Board of Education recognizes students and retirees

The Board of Education this evening will recognize students for special accomplishments and retiring staff members. Each was given a certificate. Here is what the board members said about each:

Recognition of Special Student Accomplishments from the Class of 2019:

Dan Feinberg

  • Michael Burns has left his mark on the strong culture of Fine Arts in the Scotia Glenville community.  He is a strong student who has balanced his passion for music and theatre with involvement in various clubs and activities.  He was named Area-Allstate and participated in the Advanced Choir Festival.  He has played French horn, Baritone horn, and cello and has been first chair in the SG orchestra.  He has led the fundraising efforts of the Drama Club and been the President of the Advanced Choir.  Michael has even shared his passion for music through teaching lessons to others in violin and cello.  He plays music at his church and worked a job outside of school.  He is well-rounded as a student, musician, and also an athlete having competed in Track & Field since 7th grade.  Michael is a talented young person who will use his gifts and abilities for others down the road as he has here in Scotia Glenville.  Michael will attend SUNY Fredonia to study Music Therapy.  Congratulations, Michael, and best wishes for a happy and successful future!

Colleen Benedetto

  • Gabrielle Estes is an academic all-star!  A quick study of her transcript shows pristine averages and outstanding test scores but her glowing academic record only tells part of the story.  Gabrielle has been a member of the National Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society while playing in Jazz Band, Woodwind Ensemble and the Symphony Orchestra.  She has been a member of the Spanish Club all four years and Vice President of the famous SG Pep Band.  Gabrielle has taken dance lessons multiple hours each week since 6th grade, volunteered at the Clifton Park Library and even held a job outside of school during the last two years.  While doing all these activities and earning the highest grades, she also never missed a day of high school!  Her incredible commitment to excellence and her involvement and leadership in our school has been truly exceptional.  Gabrielle will attend Rochester Institute of Technology with a major in Museum Studies.  Congratulations, Gabrielle, and we wish you the best in your future!

Pam Carbone

  • Katherine Gallagher is an exceptional student who has done exceptional things throughout her high school years.  She did the Polar Plunge in Lake George to raise money for the Special Olympics after running bottle drives in her neighborhood…but a number of other students did this.  She was the Director of the Beverage Recycling Program for GIVE.  She volunteered at the City Mission and in the Coffee & Donate operation and the Reading Buddies Program…but a number of other students did this as well.  Katherine played travel soccer and worked as a cashier at the Union College Dining Hall…but other students have done this, too.  Katherine accelerated her coursework in high school (performing at the highest levels) in order to free up her senior year so that she could study abroad in Rabat, Morrocco, as a part of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program.  She lived with a host family speaking only French or Moroccan Arabic and fully immersed herself in the Moroccan culture taking lecture classes in culture politics, religions, and languages…No other students did this. Katherine’s drive to challenge herself with rich experiences and her courage and competence are truly exceptional. Katherine will attend George Washington University to study International Relations.  Congratulations, Katherine, and good luck in your future!

Bill Pytlovany

  • Dominic Jack has competed as a multi-sport athlete at Scotia Glenville for all four years of high school in Track & Field (both Indoor and Outdoor seasons), as well as Soccer.  Dominic competed in several track and field events and has been a stand-out in the High Jump having led the Foothills Council in multiple seasons and even qualified for the Indoor and Outdoor State Championship Meets.  He finished 5th in NYS in the High Jump during last year’s outdoor season. He has been named Scotia Glenville Athlete of the Month and was also Athlete of the Meet in interscholastic competition.  Beyond athletics, Dominic has been a member of the Symphonic Band, excelled in top-level and AP academic classes, and participated in the GIVE Program during his four years in high school.  He has been a leader among his peers setting an example in all aspects of life as a student at SGHS.  Dominic will attend SUNY Albany and will compete for the Great Danes at the Division I level.  Congratulations, Dominic, and best wishes for a happy and successful future!

