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February 18, 2011   


The White HousePresidents' Day
Monday, February 21, 2011

From General George Washington to Mr. Barack Obama, the Clarkstown Central School District salutes the 44 presidents who have so proudly served the United States of America. Visit the official Whitehouse website to learn more about each of our country's leaders.

Dr. Leh


Special Announcement from the Superintendent
Dr. Keller-Cogan is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Deborah Leh, assistant superintendent for student learning in Clarkstown, as the Superintendent of Schools in the Wheatland-Chili School District, a suburb of Rochester, New York. Dr. Leh has served the students and staff of the Clarkstown Community for nearly five years. In her current capacity, she has supervised fifteen schools, the program evaluation function, policy development with the Board of Education, and worked collaboratively on instructional program development.


Dr. Leh earned her doctorate from the University of Rochester. She has broad-based experience in the public schools as well as work in the private sector.


While in Clarkstown, she has been noted as a calm, caring, trustworthy, intelligent and supportive person who tirelessly works to improve instructional outcomes for students. She has interacted with hundreds of parents in an effort to support their requests and accommodate the needs of their children. Dr. Leh's position begins effective July 1, 2011. We wish to thank her sincerely for five years of stellar service to the Clarkstown community.


...And Justice for All
At the Board of Education  meeting on Tuesday, February 15, The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the following Congers Elementary School students: Scott Orser and Anetha Abraham, and Link Elementary School students: Cristobal Drougett, Daniel Keenan, Jessica Bell, Jenna Rogers, Teena Roy, Joseph Concepcion, Zekai Zheng and Ava Lederman. The Clarkstown High School North Chamber Choir and the Clarkstown High School South Troubadours sang the National Anthem and Seasons of Love, under the direction of Mr. Vincent Reina.


CCSD School Budget 2011-12

Budget Update
On Thursday, March 10, Superintendent Keller-Cogan will introduce the draft 2011-12 school budget to the Board of Education at its regular meeting. The meeting will be held in the Main Board Room at Chestnut Grove beginning at 8:00 pm.



Speech Contest Winners

Annual Modern Woodmen Speech Contest Kicks Off
Photo Left: Woodglen Elementary School Speech Contest Winners Troy Stein, Jack Welsome and Matt Lauer.


With the theme "An American Invention," orators in grades 5-8 engaged in the first round of the district's annual Modern Woodmen speech contest  The competitions were held in each of the elementary schools and Felix Festa. The top performer at each school and grade level advances to the district final at Chestnut Grove on March 21.


To participate, the competitors write and deliver three to five minute speeches on the program's annual topic. Speeches must be in the students' own words.

Contestants are judged on the following 100 point system:

  • 40 points for material organization This accounts for theme and subject adherence, structure, content, logic and color.
  • 40 points for delivery and presentation This includes voice, pronunciation, enunciation, gestures and poise.
  • 20 points for overall effectiveness This scores impression and effect.

Funding for the program is provided in entirety by a grant from the company Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Valerie-Henning Piedmonte facilitates the districtwide program.


Challenge yourself. How would your speech address the following: What is the greatest invention in United States history and why? Who is the American citizen(s) who created this great invention? How did the invention positively impact American life? And how does it continue to improve the quality of life for people?


Lakewood Pennies Add Up to Big Donation
The Lakewood Elementary Student Government representatives of grades K-5 and their advisors, Ms. Gina Leone and Ms. Pat Seeger, coordinated a schoolwide fundraising event and raised $2,273.81 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Pennies for Patients" Program. For their excellent efforts, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is awarding a plaque to Lakewood Elementary for raising donations and making a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families. Individual classes will also receive pennants.


"Bronze Pennant" for donating over $100.00
1st graders--Mrs. Bleifer
2nd graders--Mrs. Irizarry, Mrs. Mattson, and Mrs. Menz
4th graders--Mrs. Schneider and Mrs. Turselli

"Silver Pennant" for donating over $200.00
3rd graders--Mrs. Cazes

"Gold Pennant" for donating over $300.00
3rd graders--Mrs. Olori
4th graders--Mrs. Farsetta


Principal Joan Taylor and the Student Government advisors are grateful to the Student Government representatives, Lakewood students and family members, and Lakewood staff for making a difference in the lives of others.


Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts and Culture, Inc.Learning Culture Through Drum Beats
Members of the Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture, Inc. of Rockland visited Link for a PTA sponsored event. They gave a performance demonstrating some of the drumming styles from across West Africa, with the goal of showing the musical differences and diversity within just one region of the continent. The children were completely engaged with learning an African song and drumming techniques. During the performance, the students were playing their "lap" drum in sync with the Chiku Awali drummers.


Vicki Windham On Target For Grant Funds
Ms. Vicki Windman, Special Education Teacher at Clarkstown High School South, was selected for a Target Field Trip Grant. Grant winners met the challenge of arranging a trip that matches and enhances a standard in their students' education. Ms. Windham will use her $700 award to provide a tour of New York City for her classes.

Clarkstown North Dance Team
Hits the Big Time

The Clarkstown High School North Dance Team performed at the half-time show at the sold-out Nets v. Knicks basketball game on Saturday, February 12 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The dance team was competitively selected for the honor. Coached by North Counseling Department Chairperson Stacie Bolin, the team is pictured with members of the professional Nets Dancers.  
NHS Dance Team


Electronic Newsletter Team:
Writer and Editor - Maureen Sullivan
Layout and Design - Denise Farro
This newsletter is to share with you some of the exciting events and achievements in our district. 
We welcome your feedback. Comments may be sent to
View past issues of the "Electronic Newsletter" at
Clarkstown Central School District 
  62 Old Middletown Road | New City, NY  10956
  845.639.6300 |