NEWBURGH - Tom Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the Newburgh Preparatory Charter High School, received a round of applause last Wednesday as he spoke during the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new school on Broadway.
Fitzgerald, one of the school’s founders, had a vision for the youth of the community. He wanted to invest in their future, and that of Newburgh, by giving its high school dropouts new opportunities. His idea was to create a new school, with smaller classrooms, and focus on the students receiving their high school diploma.
It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but it became reality last Wednesday night as the mid-Hudson’s first and only charter school officially opened.
City of Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy, called the charter school, "Another great achievement for the City of Newburgh."
New York State Assemblyman Frank Skartados said, "Not every student will succeed in a traditional classroom environment. Some students need to work at their own pace to develop and create their own life skills."
The 60 students who will be attending Newburgh Prep will be given a second chance at getting a high school diploma, not a GED. Each student will also be given a teacher advisor to help ensure their success.
The school will have classes 209 days a year and extended hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to Principal Tanya Davis. The regular public schools have classes 180 days.
Principal Davis stated, "We can be proud of what we achieve in the Newburgh Preparatory Charter High School - in our classrooms, in our offices, and on our playing fields and stages - but our achievements are not due to complacency and satisfaction with the status quo as we have seen or experienced in the past. Our unique program will be dynamic because a staff of dedicated, aspiring men and women have a common goal – to do what is best for students in giving them another opportunity to receive a high school diploma – and are always looking for ways to achieve that goal."