Liberty alumni return as faculty members

While most Liberty Central School District graduates return to
campus only for the occasional reunion or sporting event, some opt
for a more permanent kind of homecoming – as faculty members.

Two Liberty teachers, Elizabeth Fuentes and Kort Wheeler, are one
of many several graduates of the district. As students, these two
alumni embraced their academic excellence to achieve their
degrees; now, they embrace Liberty’s core value of community as
they help “pay it forward” to the next generation of students.

Ms. Fuentes, a math teacher, graduated from Liberty High School in
1998. Not only was she an athletic standout during her years at
Liberty, she was also a member of the band and senior class
president.

Following high school, she studied at Sacred Heart University in
Fairfield, Connecticut, and later at Dowling College in Oakdale,
New York. After a six-year stint teaching at Brentwood Union Free
School District, Ms. Fuentes decided it was time to move back to
Liberty.

“I decided to come back because I loved my time here as a student
and I had some of the best teachers,” she said. “I want my
students to walk out of this school feeling ready for the future
because I prepared them properly, the way my teachers did.”

Walking through the halls each day as a teacher, she said, is a
trip down memory lane.

The ties to Liberty are just as strong for Mr. Wheeler, who also
describes Liberty as his one true home.
Upon graduating from Liberty in 1999, he went to Sullivan County
Community College and St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York City.
He later became a professional golfer.

“After I left the golf business, I decided to become a teacher. I
dropped everything to go back to school,” he said.

As a teacher, Mr. Wheeler said his goal is to show students that
with hard work comes success. According to him, there is no
greater feeling than catching up with a student after their time
at Liberty.

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Eighth graders tour BOCES Career and Tech Expo

Earlier this month, eighth-grade students from Liberty Middle School took part in the Sullivan County BOCES Career and Tech Expo. This field trip is part of the school’s initiative to engage students in discussions about college with the hope they leave middle school motivated and looking forward to high school.

At the expo, students explored options within the Sullivan County BOCES Career & Technical Education (CTE) Program for the future. There, high school student ambassadors from Monticello and Liberty Central School District answered their questions about different trades and careers.

CTE offers high school students the opportunity to learn job skills through instruction and experience in the fields, listed below. Each program is designed to teach students the essentials for a specific career or trade while meeting industry standards. For more information about CTE, contact the CTE center at (845) 295-4152.

CTE Program Offerings
Animal Science
Auto Body
Automotive Technologies
Career Opportunities
Construction / Electrical Technology
Cosmetology
Culinary Arts, Sciences
Health Occupations / Allied Health / New Vision
Early Childhood Education
Natural Resources
Precision Machining Technology
Public Safety Services
Welding

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Liberty baseball players continue careers in college

Two Liberty baseball standouts and Liberty High School seniors Andrew
and Caleb Phillips officially announced that they plan to continue
their sports careers in college next fall at Cairn University and
Houghton University, respectively.

Andrew, ranked tenth in his class, will attend Cairn University
in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, where he plans to study elementary and
special education. Caleb, ranked twelfth in his class, will attend
Houghton College in Houghton, New York as a communications major.
Both colleges are a Division III school and ironically, are known
as “The Highlanders.”

On Jan. 25, they signed a non-binding letter of intent with
their family in the Liberty High School gymnasium to
celebrate.

“I’m excited,” Andrew said. “I feel like I will be able to make
a difference at Cairn right away. The team is currently in a
rebuilding stage and identified several needs and I’m ready to
help fill them.”

Unlike Andrew, Caleb is anticipating a different freshman
experience on the team.

“Houghton seemed like the most competitive team,” he said.
“It’s the biggest challenge and I’m excited to learn as much as I
can from them. I might be spending more games sitting on the side
observing, but the payoff will be worth it.”

The brothers attribute their love of baseball to their father,
David Phillips, a teacher at Liberty Elementary School and
baseball coach. When Andrew and Caleb were just five years old,
their dad encouraged them to participate in a tee-ball team and
they’ve been excelling in baseball ever since.

“Andrew and Caleb both played baseball all their lives,
starting with tee-ball. As children, they loved watching baseball
on television with me which grew into collecting cards and so on.
Little League got them hooked for good,” said Mr. Phillips.
“Whether coaching or assisting, I’ve been with them every step of
the way. They’ve each worked so hard to achieve their goals.”

Andrew and Caleb have been players on the Liberty High School’s
Varsity baseball team for the past three years. Andrew plays
outfield and third base and has made nine starts on the mound over
the past two seasons. Caleb also plays outfield and has pitched
nearly 30 innings off the mound in the last two years.

