As one door closes, others open

By TED WADDELL
Posted 11/23/21

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY – On November 18, the Sullivan West school board formally accepted the resignation of Superintendent Stephen A. Walker, who is scheduled to step down from the helm on …

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As one door closes, others open

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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY – On November 18, the Sullivan West school board formally accepted the resignation of Superintendent Stephen A. Walker, who is scheduled to step down from the helm on January 2, 2022.

But as one door in the chapter of the district draws to a close, other doors of opportunity open, as the district moves to include middle school and high school students in the monthly recognition of elementary-level kids to the rosters of Students of the Month.

“For the first time, we will be recognizing students from the middle and high school,” said Walker.

Prior to the start of the regular meeting, several students, accompanied by their parents, were honored by the district, and awarded certificates by Rose Joyce-Turner, board president, with commentary by Walker.

  • Aubrey Santiago, third grader. “Helps her teachers clean their classrooms, participates in class, kind to her classmates by helping them with their work.”
  • Dylan Newell, seventh grader. “Loves being ‘part of the team’ in school... recognized for his regular participation in class and for his kindness to his classmates.”
  • Henry Marin Leon, senior. “Hard-working student... thankful to be learning with classmates and teachers in person again.”
  • Michael Schroeder, high school. “He raises the bar for the students around him... enjoys making money.”

And then on to a few adults.

  • Michelle Crasa, teacher’s aide at the elementary school, was named the month’s Sullivan West Standout. “[She] began in the district 16 years ago in a substitute role, and since then her work has developed so that she is a vital aspect to our district’s pre-kindergarten program and has become a fixture in the lives of many young Bulldogs.”
  • Randy Kellam received the Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s support staff award for excellence.
  • Kathy Meckle received the Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s school board service award for excellence.

Walker noted the athletic accomplishments of the fall sports teams, and the group of seven high school musicians who were poised to showcase their talents at the Area All-State Music Festival: Lucy Arzilli, Angela Cordischi, Cheyenne Decker, Lyric Hemion, Kaitlyn McBride, Charles Simon and Henry Simon.

In closing his remarks, Walker said in part, “Thank you to all of the members of the school district community who have become part of my life over the past three-and-a-half years. Your encouragement, your support, your questions, your criticism, your friendship, your kindness and your commitment to our schools and students have made me a better leader and a better person.”

In his report to the board, student board member and senior Dylan Sager said, “What a great month for Sullivan West it has been!” citing the gridiron accomplishments of the eight-man football squad that made “it to the first sectional championship game this school has seen since coach Deihl and coach Padu were competing... I have never witnessed so much school spirit.

“This past weekend, we also had our very own Reece Maopolski compete at the Cross-Country State Championship meet. Not only did Reece earn this honor to compete at this level, but he was also awarded the Section IX Sportsmanship Award... I know we are proud of his hard work and kindness.”

The day before the November board meeting, Sullivan West held its first in-person sports awards ceremony since the 2019-2020 Winter season. See the sports section of this website for details.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Sullivan West board is scheduled for 7 p.m. on December 16 in the middle/high school library, and will be live-streamed on the district’s YouTube page.

For more information, call the district office at 845/482-4610.

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