovely person, creative, and a hard worker. After working with her this year, I could not agree more! She is absolutely wonderful to work with! She has a wealth of knowledge in all areas, works well with the students, and goes above and beyond in every aspect. Once a week she even teaches the students Japanese. You should hear my second grade students speak! Thank you Hinako Shapiro for all you do!!!!

Kristin Baker IS
Submitted by Jeff Slater
This year has difficult for many of us and to top that off I suffered a personal tragedy about a month ago. Kristin not only has been a great colleague and friend all year, she really stepped up when I needed help. She was so willing to give of herself to help a friend I don't know what I would've done without her. Her care for my class, her help guiding my sub, being supportive to my family and just being a great human being was amazing. Kristin I'm proud to work with you and just want to let you know how much you are appreciated.

Barbara Cusher IS/JHS
Submitted by Elizabeth Harrington
She is always helpful, warm and hardworking. She always has a big smile for everyone when you come into the main office at the Intermediate School. Recently Barbara helped me put on a play (Theseus and the Minotaur) with sixth graders. The play could not have happened without Barbara. She was there for every rehearsal. Barbara helped me keep the students quiet and focused (as much as it was possible). She stayed backstage and got the students through all their costume changes and scene changes and she was able to keep them quiet. I forgot to thank her while the play was happening but I she deserves a lot of credit for Theseus and the Minotaur. Yeah Barbara!

The Lacrosse Team  HS
Submitted by Lorrie Gray
Congratulations to the boy’s Lacrosse team for an overall outstanding year. These young men won many battles this year on and off the playing field.  Their final overall record of 15-1 will only be overshadowed by the unity and hard work showed off the field while helping teammates and community member’s overcome disastrous times.  Congratulations boys…. You are the best….

Dianne Melville MES
Submitted by Eliza and Michael Bozenski
What parent is not a little anxious when sending their first child to Kindergarten?  We had high hopes and some worries about how our daughter would navigate the hallways, figure out the rules, ride the bus and make it through a full day of school.  The only thing we knew was that her teacher was Dianne Melville.  We had no idea at the time how thrilled we should have been, with that knowledge.  Mrs. Melville has nurtured a love of learning in our daughter that has increased her confidence and made her happy.  What more could a parent ask for?

Lorrie Gray  JHS
Submitted by Doreen Frey
Lorrie always has the friendliest smile and is most helpful to students and faculty.  When my son left his hoodie in the gym, and it was then “misplaced”, Lorrie was comforting and supportive to me and my son and very instrumental in the safe return of his favorite Christmas gift.  Any time of the day you pop your head into Lorrie’s office she is polite and helpful, and takes the time to speak to the kids, and makes them feel as though someone is listening and cares, and that is a gift that goes a long way, especially when a someone, whether faculty or student may be having a rough day.  Thank you Lorrie for you generous contribution of your time, your effort and your lovely smile.

Krista Kelly MES
Submitted by Carol O'Connell
Krista is the back bone of our safety committee at Marbletown. With recent “safety” issues, Krista has given us the guidance to insure the safety of the students and staff.

Kristie Pattison MES 
Submitted by Carol Brown
Kristie is always there when you need her, despite the fact that she has her own schedule as well. I don't know how she manages to take care of so many things at the same time!

Lorraine Farina KES
Submitted by Elizabeth Battaglia
Lorraine cares deeply about each of her students.  She is consistently gentle and always incisive about the needs of her ESL students.

Mindy Shaw MES
Submitted by Elizabeth Battaglia
I don’t know of another staff member who puts in the time and effort that Mindy gives to her children each and every day.

Steve Stephens JHS/IS
Submitted by Charles Tadduni
Steve cares deeply for the students, staff and building. Having only one custodian in the building keeps him in  constant motion, all day long, to attended to the many building needs. Steve is also a key member of the Junior High/Intermediate School Safety Team, as well as a longtime member of the Kerhonkson Volunteer Fire Department. Steve has a great sense of humor, is conscientious about his duties and a problem solver. He is a tremendous asset to our building and we are grateful to work with him.

