For and About the Staff at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES • June 2010, Volume 44 Issue 10
Pines Bridge Track Nears the Finish Line
More than 200 join in a benefit race and fair.
W hen a BOCES crew
puts its muscle in a
project, it can really take off.
Witness the Pines Bridge
“Run for Fun” race and walk
last month that drew more
than 200 participants on a
brilliantly sunny Saturday
and raised more than
$9,000 for the handicapped-
accessible outdoor track
being built behind the
The Run event brought the
total of track-construction PLAYING BALL: Ryan Gotto RACERS: Chris Quimby and his dad, Gordon
fundraisers over the last two
years to more than $123,000.
The track, designed to provide
a safe area for students to
practice mobility skills, is
expected to be completed in
the next three weeks.
“The fundraising committee
has done an outstanding
job of organizing all of the
events that have supported
the building of this track,”
said Pines Bridge Principal
Judy Spaulding. “Most
important, these events
have created a sense of
community among not only O&M VOLUNTEERS, who donated their time to work at the Run, included
the Pines Bridge students (from left, standing) Jason Wolfe, Bob Bennett, Guillermo Berrueco, Oscar Agudelo,
and staff, but all of BOCES. Tom Barker, and John Giacomini; (kneeling) Darwin DelaCruz, John Ball, Alex Ramon,
and Lucio Hurtado.
We watch each day as
progress is made on the
track and are anxious to
finally be able to use it.”
Along with the race, the
recent event included a
Family Fun Fair, with
games, food, live music, face
painting, a raffle, and prizes.
Coordinator of the Run
was Carlene Kuczma, Pines
Bridge physical therapist.
23rd Annual Service Awards/Retirement Dinner
Banquet honors longtime employees and those retiring.
B OCES’ 23rd annual Service Awards and Retirement
Dinner took place last month in the Walden gym,
honoring 18 retirees and 19 employees celebrating their
20th, 25th, 30th, and 35th anniversaries. Mary Ann Alvord
and Susan MacMaster were recognized for 35 years of
The BOCES Band entertained for the evening, led by O&M
guitarist Pat Haynes, with vocalist Karen Edmond, a
Pines Bridge teacher aide, and drummer Femi Alao, a Fox
Meadow teacher aide.
Ed Catapano from the Communications Academy played
a video presentation he constructed of staff members at
work and presented each participant with a DVD to take
Preparing the banquet and décor were Culinary and
Hospitality staff and students and Floriculture staff and
HONOREES and guests, standing, from left: Carol Storym,
students. Michele Wilson helped organize the event; Tricia Marion Connelly, Rita DeMaria, Imelda Danko, Doreen Trani, Mary
O’Neill designed the invitations, menus, and programs, Ann Alvord, Linda Frankenberry, Heidi Hayes; in front, Eileen Fahy
printed by the Copy Center staff; and O&M took charge of and Helen Vail
the setup and cleanup.
“It took a lot of people to make this event happen,” said
Mistress of Ceremonies Susan Micolo, director of Human
Resources and Administrative Services, and one of the
event organizers. “They deserve our special thanks.”
Those recognized for seniority include:
Oscar Agudelo, Georgia Armstrong, Imelda Dave Hannan, teacher
Danko, Patricia Gallo, Gary Mancus, and retiree
Elizabeth Marques, Nancy Mazza, Lorraine
Petriello, Margaret Salierno, Josephine Scala,
David Stern, and Janice Taylor.
Gerald Attanasio, Antoinette Borst, Marion
Connelly, Elisa Longo, and Kevin Neary.
Elaine Gerit and Richard O’Keefe.
Mary Ann Alvord and Susan MacMaster. Elizabeth Marques, teacher (20 years) and Ed Catapano,
Among this year’s Chris Heath Says Farewell
I t was a happy confluence
of schools and writing that
brought Chris Heath to BOCES 13
Eileen Bogdanoff A Tufts English/French graduate
and mother of four, Chris served
on and was president of the
Marion Connelly Ossining School Board and the
As coordinator of BOCES School
Rita DeMaria Communications Service, Chris
is BOCES’ chief storyteller. And
it’s that part of her job that’s been
Eileen Fahy both the most challenging and
satisfying, she says. “The challenge has always been, not so much with the
dozen or so districts we serve, but with BOCES itself – trying to tell the
Linda Ferrieri BOCES story, which has so many parts to it, all distinct and separate. It’s
what makes this job both wonderful and a challenge.”
Linda Fleckenstein Chris and her SCS staff of seven produce newsletters, videos, cable TV
shows, brochures, and countless news releases. But the reward isn’t
simply generating media coverage, she says. “You can walk into any
Renée Gargano classroom anywhere and get a story out of it. But even if it never gets
published, the fact that you’re there seems to have a positive impact on
the teachers and the kids in the classroom. It helps reinforce the fact that
Vince Garnot what they are doing — teaching and learning — is important.”