Dave Massaro

  • Brianna McGlauflin is a community-minded leader.  She is a person who has worked equally hard in GIVE, high school athletics, and at improving student life at Scotia-Glenville High School.  Bri is a quiet leader who cares about others and demonstrates this through persistence and reliability.  Bri always shows up.  And, she does so with a willingness to participate.  She has shown up for 423 hours of school and community service through GIVE!  This has included the Mission Treats Program (for which she was director) as well as the SPCA, Coffee & Donate, Adaptive Sports, Stride Bike Camp, City Mission, Reading Buddies, Weekend Backpack Program, Bottle Recycling, and more.  She has participated and been a leader for Student Senate, French Club, Unified Basketball, National Honor Society, and 3 varsity sports – Field Hockey, Lacrosse, and Nordic Skiing.  She even held a job outside of school.  On top of it all, she has been present at school…every single day of high school!  Brianna is one of just two students in the class who has perfect attendance.  She has set an incredible example of commitment for those who know her and will follow in her footsteps.     Brianna will attend SUNY Geneseo to study Biology.  Congratulations, Brianna, and we wish you a happy and successful future!

Hal Talbot

  • David Sanders is one of the most cheerful, polite, and positive people anyone will meet.  In the face of a variety of extremely difficult circumstances, David has persevered and risen above to meet success in many ways.  Throughout his personal journey and despite great adversity which might have easily caused frustration and defeat, David has achieved success without compromising his exemplary character.  Through it all, he has cared for others, been generous with those around him and found a way to turn any obstacle into something positive for his growth.  He has successfully managed all aspects of his life in and outside of school, showing maturity beyond his years and has even completed two semesters of study at community college while still in high school.  He is deeply interested in business and entrepreneurship and has taken critical steps to help him achieve his long-term goal of owning his own Subaru dealership!  There is no doubt that he will reach his goals; he is an ongoing success story and he has done it all with gracefulness and civility.  David will attend Schenectady Community College to study Business. Congratulations, David, and best wishes in your future!

Recognition of Retiring Instructional/Non Instructional Personnel:

Dan Feinberg

  • Beverly Brooks – Teacher Aide – Transportation Department

Scotia-Glenville Central School District will be losing a wonderful aide and fellow employee at the end of June. Since starting as a School Bus Aide in September of 1999 with Scotia-Glenville, Beverly Brooks has been a wonderful school bus aide. She has always jumped in to help wherever we have needed her, aiding on Special Need buses, as well as Elementary and Middle School/High School buses. We will all miss Bev very much.

Congratulations on your retirement, Beverly.  We wish you a happy and healthy future.

Colleen Benedetto

  • Carmella Caldara – Elementary Teacher – Glen-Worden Elementary School

When you think of Carmella Caldara, you think of a woman who loves her family, friends, and job.  Throughout her 30 plus years in Scotia, she has raised a family of 4 children and is now anxiously awaiting the arrival of grandchildren. When you think of Carmella, you think of a “mother hen”.  Carmella will take you under her wing and guide you in any way she can. She is always the first one to be sure you are on time and prepared for both meetings and “paperwork” deadlines. She will be the first one to offer you a hug and heartfelt advice. Her words of wisdom have helped her coworkers feel loved and supported as they navigate through the many seasons of life.  She has been a staple at Glen-Worden for over 20 years, and her first grade classroom is always filled with laughter and smiles. The Glen-Worden family will deeply miss her as she begins the journey of retirement.  It certainly won’t be the same without this Glen-Worden Bee buzzing around our Hive.

Carm — congratulations on your retirement!  We wish you a happy and healthy retirement.  We know you will enjoy spending time with your family!

Bill Pytlovany

  • Armand Canestraro – School Bus Driver – Transportation Department

Scotia-Glenville Central School District lost a wonderful driver and fellow employee the day Armand Canestraro decided to retire. Since starting with Scotia-Glenville as a Bus Driver in April of 2009, Armand has been a wonderful and beloved school bus driver. The students on his bus and their parents always praised how well he interacted with his students. He was also the Bus Garage’s resident expert on almost any subject and his internet detective skills were legendary.

