BOE approves Superintendent’s separation agreement

On Tuesday, June 27, the Liberty Central School District Board of
Education approved a separation agreement with Superintendent of
Schools Dr. William Silver, effective June 30. The motion was
approved by a 5-3 vote.

During the meeting, the board also voted 6-1, with one abstention,
to appoint Carol Napolitano as the district’s interim superintendent effective July 1. Ms. Napolitano, who previously served as Liberty’s Assistant Superintendent from 2007 to 2016, will serve as the district’s top administrator until June 30, 2018.

“Despite various personnel-related discrepancies that we cannot
divulge publicly, the Board is grateful for Dr. Silver’s service.
He has been valuable in helping us ensure our students get the
best education possible while staying fiscally responsible, and we
wish him well in his future endeavors,” board President John
Nichols said, noting that the board’s decision to end Dr. Silver’s
contract agreement was “not taken lightly.”

Dr. Silver has been superintendent at Liberty for four and a half
years, assisting in the passage of four school budgets and one
capital project with no tax impact.

Since his arrival to Liberty, the district has produced
significant gains in academic proficiency, fiscal responsibility
and the percentage of students who are college- and career-ready.
Under his leadership, the high school’s graduation rate increased
from 70 to 78 percent.

“It goes without saying that I have enjoyed my years of service to
the Liberty Central School District,” Dr. Silver said. “While the
duties, responsibilities and projects have been enriching, it has
been the relationships and friendships I’ve built over the years
in working with the staff, our students and their families and
community members that have been the most meaningful and
rewarding.”

Agenda item details of the June 27 meeting, as well as all board
of education meetings, are available via BoardDocs.

Throughout this pending transition, the district would like to
strengthen the lines of communication between parents, staff,
students and the community. More information will be forthcoming
on our webpage and at upcoming board meetings, please call the
superintendent’s office at (845) 292-6990.

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Class of 2017 retraces steps during annual Senior Walk

Before they take on the world, they took a step back.

Before students walk across the stage to get their diplomas on June 24, they walk through the halls of their elementary and middle school. The now annual event is a reminder of how far they have come and an inspiration to the students whose graduation dates are several years in the future.

The Liberty High School Class of 2017 inspired younger generations to achieve their own graduation by walking the halls of their former elementary and middle schools on June 7.

As the seniors walked through the halls, the students got to see a visual representation of what the future holds.

The heartwarming event aimed to encourage grade schoolers to excel academically and prepare for the future.

Seniors retraced their path to graduation, thanked those who helped them along the way and inspired the remaining student body to envision the day where they too will don that red or white cap and gown.

While the seniors may have enjoyed passing out high-fives to the younger students, it was also a bittersweet trip down memory lane for some. Before they walked the hallways where they started their schooling and met their best friends one last time, they were treated to a slideshow of memories from their days at elementary students. It touched them emotionally to see some of their former teachers but also it gave them an opportunity to reflect on their 13 years of education at Liberty.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017! You will always have a home at Liberty.

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D.A.R.E. Graduation held for 5th graders

On Tuesday, June 6, Liberty Middle School fifth-graders were recognized as official Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) graduates.

School officials were particularly proud of the enormous amount of information that its students learned from instructor and School Resource Officer Devin Brust who also served as the Keynote Speaker for the occasion.

“We do more than just talk about not doing drugs,” Brust said. “We talk about self-esteem, and we encourage and motivate them. We want them to make good decisions and choices.”

Officer Brust rendered an especially encouraging message as evidenced from the rounds of applause from parents, community members, teachers, and students. His address was applicable to everyone in the audience.

Brust, who is described by staff as friendly, optimistic, respected and dedicated, is a central park of the Liberty’s D.A.R.E Program. He focused on the obstacles that the fifth graders may face.
As part of graduation, all students were required to submit an essay detailing their experiences and what they’ve learned as a result of their D.A.R.E education. Fifth-grader Alessia Lentini was chosen to read her essay aloud at the ceremony.

She expressed in her essay why she wanted to be drug and violence free, choose the right friends, and make the right choices in the future with the skills she learned in D.A.R.E.
She also received a D.A.R.E. mascot stuffed animal in appreciation for her hard work and commitment to the D.A.R.E. Program.

D.A.R.E is a comprehensive school-based drug prevention program taught by police officers to children at the Grade 5 level. The D.A.R.E. Officers partner with classroom teachers to build protective factors for children by providing information and social skills needed to live drug- and violence-free. Students are taught to use a four-step D.A.R.E decision-making model designed to help them engage in critical thinking, empowering them to make healthy choices and take charge of their lives. It provides them the skills to analyze each decision and evaluate their choices.

The program is delivered over a 10-week period, and each lesson is presented in a fun and factual way, designed to maximize student participation using an interactive workbook.

For more questions about the D.A.R.E Program, visit dare.org

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