Seniors receive awards, scholarship at assembly

Families and friends of the class of 2024 gathered in the high school auditorium on Wednesday, June 12, for the annual Senior Assembly.

The annual event recognizes the members of the senior class and the awards and scholarships they are receiving.

The evening also featured musical performances, the presentation of the class gift, the exchange of the Senior Class Gavel from the Class of 2024 to the Class of 2025 and more

The following scholarship awards were presented:

  • Worden Family Scholarship: Lorna DeWitt
  • Beaverkill Foundation Awards: Nevaeh Davis, Sincere Warren and Cristian Vargas
  • Ed Wolff Memorial Scholarship: Julia Juron
  • Lorraine Carrington Memorial Scholarship: Zoe Kip
  • Robert Travis Service Award: Haley Gill and Brooke Hessinger
  • Sullivan County Shields Scholarship: Mia Barragan
  • STEAM Fund Music Achievement Awards in Memory of Lee and Marge Siegel: Jayla Edwards, Julia Juron and Elaina-Louise Ramirez
  • Community Foundation for Orange & Sullivan County Award and Liberty Rotary Scholarships:
    • Peter Cahalan Scholarship: Yuridia Cristino Lopez
    • LRC Community Service Award Sponsored by BLS Law, Rhulen/Loughlin Family, Foster Supply Hospitality: Elaina-Louise Ramirez
    • LRC Community Service Award Sponsored by Colonial Ramsey Funeral Home & The Misner Agency: Mia Barragan
    • LRC Community Service Award Sponsored by Kaplan Custom Cabinets & STEAM Fund at CFOS: Erin Skinner
    • LRC Richard H. Fosler Achievement Award Sponsored by Pepsi Co/Frito Lay Northeast: Jumana Abu Al Ghanam
    • LRC Community Service Award in Memory of Theresa Panny Sponsored by New Hope Community Foundation: Yuridia Cristino Lopez
    • LRC Community Service Award in memory of Carmela Starpoli Sponsored by Leadership Sullivan: Zoe Kip
    • LRC Community Service Award in memory of Bob Blank Sponsored by County Petroleum: Lorna DeWitt
    • LRC Community Service Award Sponsored by Mike Martucci: Liliana Ines Leon
    • LRC Interact Honorarium Sponsored by E.G. Kopcha & H.A. Wasserman: Jumana Abu Al Ghanam
    • LRC Member Graduate Award Sponsored by Liberty Rotary Club: Enrique Mercado
  • The Daniel Thalmann Memorial: Adam Houser and Samuel Olivares-Reyes
  • Liberty Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary Scholarship: Erin Skinner
  • PTA Scholarship: David Philips
  • Liberty Elks Lodge Citizenship Awards: Lorna DeWitt and Claudia Herzog
  • Christopher Pekny Memorial Scholarship: Jake Parks
  • Sullivan County Highway Superintendent Scholarship: Lorna DeWitt
  • Brian Ingber Memorial Scholarship: Claudia Herzog
  • Sullivan County Postmasters Association Scholarship Award: Lorna DeWitt
  • I Can and I Will Award: Noellia Cruz Cruz
  • LPA Scholarship: Nathan Desrochers
  • Music Department Scholarships: Rayanna Cottman, Jake Luna Guzman and Jayla Edwards
  • Ron Francisco Memorial Scholarship Sponsored by the Liberty Central School Phys. Ed. Department: Mya Huebsch, Enrique Mercado, Riley Totten
  • Liberty Booster Club Scholarships: Noellia Cruz Cruz, Nathan Desrochers, Zoe Kip and David Philips
  • Student Mentorship Program Awards: Mia Barragan, Yuridia Cristino Lopez, Noellia Cruz Cruz, Jake Luna Guzman, Josue Nunura Galan, Lesly Panama, Ronny Rivas, Stefany Sandoval, Benjamin Valladares and Maylluri Vinocunga Llano.
  • Liberty Faculty Association Scholarships in Memory of George Hutchinson: Celia Golden, Maria Abreu, Jumana Abu Al Ghanam, Mia Barragan, Noellia Cruz Cruz, Nathan Desrochers, Lorna DeWitt, Cara DiBartolo, Haley Gill, Claudia Herzog, Julia Juron, Zoe Kip, Aylin Leon Martinez, Josue Nunura Galan, Lesly Panama, David Philips and Erin Skinner
  • Scholarships for Academic Excellence: Jumana Abu Al Ghanam, Julia Juron, Erin Skinner and Benjamin Visconti.

