Minisink Valley faculty and staff returned to school today, Sept. 1, to rejoin 12-month staff in a gathering to kick-off the 2022-23 school year.
It’s the first time everyone has gathered together in-person since August 2019, the summer preceding the start of the pandemic.
“I can’t stress enough about how fantastic it is to have all of us back here, together for the first time in a long time, to launch the new school year,” said Superintendent Brian Monahan, during the reopening assembly for all faculty and staff, adding during that time many new people joined the district to replace those who retired.
“We all are now the ‘new face’ of the Minisink Valley Central School District,” he said. “We are a collective, revitalized, energetic, invigorated, talented, wise, smart face of people. Our students and families look to us for a smile, nod, wink and a look of affirmation. Most importantly they look to us for support, guidance and success. You, the employees of this district, are this district’s greatest asset. You always have been and you always will be.”
During the gathering, employees who are beginning their 25th year of service to the district were recognized. They are:
- Michael Conklin, Intermediate School
- Rose Marie Cricchio, High School
- Chantel Crooks, Transportation
- Christopher D’Angelo, Middle School
- Heather Galloway, Pupil Personnel Services
- Kevin Gallagher, High School
- Kristine Kidney, Middle School
- Donna Kimiecik, Elementary School
- Sylvia Morais, High School
- Jennifer Olenick, Middle School
- Deborah Orrio, Middle School
- David Williams, Middle School
- Michael Zwicker, Buildings & Grounds
“If this pandemic has taught all of us working in this ever-changing education sector anything, it’s that perseverance, resiliency and a commitment to excellence always wins,” said Mr. Monahan. “We all chose to work in the education field because we want to positively impact the lives of those who are the future of this school community… this county…this state… this nation.”
Mr. Monahan spoke about how opening day is a rite of passage and reflection for many, particularly students and their families.
Those same emotions radiate for employees as well, he noted.
“I hope you reflect on how you have another new year to do tremendously rewarding, meaningful and fulfilling work,” he said. “And that despite knowing this complicated field of education is truly just that — complicated, you have the ability and the gift to make a positive difference in the lives of many young people. This community is privileged to have you educate their children. There are no finer, inspiring and talented people anywhere. I believe — actually, I know — Minisink Valley is the gold standard of educational excellence in this region and it’s because of you.”
Following the meeting, faculty and staff took part in meetings with their unions, colleagues and leadership, in addition to professional development work. K-2 students and their parents had opportunities for a “meet and greet” with their teachers today as well. Administration, faculty and staff will continue preparations for the first day of school for students tomorrow, Sept. 2, for opening day on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Also today, the Transportation Department held its first-ever “meet and greet” at the Transportation Center for interested K-5 students and students new to the district. They had an opportunity to meet their bus drivers and see the bus that would be transporting them to and from school.
To view a photo gallery, visit the district’s Facebook page.