Congratulations on your retirement, Armand.  You will definitely be missed.

Hal Talbot

  • Lisa Jeffreys – School Social Worker – Lincoln Elementary School

Lisa joined the Lincoln Elementary School learning community in 1988 in the role of school social worker. Throughout her 31 year tenure, Lisa continually demonstrated her sincere and strong commitment to supporting students’ social-emotional needs. She has always been an active member of each of the grade-level teams; meeting with teachers to understand the needs of students and providing teachers with effective strategies for supporting students. Lisa developed effective collaborations with parents; listening to parental concerns about their students and offering suggestions for strategies to be used at home and possible community supports that would be helpful to parents.

Lisa’s favorite part of her job was meeting with students. She would strategically schedule her students for counseling during lunch and at other times so they would not miss classroom instruction. Her office was filled with materials designed to intrigue students and help them discuss the issues that were causing barriers to learning. Once

Lisa helped students articulate the issue, she would engage students to help them identify strategies to use to help themselves feel better and be ready for instruction.

Clearly, after 31 years of helping others, Lisa has earned the time to focus on her family and herself. The entire District community gives Lisa thanks for those many years of service to students, family and staff. Although we will dearly miss Lisa, we are happy knowing that she now has the time to enjoy her family and pursue her other interests.

Congratulations, Lisa, and best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement!

Pam Carbone

  • William Lydon – School Psychologist – High School

Bill Lydon joined the Scotia-Glenville learning community as a school psychologist in September of 1992. Over his 27 year tenure, Bill has worked in most all buildings and has served in several different roles.

Bill began working with students and staff at both the High School and Junior High School. At that time, he also had the responsibility to support the students that were enrolled in BOCES programs or in private agency schools. About 8 years after beginning at the district, he accepted the position of Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education. Missing direct work with students, Bill transitioned into a part-time school psychology position at Lincoln Elementary and continued his committee work as Chair of the Committee for Preschool Special Education.  As staffing needs changed within the District, Bill accepted a transfer to the Middle School and then once again back to the High School where he currently supports students and staff as school psychologist. Along with the school psychology responsibilities, Bill currently serves as the District’s Response-to- Intervention Coordinator providing leadership and training to staff regarding academic data collection utilizing the Aimsweb Response-to-Intervention software.

Throughout his career at Scotia-Glenville, Bill has been known for his strong advocacy for students with disabilities and their families. Having worked in many roles and in many buildings, Bill has maintained relationships with students and their families from elementary school through graduation. For many years, students have profited from his skillful identification of their individual learning and social-emotional needs and his sincere interest in their success.

We all thank Bill for his 27 years of service and his willingness to bring his skills to the various positions in which he served. Although we are sure Bill will miss his daily interactions with students and families, we know he will enjoy more time with his family, and more time for fishing and being in the great outdoors. Congratulations Bill on a well-deserved retirement!

Colleen Benedetto

  • John Miller – School Bus Driver – Transportation

Our district will be losing a wonderful driver and fellow employee at the end of June. John Miller began as a Bus Driver with Scotia-Glenville in May of 1997.  John has been a wonderful, kind and beloved school bus driver. He has driven Special Needs students for much of his career with us.  Students and parents appreciate his thoughtfulness and have always complimented him on how much he cares about them.

John has also brought sunshine into all the driver’s, aide’s and office employees’ days with his quick smile and hilarious jokes. We will all miss John very much.

Congratulations on your retirement, John, and best wishes for a happy and healthy future.

