Three alumni inducted into Wall of Fame

Friends, family, alumni and administration gathered June 25 to honor three recently inducted individuals to the Liberty Wall of Fame for their distinguished service and contributions upon leaving Liberty High School.

The 2016 inductees included three alumni of the district: Dr. Austin Cantor, Dr. Michael Schwartz and Mr. Melvin I. Urofsky.

The festivities began with a breakfast reception for honorees, family members and friends. For some, it was a chance to catch up with old friends and for most it was the first time visiting the district in over a decade.

Later, the crowd moved to the David E. Panebaker Auditorium Lobby, where the Wall of Fame is located, and honorees received recognition for their accomplishments, each receiving certificates from State Senator John J. Bonacic, United States Congressman Chris Gibson and State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther. Biographies, read for each inductee, outlined the history of their accomplishments and touched on the many distinguished achievements that earned them a spot in the Wall of Fame.

In his address, Dr. Cantor reflected on his time spent in Liberty and credited his teachers for his determination, drive and later, success. Dr. Cantor also spoke at the Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony, where he encouraged the graduates to bold in their approach to the challenges they will face in their lives, and to not feel less than if (or, likely when) a plan does not fall through.

“Whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change,” he said. “And that’s okay. Many, including myself, end up in career we never imagined,” noting that it is important to make flexible enough to go from “Plan A” to “Plan B” and beyond.

The Liberty Central School Wall of Fame was established in 2011 by the Liberty Board of Education as a way to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society or to the Liberty Central School District. In 2016, the criteria was changed to honor alumni who represent an extraordinary range of personal and professional achievements. It is the district’s hope that such recognition will inspire current students to their own achievement, both in high school and beyond.

Do you know a Liberty alumni worth of this honor? Nominate them! The 2017 Wall of Fame application form will be available by August.

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Liberty bids farewell to the Class of 2016

Liberty Central School District graduated its Class of 2016 in a June 25 ceremony that looked back on the graduates’ 13-year journey and celebrated the days still to come.

The 119th Commencement drew a standing-room-only crowd to Liberty High School’s Robert Van Slyke Gymnasium and included speeches from Valediction Patrick Burke, Salutatorian Jenna Blank, Liberty High School Principal Jack Strassman, Superintendent Dr. William Silver, and Liberty Board of Education President Andrew Kavleski.

In a graduation ceremony filled with school pride, words of advice, and reflection, the members of the graduating class heard a larger theme — to stay humbled in this wild world and to tackle it with thought, rationale and kindness.

In his speech, Liberty High School Principal Jack Strassman described the need to keep perspective, stay grounded and to set S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals, as one can never know what challenges will be brought to light throughout life.

Superintendent Dr. Silver noted that although we often treat commencement as the end of a journey that is not what the word actually means.

“Commencement isn’t the celebration of ending. It’s the beginning of the next phase of your life,” he said, encouraging students to measure their success by the esteem of the graduating classes’ friends, family and community.

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Commencement ceremonies stream live

Can’t make this Saturday’s graduation ceremony? Watch it live

Complete live coverage of Liberty High School’s Class of 2016
commencement ceremony will be broadcast via YouTube, barring any
technical difficulties at approximately 10 a.m.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. June 25 in  the
Liberty High School gymnasium.

To access the district’s YouTube channel, please click here.

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A note about the website outage on June 21

The Northeast Regional Information Center (NERIC), which hosts our district website, experienced an outage this morning, June 21, 2016 at approximately 8 a.m. The website was restored approximately three hours later.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as NERIC worked toward a solution.

We would like to assure you that this regional outage was due to a system equipment failure and was not the result of hacking or any sort of data breach. No student or other school district information was compromised.

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NJHS inducts new members

On June 20, Liberty Middle School hosted its National Junior Honor
Society (NJHS) Induction Ceremony in the Liberty High School
Auditorium. A large number of family and friends were on hand to
welcome the new members into the chapter.

Esteemed guests included District Superintendent Dr. William
Silver, Assistant Superintendent Mrs. Carol Napolitano, Liberty
Middle School Principal Mr. Jack Strassman and Assistant Principal
Mr. Richard Schacher.

Thirty-two members joined the 80+ current members in this
prestigious group which recognizes outstanding scholarship,
leadership, service, character, and citizenship.

NJHS Adviser Marisa Bossert hosted the event as eighth graders
Brianna Roth and Sydneigh Fleischman aced the masters of ceremony


Theevening began with the new inductees entering the auditorium to a
reading of their academic accomplishments and personal future
aspirations. The pledge was lead by eighth grader Ana Barragan.
Several current members shared the history and purpose of the
organization in the symbolic candle lighting ceremony which
highlighted the character traits that distinguish members of honor

Liberty Middle School Principal Jack Strassman officially inducted
the new members by leading them in the NJHS Oath. After signing
the NJHS member book, the new members received their honor cords,
member card and pin, and certificate from Mr. Strassman.

