Hudson Valley Education


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L-R: Kathleen Houghtaling; L.A. Branch, Prevention Projects Coordinator, Catholic Charities;
Stephanie Canales; Martin Colavito, Director of Prevention Services, Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities of Orange and Sullivan presents awards for 23rd annual poster contest

MONTICELLO (April 24) - Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan hosted the awards ceremony for the 23rd Annual Alcohol, Tobacco, Gambling, and Drug Abuse Poster Contest at the Sullivan County Government Center last Friday. Luis Alvarez, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature, provided the opening remarks welcoming students, parents, and teachers to the event. The annual contest, hosted in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, celebrates the creative and artistic talent of Sullivan County students while promoting an important message of prevention.

The theme for this year’s poster contest was: “I’m the Best Me; When Choosing To Be: Alcohol, Tobacco, Gambling & Drug Free!” The grand prize winner for the Spanish language poster was Stephanie Canales, a 9th grader from Fallsburg Junior/Senior High School. Kathleen Houghtaling, a 10th grader also from Fallsburg, won the grand prize for the English language poster. The grand prize posters were professionally printed and are being distributed to school districts, businesses, and non-profit and government agencies throughout Sullivan County.

“It is thanks to the participating students, schools, art teachers, and businesses that the poster contest is a success each year,” said Martin Colavito, Catholic Charities Director of Prevention Services. “In creating their posters, the students take time to reflect on the theme and the issues of addiction and abuse. They present the message in a way that is meaningful to themselves and their peers. The contest continues to be a successful way to promote the benefits of prevention.”

In addition to the grand prizes, awards were presented for first, second, and third prize, as well as honorable mention. Award categories were grades 1-4, 5-8, and 9 – 12. Participating schools were Benjamin Cosor Elementary (Fallsburg), Fallsburg Jr./Sr. High School, George Ross MacKenzie Elementary School (Eldred), and Liberty High School.

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, a strong supporter of addiction and recovery services, also attended the ceremony to view the posters and extend her congratulations to this year’s winners. Gunther serves as Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Mental Health. 

Catholic Charities Prevention Services has offices in both Orange and Sullivan Counties and maintains a presence in 37 schools. Last year, the program provided community outreach, education, and training to 26,000 individuals.


Salisbury bank announces 2017 scholarship program

LAKEVILLE CT (April 13) - Salisbury Bank announces its 2017 annual Time To Shine Scholarship Program. The Bank created its Scholarship Program in 2009 to assist students who have a proven financial need and who are already making a difference in their communities. Multiple scholarships may be awarded in the amount of $2,500 each to assist eligible students seeking a college degree in a variety of programs.

Eligible students must be residents in their service area, including Columbia, Dutchess or Orange counties, and must be currently enrolled in a public high school, vocational, technical, or private school; be a homeschool student affiliated with such a school; or be a graduate or GED recipient entering their first year of college.

Applicants must be planning to enter an accredited college or university as a first year undergraduate student for the 2017/2018 academic year. Applicants will be evaluated according to financial need; academic achievement; community service; volunteerism; and leadership. The top scorers will also be interviewed by the Bank’s Scholarship Committee. 

The Scholarship Committee must receive completed applications and transcripts by 5:00 p.m. on May 15. For application packets and detailed information about the scholarship program, visit the Bank’s website at or visit one of the Bank’s thirteen branch locations.


O&R’s Anny Thomas, Doug Moscato, with students

O&R promotes engineering at Pearl River School’s STEM Careers Day

PEARL RIVER (April 9) - O&R engineers explained how fulfilling, exciting and, yes, fun a career as a professional engineer can be to grades K-4 students during STEM Careers Day at the Lincoln Avenue Elementary School in Pearl River.  

O&R engineers Doug Moscato and Anny Thomas described how science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) play a large role in O&R’s everyday business. They encouraged students to excel in their STEM studies so they can be well prepared for life in the world of the future.

Pictured here discussing the design of an O&R electric transmission tower, from left, are: O&R’s Anny Thomas, Ashlyn Ryan, Jack Wysokowski, O&R’s Doug Moscato, Brendan Ryan and Ryan Guzman.


Warwick Valley High School celebrates renovation of Media Center  

TOWN OF WARWICK (March 29) - A traditional library at the Warwick Valley High School has been transformed into a modern media center with state of the art technology and flexible spaces for both individual and collaborative work.

Recently, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held by the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce to celebrate
the newly renovated Media Center and Communications Suite

Participating in the ceremony along with Mayor Michael Newhard and members of the chamber were Warwick Valley School Superintendent Dr. David Leach and High School Principal Dr. Larry Washington along with Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction James Yap; Assistant Superintendent for Business Tim Holmes; Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Cindy Leandro; School Board President Lynn Lillian and other board members, directors, associate principals, employees and students.

