January/February 2020
From the Desk of the Superintendent

We have a tradition of introducing new staff members through this and print newsletters. This year, we are starting a new tradition of introducing our current Pawling staff members as well. In this, and subsequent newsletters, you will find four or five profiles of PCSD team members who may or may not be familiar to you. They have been drawn randomly from our civil service employees, our teaching staff and our Board of Education and administration. Please join me in letting them know that we are glad they are here.

Kim Fontana, Superintendent of Schools
Faces of PCSD
Susan Morgan, secretary and clerical support, Pawling High School Counseling, College & Career Center

Susan Morgan is the secretary who provides clerical support for the high school Counseling, College & Career Center. A member of the elementary school’s main office team for more than a decade, Ms. Morgan is in her second year at the high school. 
She began at Pawling as a playground/lunchroom monitor in the late 1990s and also spent several years working for the New York State Assembly.
When Ms. Morgan finds a free moment, she enjoys sitting outside with a hot cup of tea, even on chilly days. “I also enjoy crafting,” she says. “It is like therapy for me.”
Reflecting on her work at Pawling, Ms. Morgan calls herself fortunate. “I work with wonderful, kind and patient people. The students make me smile and they teach me something everyday and make the job rewarding. Every day, I love coming to work.”
Melissa Martin, ELA teacher, Pawling Middle School

Melissa Martin, who has been at Pawling Middle School for more than six years, says one of her favorite projects at the middle school is to organize the annual Math Carnival for fourth and fifth grades. “I really enjoy welcoming the fourth graders into their future school and watching all the students interact with one another.”

She currently teaches 5th and 6th grade ELA. Ms. Martin began her Pawling career in the elementary school in 2004. She taught third and fourth grade for seven years. She began her teaching career as a first grade teacher in Westchester County.

A member of the Building Level Team while at the elementary school, she is now a member of the Professional Development Plan Team for the District. 

“I enjoy getting to know more about my students and learning about their lives outside of the classroom. I also really enjoy working with and learning from all of the other teachers and staff here in Pawling,” she says. “When I’m not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and reading.”

Ms. Martin is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She received her master’s degree in education from Western Connecticut State University.
John Donegan, special education teacher

John Donegan has been a special education teacher in the Pawling Central School District for 14 years. He has worked at both the elementary and middle school during his tenure and has taught special education non--integrated, integrated and special class reading classes.  

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in history/political science from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, Mr. Donegan went on to earn his master's degree in literacy there as well.

“As a teacher it is rewarding to help struggling students achieve their goals,” he says. “When I’m in the classroom, my goal is to inspire students to enjoy learning. I individualize instruction and teach the students strategies for success. I try to make learning fun so students look forward to coming to school.”

When Mr. Donegan is not with his students, he can be found traveling, cooking, reading, and spending time with family.
Jeff Asher, President, Pawling School Board

Jeff Asher, board president for two years, has served as a member of the Pawling Board of Education for seven years. 

A retired engineering manager, Dr. Asher worked at General Electric’s Research Center in Schenectady and with Consumer Reports in Yonkers for more than two decades. Saying Consumer Reports changed his life, Dr. Asher adds, “I was in charge of all their consumer product research including cars. We tested and reported independently from commercial interests … We took no advertisements. Our mission was, and still is, to be your consumer advocate for safer and better products.” He earned his degrees in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering from Syracuse University.

Dr. Asher said he has been a resident of Pawling for more than 34 years, but never had the pleasure of having his children go to Pawling Schools. “By being a board member, I have been able to gain insights into the jewel that is our schools. I have met incredibly dedicated staff and enthusiastic, passionate students.”

When discussing the work of the board, Dr. Asher highlighted the enhancements to curriculum and infrastructure. “Project Lead the Way allows more students to see if they are interested in a technical career. Recently, we authorized over $500,000 to renovate the high school auditorium so that those who are interested in music, theater and dance are also encouraged to find their passion. Next year the Board hopes to recommend to the community improvements in our athletic fields for the many students who enjoy sports."
Enjoying his active retirement, Dr. Asher and his wife can often be found making the most of the Hudson Valley by canoeing, kayaking, biking or hiking. He is also a member of the Pawling Rotary Board. “I enjoy ‘droning’ and photography. Thanks to the Pawling Rec Department, I recently started playing indoor Pickleball with a fine group of active people,” he concludes.
Meet the Director of Facilities and Operations

Gary Green joined the Pawling team in January as director of facilities and operations. He has been in the school facilities field since 2003. He comes to Pawling from North Salem Central School District where he served as director of facilities, technology and transportation. In North Salem he co-led the middle school robotics club, high school robotics team, and the high school tv news team.