A reception was held for the students and their families following
the ceremony.

Congratulations to the following new inductees:

Nathaniel Conklin
Nicholas Connal
Nichole Connal
Kassidy DeGroat
Emma Dworetsky
Jessica Dworetsky
Kylie Flynn
Leah Fitzgerald
Jordan Gandulla
Balvina Garcia
Karla Garcia
Zachary Haberzettl
Cheselyn Hanofee
Corrine Hellerer
Jarod Hellerer
Charlee Henley
Gabriella Magie
Brooke Nichols
John Nolan
Ayushi Patel
Destiny Pearson
Ebony Penn Cosentino
Deija Pizarro
Stefanie Quintanilla
Nya Reebe
Jennifer Reyes
Ally Roth
Owen Siegel
Abigail Simmons
Baley Smith
Aidan Whitehead
DeAndre Wilson

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Regents approve new graduation pathway

At its June 2016 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents adopted a regulation that will allow all students statewide the opportunity to graduate with a Career Development Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential added to their high school diplomas.

In the past, the CDOS Commencement Credential was available only to students with disabilities. The credential indicates that students are ready for entry-level employment after high school and have met requirements related to employability skills and career exploration and training.

Students who earn the CDOS Commencement Credential will still need to meet current minimum academic requirements, including earning at least 22 credits and passing four Regents exams (math, science, English language arts and social studies).

In addition, students will need to meet all the requirements for the credential, which can be earned in one of two ways:

• Option 1: Several requirements fall under this option, including preparing a career plan, which includes information about a student’s strengths, career interests and goals, as well as a plan to reach those goals. Each student also must complete 216 hours of career and technical education (CTE) coursework and/or work-based learning (54 of the 216 hours must be work-based experiences) and have an employability profile that rates the student’s workplace skills. In addition, this option requires that students participate in a curriculum based on the CDOS learning standards, which include exploring career options, using academic skills (such as math) in work settings, possessing employability skills (such as the ability to work as part of a team, problem-solving skills and communications skills) and acquiring career-specific knowledge and skills to progress toward gainful employment. Learn more about the standards at

• Option 2: Fulfill the requirements for one of the nationally recognized work readiness credentials, such as the National Work Readiness Credential, the SkillsUSA Work Force Ready Employability Assessment, the National Career Readiness Certificate WorkKeys and the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems Workforce Skills Certification System. Learn more at

The credential is available beginning in June 2016 for students meeting all the requirements.

The CDOS Commencement Credential is the newest graduation “pathway” approved by the Board of Regents, complementing students’ options to choose from four other pathways: 1.) arts; 2.) humanities; 3.) biliteracy; 4.) career and technical education and 5.) science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

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Board of Regents extends special education safety net

Certain students with disabilities will be allowed to graduate  without passing all required Regents exams

During its June 2016 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents approved an emergency action that will allow certain students with disabilities to graduate with a Local Diploma after their school superintendents review their coursework and certify the students have met minimum requirements.

This new graduation pathway (dubbed “Superintendent Determination Pathway”) goes into effect on June 20, 2016. The Board of Regents estimates that 1,300 students who wouldn’t otherwise meet graduation requirements will be eligible to earn their diplomas under the new process. An additional 900 students with disabilities who are in their fifth and sixth years of high school may also qualify.

This new pathway applies to students with disabilities who:
• Currently have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and are receiving special education services;
• Have not met graduation requirements under other safety net options (i.e., the “low pass” safety net option or the “compensatory” safety net option);
• Scored at least 55 on the English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics Regents exams or successfully appealed a score of 52 to 54;
• Are unable to demonstrate their proficiency on standard state assessments due to their disabilities;
• Have earned required course credits and passed all courses required for graduation, including the Regents courses that correspond with Regents exam areas (ELA, math, social studies and science);
• Can demonstrate graduation-level proficiency of the state’s learning standards in the subject area(s) where they were unable to pass Regents exams.

In these cases, the school district superintendent will be required to conduct a review to ensure the affected students with disabilities have met the required academic standards to earn a Local Diploma under this new graduation pathway. This is an automatic process; students or parents do not have to make a formal request. School principals and superintendents must sign a document prescribed by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) commissioner that describes the evidence reviewed and the decision rendered by the superintendent and the students and their parents must receive a copy of this documentation. If a student does not meet the requirements, the documentation must note that the student can continue to attend school until the end of the school year when he/she turns 21. A copy of the form must be included in students’ academic records and submitted to NYSED no later than August 31 of the year the affected students graduate.

