September 2019
Welcome from the Superintendent Kim Fontana
It is my great honor and privilege to lead the Pawling Schools along with our Board of Education governance team. Our dedicated educators have been preparing for the arrival of the young people we share by polishing and trimming our buildings, grounds, and fields; recruiting and hiring exceptional teachers, administrators and staff; inspecting buses; crafting menus; designing engaging learning experiences; and learning and growing ourselves. We welcome you to the 2019-2020 school year and invite you to join us in making it the best year ever!

This issue of the Tiger Tribune launches our visioning process -- #WhatMattersPCSD?, introduces new administrative staff, celebrates summer learning for teachers and students, and inaugurates a handy digital backpack. 

As part of the Superintendent’s Entry Plan , the PCSD is inviting you to participate in an envisioning conversation. Visit our interactive platform to register your responses to this question: As the Pawling Central School District sustains, improves and initiates student programs and experiences over the next five years, what matters most to you?  Participate as often as you like and plan to engage in a face to face conversation on this topic on October 30, 2019. Watch for updates and further details.

Photo courtesy of The Pawling Record
New Year, New Faces
As the new school year begins, meet new administrators around the District:
Tamara Barbour, Director of Athletics & Dean of Students

Tamara Barbour taught health and physical education at the secondary levels for 12 years. She also brings coaching experiences from Modified through Varsity levels in the sports of volleyball and gymnastics. Ms. Barbour has experience as an athletic director and assistant principal in central New York for the past three years. She received a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College, master’s degree in curriculum from Queens College and attended the College of Saint Rose for leadership.  

“Inspiring youth to engage in physical activity and develop leadership skills on and off the field is important and inspires me to help develop successful interscholastic programs,” Barbour says. “I am thrilled to be working with this wonderful staff and excited to celebrate student successes academically and athletically!”
Lauren Collica, Director of Food Services

Lauren Collica brings nearly 20 years of experience in the food service industry to Pawling. Most recently food service manager in the Hyde Park Central School District, Ms. Collica has also worked in a variety of positions at Haldane Central School District, Applebee’s and Wendy’s. She holds degrees in restaurant management and food service management from Johnson & Wales University.

"I'm looking forward to nourishing the Pawling Central School District students so they will excel in their academic goals and beyond," Collica says.
Jennifer Jacobs, Elementary School Principal

Jennifer Jacobs spent nearly a decade teaching in first and second grade classrooms in New York City and South Orangetown Central School District. She has been the assistant principal at Todd Elementary School in Briarcliff Manor since 2013. Mrs. Jacobs earned her bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from St. Thomas Aquinas College.

Jacobs says, "I am honored to be given the opportunity to join such a warm, dedicated, collaborative school community and can't wait to welcome our students back to school on September 4th."
Debra Kirkhus, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

Dr. Debra Kirkhus, who has served as Pawling Elementary School Principal for seven years, has experience K-12. She began her career as a high school math teacher in the Arlington School District. Her prior administrative experience includes central office experience in Arlington and service as assistant middle school principal in the Hyde Park Central School District. A graduate of Cornell University, Dr Kirkhus has advanced degrees from SUNY Albany (master’s in math education) and SUNY New Paltz (education administration). She earned her doctorate in education at Seton Hall University.

She says, “I am very excited to use my K-12 instructional and leadership experiences in this new role in our district. To be able to work with students, staff and families from all three schools is truly an honor.”
Lisa Kozlowski, Human Resources Associate

Lisa Kozlowski comes to Pawling from SUNY New Paltz, where she has served in the Human Resources department since 2013. She brings more than two decades of human resources experience at companies in the entertainment industry, including EMI--Capitol Records and Blink Digital. Ms. Kozlowski also served as Human Resources Manager at TVT Records. She is a graduate of SUNY Purchase.

“I couldn't be happier about joining the PCSD team,” Lisa says. “I look forward to this new chapter in my life and the opportunity to work with everyone!”
Delos Luther, Interim Director of Transportation

Delos Luther has been in the school transportation field for 35 years, serving as the Director of Transportation for the past 25 years. He has worked in both small and large school districts and is a Certified School Bus Driver Instructor and a DMV Certified 19A Examiner.

“It is a pleasure to be able to work with the Pawling school district and with so many welcoming people,” Luther says.

Watch for new teacher profiles in the Fall newsletter.
Focus on Learning
Curriculum Camp Integrates New Technologies with Student Coaches and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy
This four-day camp provides guidance in quality curriculum design integrating content and technology standards into all aspects of design. Throughout the four days, participants chose from an array of "technology spark" sessions in which they experimented with new tools and concepts such as coding and game design, screen-casting, database use and research skills, digital citizenship, and various tools to promote rigorous discourse. “What makes this experience so unique was that these spark sessions were led by Pawling High School students,” says Debra Kirkhus, assistant superintendent for instruction.

The students who participated say they gained a great deal from the workshops. One observes, “I learned that sometimes the teacher can learn from the student.” Another says, “I learned how receptive the teachers were to student feedback.”

Students are looking forward to seeing their ideas implemented during the school year.

Special content-specialist facilitators included Brian Ostyn, Steve Malone, Ean Titus, Crystal Keeler, Debbie Kirkhus, and Curriculum Leaders . Teacher designers benefitted from our ongoing partnership with Dr. Jevon Hunter, from Buffalo State, who provided instruction and coaching to ensure curriculum is inclusive and culturally sustaining.
Terrific Tigers
Scientific Summer Gave Summer Classes Some Sizzle

Summer School Principal, Michelle Rivas, significantly enhanced students’ summer learning experience by initiating Scientific Summer. In collaboration with Mrs. Rivas, teachers invited students to learn across themes as varied as Solar Energy, Five Senses and Recycling.

Many of the hands-on activities promoted inquiry and an interest in science. For example students in Alex Verso’s class made solar ovens out of everyday products such as pizza boxes and aluminum foil. They tested their ovens by making ‘smores! Based on their gooey creations, the ovens were a success.
Students in Jennifer Rabe's class started a recycling initiative and have partnered with Crayola to recycle used markers. Students in Kim DeLango's class learned about the impact plastic and other pollutants have on the oceans and wildlife. The students created a mural, entitled “Plastic Ocean.”  

The youngest multilingual learners developed language and vocabulary skills through hands-on projects such as homemade slime making and the recording of observations while on nature walks. 

More than 50 students attended Pawling’s Summer School, including 31 multilingual learners and 22 neurodiverse students with extended school year plans. 
Digital Backpacks Now Part of Pawling’s Website

This year, you will be able to find important announcements and forms in the new Digital Backpack on the website. This will be the main form of sharing information for middle and high school students. The Digital Backpack will be updated regularly. Be sure to visit the webpage to stay up to date on events. The link to the Backpack will also be included in each Digital Newsletter.
Join Us on Social Media
Pawling Central School District has added to its social media options. You can now find us on Instagram and Youtube .
Upcoming Events
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