The Top Ten Students of the Class of 2024 was also recognized as follows: 10. Claudia Herzog; 9. David Philips; 8. Elaina-Louise Ramirez; 7. Jayla Edwards; 6. Mia Barragan; 5. Sincere Warren; 4. Erin Skinner; 3. Julia Juron; 2. (Salutatorian) Jumana Abu Al Ghanam; 1. (Valedictorian) Benjamin Visconti.

See more photos on our social media sites.

Three recognized with Excellence in Service Awards at BOE meeting

Three more staff members were honored during the Liberty Central School Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 11. Earning Excellence in Service Awards were art teacher Kath Johansen, fifth grade teacher Kim Heinle and Elementary 1:1 teachers aide Syndey Portz.

Kath Johansen

A woman holds a certificate flanked by two men.Johansen was recognized by two staff members for going above and beyond for students.

“Not only has she worked so hard to contribute to the District Art show, she has given the life skills class a wonderful experience in art this year, “ one nominee wrote. “Kath always connects what the students are learning in science and social studies and incorporates into her art lessons. From sewing pouches for the Pony Express or making bee houses for pollinators, Kath believes that learning with one’s hands is the best. She has been an asset to the life skills class this year and we appreciate her!”

Kim Heinle

A woman holds a certificate flanked by two men.Heinle’s long term dedication to making a difference in the district set her apart.

“Mrs. Heinle epitomizes dedication, compassion and excellence in her role as an elementary educator, embodying the values and commitment that we strive to instill in our educators,” her nominator wrote. “Mrs. Heinle has been an integral part of our district for the past two decades, demonstrating unwavering passion and commitment to the education and well-being of our students.”

She fosters growth, in herself and others.

“Her intentional pursuit of diverse teaching experiences reflects her belief in the power of change and personal growth, both for herself and her students,” the nomination read. “Her approach is characterized by high expectations, flexibility, authentic relationships, and creating a supportive learning environment where students feel valued and empowered to succeed.”

“An unwavering beacon of positivity and optimism,” Heinle inspires students and colleagues, the nomination said.” Mrs. Heinle is a true facilitator, mentor and collaborator, always willing to share her knowledge and expertise with fellow educators.”

Syndey Portz

A woman holds a certificate flanked by two men.Portz’s staunch dedication to supporting “a very challenging student” led to her nomination.

“I was humbled by the way Ms. Portz demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her student in every situation,” her nomination read. “She has an admirable ability to be creative, positive, and an excellent teammate.”

And it isn’t just her work with her student.

“She creates a positive and supportive environment for every child in this building,” the nominator wrote. “Her dedication, compassion, patience, and love make her worthy of this excellence award and more.”

Each month, staff members nominate others they believe are going above and beyond, be it a single act of excellence or kindness or a continuous work ethic.

We congratulate these employees on their awards.

Liberty High School honors athletes

A man presents a helmet in a case and other items to two women.The Liberty High School Athletics Department hosted the Athletic Block “L” Awards banquet Thursday, June 6, in the high school gymnasium.

The event honors the varsity scholar-athletes who participated in Liberty sports during the 2023-24 school year.

Two people hold plaques and a clock in front of a Liberty backdropThe banquet began with remarks by Athletic Director Erin Alvord and a buffet dinner. The ceremony began with a tribute to Javon Islam, who would have been a senior this year but passed away in May 2023. His football helmet, a baseball cap with his number, and a photo, which will be displayed in the school trophy case, were presented to his family.

Before the student-athlete awards began, Alvord recognized two longtime coaches, Anne and Carpio Ramos, who are retiring. Anne coached girls soccer from 2003 to 2023, and alpine ski from 2021-24, with Carpio coaching girls soccer for 25 years, starting in 1999, and alpine ski starting in 2013.

Students stand holding certificats.

Redhawk Awards

Student recognition began with the presentation of the new Redhawk award. Students who receive the award are chosen by their coaches for often working the hardest and demonstrating great sportsmanship, teamwork, dedication and commitment.

