The latest installment in the Liberty Middle School annual Author Day series was a presentation by George O’Connor on Friday, May 26.
O’Connor is the author of several picture books, including The New York Times bestseller The Olympians, a 12-part series of graphic novels about Greek mythology for young readers.
Liberty Middle School librarian Jill Parks introduced O’Connor to students, who took their places seated in the front section in the high school’s auditorium.
O’Connor told the students, “I was introduced to the Greek gods in fourth grade.” He said he was the type of student who would draw in his notebook during math class. “I spent the rest of the year studying Greek mythology. It changed everything for me.”
He showed them a drawing of his head “exploding with ideas the way Athena [god of war] was born from the head of Zeus [king of the gods].”
O’Connor projected a photo of his drawing of the cast of characters from The Olympians. Liberty students came prepared and are now well versed in their knowledge of Greek mythology.
As O’Connor pointed to each Greek god, students would shout out “Zeus,” “Ares,” “Aphrodite” or “Hera.”
Following the presentation, eight students from each grade were chosen at random to have a private lunch with O’Connor.
In addition, art-minded students were invited to spend time with O’Connor at a one-on-one art workshop.
A special event was recently held at Liberty Elementary School that stressed how important it is for a child to develop strong literacy skills at an early age.
The school hosted a Literacy Night, and both students and parents alike were invited to attend and take part in an assortment of activities intended to introduce the children to the joys of reading, and to demonstrate ways that their families can foster this.
The Literacy Night was planned in conjunction with the showing of Literacy Works’ Seussical.
The goal of the night was to enhance leaning while showing all those who participated in the evening’s activities how much fun it can be to explore through education.
To further support students to make reading a priority, every student in attendance participated in a read aloud activity (in English and Spanish) that was garnered toward his or her reading level. Each child was given a book to take home.
On Thursday, May 18, all Liberty High School held its annual academic Block L awards assembly. The purpose of the assembly is to acknowledge academic success in allsubjects at all grade levels in the high school. The list below shows the students who received awards in various categories:
Mr. Timothy Hamblin – Outstanding Music Awards
Fred Waring Award for Chorus Leanna Zilles
John Philip Sousa Band Award Leanna Zilles
Louis Armstrong Jazz Award Thomas Clark
National School Chorus Award Thomas Clark
Patrick Gilmore Director’s Award for Band Alison DeFrank
Mr. Justen Mills – Outstanding Physical Education Students
9th Grade: Nichole Connol, Aaron Cutler
10th Grade: Abrielle Milling,
Andrew Bendy, John DePaolo
11th Grade: Susan Kehrley,
Tyler Hemion, Jeremy Male
12th Grade: Jacquline Perez-Cordero,
Personal Fitness: Kassidy DeGroat,
Advanced Personal Fitness: Maria Symanski,
Mr. Brad Molusky – Outstanding Health Students
Tracy Torrens, Michael Fritz
Mrs. Kath Johansen – Outstanding Art Students
Mrs. Jennifer Bull
Photography 1 – Gabriela Nolan
Photography 2 – Maria Symanski
Photography 3 – Jade Balser
Studio Art – Andralyn LaGattuta, Morgan Roth
Advanced Studio – Kristen Brooks
Ceramics – Jade Balser
Graphic Design – Lillian Rodriguez
Graphic Design 2 – Jonathan Wilson
Drawing and Painting – Maria Symanski
Drawing and Painting 2 – Naomi Fitzgerald
Video Production – Liang Ouyang
Video Production 2 – Ariana AuClair
Mrs. Julie Buck – Outstanding Social Studies Students
Global History and Geography 9 – Nicole Blais
Global History and Geography 10 – Paul Symanski
US History and Government – Morgan Van Keuren
College US History and Government – Jordan Russo
College Intro to Political Science – Maria Symanski, Leanna Zilles
Economics – Maria Symanski
Government – Joseph Jandik
Mr. Michael Hazelnis – Outstanding Science Students
Pre-Living Environment – Hilary Ortiz-Vega
Living Environment – Harsh Patel
Earth Science – Jarod Hellerer
Forensics – Priyaben Patel
Chemistry – Paul Symanski
Physics of Toys – Carl McGuire
Physics – Joseph Jandik
AP Biology – Jordan Russo
Mr. Daniel Hart – Outstanding Business Students
Accounting – Joseph Greco
Marketing – Cindy Diaz
Business Computer Applications – Maria Symanski
Career and Financial Management – Maria Symanski
