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June 19th, 2013

Nearly $65k awarded at education ceremony

Teachers and students from throughout the Hudson Valley received nearly $65,000 in grants and scholarships at the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley’s Partnership in Education Ceremony.

POUGHKEEPSIE – 24 teachers and 11 students from public and private schools throughout the Hudson Valley received nearly $65,000 in grants and scholarships on May 30th at Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley’s 28th annual Partnership in Education Ceremony.

More than 100 educators, students, and Community Foundations volunteers and staff attended the hors d’oeuvres and dessert reception at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. Since the endowments for teaching excellence were first established in 1985, Community Foundations has distributed nearly $1,000,000 to schools in Dutchess, Ulster, Putnam and Orange counties.

"This endowment is called the Fund for Excellence in Education, and it is just that," said Tim Dean, chair of the board of trustees of Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and president of Marshall and Sterling Insurance in Poughkeepsie.

Andrea Reynolds, president and CEO of Community Foundations, said providing the Partnership in Education Funds is particularly important during such challenging economic times.

"Many Hudson Valley families are struggling to find the money for college tuition, and local school districts are being forced to trim their budgets as state and federal aid declines," Reynolds said. "The money we provide helps families and schools to bridge some of those gaps."

Over the years, the awards have grown substantially, thanks to additional funds provided by Dutchess United Teachers Council, the Taconic Independent Physicians Association and the World Affairs Council. This year a total of $28,340 – including $9,100 provided by Taconic IPA – in grants were awarded to 24 teachers in 19 public, private and parochial schools in the four-county region.

Community Foundations volunteers reviewed "blind" applications, meaning they did not know the names of the teachers or the school districts of those seeking the grants.

The funds will be used to purchase equipment and to fund a wide range of educational projects. At Arlington High School in Dutchess County , for example, a Partnership in Education grant will provide students with hands-on operation of precision balances, which are essential to success in Chemistry class. A grant to Middletown High School in Orange County will enable 200 students the means to investigate the basic physics of concussions and the possible effects on human health.

At the event, several teachers who were awarded grants in 2012 were on hand to demonstrate and explain the projects in their schools funded by Community Foundations.

Another highlight of today’s event was the awarding more than $35,000 in college scholarships to 11 high school seniors.

Scholarships were awarded to the following students:

• Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation: Kathryn Harmon, Hackley School; Erin McHugh and Sarah Santoro, John Jay Senior High School; Kerri Scrivanos, Brewster High School; Meghan Walsh, Mahopac High School; and the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation - Betty Howard Scholarship: Jamie Raccosta, John Jay Senior High School

• Stephanie Brown Memorial Scholarship: Valerie Joern, Poughkeepsie High School

• Dennis J. Markle Memorial Scholarship: Corey Heisler, Poughkeepsie High School

• Joseph H. and Mildred C. McManus Scholarship: Israel Frank, Poughkeepsie High School ; and Olivia Melilli, Mitchell College

• Patrick G. Nestler Scholarship: Melanie Noye, Roy C. Ketcham High School

Recipients of the Excellence in Education grants were: Mark Ouimet and Maribel Pregnall, Arlington High School; William Castaldi, Beacon High School; Kathy Lane and Barbara Rizzolo, Chancellor Livingston School; Jean Cook, Dutchess Day School; Anita Estes and Aleen Josephs-Clarke, Governor Clinton Elementary School; William Yager, Jr., Millbrook Middle School; Anita Merando and Evan Miklos, The Randolph School; and Paulette Maggiacomo, St. Martin de Porres Elementary School.

Winners of grants from Taconic IPA were: Cindy Binnie and Gwen Saylor, Arlington High School; Grace Johnson, John A. Coleman Catholic High School; Erin Nagel, Marlboro Middle School; Thomas Blon, Middletown High School; Christine Pizer, Poughkeepsie High School; Gregg Farris, Poughkeepsie Middle School; Laurie Malin, Rombout Middle School; Debra Neumann, Roundout Valley Central School District; Stephen Pemberton, South Middle School; and Lisa Reece, Warwick Valley High School.

Serving all of Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam counties, the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley channels much needed support to the community through grants and scholarships. The Foundation’s purpose is to connect people who care with causes that matter.

For information about charitable giving through the Community Foundation, grant programs, or to obtain a copy of the organization’s Annual Report, call the Foundation at 845-452-3077 in Dutchess and Putnam or 845-338-2535 in Ulster; send an email to or visit the website

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