For the past seven years, they have both been training with the
Pro Prospects Training Center in Monticello, New York.  In
addition, they have each played nearly one hundred games with the
Northeast Pride Travel Baseball Organization over the last four
years as where they took part in tournaments all over the
northeast against top competitors.

“Both players have worked hard toward achieving their goal of playing
baseball at the college level,” Liberty Athletic Director Kurt
Buddenhagen said. “These two are very dedicated to not only the
sport, but to their grades as well. I’m very proud of them.”

In the past, Division III athletes were prohibited from participating in a signing ceremony in the same way Division I and Division II athletes were able to.

However, in January 2014, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) voted to allow Division III prospects to sign a “non-binding standardized celebratory form” which can be signed by a student athlete after they have been accepted by that college. This new form, crafted by the NCAA, now allows prospects like Andrew and Caleb to celebrate their admittance to a Division III college to continue their education while participating in collegiate athletics.

“The boys began their college searches two years ago. They’ve been through a lot e-mails, phone calls, player showcases, college clinics and campus visits before making their final choices,” said Mr. Phillips. “[My wife] Robbi and and I are just so proud of each of them and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

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LPA presents Cinderella

Liberty performing arts will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella as this year’s spring musical. The show will take place on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 in the Panebaker Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $10 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Synopsis
 

The smart and beautiful young Ella lives in the care of her
wicked, self-absorbed stepmother Madame and Madame’s two
daughters, Charlotte and Gabrielle. Ella’s only friends in the
world are the animals in the woods, “crazy Marie” and the
revolutionary student Jean-Michel. Meanwhile in another part of
the kingdom, Prince Topher is trying to find himself and learn his
place in the kingdom. When his scheming advisor Sebastian suggests
throwing a ball so the Prince could meet potential brides, Ella
and Topher’s different worlds come together. Expect the unexpected
in this clever retelling of the beloved fairytale. (taken from
Broadway.com)

Cast of Characters

Ella (Cinderella) – Kiri Milling/ Nicole Blais*
Topher (Prince) – Thomas Clark
Madame (Stepmother) – Leanna Zilles/Sunny Thomas*
Sebastian (Lord Chancellor) – Michael Fritz
Marie (Fairy Godmother) – Lana Torrens/Emily Kinne*
Gabrielle (Stepsister) – Stephanie Krom/ Sydneigh Fleischman*
Charlotte (Stepsister) – Olivia Racette/ Chloe Ricco*
Jean- Michael (Revolutionary) – Cascio Fonseca
Lord Pinkelton (Herald) – Michael Perez
Giant – Tracy Torrens/ Kaivon Cooper*
Fox – Nicole Blais
Raccoon – Sydneigh Fleischman
Footman – Emily Kinne
Coachman – Sunny Thomas
Griffin – Seth Desrochers

Ensemble (Knights, peasants, serfs, townspeople, ladies and gentlemen of the court, servants)

Emily Lutz
Abigail Simmons
Melanie Graham
Brooke Roth
Sydneigh Fleischman
Ysabel Nunez
Jessica Hewlett
Sophia Medina
Auyshi Patel
Rebecca Melnicki
Samantha Burger
Emily Kinne
Chloe Ricco
Kaivon Cooper
Seth Desrochers
McKenzie Profeta- Roman
Eboni Penn Cosentino
Isaias Ortiz Vega
George Lopez
Gabby Magie
Rory Magie
Megan Culton
Brooke Nichols
Nicole Blais
Balvina Garcia
Cheselyn Hanofee
Corrine Hellerer
Andralyn Lagattuta
Isis Wright

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LPA to present Cinderella

Liberty performing arts will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella as this year’s spring musical. The show will take place on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 in the Panebaker Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $10 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Synopsis
 

The smart and beautiful young Ella lives in the care of her
wicked, self-absorbed stepmother Madame and Madame’s two
daughters, Charlotte and Gabrielle. Ella’s only friends in the
world are the animals in the woods, “crazy Marie” and the
revolutionary student Jean-Michel. Meanwhile in another part of
the kingdom, Prince Topher is trying to find himself and learn his
place in the kingdom. When his scheming advisor Sebastian suggests
throwing a ball so the Prince could meet potential brides, Ella
and Topher’s different worlds come together. Expect the unexpected
in this clever retelling of the beloved fairytale. (taken from
Broadway.com)