Flexible floor plan and work areasThe Media Center project involved re-configuring the high school’s traditional library into a modern media center with state of the art technology and flexible spaces for both individual and collaborative work.

Several multi-purpose learning spaces, with moveable walls and furniture, can be easily reconfigured for different group sizes and uses.

Teachers can bring classes to the Media Center, and students can come during their unit lunch or study hall to work individually or with other students.

The new area has quickly become a popular and central learning space in the high school.

The renovation project was funded by the New York State Smart Schools Bond Act and as a District capital project. The specific cost of the renovation could not be learned at press time.




Two SUNY Orange students receive statewide academic honors

MIDDLETOWN (March 6) - SUNY Orange students Renita Johnson and Alexander Mahon have been selected as recipients of the Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Award in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements. The pair was among 71 students honored during a recent luncheon at the New York State Museum.

Presented by PTK, the national honor society for students at two-year colleges, Thursday’s ceremony celebrated the outstanding SUNY and CUNY students from throughout the state. Johnson was listed on the 2017 All New York Academic Team’s first team while Mahon was named to the second team.

Johnson, a resident of Middletown who moved to the area from upstate New York in order to attend SUNY Orange, is also a double major at the College. She will graduate this May with a liberal arts degree (concentration in biology) and expects to earn her nursing degree in December. She is currently president of the College’s PTK chapter, serves as a student senator, sits on the Athletic Advisory Committee, works as an anatomy and physiology tutor, and serves as a peer mentor/advisor for the College’s advising office and TRIO program. Last Fall, Johnson was a member of Colts’ first-ever women’s cross country team and helped guide the squad to the Division III national junior college championship meet.

Mahon, of Newburgh, receives the honor for the second year in a row. Last May, he earned his associate in arts degree in liberal arts (concentration in English), and elected to return to the College to acquire an associate in science degree, also in liberal arts. He is presently enrolled at SUNY New Paltz. While at SUNY Orange, Mahon was a member of the College’s Honors Program and served as treasurer of the Alpha Nu Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. He was a member of the SUNY Orange team that participates in the Orange County mosquito surveillance project, and he worked with professor Mike McCoy and the Puppy Up Foundation’s comparative cancer research initiative.


Highland Middle School students celebrated Engineering Day

HIGHLAND (March 6) – Students at Highland Middle School tried their hands at engineering, with help from visiting IBM engineers Rick Bolstad and Tanya Buchanan.

Grade 6 Math students in Nicole Montaperto’s classes were tasked with the problem of ensuring safe landings for “spaceships” of their own design. Working in small groups, the students fashioned their vehicles out of the materials on hand—Styrofoam cups, spaghetti noodles, drinking straws, note cards, tape, sheets of paper—placing an “astronaut” (represented by a ping pong ball) inside each one. The students then tossed their creations up into the air, allowing the spacecraft to land on the classroom floor. The goal was to have the cups land upright, with the astronauts remaining securely inside.

Mrs. Montaperto was thrilled by the IBM engineers’ visit. “It was awesome,” she said. “They sent a great message to the students about the importance of working together as a team, which is a big part of our math and science curriculum this year.”

Grade 6 students Jakob Bishop, Sydney Simpson, and
Victoria Sela-Olivari collaborated on a "spaceship”

Student Erik Nelson watches as the “spaceship”
makes a safe landing, upright, with the
“astronaut” (a ping pong ball) safely inside


Phipps, seated, with fellow science students

NFA student presents research project at symposium

NEWBURGH (February 23) - Newburgh Free Academy Science Research students traveled to the Eastern Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) to observe NFA North senior Jazmin Phipps present her research, "The Effects of Educational Intervention Programs on Hemoglobin A1C and Body Mass Index Levels in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes."

Phipps was one of 56 science research students in the Eastern NY region selected to present her research from approximately 70 students who submitted their research to JSHS.



Actress Mary Louise Wilson’s new role: SUNY Ulster Artist-in-Residence

STONE RIDGE (February 23) - SUNY Ulster welcomes Mary Louise Wilson, Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning actress, singer, and comedian as its Artist-in-Residence for Spring 2017. Wilson’s residency begins with a public Q&A session, where attendees will gain insight into her incredible career as a performer and teacher. The public program is on Tuesday, March 7th at 2:00p.m. in the Quimby Theater, Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone Ridge Campus.

Among Wilson’s accolades are a Tony Award for “Grey Gardens” and a Tony nomination for “Cabaret.” She receives critical acclaim for “Full Gallop,” a solo show about fashion maven, Diana Vreeland. Wilson’s other Broadway credits include “Gypsy,” “The Odd Couple,” and “The Women.”