Business Law – Daniela Mercado
Business Math – Maria Symanski, Harsh Patel
Ms. Michele Quick – Outstanding Spanish Students
Spanish II – Brianna Roth
Spanish III – Sarah Kleinberger
Spanish IV – Olivia Racette
Spanish V – Tatiana Leveron Quintanilla
Mrs. Laurene McKenna – Outstanding Math Students
Pre-Algebra – Jadenn Perez
Algebra 1A – Wendy Mendoza
Algebra 1B – Kimberly Brengard
Algebra 1 – Joseph Call
Geometry – Brianna Roth
Algebra 2 – Harsh Patel
Advanced Algebra – Katharyn Conklin
Precalculus – Olivia Racette
Calculus – Leanna Zilles
Math with Financial Application – Kateryna VanName
Mr. William Fleck – Outstanding English Students
9th Grade – Leah Fitzgerald, Gavin Racette
10th Grade – Benjamin Quackenbush
11th Grade – Ted-elijah Torres
Composition I – Leanna Zilles
Effective Writing – Allegra Ramirez
Cinema – Jordan Cherepanov
Speech – Gaetano Fontana
Advanced Placement English – Daniella Mercado
On Friday, May 19, all three Liberty schools will join in one
event that celebrates student art.
The Elementary and Middle School Art Show will be hosted by the
Liberty Library (189 North Main Street) from and the Liberty High School show will hosted by the Liberty Museum (46 South Main Street) from 4-7 p.m.
Beginning at 4 p.m., students from Liberty’s National Art Honor
Society will escort groups in an Art Walk along Main Street, where
many exhibits will be on display.
A fun tradition, the Art Walk process is simple — proceed at your
own pace, stop at artwork that captures your fancy, stroll around
main street that is peppered with photographs, paintings,
sculptures and more.
Be prepared to be surprised by the wide array of artistic styles
that are represented by Liberty students, from traditional to
contemporary, from still life to impressionism and more.
Additionally, the LHS Art Department will unveil its the new
banners that will decorate both sides of Main Street. The banners
will feature student artwork and have been made possible through a
grant that the department received in April from Sullivan
The district’s elementary and middle school students
will simultaneously display their photography at their spring art show reception at the Liberty Public Library. Can’t make Friday’s event?
Artwork will be on display until June 13.
From 4-6 p.m., National Art Honor Society students will guide
small groups through Liberty, starting from the Liberty Museum and
stopping at each Art Walk attraction point.
The district’s elementary and middle school students
will simultaneously display their photography at their spring art
show reception at the Liberty Public Library
At 6:30 p.m., the Art Department will unveil its new banners
which will decorate both sides of Main Street. There will be an
auction of the full size banners.
At 7:30 p.m., the school’s art department will present student
awards, followed by the National Art Honor Society Induction at 8
On Thursday, May 18, officials from Liberty Middle School
confiscated a knife with a 2.5 inch blade from a student’s
Although there was no expressed threat, the student is facing
disciplinary consequences in accordance with the Liberty Central
School District Code of Conduct and Board of Education policies.
Out of an abundance of caution, school administrators conducted a
locker search. No additional weapons or substances of any kind
Because student safety is our highest priority, the district would
like to take this opportunity to remind parents and students about
the serious consequences of bringing any weapons or objects
resembling weapons onto school grounds.
Please be assured that we do not tolerate the possession of any
type of weapon on our campus, in accordance with Liberty Board of
Education Policy #5300.30.
When a student violates the policy, we follow strict procedures in
order to ensure the ongoing safety of students, staff members and
visitors to our campus. A student found to be in possession of a
weapon or dangerous instrument is immediately reported to law
enforcement, suspended from school and referred to a hearing with
the superintendent of schools. This process can result in
additional penalties imposed by the superintendent or the courts.
If you have any questions about Liberty safety procedures and
protocols, please contact the main office of your child’s school.
On Tuesday, May 16, voters in the liberty Central School District approved the proposed budget by a vote of 324 to 111. The proposed budget included no increase in the district’s tax levy.
The results of the Board of Education elections are shown below. Those persons elected will serve three year terms.
