School district says, 'Thank you'
PINE PLAINS â€” Letters and artwork from students in the Pine Plains Central School District covered the Stissing Mountain Middle/Senior High Schoolâ€™s cafeteria last week, for the districtâ€™s reception for local volunteers, all bearing a common message: â€œThank you.â€
The Volunteer Recognition & Thank You Event was held to honor the parents and community members who have volunteered their services during the past year, as well as all the first responders, law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel and business and community members who assisted during the Nov. 10 hostage crisis last year, when middle school Principal Robert Hess was held at gunpoint for several hours.
â€œEverybody here tonight made a valuable contribution and we canâ€™t express our gratitude enough,â€ said district Superintendent Linda Kaumeyer.
Light refreshments were served at the event, which was held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5.
â€œMy view is very different from your view,â€ Hess said to the audience regarding the events on Nov. 10. He said that until recently he hadnâ€™t even looked at the media coverage of the event. â€œBut I looked at the studentsâ€™ evacuation and I couldnâ€™t be prouder of what I saw in terms of organization, structure and cooperation. This community is a great place to live and I couldnâ€™t be any prouder to work for you.â€
Most people said it was often the little things that parents did and the time they volunteered to enrich studentsâ€™ education that deserve to be recognized. From the local businesses who take on students from the special education program several days a week to the parents who routinely help teachers with field trips and in-school activities, the event was an opportunity to let everyone know that the school has not forgotten how important their contributions are. That was the message to the public from teachers, administration and members of the Board of Education alike.
â€œThere is truly an extraordinary group of people gathered here tonight,â€ said school board President Helene McQuade.
â€œVolunteers are so great because they donâ€™t think of themselves,â€ middle school teacher David DePutron said. â€œThey just think, â€˜What else can I do?â€™â€