Cast of Characters

Ella (Cinderella) – Kiri Milling/ Nicole Blais*
Topher (Prince) – Thomas Clark
Madame (Stepmother) – Leanna Zilles/Sunny Thomas*
Sebastian (Lord Chancellor) – Michael Fritz
Marie (Fairy Godmother) – Lana Torrens/Emily Kinne*
Gabrielle (Stepsister) – Stephanie Krom/ Sydneigh Fleischman*
Charlotte (Stepsister) – Olivia Racette/ Chloe Ricco*
Jean- Michael (Revolutionary) – Cascio Fonseca
Lord Pinkelton (Herald) – Michael Perez
Giant – Tracy Torrens/ Kaivon Cooper*
Fox – Nicole Blais
Raccoon – Sydneigh Fleischman
Footman – Emily Kinne
Coachman – Sunny Thomas
Griffin – Seth Desrochers

Ensemble (Knights, peasants, serfs, townspeople, ladies and gentlemen of the court, servants)

Emily Lutz
Abigail Simmons
Melanie Graham
Brooke Roth
Sydneigh Fleischman
Ysabel Nunez
Jessica Hewlett
Sophia Medina
Auyshi Patel
Rebecca Melnicki
Samantha Burger
Emily Kinne
Chloe Ricco
Kaivon Cooper
Seth Desrochers
McKenzie Profeta- Roman
Eboni Penn Cosentino
Isaias Ortiz Vega
George Lopez
Gabby Magie
Rory Magie
Megan Culton
Brooke Nichols
Nicole Blais
Balvina Garcia
Cheselyn Hanofee
Corrine Hellerer
Andralyn Lagattuta
Isis Wright

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Whooping cough still a serious disease

Pertussis, known more commonly as whooping cough, is a serious and
potentially fatal infection that has begun to increase among those
not vaccinated against it.

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is spread through
the air by cough. It begins with cold symptoms and a cough that
can worsen within one to two weeks. According to the New York
State Department of Health, pertussis can lead to long
hospitalizations and is particularly dangerous for infants.

Since the 1980s, the number of reported pertussis cases has
gradually increased in the United States. In 2005, more than
25,000 cases of pertussis were reported in the United States, the
highest number since 1959. In 2012, New York was ranked third
highest in the United States for pertussis. New York is not alone.
States across the country are seeing increases in pertussis.
Several factors are thought to be affecting the uptick in cases:
waning immunity, increasing numbers of unvaccinated children and
adults, and improved awareness of the resurgence of pertussis,
leading to improved reporting and diagnosis.

Pertussis can affect people at any age. Children who are too young
to be fully vaccinated and those who have not yet completed the
series of vaccines are at highest risk for severe illness.

Infants—especially those younger than six months—are most likely
to have severe symptoms if they develop pertussis. When possible,
young infants should be kept away from people with a cough.

Children who have been around someone with pertussis could become
sick, even if their shots are up to date.

Symptoms of pertussis

Pertussis symptoms usually include a long series of coughs
(“coughing fits”) followed by a whooping noise. However, older
children, adults and very young infants might not develop the
whooping sound. The cough is often worse at night and cough
medicines usually do not help alleviate it.

Other symptoms of pertussis include a slight fever, vomiting,
turning blue or difficulty breathing.

Major complications of pertussis are more common among infants and
young children and could include pneumonia, middle ear infection,
loss of appetite and sleep disturbance.

Parents who suspect their child has been in contact with someone
with pertussis should contact their family physician. Antibiotics
may prevent the child from becoming ill. If the child is already
sick, giving antibiotics early can help shorten the duration of
the illness and lessen the chances of the disease being spread to
others.

Pertussis is most dangerous in infants who are too young to be
vaccinated.

If untreated, a person can transmit pertussis from onset of
symptoms to three weeks after the onset of coughing episodes. The
period of communicability is reduced to five days after treatment
with antibiotics.

Notifying others of illness
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
if a child is diagnosed with pertussis by his or her doctor,
parents should notify the child’s school.

School nurses then call their local health departments to verify
that the student has, indeed, been diagnosed with pertussis. They
are careful not to report suspected cases, only reacting to cases
that have been formally diagnosed with a lab test.

Once doctors diagnose pertussis, they also are required to report
it to their respective county health departments. County health
departments, however, also receive notification through the New
York State

Electronic Laboratory System, to which the State Department of
Health also is connected.

Once a case has been confirmed, the child’s school alerts parents
of children who have been in contact with the affected student.
Privacy laws, however, prohibit the school from releasing any
information that would reveal the identity of the sick student.
So, letters home likely will only state from which building or
grade level the child is.
County health departments often work with the doctor to follow up
with the family to make sure the proper care is being carried out
and doing what they call “contact tracing,” which is notifying
those who might have been exposed to the disease.