Receiving the award were:

  • Boys Soccer: Bryan Jimbo and Luis Molina Gonzalez
  • Girls Soccer: Haylee Gomez
  • Football: Christopher Rodgers
  • Fall Cheer: Sherlyn Garzon and Shelby Clack
  • Boys Basketball: James Dworetsky and David Philips
  • Girls Basketball: Haylee Gomez and Angela Wheeler
  • Boys Indoor Track and Field: Anthony Lemus
  • Girls Indoor Track and Field: Elaina Rameriz
  • Skiing: Aiden Yaun
  • Winter Cheer: Lorena Chevalier and Soleil Ocasio Lombardi
  • Baseball: Matt McCoy
  • Softball: Brooke Hessinger, Elaina Ramirez and Alesandra Rivera
  • Girls Outdoor Track and Field: Brooke Bull and Rayanna Cottman
  • Boys Outdoor Track and Field: Nathan Desrochers and Carlos Campos-Castro
  • Girls Golf: Maria Abreu

Students stand in a group holding certificates

Scholar Athlete Awards

Seventy-six students earned scholar athlete awards, for carrying at least a 90 average while playing a sport: Quinn Allen, Endya Alvarez, Alvord Zackary, Sheyla Anguisaca-Llanos, Cristian Argenal, Josue Artiga Martinez, Mia Barragan, Jill Baumander, Shawn Bickham Jr., Zachariah Bickham, Brooke Bull, Carmela Burgio, Kevin Cando, Eyanna Castro, Phoenix Cordero, Olivia Corrigan, Rayanna Cottman, Jake Cross, Alan Cruz, Noellia Cruz Cruz, Colin Dasraj, Nevaeh Davis, Eli Desrochers, Lorna DeWitt, James Dworetsky, Jayla Edwards, Alexandra Etess, Sara Fajardo Reyes, Sydania Foster, Juanita Garcia Lopez, Haley Gill, Lia Guillerme, Peyton Hadjstylianos, Starriah Harris, Claudia Herzog, Adam Houser, Misael Juarez Perez, Julia Juron, Jacob Kelly, Madeline Kelly, Zoe Kip, Joshua Kratz, Shea-Leigh Kristiansen, Audrey Krum, Kenisha Ledoux, Gianna Lewis, Roger Lynker III, Kimberlin Malaga Gonzalez, Brenna Mangan, Melany Manzanares Orellana, Matthew McKoy, Mariely Medina Orellana, Luis Molina Gonzaliez, Owen Moore, Elizabeth Navarrete, Joseu Nunura Galan, Soleil Ocasio-Lombardi, Lesly Panama, Giselle Payton, David Philips, Adriana Ponce Agredano, Elaina-Louise Ramirez, Alesandra Rivera, Joseph Sarney, Jeremy Simon, Justin Simon, Mason Smith, Amy Szuba, Allison Vasko, Benjamin Visconti, Austin Werlau, Angela Wheeler, Cameryn Will, Aaden Woolard, Aiden Yaun and Sebastian Yupanqi.

The following awards were also presented:

Coaches Presentations

Boys Soccer

  • Defensive Players of the Year: Benjamin Visconti and Carlos Campos-Castro
  • Most Improved: James Dworetsky

Girls Soccer

  • Most Valuable Player: Noellia Cruz
  • Outstanding Offensive Player: Angela Wheeler
  • Outstanding Defensive Player: Brenna Mangan
  • Most Improved Player: Elizabeth Navarrete


  • Offensive Most Valuable Player: Enrique Mercado
  • Defensive Most Valuable Player: Jameel McCline
  • Most Valuable Player: Enrique Mercado
  • John O’Hearn Most Improved Player: Aydan Wilson
  • 2023 Coach’s Award: Joshua Kratz

Cross Country

  • Most Outstanding Runner: Colin Dasraj


  • Most Valuable Offensive Player: Aaliyah Williams
  • Most Valuable Defensive Player: Kayla Samuel
  • Coach’s Awards: Mya Huebsch, Claudia Herzog and Mykenzi Williams

Fall Game Day Cheer

  • Most Valuable Cheerleader: Heidi Brown
  • Coach’s Award: Haley Gill
  • Most Improved Cheerleader: Endya Alvarez

Boys Basketball

  • Ivan Richards MVP Award: Riley Totten
  • Most Improved Player: Jeremy Simon
  • Offensive Player of the Year: Riley Totten
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Enrique Mercado


  • Most Valuable Wrestlers: Shawn Bickham Jr. and Zoe Kip
  • Coach’s Awards: Adam Houser and Tarek Benadim
  • Rookie of the Year: Zachariah Bickham

Boys Indoor Track and Field

  • Most Outstanding Field Event Award: Nathan Desrochers
  • Most Outstanding Runner: Carlos Campos
  • Most Improved: Joseph Sarney

Girls Indoor Track and Field

  • Most Outstanding Runner: Sydania Foster
  • Most Improved: Rayanna Cottman
  • Most Outstanding Novice: Brooke Bull

