By NICOLE ANTONUCCI
FONDA -- The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District Board of Education meeting Monday was the last for board President Timothy Wendell and member John Wiltey.
They will be replaced by newcomers Dennis Egelston and Michael Lewis at the reorganizational meeting July 17.
"I would like to recognize John Wiltey and Timothy Wendell, who spent 12 and 14 years serving this community," Superintendent Raymond Colucciello said. "These two guys took time from their families to make a difference. Both have been outstanding board members. We are going to miss their leadership and camaraderie."
The other board members took a moment to personally thank Wendell and Wiltey for helping the board and the community move forward.
"Their wisdom and experience has been valuable," board member Matthew Sullivan said.
Colucciello honored the two with plaques, recognizing them for their years of service.
Wendell, who has served since 1999 and chose not to run for re-election this year, said he is proud to have been part of the district, and reflected on how much the district has grown.
"At our graduations, we give out over $100,000 in scholarships. That just shows you what type of community this is and what type of district this is. That is just one thing that sticks out to me," Wendell said. "We need to take a step back and look how far we have come, and be proud."
Wiltey, who has served on the board since 2002, welcomed Lewis and Egelston, and even gave a few helpful pointers. Wiltey lost to the newcomers during the May 20 election.
"I have been at the table when we have said yes and we have said no, but we have always walked out talking. It is very important to have seven members on the same team, and do what is right for the school district," Wiltey said.
The board also honored several teachers who are retiring this year. Also receiving plaques were Joan Daley, Trisha Johnson, Michelle Spencer, Suzanne Hinkle, James Lathers, Mary Finch, Arthur Dockerty and Timothy Davis.
"The experience of our staff adds to the richness and depth of the learning experience of our students," Wendell said. "Their work in our district has helped it become the shining example of quality that our school's name is recognized for in the region. "
Wendell continued to say that the retirees carry a combined 176 years of service to the district.
"The loss of their experience next year will be felt throughout the region," he said.
In addition to those leaving the district, the board recognized others for their achievements.
Information technology coordinator William Cooper was honored for his achievements in his first year. Those achievements include upgrading technology in the district, as well as introducing new technologies, such as Google Apps, to enhance instruction and improve communication.
Teacher Laura Hayes-Bowles was recognized for organizing the Fonda-Fultonville school community night March 26. The event included a character education performance for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 8, as well as a basketball shoot-out competition, a concession stand, and a variety of informational tables. She also volunteers her time for extra-curricular activities, including the Veterans Day cleanup with the builders club, community recycling day, and more.
Several students were recognized for being student mentors and volunteering their time during study hall and lunch periods in the elementary and middle schools. Each student was assigned to a classroom, spent their time facilitating the walking club, or assisting individual students. Classroom mentors provided assistance with academics, organization and social skills.
These students included Jordan Araya, Alexis Baker, Nicole Baker, Kaylee Becker, Lydia Brown, Sophia Burak, Gianna Carbone, Keisha Carter, Shannon Cartwright, Mackenzie Dopp, Hailey Etherton, Kieran Evans, Kimberly Galusha, Katie Gray, Ahslee Jones, Paige Kosinski, Jacob LaGreca, Gabriel Lopez, Santino Montanez, Jack Mulyca, Michael Murphy, Amber Person, Joel Pettengill, Kristina Pettengill, Kaellina Poppell, Autumn Quill, Chloe Scullin, Michael Sweet, Julianna Taylor, Shyann Vannostrand, Julia Viscosi, Joslyn Warner, Shelby Wadsworth, Morgan Monk and Lindsay Krajewski.