Volume 51, Issue 2                                                                                                             October 2016  

PNW BOCES Celebrates Opening of 
Tilly Foster Educational Institute

PNW BOCES administrators and staff with Putnam County officials cutting the ribbon on the new Tilly Foster Educational Institute in September.

The sparkling surfaces of the spanking-brand-new professional ovens, stoves, refrigerators, sinks and work surfaces of the Tilly Foster Educational Institute matched the excitement of the high school students enrolled in its Culinary Arts program, which began accepting students this fall. That excitement was echoed by the PNW BOCES school administrators and public officials present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility's opening in September. 

"We look forward to a wonderful partnership between our BOCES and Putnam County as we celebrate the opening of the Tilly Foster Educational Institute," said Dr. James Ryan, superintendent and chief executive officer of PNW BOCES. 

Hosted by Tech Center Director Cathy Balestrieri and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, the ceremony also included New York State Senator Sue Serino and other local officials as well as BOCES administrators, board members and staff. 

BOCES is leasing the Tilly Foster Farm property from Putnam County, in a win-win situation for both parties. The historic Tilly Foster Farm has been renovated to house a fully equipped culinary school for BOCES students, and the county will take in revenue for the use of the facility via the lease agreement. Renovation work began on the facility over the summer. 

"All of the effort and hard work put forth by Putnam County in readying the facility for Tech Center students in September was clearly evident," said Cathy. "The attention to detail, the marrying of function and aesthetics, were impressive and went beyond expectations. The Tech Center culinary program at Tilly Foster Farm is being delivered in a state-of-the-art facility. Putnam County is to be recognized and congratulated on moving forward this exciting, new collaboration."

The programs at Tilly Foster include Culinary Arts classes for high school students with a farm-to-table concept as well as placement in local internships. The institute also offers evening adult culinary programs as part of BOCES' Continuing Education program. Other BOCES Tech programs are expected to expand into the facility in the future.

Culinary Arts teacher Christina Holic, who instructs the students currently enrolled in the program, said, "I feel blessed, inside and out, to be here in this incredible state-of-the-art environment. The students are receptive, engaged, and excited to be here!"

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lynn Allen said that the collaboration between Putnam County and BOCES is an exciting one. "It really exemplifies our mission statement: Service and Innovation Through Partnership." 

PNW BOCES administrators and staff at the opening of the Tilly Foster Educational Institute. From left, Guidance Counselor Geraldine Battista, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lynn Allen, District Superintendent & CEO Dr. James Ryan, Board Member Anita Feldman, Tech Center Director Cathy Balestrieri, Tech Center Principal Jim Bellucci, and Assistant Superintendent John McCarthy.

Meet Dr. James Ryan, PNW BOCES District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. James Ryan, PNW BOCES' new District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer.
It was the passion PNW BOCES employees bring to work every day that most impressed Dr. James Ryan, our new district superintendent and chief executive officer, upon his recent arrival at the Yorktown campus.
"While I was aware of PNW BOCES' strong reputation in our region, I was struck by the enthusiasm and commitment that our employees demonstrate each day in providing high quality services to our component districts," said Dr. Ryan. "Having such a strong and capable staff is a great comfort to me, knowing that our students and our district partners are in excellent and capable hands."
Prior to joining PNW BOCES, Dr. Ryan served as the superintendent of the Carmel Central School District. He also has served as district superintendent, deputy and assistant superintendent of Rockland BOCES, as well as the principal of Ossining High School, assistant principal of Monroe-Woodbury High School and teacher/dean of students at Walter Panas High School. Dr. Ryan also has served as adjunct professor at SUNY New Paltz, teaching courses in Educational Leadership. 
As district superintendent, Dr. Ryan serves as the chief executive officer of PNW BOCES, as well as the representative of the commissioner of education in our supervisory district, serving as the liaison between our school districts and the commissioner and State Education Department.
"I have always been aware of the incredible array of offerings here at PNW BOCES," said Dr. Ryan. "Taking on this new role and seeing our operations firsthand has only validated my positive impressions about our agency."

BOCES' Mission, Vision and Core Values

During Opening Day ceremonies, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lynn Allen described our vision "to become a BOCES of the highest quality" and explained that "everybody contributes to our mission of service and innovation through partnership."

Evidence of BOCES' Mission, Vision and Core Values can be found every day within our classrooms and offices, demonstrated by our teachers, administrators and support staff.  

In future issues of The Reporter, we plan to shine a spotlight on outstanding examples of our Mission, Vision and Core Values. Here, in our first "Did You Know?" video for the 2016-17 school year, Lynn discusses how BOCES employees personify these guiding principles.

Click on the video below to learn more about 
PNW BOCES' Mission, Vission & Core Values

PNW BOCES to Offer Professional Development Options for Business Professionals

Professional development has long been a mainstay of the educational universe, and PNW BOCES is a leading provider, offering a plethora of options for teachers, administrators and counselors, among others.