So why is she leaving such a wonderful job? “To do something new, to
David Hannan tackle something different, something else wonderful….” And also, of
course, she expects to spend “a lot of time gardening, berrying, reading,
kyaking, walking, and… [displaying her characteristic energy] oh, I’m
Chris Heath going to build stone pillars at the end of our driveway.”
Believe it. Success has always been part of Chris’s story. Her husband,
John Mulcahy, is a partner in his own law firm, and their children
Laurie Lake Levene are “the real successes,” she says: Tom is an engineer; Meg is a public
relations professional; Anne is on her way to becoming a lawyer; and
Jane is a geographer.
led by Pat Haynes
Helen Vail (left), with vocalist
Jerada Wehnes at the annual
Service Awards and
Vince Garnot to leave O&M ‘family”
A s Director of Facilities and Operations at BOCES, Vince Garnot
will be saying farewell July 16 to what he calls a “family” of 43
mechanics, custodians, electricians, plumbers, groundsmen, and office staff.
Vince has been in the lead position at O&M (Operations & Maintenance)
for 10 years, both “blessed” and challenged. “The staff at BOCES does
more than instruct students. They provide them with real-world tools to to
succeed, and it gives me a sense of personal satisfaction to be able to serve
them,” he says.
“It’s been a blessing, too, to have a dedicated staff to carry out the day-to-
day mission” of keeping the agency buildings and grounds functioning
safely and efficiently. The challenge has been “doing all I can to manage the Vince Garnot
O&M family together to carry out the mission. Without them I couldn’t
do what I do.”
Growing up with a family in the construction business, Vince started working early in the trades with
whatever family member needed help. In the Navy, he served four years as an aircraft electrician, and then
began his career in “facilities” – first in industry and then with St. Francis Hospital, the Culinary Institute of
America, and the Wappingers Central School District.
Now other family issues beckon. Vince is leaving BOCES, he says, to spend time with his three young
grandchildren in Rochester and perhaps help his son, Eric, in his structural engineering business. He and his
wife, Paula, also plan to travel. Their daughter, Kara, is in her last year at Pace University.
“Leaving is bittersweet,” Vince says. He’ll be happy to give up the daily commute on the Taconic from Pleasant
Valley in Dutchess County, but “I wouldn’t have come if it were not for the people. It’s the people that made
Vito Rinaldo to Retire from Tech South
A fter 37 years at BOCES, Vito Rinaldo, Communications Academy team
leader and CTE tech coordinator, is retiring this year.
Originally an academic teacher for the auto trades, Vito worked with
9th and 10th graders, helping to get them ready for 11th grade at The
Tech Center. Next, he began teaching in the Learning Lab with a wide
variety of students, from Cosmetology to Construction. Experience with
a Commercial Art class and TV Production led Vito and others to develop
the first BOCES “academy” – for communications, which would link art
and TV and eventually embrace computer graphics, fashion design, and
“I kept reinventing myself,” Vito says, with the BOCES administration
Vito Rinaldo “encouraging, enabling, and allowing” the changes.
Early on he also became the building representative for the local union —
United Staff Association – and then chief union negotiator and president for seven years. He was involved
with the BOCES Statewide Committee for NYSUT as well.
Still, through it all he believes his number one contribution was “working directly with kids and teachers
in the classroom.” Second was serving as coordinator of the Communications Academy, “bringing the team
together and starting the ‘academy’ model” that other disciplines now use.
And the biggest challenge? “Balancing it all.” As he leaves, he plans to “stay in touch with my colleagues here
and keep my fingers on the pulse of what’s happening. I will definitely continue to support their efforts.”
The time is right for retiring now, he says. His wife, Dianne, has retired from teaching in Mahopac; his son,
Gavin, is starting college at Georgia Tech; and his daughter, Gillian, is going to graduate school at Pace
University. “All of a sudden we have the freedom to do things we’ve never had time for.”
Wonder-full ‘Looking Glass’ Show
Tech stages 4th annual fashion gala.
T he audience at “Through the
Looking Glass,” The Tech Center’s
fourth annual fashion show, was
transported to a Wonderland in the 4, wears a dress
designed by the
Walden gym May 20th as 19 Fashion
Design seniors presented the wardrobe taught by her
creations they’d worked on all year. mother, Lisa
The show, based on “Alice in
Wonderland” stories and movies,
was a full-scale Tech combo, with
students and teachers from a variety of
disciplines joining in the production:
Cosmetology, Carpentry, Floriculture,
Advertising Art and Design,
Construction Electricity, Television
Production, Business & Computer Julian Faranda
Technology, Law Enforcement, (Pleasantville).
Computer Graphics, Entrepreneurship,
and, last but not least, Culinary Arts.