In her role as SUNY Ulster Artist-in-Residence, Wilson will work privately with students in the Theatre Program throughout the spring semester.

Stephen Balantzian, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Coordinator of the Theatre Program says, “We’re thrilled to host Mary Louise on campus this semester. She'll bring a wealth of knowledge as a professional actor and teacher to young theatre artists. Mary Louise will be making visits to our Voice and Diction, Acting and Theatre Workshop classes. She'll be teaching audition techniques among other things. We're very excited!”

SUNY Ulster is a historically rich source of arts education and the Artist-in-Residence Program is an opportunity for the College to connect with the arts community in the Hudson Valley and beyond.



Access: Supports for Living VP joins SUNY Orange Occupational Therapy Advisory Board

MIDDLETOWN (February 23) - Lisa Hayes, Vice President of Intellectual and Developmental Disability Community Support Services for Access: Supports for Living (“Access”) has been invited by SUNY Orange President, Dr. Kristine Young to be a member of the SUNY Orange Occupational Therapy Advisory Board following the recommendation of the Program Chair of the SUNY Orange Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (OTA), Flo Hannes.  

The body of curriculum which has been developed in close partnership with the Occupational Therapy Department and Dr. Young over the past couple of years, has provided many opportunities for important community connections for both individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the students who want to pursue this degree. 

Access: Supports for Living is committed to strengthen community connections to broaden resources for people in the Hudson Valley and provide employment for those students with the skills and abilities necessary to perform this important work. Additionally, Access has provided field placement opportunities in a variety of settings for the OTA students throughout the organization. 

Access recognizes and celebrates SUNY Orange’s commitment in its continued development as a learning resource center, as well as its devotion to create employment opportunities for their students while in school and upon graduation.

Ms Hayes has thirty years of experience in the intellectual and developmental disabilities field in progressive roles, and is looking forward to adding value to the committee’s mission, while bringing her perspective of the needs of the community of the people Access serves. 

Visit, to learn more about the ways in which Access continues to be a solution for the Hudson Valley. 


St. Therese Classical Academy collecting box tops

BLOOMING GROVE (February 23) - Have Box Tops but no school to donate to? Generous Washingtonville businesses have collection jars out for Box Tops for Education Coupons to benefit the St. Therese Classical Academy of Blooming Grove, NY. STCA is working to raise funds for a permanent building for their school in the area. Collecting Box Tops doesn’t cost you anything extra! Just cut the Box Top label off of the foods and products you already purchase and drop them off at a collection site. Sites include:

  • Martelli’s Soccer Shop – 9 East Main St. Washingtonville - 496-8321
  • Nailed It Hardware - 4 South St. Washingtonville - 496-3755
  • F & J Pizza – 7 Goshen Ave Washingtonville – 496-6292
  • Sun Hing – 7 Goshen Ave Washingtonville – 496-8300
  • Kam Fung - 16 Brotherhood Plaza Dr. # 104, Washingtonville – 496-1717
  • Brother Bruno Pizzeria - 40 Brotherhood Plaza Dr. Washingtonville – 496-8767

Help support local business and schools! To find out more about STCA or to make a monetary donation visit:


Mandated on-the-job training for security guards course offered

MONTICELLO (January 30 - The Adult and Continuing Education Program at Sullivan BOCES is offering the Mandated On-the-Job Security Guard Training course on Tuesdays & Thursdays from   February 21st through March 2nd from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the St. John Street Education Center in Monticello. 

Full details on our Community Page


Two fifth grade students play with a 3D printed dinosaur during a field trip to SUNY New Paltz
to see their own designs being printed in the college’s 3D printing center

Learning takes on new dimension for Lenape class

NEW PALTZ (January 22) – For students in Meredith Oppenheimer and Jane Beck’s class at Lenape Elementary School, math took some interesting twists and turns this school year.

Whether it was tweaking the angle of a roller coaster track, or choosing the right block for the foundation of a resort hotel, the class of Grade 5 students became budding young architects and civil engineers as they created their own virtual amusement park.

“We’ve done a lot of math,” Beck said of the project, in which students used 3D digital design software called Tinkercad to build everything from candy stores to castles from the ground up.

According to Beck and Oppenheimer, the project involved “intense critical thinking.” Students needed to understand how two-dimensional shapes were represented in three dimensions and they learned through direct experience how angles, direction, size, and other factors influence a design.

“Whenever my roller coaster went uphill or downhill, I had to adjust the track,” explained student Katie Otis, who said she enjoyed the design process.