However, for those working in business fields such as accounts payable, payroll, accounting and purchasing, training is not so easy to come by. Courses are primarily offered through New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO) and, according to School Business Administrator Joy Myke, the majority of business office professionals in our region rarely have the opportunity to attend professional development events due to cost concerns.  

"I have always believed that professional development and training should be available to everyone," said Joy, who brought the issue to the attention of Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lynn Allen last spring. "I approached Lynn about offering training to this demographic because I realized that it is often overlooked when it comes to job-relevant professional development," said Joy.

Seeing a potential niche that BOCES might fill, Lynn and Joy started the ball rolling this summer by contacting consultants who provide this type of specialized training. They ultimately settled on Management Advisory Group, a well-regarded education and business management consultant, as a partner. 

"This coming spring we plan to offer two half-day sessions that we feel will be timely and relevant to business office staff across the region," said Joy.  

The new sessions will be offered through PNW BOCES' Center for Educational Leadership. "We are delighted to extend our array of offerings for school leaders to include a series of professional development activities for school business officials as well as other business office professionals," said Lynn.

Both Joy and Lynn said they hope PNW BOCES will be able  to expand its programming in this area during the 2017-18 school year, based upon feedback from the region.

Virtual Suggestion Box

As part of the Future of BOCES Taskforce initiative, please be reminded that you are welcome to share your ideas and suggestions to boost morale and improve our collective work by using our virtual suggestion box. To access the box, go to the BOCES website at  http://www.pnwboces.org/   (click the employees tab and then suggestion box)  or go directly to:
The virtual suggestion box is checked on a daily basis and all suggestions are carefully reviewed and considered. Suggestions of merit that are acted upon are highlighted in the BOCES Reporter.    
Thanks again to all those who have used the virtual suggestion box, and keep the new ideas coming!   

Q: Why doesn't  BOCES have a solar power initiative for the campus with all our open space and rooftops?
A: We have held numerous meetings with solar power providers over the past two years. There are numerous rules and regulations regarding the leasing/purchasing of solar panels and the amount of energy that we can sell back to the power provider, NYSEG. Our attorneys have reviewed contracts with the solar power provider companies, and they have not been able to negotiate a deal with them that protects our agency. We are still actively looking to bring solar power to our campus.

Tammy Adams, Teacher, Walden School. Esmelinda Bucchignano, Teaching Assistant, Walden School. Kristie Campbell, Teaching Assistant, Sunshine Children's Home. Theresa Castellano, Teacher, Pines Bridge School.  Angela Gilleo, Teacher, Blue Mountain Middle School. Rachel Levenkron, School Social Worker, Walter Panas High School. Michelle Louisseize, Teaching Assistant, Pines Bridge School. Heather Maenza, School Social Worker, Walden School. Cassandra McCarthy, Teacher, Walden School. Nicole Murphy, Supervisor of Special Education, RAHS - Fox Meadow. Karina Rodrigues, Teacher, Walden School. Michael Watson, Teaching Assistant, Walden School. Mariela Ramirez, Teacher Aide, The Tech Center. Diana McDonnell, Teacher Aide, Walden School. Maria Pryschlak, Teacher Aide, Walden School.  Shweta Bajpai, Application Developer, School Services Building. Meghan Condron, Physical Therapist, Pines Bridge School. Samantha Jones, Staff Assistant, School Services Building. Digna Tenesaca, Teacher Aide, The Tech Center. Peter Garcia, Teacher Aide, Local School Buildings.
Vincenzo Altobelli, Linda Batto, James Bellucci, Linda Berretta, Francine Brehm, Stephanie Buckhout, Edward Catapano, Dana Cavorti, Stacy Chryssikos, Lina DaRonco, Vincent DiTaranto, Katherine Diven, Andrew Ecker, Veronica Farlow, Steven Feldman, Lisa Giacomini-Essell, Kathleen Hanlon, Danielle Iammatteo, Arnold Liebson, Stephen Lowery, Nancy Mazza, Cassandra McCarthy, Patricia McGrath, Kristen Morris, Victoria Paladino, Catherine Pascarelli, Robert Patterson, Kim Proscia, Jacquelyn Ramos, Rebecca Roper-Eckstein, Stanley Rupinski, Deborah Scandalis, Margo Schepart, Michele Smail, Jesse Steiner, Robert Taps, Donna Tortora, Mitchell Velez, Michael Watson and Jaclyn Zenhausern.
We hope you've enjoyed receiving the BOCES Reporter
as an email newsletter. 
Our goal is to make the news and views of BOCES staff easily accessible to you. 

Let us know what you think. 

Suggestions and comments are always welcome. 

Karen Hoffman, editor: khoffman@pnwboces.org or ext. 232



BOCES Reporter 

Dr. James M. Ryan, District Superintendent and CEO
Karen Hoffman,  Editor
Valerie Laudato,  Designer


Click here to visit www.pnwboces.org