Robert Keith Torrens: 298 votes – Elected
Anthony R. Sinacore: 241 votes – Elected
Cindy Prince: 155 votes – Not Elected
Barbara A. Kelly: 246 votes – Elected
Marta Illiing: 205 votes – Not Elected
The LHS Interact Club co-hosted a 5K run and walk around the streets of Liberty on Sunday, May 7. The Race for Others 5k Run and Walk raised over $1000 for the Haiti Clean Water Project and the Schools To End Poverty in Vietnam. The race attracted 19 walkers and 15 runners. Winners were as follows:
1st – Luis Campos
2nd – Miguel Campos
3rd – Mike Hazelnis
12 and under running
1st – Carlos Campos
1st – Carmen Lopez Barragan
Many different organizations and individuals helped to organize and assist with the event. Volunteers from FBLA along with Mr. Dan Hart provided snacks and set up the café. Rotarians helped out with registration and at the finish line. Student Council members and their advisor ms. Celia Oset helped chalk the route, set up water tables with the help of Principal and Rotarian Jack Strassman. Interact members set up and ran the kids’ “Fun Run”. The winners were Rigo Barragan and Damaris Velazquez. The LES third grade teachers fielded a team consisting of staff, parents and students. Isaac Ayala designed the T-shirt logo with help from art teacher Kathy Johansen. Teachers Kim Heinle and Cindy Elmauer helped with the time keeping. Jack Etter was our Emcee for the event.
Legislator Aileen Gunther was the startter for the race accompanied by Liberty Mayor Ron Stabak.
FBLA Advisor Dan Hart: “I was so glad to be a part of the 5K yesterday, I really enjoyed myself and was proud of the job all the students did. Looking forward to working again on this and seeing the event grow year by year.”
Principal Jack Strassman: “It was a big success. Next year we get 100 participants!”
Interact Advisor Penny Medina: “It was great to see so many school and community clubs come together to have fun and support a great cause! I was impressed to see the 3rd grade teachers round up parents and students to participate as a ‘team’ to support the common core they are teaching! We hope we have started an annual run!”
Students in grade 9-10 have an opportunity to participate in the
Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers (TSTT) mentoring program at
Liberty Central School District.
TSTT is a career development and mentoring program that recruits and trains students for college, and later, a rewarding career in teaching. TSTT mentors these students by preparing them with effective leadership skills while still in high school.
The program is part of a school initiative that supports and
mentors students who would like to pursue a career in education.
The program’s advisor, Lisa Adrian-Davies, helps to identify,
recruit, and mentor those current students who after college may
return to Liberty classrooms as teachers and school leaders.
TSTT has received national recognition for its successful career
partnership model and was cited by former US Secretary of
Education, Richard W. Riley as “an innovative program that
embodies many of the goals and objectives for educational
excellence and should serve as a model for other regions in the
TSTT serves more than 300 high school students and over 300
college students who come from nearly 50 high schools in
Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts. According to
its website, TSTT has a proven track record places increasing the
number of minority and economically disadvantaged students on the
Additionally, TSTT students can qualify for a minimum 50 percent
tuition scholarship from its growing roster of partner colleges.
Students are requested to attain a B+ average by their senior year, volunteer for two hours a week as a tutor and volunteer for twenty hours in the summer.
TSTT program features include:
• Career Development Workshops
• Teaching with Technology Conferences
• Teacher Mentors
• Tutor Training
• Job Shadowing
• College Guidance and Visits
• SAT Preparation
• Summer Internships
• College and Career Counseling Assistance
Why join TSTT?
“There is a great need for strong and effective leadership in our
community,” Ms. Adrian-Davies said. “All students in
Liberty Central School District are emerging leaders, and TSTT can
help them develop a deeper understanding of leadership concepts
from different perspectives.”
TSTT members meet regularly in the high school and may take part
in TSTT excursions such as college visits, career and leadership
based workshops, and conferences. Soon they will begin weekly
tutoring sessions with middle school students and students who
speak English as a Second Language.
The club recently went to Ellenville High School to attend
workshops on leadership, financial planning, and conflict
resolution. It was also a great opportunity to meet like-minded
students from Sullivan County.
These future teachers are below: (front row) Ana Barragan, Destiny
Pearson, Stefanie Quintanilla; (back row) Leah Fitzgerald,
Gabriella Fontana, Maleiah Drayton, Nijah Poole, Ciara Mathis.
Students who would like to learn more about TSTT can contact Lisa
Adrian-Davies at LAdrianDavies@libertyk12.org or (845) 292-5400