Dan Feinberg

  • Gregg Petricca – Maintenance Mechanic – Buildings & Grounds

Gregg joined the district in 1980 as a substitute laborer, fresh out of High School. He was appointed as a Districtwide Senior Custodian in 1984 and then Senior Custodian at Sacandaga Elementary from 1991-2006.  In 2006 Gregg became a Maintenance Mechanic with the District and has served in that capacity ever since.  Gregg has always been a dedicated and conscientious worker.  No matter what the task – Gregg put forth his best efforts and always did an excellent job for us.  He is very knowledgeable and was a great resource to the entire Buildings & Grounds Department.  No matter what the problem was — Gregg found a solution and completed each assignment in a timely and professional manner.  He is known for his kind and helpful mannerisms, not only within the District, but with the Thomas Corners Fire Department as well, as both a volunteer fireman and EMT.   Gregg has been a member of that Department for well over 20 years and has been the Fire Chief several times, serving as First Assistant Chief at this time–hence the nickname “Chief” as his co-workers like to call him.  Gregg is always pleasant and willing to help, no matter what the situation and these traits will be truly missed by not only the Buildings & Grounds Department, but the entire District.  Gregg plans on spending some much deserved relaxation time boating at his camp at Sacandaga during his retirement, as well as continuing to be active in the Fire Department.

Gregg, we wish you a happy and healthy future! Congratulations, and enjoy your well-deserved retirement!

Dave Massaro

  • Linda Regina – Special Education Teacher – Glendaal Elementary School

Linda joined the Scotia-Glenville learning community in 1989 as a special education teacher. Linda is known for her passion for teaching and her strong commitment to have each of her students succeed. Throughout the many years, she has taught at Glendaal Elementary and has actively contributed to the development of a building culture of acceptance and inclusion.  Linda is kind, patient, and encouraging with students and holds them to appropriately high expectations. Whether teaching small groups of students in her resource room or co-teaching with a general education colleague in the larger classroom, Linda loves being with students.  When reading a piece of literature in a small group, Linda encourages her students to share their opinions and feelings about what they are reading. She always responds to what each student offers respectfully. Linda’s students have always appreciated being heard and accepted.  Linda and her contributions to the Glendaal learning community will be dearly missed. We thank Linda for all of her years of dedication to Scotia-Glenville and wish her all the best as she enters retirement. We are happy for Linda as we know she will be spending more time with her husband, children, and of course, the grandchildren.

Congratulations, Linda!  We wish you a happy and healthy retirement.

Dave Massaro

  • Marcia Smith – Elementary Teacher – Glen-Worden Elementary School

What do Twelfth Night, Literature Goes Hollywood, and Harry Potter Day have in common?

These events gave Marcia Smith — a dedicated 4th grade teacher at Glen-Worden — a chance to wear a costume. And, Marcia never missed such an opportunity, especially if it captured her students’ interest. She donned a colonial ball gown as she taught her students about Twelfth Night and the minuet. She relished dressing up as a favorite book character for her year-end Literature Goes Hollywood event, where she introduced students to great literature and encouraged them to read over the summer. And – of course – her Halloween costumes were epic!

She also collaborated regularly with her colleagues at Glen-Worden. She often said that their input and insights made her projects and teaching that much stronger for her students.

A proud graduate of Scotia-Glenville, Marcia dedicated her 22-year career to the students of Glen-Worden. During that time, she did more than prepare students for the rigors of 4th grade. She prepared them for the challenges that lay ahead of them. She set high academic expectations, letting students know that their choices and personal responsibility would help them to better reach their goals.

Marcia didn’t let obstacles slow her down. When funding for field trips dried up, Marcia found alternate sources to fund the 4th grade trip to the state capital. When she wanted an authentic Iroquois experience for her students, she had her husband, Don, collect turkey feathers from his hunting trips so students could make Iroquois Gustowehs.

She went beyond the classroom to support her students. She could often be found at soccer and football games, recitals and cub-scout activities. She loved seeing a different side of the kids and felt like part of their family.

Marcia – Thank you for the many years you’ve given to the children of our community. You have touched countless lives. Congratulations on your retirement and best wishes in your future!