Denise Barringer  IS
Submitted by Erin Misasi
Denise has been a vital part of the IS main office. Over the past few weeks, Denise has worked extensively in preparation for the NYS assessments.  It was a very difficult task to take on, but  Denise kept everything in order and running smoothly. Her organizational skills and hard work do not go unnoticed.  Thank you Denise! 

Ed Doran and Mary Schreiber   HS
Submitted by Joe Cirafice
Ed and Mary are 2 of the most positive, generous people I have ever met. Both make the day better if one is lucky enough to see and talk to them during the course of a day, and both deserve kudos for being such a positive force here at Rondout. 

Kristine Barnes, Maureen Faro, Kathleen Hill, and Christine Wynkoop  HS
Submitted by Marian Zajac
All four women go above and beyond in helping students and always put the needs of the students first.  Their hearts are big and they care deeply about our students.  Always pleasant and positive, they are a pleasure to be around and work with.  True professionals and lovely selfless human beings.

HS Staff  HS
Submitted by Franny Hertz
I would like to give kudos to my colleagues in the high school who have been extraordinarily patient, kind and helpful to me as my job at Rondout has changed drastically.

Allison Beesmer  IS  
Submitted by Austin Cook
Allison assists the 6th graders with Math, Reading, and Social Studies in the 4, 5, and 6 Behavior Management class. What makes her a stand out is that she came in as a long term substitute.  Allison built an excellent report with those six students and they have not missed a beat.

Edna Plumstead  IS
Submitted by Austin Cook
Edna works with the 4th and 5th graders in the Behavior Management class.  Mrs. Plumstead has worked diligently with five 5th graders and one 4th grader.  Mrs. Plumstead’s consistent effort show in all her students but her hard work, consistency, and support has come to fruition in 2 particular students.  She has been able to mainstream them into general education classes for most of the day.
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Welcome to RVCSD

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What’s New at RVCSD?

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Data Summary
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Specifications and Proposal Form for Student Transportation
The Board of Education of the Rondout Valley Central School District, Accord, New York, hereby invites the submission of sealed Proposals from reputable and qualified school bus transportation companies for furnishing student transportation services in the Rondout Valley Central School District for a five-year (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019 to July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) period.
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Cold and Flu Season
We are again in cold and flu season. In order to minimize the risk of becoming infected by these viruses it is important to practice simple preventative actions daily. The following are easy, helpful suggestions for you and your student.
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Pre-payment of School Taxes
We have received inquiries regarding prepaying school taxes in advance of 2018 to avoid the implications of the new tax law. Our school district is not able to accommodate pre-payment of school taxes for federal tax purposes.
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Main Campus Phones Operational
The phones on the main campus are back up following our scheduled outage.
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Main Campus Phone Outage Scheduled
Please be advised that the telephone system on our main campus will be down on Wednesday, December 27th beginning at 1:00 PM. This will affect the District Office, High School, Junior High School, and Intermediate School. We anticipate the outage to be short in duration, and will post another news item when the phone system is back up and running.
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Kudos Corner

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Kudos to: Joann Redmond and Krista Kelly
From: Lee Cutler and Charlie Tadduni

This past week we had a student get stung by a bee. This student had no history of allergic reaction to insect bites, however a brief period of what the nurses thought was a localized reaction soon turned into a tightening in the student’s throat, labored breathing and a full blown anaphylactic reaction. Joann and Krista went into action like a well-oiled machine: they administered the school issued Epi Pen, called 911, called the parents and just as important stayed calm and offered the best bedside manner in all of Ulster County. Then when the child was not responding well, they administered the other school issued Epi Pen and kept the student calm and distracted till the ambulance arrived. After the student was transported to the hospital Krista and Joann kept in touch with the family throughout the weekend, checking on the student’s progress and keeping the principals updated on how the child was doing. We could not be prouder to be working with such tremendously professional and gifted school nurses who are great with students, faculty and staff day in and day out, who go above and beyond on a daily basis and who occasionally save lives!