"As a lifelong learner there is no better place to work than a school,” says Green. “I am very excited to join the wonderful team Pawling. Everyone has been so welcoming."
Focus on Learning
Literacy Night: Fun for the Whole Family
Nearly 60 families joined in the Winter-themed Literacy Night this January. Students listened to a read aloud, Snowmen at Night; decorated winter shaped cookies; wrote winter stories and read in sleds just to name a few activities. More than 20 teachers volunteered for this second annual event for grades K-4.  
Terrific Tigers
Debate Team Has Successful First Tournament of the Season
The Pawling High School Debate Team participated in its first tournament of the year, bringing home several awards. 

The tournament, held at Dutchess Community College, pit the Pawling teams against teams from John Jay High School, Poughkeepsie High School and Dover Plains High School. The team of Ditte Isak and Lauren Radicchi placed third overall, while Kate Hennigan and Cary Keesler placed fourth. Ditte also won first place speaker, Kate received fourth place speaker, and first time debater, Lauren, got seventh place speaker.  

In the Spring semester, the team looks forward to competing in a tournament at Bard College on February 28 and returning to DCC for another tournament there. 

The team is moderated by teachers, Erin Plati and Simone Shook.
Spring Musical--Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors is coming to the newly renovated Pawling High School theater on March 27-29.

Directed by Stacy Dumont, the show includes the following cast and crew:

A Voice, and other featured roles: Anna Seitz (junior)

The Urchins: Sam Ferraiola (sophomore), Grace Green (junior), Emma  Leahy (freshman), Nylah Torres (junior)

Seymour: Ryan Resnick (junior)    

Audrey: Emily Barrett (junior)

Orin: Jake Voudren (senior)

Muschnik: Lauren Maiolo (junior)

Ensemble: Marie Jackson (sophomore), Sarah Knowles (freshman), Lexi Knowles (freshman)

Stage Manager: Lauren Tocci (junior) 
Costume Coordinator: Ally Clisby (senior)
Props Manager: Dusty Izzo (junior)

Director: Stacy Dumont
Musical Director: Hannah Geiling
Technical Directors: Brian Ostyn and Jim Agostinelli
Choreographer: Gillian Rinaldo

Art and tech crew:
Deb Keesler
Brian Ostyn and PHS Art Club
Crystal Walters and PMS Art Club

Little Shop of Horrors credits include: Book and Lyrics by

Music by

Based on the film by Roger Corman, Screenplay by Charles Griffith
Originally produced by the WPA Theatre (Kyle Renick, Producing Director)
Originally produced at the Orpheum Theatre, New York City by the WPA
Theatre, David Geffen, Cameron Mackintosh and the Shubert Organization
The Pawling Track and Field teams have been breaking records throughout the indoor season. 

4x200: Dante Pena, Dan Mygan, Alex Petruso, Jack Hickey
Sprint Medley Relay: Jack Hickey, Alex Petruso, Dan Mygan, Noah Brightman
Weight Throw & Shot Put: Will Mann
55M: Dante Pena
High Jump: Jack Hickey (Tied)

4x200: Morgan McCarthy, Julianne Hickey, Alessia Cioffi, Sofia Carrozza
4x400: Julianne Hickey, Mackenzie Potanovic, Lauren Bellucci, Morgan McCarthy
Shot Put& Weight Throw: Alyssa Lamberty
300M: Morgan McCarthy
Long Jump: Sofia Carrozza
L to R: Dan Mygan, Alex Petruso, Jack Hickey, Alessia Cioffi, Mackenzie Potanovic, Morgan McCarthy, Julianne Hickey, Sofia Carrozza, Lauren Bellucci, Alyssa Lamberty, Noah Brightman, Dante Pena, Will Mann
The Wrestling team has placed top four in four out of five tournaments this season with nine First Place individual medals, seven Second Place finishers and many more placing third through sixth.
Mason Watkins leads the team with 22 victories followed by Alex Santana and Luis Panzer with 18 wins each. Santana also recently marked the 100th win of his career.
Digital Backpack
The digital backpack is updated regularly with information from the schools and local community. You can find a link for it under the Parent tab of the homepage. It is also listed on the homepage with a date of the most recent update.
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Upcoming Events
Science Fair, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m., PMS
Pawling Living Narrative Project, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, 1-3 p.m., PMS
Little Shop of Horrors, March 27-29, 2020, PHS

Important dates for the upcoming Kindergartners:
Kindergarten Registration: opens in February

Incoming Kindergarten Parent Information Night: 
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
• 6 - 7 p.m. Bilingual Presentation
• 7 - 8 p.m. English Presentation

Kindergarten Screening Dates: Wednesday through Friday, April 15 through 17, 2020

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