Hal Talbot

  • Cheryl Urban Wessinger – Speech Language Pathologist – Senior High School

Cheryl Urban-Wessinger has worked as a speech and language therapist at Scotia-Glenville High School for the past 15 years.  Prior to coming to Scotia, Cheryl worked at St. Catherine’s for twenty two years.

During her time at the high school, Cheryl was able to join the special education teams at the high school and jumped right in with both feet.  She has worked with students of all abilities during her time here and has a truly unique approach with kids.  She has provided, of course, work with speech sounds to students at the high school, but it is her work with language that truly sets her apart from most speech therapists.  She has an incredible way of taking the curriculum and applying it to each student’s individual goal in a completely unique way.  Cheryl reaches out to other teachers and collaborates multiple times throughout each day, wanting to learn about the courses as they change, so that she can provide the kids whatever they need to be successful.   Her incredible versatility allows her to move from one class to another and adapt to the kids and environment that she is in.

Cheryl has an amazing ability to reach all kids.  She never looks at a student and sees a problem or something wrong, but instead, sees the whole child and finds a way to connect with that child in the most positive way.  Cheryl has experienced it all and brings incredible creativity and insight into the classroom.  All you have to do is mention an idea about a poem, a project, or wonder about something and Cheryl is the first one to jump up and volunteer to put it together for kids.  Most people don’t realize, but Cheryl teaches 9 out of 9 periods most days and each period is totally different from the other.  She sees different kids each period and does a different lesson with them.   She does all of this with grace and dignity for these kids and never looks for any recognition for any of the extra things she does each and every day.

She is a vital part of the special education teams at the high school and when asked by staff, it is her dedication to these teams and the people on them, they will miss most.  She allows the staff to bounce ideas off of her and talk through difficulties with the job and students.  She probably does not even realize how much the staff relies on her expertise and the support she gives them.  She provides a quiet strength to those around her and never wavers in her dedication to both staff and students in the school.

It is a truly devastating loss to our Scotia family and community to see her go, but we know that she will have a wonderful time in retirement with her husband, David, and her beloved dog Otis, as she travels to the Cape, playing games and creating amazing craft projects with her family.

We wish you a happy and healthy retirement.  Congratulations, Cheryl!

Bill Pytlovany

  • Carol M. Valentine, Teacher Aide – Transportation

Scotia-Glenville Central School District will be losing a wonderful aide and fellow employee on the 18th of June.

Since starting as a School Bus Aide in September of 2013 with Scotia-Glenville, Carol Valentine has been a blessing. She is kind and has a tremendous amount of patience.  Carol is compassionate and interested in helping students in any way possible.  Carol took it upon herself to attend training classes to further strengthen her ability to work with and connect with Special Need students. She has been a wonderful asset to the Transportation Department, developing ways to deal with and resolve the daily issues that are encountered as a Bus Aide.

Carol will be greatly missed by everyone in Transportation.

Congratulations, Carol, and best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement!

Pam Carbone

  • Jeannine Vetrano – Elementary Teacher – Sacandaga Elementary School

Ms. Vetrano has enjoyed a long and diverse teaching career — teaching students from pre-school to middle school.

Jeannine’s first teaching position in 1982 was in Virginia where she taught Art, English, and French in an all boys’ school.   From there, Jeannine moved to Colorado where she taught pre-school, went on to teach 4th grade science, and then 6th grade drama as well as 7th and 8th grade French.  She then moved back to New York State near where she grew up and taught 6th grade social studies in Johnson City.

Jeannine started her teaching career in Scotia-Glenville in 1988 —  teaching 3rd grade at Lincoln.  When Glen-Worden re-opened, she then moved there for a few years teaching 4th through 6th grade.  Jeannine then taught 6th grade at Sacandaga and then transitioned to the middle school when 6th grade was moved.  After several years at the middle school, Jeannine returned to Sac and taught transitional Kindergarten for 2 years before moving back to the upper grades.  She has mostly taught 5th grade since then, with one year of 4th grade.

