Board of Education welcomes Community Partners at special work session


Board of Education welcomes Community Partners at special work session

November 6, 2018

Warwick Valley School District’s Community Partners attended a recent work session of the WVCSD Board of Education, invited by the school board to gather together and talk about their perspective missions,  goals, and how they work to enhance students’ experiences and opportunities.

“The Board of Education realizes the importance of strong partnerships with our community,” said Superintendent Dr. David Leach. “Warwick Valley’s community partners help prepare students for college, career, and citizenship by offering enrichment, opportunities, and support. When schools and communities work together our students benefit.”

At the Oct. 30 work session, representatives spoke for a few minutes about their organization:

  • Lt. John Rader, Warwick Police Department: The primary focus of the police department, said Lt. Rader, is the safety and security of the students. This year, a uniformed police officer is assigned to each of the district’s four schools, and a marked police car is parked in front of each. The department’s presence at the elementary level is new this year, he said, adding that officers assigned to schools receive special training. Officers also visit the High School’s Criminal Justice class, speaking with students about law enforcement careers.
    a police officer and his canine visit the criminal justice class

    The Warwick Police Department Canine Unit visits the WVHS Criminal Justice class.

  • Michael Newhard, Mayor, Village of Warwick: Mayor Newhard noted that Park Avenue Elementary, one of the districts two elementary schools, is within the Village of Warwick’s borders and is a vital part of village life. “The village has a strong and wonderful relationship with the school district,” Mayor Newhard said.
  • Jeanette Shanahan and Nicola Laaninen, Warwick Area Migrant Committee: The committee provides an array of enrichments and services to the children of local farm workers – many of whom attend Warwick Valley schools – which include a summer program, homework help, teen outreach, and health services.

    A boy fires a water gun

    A summer program is among the enrichments offered by The Warwick Area Migrant Committee

  • Annie Colonna, Director, Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition: The mission of the coalition is to reduce and prevent alcohol and drug abuse by encouraging wise and healthy decisions. It is a partnership of 12 community groups, and it has brought assemblies to the schools and sponsors Red Ribbon Week.
  • Rosemary Cooper, Director, Albert Wisner Public Library: The library, said Ms. Cooper, has become an increasingly popular destination for students, many of whom visit on field trips. They get their first library cards, use the resources and study spaces, and participate in the many programs and activities the library offers. Park Avenue students, she said, are even close enough to walk.
  • Michael Johndrow, Executive Director, Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber, said Mr. Johndrow, works closely with the district to organize the High School’s career day, coordinate job shadowing opportunities for students, and provide volunteer opportunities.

    students speak with an exihibotor at the career fair

    The Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce helps organize the High School Career Fair.

  • Taylor Sterling, Station Manager, WTBQ Radio Station: Warwick Valley students are often guests of the station, said Ms. Sterling, and several have interned and gone on to careers in radio. “I have students in all the time,” she said.
  • Michael Sweeton, Supervisor, Town of Warwick: Said Mr. Sweeton “This kind of relationship didn’t always exist,” he said. “The openness is tremendous.”
  • Dave Eaton, a member of the Warwick Valley Board of Education and former president of the Warwick Valley Rotary Club, spoke about the Rotary on behalf of its new President, Ed Wiley, who could not attend. Mr. Eaton said the Interact Club, the Rotary’s youth organization, is very active in the High School and performs an array of community services, including food and toy drives during the holidays. The Rotary also each year donates dictionaries to district students.
    Students place labels in dictionaries

    Interact students prepare dictionaries, donated by the Rotary Club. Each year, the Rotary gifts dictionaries to Warwick Valley fourth graders.


  • Mary Ann Knight, Warwick Historical Society: The society’s volunteers, which include many retired teachers, have been visiting Warwick Valley elementary classrooms for decades, presenting historical artifacts, photographs, and documents. Ms. Knight said many of the Historical Society’s presentations align with New York State social studies, math, and science curriculum. Currently, the society is working to create more  presentations for Middle School and High School students.
  • Elizabeth Simon, Warwick Valley PTA Council Vice President: The PTA Council is the umbrella organization of the five PTAs in the Warwick Valley Central School District, Ms. Simon explained.  
  • William Greene and Geoffrey Howard, Sustainable Warwick: Dedicated to environmental protection, Sustainable Warwick has assisted the district as it works towards ever-greener schools. Mr. Greene commended the district for its environmental efforts, noting that Warwick Valley is a model for other school districts.

Several additional Community Partners were invited but were unable to attend, including Ermin Siljkovic, Recycling Coordinator at Orange County Department of Public Works; the Warwick Foundation for Excellence in Learning; Wickham Works, and the Warwick Agricultural Advisory Board.


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