School officials likely will request that parents keep their
children home from school and activities, such as sports or play
groups, until children have been on antibiotics for five days to
treat pertussis.
County health officials say notification that children may have
come in contact with a child infected with pertussis means that
parents should watch for symptoms. Visit the doctor if a child
begins exhibiting cold-like symptoms and a mild cough or fever.

Preventing pertussis with vaccinations
According to the CDC, neither vaccination nor natural infection
with pertussis guarantees lifelong protective immunity against the
disease. Because immunity decreases after five to 10 years from
the last pertussis vaccine dose, older children, adolescents and
adults are at risk of becoming infected.

However, vaccination is the best protection against the disease
and the number of cases is still far fewer than before vaccines.
The CDC recommends getting all children and adults fully
vaccinated against pertussis.

Children who are seven years of age and older can receive a
vaccine called Tdap, which may give them additional protection.

Further reading:

CDC’s pertussis homepage:

http://www.cdc.gov/Pertussis/about/index.html

Fact sheet on pertussis from the NYS Health Department:

http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/pertussis/fact_sheet.htm

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Interview with LMS teacher Mr. McGinn

Six questions in 60 seconds is the district’s new web series in
which we interview Liberty Central School District staff members.
This month’s interview is with Kyle McGinn, a science teacher at
Liberty Middle School.

1. What three traits define you?
Hardworking, kind and quiet.

2. What is your personal philosophy?
Lead by example. Whatever you want to see in others, show them and
be an example of what your expectations look like. I never ask
anything of my students that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself.

3. What would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Doing volunteer work for a year with the Student Conservation
Association in the Adirondacks. It was fulfilling to give
something back to the community. I worked alongside teachers
during the winter months and taught environmental conservation and
helped with trail maintenance, building bridges and lean-tos in
the summer. It’s what made me decide to become a teacher.

4. Who are your biggest inspirations?
My parents – neither went to college but constantly worked and
sacrificed to ensure that my brother and I would be afforded those
opportunities and better ourselves.

5. What would you tell yourself at middle school age?
If you don’t understand something, don’t be a afraid to speak up
and ask questions.

6. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I help run a heavy metal blog in my spare time and have done so on
and off since I was in college. I write numerous reviews,
frequently conduct interviews with bands, and travel to concerts.
It would be great to teach a class on all that I know in this
area!

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LHS students are preparing for March Madness

Move over sports fans, a new kind of bracket is coming to town. The Sullivan County BOCES March Book Madness has officially begun.

Madness, in the spirit of college basketball’s popular tournament known as “March Madness,” is literary competition hosted by Sullivan County BOCES where students across the county pit title against title and decide which will advance to the next round. In the end, only one will be left standing.

Several librarians worked to create a bracket of 64 of the latest and greatest young adult books and have pitted them against each other in 32 pairings.

Participants can read and vote on their favorite books throughout the tournament; and winners will advance to the next round until the final winner is crowned Sullivan County’s favorite book of 2016.

March Book Madness is open to students from all schools. Books are available in the library or online. All brackets are available on http://www.scboces.org.

For more information, students should contact their school librarian.

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LHS placed on temporary “stay put” as a precaution

On Friday, Jan. 8, Liberty High School initiated a stay put procedure at about 11:15 a.m. after the Liberty Police Department notified school officials that a student had received a text message about a shooting threat. In addition, a district wide lockout procedure was also initiated.

By 11:35 a.m., the stay put procedure in the high school was lifted, and by 11:50 a.m., the lockout was also lifted as police determined the threat was not credible.

A lockout procedure is a precautionary measure where all outside doors are locked to prevent a threat from entering the school, and a stay put procedure requires students to remain inside their classrooms.

The district takes threats very seriously and will take all measures necessary to insure the safety of our students and staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the district’s main office at 292-6171.

Posted on Categories Archive

Stay Put addresses threatening text message

On Friday, Jan. 8, Liberty High School initiated a stay put procedure at about 11:15 a.m. after the Liberty Police Department notified school officials that a student had received a text message about a shooting threat. In addition, a district wide lockout procedure was also initiated.

By 11:35 a.m., the stay put procedure in
the high school was lifted, and by 11:50 a.m., the lockout was
also lifted as police determined the threat was not credible.

A lockout procedure is a precautionary
measure where all outside doors are locked to prevent a threat
from entering the school, and a stay put procedure requires
students to remain inside their classrooms.

The district takes threats very seriously
and will take all measures necessary to insure the safety of our
students and staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please
contact the district’s main office at 292-6171.

Posted on Categories Archive

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