To help them work out their challenges, and ultimately bring their designs to life, the students had some expert help. Michael Otis, Katie’s father and an engineering professor at SUNY New Paltz, visited the class once a week to provide guidance and work with students on building the higher level math skills used as part of 3D printing.

When the designs were complete, the class visited SUNY New Paltz to watch all of them being printed simultaneously on MakerBot 3D printers in the college’s 3D printing facility. While there, they learned more about how a 3D printer works and got a better grasp on concepts like printer resolution. They also had a chance to watch their teachers being scanned with a 3D body scanner, play with other printed objects, and talk about the future of design and 3D printing with Otis and other college staff.


The Chamber Foundation 2017 Scholarships now open

POUGHKEEPSIE (January 22) - The Chamber Foundation, Inc.—the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce—is now accepting applications for a broad array of scholarships as part of its ongoing mission to aid local students seeking to further their education. 

Since 2002, The Chamber Foundation has awarded nearly half a million dollars in scholarships. To apply for any of the scholarships available this year or for more information, candidates should visit

All applications must be submitted online via the scholarship portal hosted by The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley.  Applicants should create a login ID and password and will then be able to access his or her application at any time. Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2017.

The Chamber Foundation, Inc., was established in 2002 to promote education and training programs for local youth and professionals with the goal of enhancing the Hudson Valley region’s future of economic growth. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities for youth and the workforce, to build and strengthen personal and business capacity, develop leadership skills and foster a commitment to community service. For more information about the individual scholarships and to apply, visit


SUNY Ulster seeks participation from for focus groups on adult educational needs

STONE RIDGE (January 17) - SUNY Ulster is hosting four focus group meetings to obtain input from Ulster County adults who have never attended college or attended but never earned a degree. The purpose of the focus groups is to obtain the thoughts, ideas and advice of this group on how the school can better serve the educational needs of the adult learner in Ulster County.

SUNY Ulster is looking for both men and women, age 30 and above who live or work in Ulster County and have never attended college or attended but did not earn a degree to volunteer to attend one of the following four sessions:

• Tuesday, January 24 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (snow date Wednesday, January 25, 6:00 pm – 8:00pm)
• Tuesday, January 31, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (snow date Wednesday, February 1, 6:00 pm – 8:00pm)
• Saturday, January 28, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (snow date Saturday, February 4, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon))
• Tuesday, February 7, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (snow date Wednesday, February 8, 6:00 pm – 8:00pm)

The sessions will be held at the Kingston Center of SUNY Ulster at 94 Mary's Avenue, Kingston. A light dinner will be served at the evening sessions and a light breakfast on Saturday.

All information obtained during the sessions will remain confidential and will be used solely by SUNY Ulster to plan college programs.

To volunteer for one of the focus groups, please sign up online at:
or contact Mindy Kole, or 845-688-6041.


Delaware Highlands Conservancy accepting scholarship applications

NARROWSBURG (January 17) - The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is currently accepting applications from eligible high school seniors for the “Delaware Highlands Conservancy/Yeaman Scholarship” and the “Vanessa Van Gorder Memorial Scholarship,” both in the amount of $1,000.

The Yeaman Scholarship has been given annually since 2004 to a student planning to pursue a field in environmental studies in college, in honor of the Conservancy’s founder, Barbara Yeaman. It is open to students in school districts bordering the Upper Delaware River in New York and Pennsylvania. These include Hancock Central, Deposit Central, Eldred, Monticello, and Sullivan West in NY, and Wallenpaupack Area, Honesdale, and Delaware Valley in PA.

In 2015, the Conservancy established a Memorial Scholarship in honor of Vanessa Joy Van Gorder, who tragically lost her life on December 26, 2014. A recent graduate from West Chester University with a degree in education, Vanessa was passionate about the outdoors and loved exploring the lakes, rivers, and forests of the Upper Delaware River Region with her friends and family. The Conservancy established this scholarship in Vanessa’s memory and to honor her dream of becoming an educator.

The scholarship is open to high school seniors pursuing a career in education or environmental stewardship, in school districts bordering the Upper Delaware River in Pennsylvania, including Wallenpaupack, Honesdale, or Delaware Valley.

For both scholarships, students at eligible districts should contact their guidance counselors for applications. Applications must be submitted through the school’s guidance counselor for transmittal to the Delaware Highlands Scholarship Committee by March 30, 2017. Recipients of the scholarship will be notified in May.

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy works in partnership with landowners and communities to protect the lands and waters, eagles and eagle habitat, sustainable local economies, and quality of life in the Upper Delaware River region. For more information on the Conservancy or to make a donation to the scholarship fund, visit





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