Jeannine incorporates her diverse experience into her daily teaching including plays and a variety of enrichment experiences.  She first ventured into having therapy dogs about 8 years ago when Ann Comley wouldn’t let her have rats in her classroom but welcomed a therapy dog!  This has now become a great passion of Jeannine’s and she has had a therapy dog team at Sac for the past several years.  The students of all ages have greatly enjoyed their time with Sadie and Micah over the years and now Jazz.

In her retirement, Jeannine is looking forward to spending time with her two sons and daughter as well as expanding her TLC Goldens’ business with dog boarding, training, and breeding.

Jeannine – best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement.  Congratulations!

Dan Feinberg

James (Rick) Warren – English Language Arts Teacher – High School

For 30 years — as a teacher and coach — Rick Warren has worked with well over 200 different teachers, 3 District Superintendents, 3 Middle School Principals, 6 High School Principals, 5 English Department Heads, 3 Athletic Directors, 6 Head Football Coaches, over 50 assistant football coaches, and countless parents and volunteers!. He began his career in teaching in February of 1988 at Scotia Junior High School and for years he travelled between the middle school and high school. When the younger kids finally made it to ninth grade, many were made to feel comfortable by the smiling face and booming voice of “Coach” Warren.

Rick has taught almost every level and type of English class available and has acted as a coach for many a high school senior needing to get through the last long struggle to graduate. His specialty was sitting with students day after day as he pushed them to write their final projects, whether it was for his class or others. He always erred on the side of giving students one more chance, one more opportunity to succeed. His kindness, caring, and support were instrumental in those students’ successes.

Over the years, Rick has also spearheaded several innovative academic projects, including the Electric Vehicle Showcase, travelling with his film students to Albany on field trips to watch movies being filmed in the capital district, and originating the Global Alternative Energy Debate where Scotia students video conferenced with students from all over the world. But perhaps his greatest contribution to our seniors was teaching them to always question what they read and see in the media. He tried to get students to think for themselves about the messages they receive and what kind of agenda might be underneath the surface.

Congratulations and thank you, to our coach and teacher — Rick Warren!

Pam Carbone

  • Richard Wiesen – Audio Visual Technician – Districtwide

It is never easy to try and encapsulate a career that spans 31 years into a few words, but it’s all the more challenging when that person has been dedicated to such a variety of work as Rich Wiesen has.

So many people in our district would tell a different story of how Rich has helped them from his work as an Internet Technology Technician, as a B&G Safety/Security inspector, as a Data Reporting Specialist, as a Union Officer for Local 766, as a Yearbook Advisor, as a Chaperone for club trips both here and abroad, as a chaperone for games and events, as the AV Equipment Manager, and even as a Jr/Sr Prom Chaperone each year. So many would tell a different story about their many experiences with Rich – but the theme would be consistent.  That theme would be dedication to the task and commitment to people, having what they need to get the job done.  Actually, chances are good that whenever Rich shows up (and he is always on time), you will hear him say, “I just want you to have what you need so that you can get the job done,” and most of the time — he could make that happen!

Rich has worked from behind the scenes of countless significant events and he has been the lynch-pin for presentations that came off smoothly or the savior for those that started to falter due to some technical or audio visual glitch.  The first word out of anyone’s mouth when things start to look helpless is, “RICH?!”

Beyond the work that he has done, Rich is a true Tartan and a member of the team who has always cared about our students having a positive experience from each of the roles that he has played.  Rich has supported the community of Scotia Glenville and has formed strong bonds with employees across every part of our district.  He has also supported the community where he lives having volunteered as a firefighter for more than 25 years.

Helping others is the heart of who Rich is and his well-deserved retirement will leave a gap that Scotia-Glenville will not easily fill.  Congratulations, Rich!  We wish you a happy and healthy retirement!

Note: At this time, we will take a short break to congratulate our honored guests and enjoy refreshments.



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