BOE Honors Top Ten Students, Retiring Faculty - Beck, Snow Bid Farewell

The Pawling Central School District Board of Education convened on Monday, June 18, at Pawling Middle School for their final meeting with classes still in session. The meeting would serve to honor the Top Ten students from Pawling High School Class of 2018, as well as recognize several retiring and newly tenured faculty members from across the district. The evening would also be the last session for outgoing Board members Coleen Snow and Marilyn Beck.

The Top Ten Students of the Pawling High School Class of 2018. Left to right: Elizabeth Barrick (Valedictorian), Abigail Reid (Salutatorian), Kelly Koerner, Emma Martin, Olivia Zoeller, Cameron Walters, Martha Topolnitski, and Filomena Gentile - PHOTO BY LAURIE SPENS

To open the meeting, the Board of Education recognized the academic achievements of the PHS graduating students with the highest academic averages. They are as follows, with the college they plan to attend in the fall: Elizabeth Barrick, Valedictorian (Washington University in St. Louis); Abigail Reid, Salutatorian (Cornell University); Kelly Koerner (Bentley University); Emma Martin (University of Rhode Island); Olivia Zoeller (Clarkson University); Alex Badia (Marist College); Cameron Walters (Clemson University); James Bellucci (United States Military Academy); Martha Topolnitski (North Carolina State University); and Filomena Gentile (George Washington University).

Following the presentation of the Top Ten, the Board honored a number of staff members retiring from the district. Retiring staff this year include Pawling Middle School Principal Allan Lipsky; Phyllis Chadwick (High School Art Teacher); Sally McGrath (Third Grade Teacher); Debra Como (Fourth Grade Teacher); Debra Muroski (Teaching Assistant); June Lagan (Physical Education Teacher); Jeanne Hudson (Reading Teacher); Karen Strang (English Language Arts Teacher); John Boice (Head Mechanic); Lynne Wilcox (Guidance Aide); Nina Glover (Teacher Aide); Mary Ann Pedota (Senior Stenographer); and Sharon Turner (Guidance Aide).

The Board also recognized two faculty members who have been awarded tenure – science teacher Ean Titus and mathematics teacher Kerry Weltmen.

In concluding business, the Board of Education bid farewell to outgoing BOE members Marilyn Beck and Coleen Snow, President, after years of dedicated service to the Pawling Central School District. “I want to thank all of you for the past six years,” said Snow in a statement to her fellow Board members. “When you come onto the Board, there are certain things you hope to do. I’m proud to say, that as a team, we achieved those goals. I wanted to have welcoming Board meetings where people were listened to and treated with mutual respect. We have that now. This comes from everyone who works here, the teachers, and administrators and the Board.”

These sentiments were echoed by Marilyn Beck, who will also be leaving the Board of Education after six years of service. “When I tell people how I love my Board and our administration, they ask “where do you live?” recounted Beck. “This has been a really cohesive group. You can’t even compare to what it was like six years ago, there’s just so much positive energy now.” Coleen Snow and Marilyn Beck will be succeeded by incoming Board members Karen Burka and Deborah Klein for the upcoming school year.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, July 2, at 6:30 p.m. at Pawling Middle School, 80 Wagner Drive.