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Seniors receive awards during Senior Assembly

On June 13, Liberty High School honored seniors who have been
awarded scholarships from organizations and individual donors and
recognized the top 10 graduates in the class.

A list of the scholarships and recipients are below:

• George Beimler Brotherhood Award: William DePaolo
• Lowell Heffley Memorial Scholarship: Jenna Blank
• Worden Family Memorial Scholarship: Lana Torrens
• Beaverkill Foundation Award: Danielle Rabadi
• Arthur Tursi Memorial Scholarships: Conboy, McKinnley Conklin,
Grant Harman, Gillian Williams
• Young Achievers Award: McKinnley Conklin
• Congressman Gibson’s Nomination to The United States Air Force
Academy: Patrick Burke
• Certificate of Appointment to The United States Air Force
Academy: Patrick Burke
• Keep Your Dreams Scholarship: Kevin Maher
• Liberty Indian Booster Club Scholarships : Shane Black, Zachary
Cody, Kamry Conboy, McKinnley Conklin, William DePaolo, Grant
Harman, Tarik Johnson, Kevin Morgans, Gillian Williams
• Senior Stellar Student Recognition and 4-Year Referral Free
Awards: Osmar Ayala Paz, Jenna Blank, Patrick Burke, Kamry Conboy,
Joshua Costa, Esther Fitzgerald, Clarissa Fuentes, Jessica
Hewlett, Ashley Holloway, Amanda Jackson, Zoey Jackson, Bryanna
Keyes, Jeremy Knack, Irais Leon Luis, Kirianna Milling, Andrew
Philips, Caleb Philips, Danielle Rabadi, Marisa Riker, Thomas
Sarney, Lana Torrens, Gillian Williams
• Liberty Faculty Association Scholarships: Shane Black, Jenna
Blank, Devin Budd, Megan Burns, Zachary Cody, Kamry Conboy,
McKinnley Conklin, Joshua Costa, Esther Fitzgerald, Grant Harman,
Jessica Hewlett, Ashley Holloway, Amanda Jackson, Bryanna Keyes,
Kirianna Milling, Kevin Morgans, Andrew Philips, Caleb Philips,
Danielle Rabadi, Lana Torrens, Robert “Arthur” Torrens, Miyanna
Vernon, Gillian Williams
• Grahamsville Fire Department & Ladies’ Auxiliary Scholarship:
Joshua Costa
• White Sulphur Springs Fire Dept. & Ladies’ Auxiliary Award: Lana
Torrens, Robert “Arthur” Torrens
• Liberty Fire Department Scholarship: Kevin Morgans
• JC Young Hose Company John S. Nichols Memorial Scholarship:
Joshua Costa
• Liberty Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary Scholarship: Jenna
• Swan Lake Hose Company #1 Ladies’ Auxiliary Scholarship: Kyle
• Swan Lake Hose Company #1, Inc. Scholarship: Kyle Smith
• Liberty Rotary Community Service Scholarships: Jenna Blank,
Ashley Holloway, Gillian Williams
• Liberty Rotary Richard H. Fosler Memorial Scholarship: McKinnley
Conklin, Esther Fitzgerald, Danielle Rabadi
• INTERACT Senior Recognition: Patrick Burke, Nailah Dixon, Esther
Fitzgerald, Danielle Rabadi, Gillian Williams
• Liberty Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award: Lana
• Joseph Scarvalone Memorial Scholarship: Patrick Burke, Megan
Burns, Kevin Morgans
• Leon & Marjorie Siegel Music Achievement Award: Jenna Blank,
Gillian Williams
• Leonard Martello Music Scholarship: Zachary Cody, Andrew Philips
• Briker Family Music Scholarship: Marisa Riker, Andrew Monteiro
• LPA Awards: Kirianna Milling, Lana Torrens
• Liberty Christian College Scholarship: Andrew Philips
• Samuel Launer Memorial Scholarship: Irais Leon Luis
• Daniel Reed Memorial Scholarship: Kevin Morgans
• Travis M. Calkin Memorial Award: Kevin Morgans
• Frank Conklin Memorial Scholarship: Zoey Jackson, Gustavo Romero
• Neversink Roundout Antique Association Scholarship: Hayleigh
• Louis Soracco Excellence in Chemistry Award: Patrick Burke
• Mid-Hudson ASBO Scholarship: Jenna Blank
• George A. Sinacore Memorial Scholarship: Kevin Maher
• The Rose & Kiernan, Inc. Scholarship Fund: McKinnley Conklin
• Sullivan County Farm Bureau Scholarship: Hayleigh Decker
• Liberty Elks Lodge Citizenship Awards: Marisa Riker, Tarik
• Liberty Lions Club Scholarship: Lana Torrens, Andrew Philips
• Delta Kappa Gamma Tau Chapter Memorial Grants-in-Aid Award:
Jenna Blank
• Benjamin and Sylvia Heller Memorial Scholarship: Phoenix Feldman
• 2016 Professional Women of Sullivan County Scholarship: Jenna
• 2016 Recipients for Academic Excellence: Jenna Blank, Patrick
Burke, Danielle Rabadi
• Barbra Sims Memorial Scholarship: Amanda Jackson
• Lorraine Carrington Memorial Award: McKinnley Conklin
• New York Blood Center Scholarship: Lana Torrens
• Ron Francisco Memorial Scholarship: Stefanny Fuentes, Zachary
• Visual Arts Award: Jenna Blank, Phoenix Feldman, Esther
Fitzgerald, Imani Kelly, Kirianna Milling
• The Brian Ingber Memorial Scholarship: Danielle Rabadi, Lana
• Anonymous Perseverance Award: Faith Bloat
• Albert Shanker Award: Andrew Philips
• Sláinte Award in Memory of Grandma Kate McCarthy: Kamry Conboy,
Bryanna Keyes, Karisa Yoli
• Middletown Medical Healthcare Scholarship: Grant Harman
• SAANYS Region 5 Scholarship: Jenna Blank, Gillian Williams
• NYSCOPBA Statewide Scholarship Program: William DePaolo
• The Robert Langer Humanitarian Award: Esther Fitzgerald
• SCCC Presidential Scholarships: Esther Fitzgerald, Stefanny
Fuentes, Jessica Hewlett, Thomas Sarne