“It exceeded my expectations,” said
show coordinator Lisa Tobin, Fashion
Design and Merchandising teacher. “I
am truly proud of my students and all
those who worked on the production.
It was a wonderful collaboration of the
entire Tech Center.”
Proceeds from the event ($3,793) will
go toward scholarships for
Tech Center Academy
ALICE CAKE is a Culinary
BEHIND THE SCENES: Teachers
Meredith Markolovic and Pat Gilman lend a
PERFECT SETTING for student designs
was created by the Advertising Art and Design
DECORATORS included Christina program. (Student here is Emily McKiernan from FINAL TOUCHES are applied by teacher
Holic (top) and Annemarie Santulli (right). Lakeland.) aide Gloria Vazquez (Lisa’s mother).
BOCES Academy Hosts a Health Fair ...still learning
James T. Langlois, Ed.D.
Thinking About Change
H ave you noticed (how could you not)
the quick, violent thunderstorms that
so frequently interrupt the peaceful, sunny
afternoons at this time of year? Just as we feel
our muscles being coaxed into relaxation by
the gentle warmth of the sun, we are startled
into alertness by a sudden shift in the wind, an
abrupt clouding over, followed by lightning,
thunder, and a drenching downpour. These
sudden, sometimes unexpected, changes are just
one more thing we’ve gotten used to considering
as we plan the many celebrations that conclude
another school year here at BOCES.
But sudden change can be anything but a
problem. At the beginning of this month, I
was privileged to witness an exciting example
of positive change here at BOCES. The high
STAFF CONTRIBUTORS (from right) are Caithleen Zikorus (aka Nurse school teachers of Walden and the Regional
Caithy); Alyson Kistinger, Adult & Continuing Ed coordinator; and Liz Marques,TV Alternative High School presented a fascinating
Production teacher. progress report on their commitment to
continuous improvement of their academic
M ore than 100 Tech Center students and staff hosted a Health Fair
and March of Dimes Walk last month, to raise funds and showcase
health-related issues for students.
program. To me, what they demonstrated most
was a sharp, new focus on reflective practice
and the development of professional learning
The event was organized by the Health Career Academy, including communities.
Nursing/Home Health Aide, Medical Assistant, New Visions Health, and Throughout the year, on a regular basis, they
Law Enforcement students. Students provided their peers with drug and
alcohol abuse information, facts about risky behaviors, and healthy have been meeting in teams to pool their
lifestyle choices. Medical Assistant students recorded students’ height, insights into the particular needs of their
weight, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. students, examine research on best practices,
and analyze data on their students’ performance,
Along with exhibits and presentations, the students had a “tour” of in order to constantly refine their curriculum
a Somers fire department emergency vehicle led by 32-year fire and instructional approaches. These teachers
department veteran Dan Moran. Pledge cards for the walk and teddy are an example to us all of what a collective
bear sales raised $1,010 for the March of Dimes. commitment to positive change can accomplish.
This commitment to excellence and personal
and collective accountability can, I am sure, also
June Birthdays be found in different ways at Pines Bridge, The
Tech Center, Walkabout, Madden, our satellite
Carmen Aleman, Louis Baldi, Nathan Ball, Kathleen Batchelor, Robert
Bennett, Michele Bergmann, Danielle Bova, Mary Callaghan, Carly programs in school districts, the Curriculum
Colberg, Andrea Conte, Wesley Curtis, Emily D’Ambrosio, John Danik, Center, and in all of our services that support our
Jo Ann Del Brocco, Kathryn DiNapoli, Joann Fenton, Gwen Fisher, Shelli student programs.
Flacinski, Vincent Garnot, Abigail Gehan, Judy Gromer, Richard Guaragna, As we celebrate our students’ accomplishments
Mimoza Haxhija, Heidi Hayes, Richard Herlihy, Rose Mary Impieri, Marie this month, let’s remember to also celebrate
James, Sarah Kaplan, Edward Keck, Cynthia Kopcsay, Carlene Kuczma, our own hard work and the accountability we
Diane Lipman, Elisa Longo, Mary Ellen Lopreato, John Madden, Theresa embrace that has helped
Mongiello, Antoinette Noto, Susan Novak, Fatima Oliveira, Kathryn Quas, make those extraordinary
Sandra Rosenblatt, Jill Sarrica, Maria Silva, Laurie Slackman, Esmelinda accomplishments possible.
Soto, Janet Stewart, Carol Story, Lorraine Swiatocha, Ronald Taffner, Thank you for a wonderful year!
Linda Tomadelli, Theresa Tompkins, Helen Vail, Gloria Vazquez, JodyKay Enjoy the summer!
Verbasco, Michele Wilson, and Jason Wolfe.
Dr. James Langlois, Superintendent
Barbara Coats, Editor
www.pnwboces.org Valerie Laudato, Designer