In addition, the top ten students of the Class of 2016 were
10. Andrew Philips: 94.66 GPA
9. Lana Torrens : 95.70 GPA
8. Gillian Williams: 95.73 GPA
7. Zachary Cody: 95.92 GPA
6. Jessica Hewlett: 95.99 GPA
5. Esther Fitzgerald: 96.23 GPA
4. McKinnley Conklin: 96.94 GPA
3. Danielle Rabadi: 97.93 GPA
2. Jenna Blank: 98.00 GPA
1. Patrick Burke: 100.02 GPA

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Seniors walk through LES and LMS to reminisce

Before Liberty High School students take on the world, they took a
step back and strolled through the halls of their elementary and
middle school on June 13.

Fully dressed in their graduation caps and gowns, the class walked
through the halls to remember their grade-school days, smile at
the teachers who helped get them to this point, and inspire
younger students to imagine the day that they, too, will don the
red and white caps and gowns.

For seniors, visiting their elementary and middle school hallways
was bittersweet. For the younger students, it helped turn a dream
into a vision.

The younger kids greeted them like heroes — and the seniors
encouraged them to never stop working hard.

The Liberty High School’s triumphant senior parade was inspired by
a viral video that featured seniors in Texas visiting younger
students in their caps and gowns.

The district hopes to make this an annual tradition.

Photos and a video are available on the district’s Facebook page.

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Reminder: important dates and dismissals to be aware of

As we wind down this school year (6 more whole days, 3 half days…but who’s counting?), there are many important dates to be aware of. Please take a moment to jot down the following award ceremonies, exam dates and early dismissals.

Monday, June 13:

12:30 p.m. – Liberty High School Senior Assembly, Liberty High School Auditorium

Tuesday, June 14 – Thursday, June 23:

Times vary – New York State Regents Exams

Friday, June 17:

12 p.m. – Dismissal for Liberty Elementary School
12:15 p.m. – Dismissal for Liberty Middle School

Monday, June 20:

9 a.m. and 1 p.m. – pre-school graduation, Liberty Elementary School Gymnasium

Tuesday, June 21:

9 a.m. – Grade 4 Moving Up Ceremony, Liberty Elementary School Gymnasium
12:30 p.m. – Grade 8 Moving Up Ceremony, Liberty High School Auditorium

Wednesday, June 22:

9 a.m. – Grade 4 Moving Up Ceremony, Liberty Elementary School Gymnasium
12 p.m. – dismissal for Liberty Elementary School
12:15 p.m. – Dismissal for Liberty Middle School

Thursday, June 23:

9 a.m. – Dismissal for Liberty Elementary School
9:15 a.m. – Dismissal for Liberty Middle School

Friday, June 24:

Conference Day (no school for students)

Saturday, June 25:

8 a.m. – Wall of Fame Reception and Ceremony, outside the Liberty High School Auditorium
10 a.m. – Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony, Liberty High School Gymnasium (seats are first come, first serve)

Monday, June 27:

Times vary – Liberty Central School District Summer Food Service Program begins

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