Alpine Ski

  • Most Valuable Skiers: Hudson Danzilo and Brenna Mangan
  • Most Improved Skiers: Jake Cross and Cameryn Will
  • Coach’s Award: Aiden Yaun

Girls Basketball

  • Ivan Richards Most Valuable Player: Destiny Loyce
  • Most Improved Player: Julissa Velez
  • Sportsmanship Award: Mya Huebsch

Winter Game Day Cheer

  • Most Improved Cheerleader: Alesandra Rivera
  • Most Valuable Cheerleader: Melany Manzanares Orellana
  • Coach’s Award: Elyanna Ocasio-Lombardi


  • Defensive Player of the Year: James Dworestky
  • Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Simon
  • Coach’s Awards: Zack Alvord and Aidan Yaun


  • Most Improved Player: Mya Huebsch
  • Outstanding Offensive Players: Quinn Allen and Aaliyah Williams
  • Outstanding Defensive Player: Nevaeh Davis
  • Coach’s Award: Olivia Dworetsky

Boys Outdoor Track and Field

  • Most Outstanding Novice: Roger Lynker
  • Most Outstanding Track Athletes: Christopher Rodgers and Joseph Sarney
  • Most Outstanding Field Athletes: Joshua Kratz and Zachariah Bickham
  • Most Improved: Alan Cruz and Kevin Leon Gavilan

Girls Outdoor Track and Field

  • Most Outstanding Track Athlete: Sydania Foster
  • Most Improved: Jill Baumander
  • Most Outstanding Novices: Starriah Harris and Adriana Ponce Agredano

Boys Tennis

  • Most Valuable Player: Josue Nunura
  • Most Improved Player: Misael Juarez Perez
  • Coach’s Award: Sebastian Yupanqui

Boys Golf

  • Coaches Award: Jeremy Simon
  • Most Improved Golfer: Owen Moore

Girls Golf

  • Coach’s Award: Mia Barragan
  • Most Improved Golfer: Elizabeth Cruz Cruz

Five students, four holding plaques, stand in tront of the Liberty backdrop.

Special Recognition Awards

Ross Awards

  • Boys Soccer Scholar Athlete: Ben Visconti
  • Girls Soccer Scholar Athlete: Elaina-Louise Ramirez

Rattner award

  • Boys Basketball Scholar Athlete: David Philips
  • Girls Basketball Scholar Athlete: Kenisha Ledoux

Goodstein Award

  • Wrestling Perseverance: Manuel Lopez

Kavleski Award

  • Boys Track and Field Scholar Athlete: Phoenix Cordero
  • Girls Track and Field Scholar Athlete: Jill Baumander

Fred Planica Award

  • Most Improved Baseball Player: James Fancher

Buchal Awards

  • 2024 Most Valuable Baseball Player: David Philips
  • 2024 Most Valuable Softball Player: Angela Wheeler

Six students pose with awards in front of the Liberty backdrop

Senior Presentations

  • Elizabeth “Betty” Totten Sportsmanship Awards: Riley Totten and Noellia Cruz Cruz
  • Liberty Rotary Club Perseverance Awards: David Philips and Aaliyah Williams
  • Tom Kelly Award Outstanding Senior Athletes: Enrique Mercado and Mya Huebsch

Seniors pose for a photo in front of a backdrop.

Congratulations to all of our 2023-24 student-athletes, and best of luck in the future to the Class of 2024

More photos can be seen on our social media pages.

Special meeting of LCSD BOE to be June 18

There will be a Special Meeting of the Board of Education at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at 4:30 p.m. in the District Office at 115 Buckley St. in Liberty.  There will be no regular business other than the board’s consideration of agenda items for approval.  The agenda will be available at  Board Docs on June 17, 2024.

The next regular Board of Education meeting will be on Monday, July 8, 2024, in the High School Media Center following the 6 p.m. Organizational Meeting.

LES students look to the future at career fair

Students at Liberty Elementary once again had the opportunity to think about their future career and work options in a job fair-like setting in the gymnasium on Monday, June 3.

LES parents volunteered their time at a recruitment table to share the details and skills required in their professions. Parents volunteered from many different career areas, including teachers, salon owners, employment recruitment specialists, business managers, game developers, health inspectors, and our very own Dr. Patrick Sullivan shared his experiences as a superintendent of schools.

An adult gives students  3-d printed figures to look at Students rotated through the career fair with prepared questions they created in their classrooms. Following the event, students returned to their classrooms to answer self-reflecting questions about their experiences at the career event. They were asked to think about and plan  what skills and goals they might want to develop to be ready for their chosen future careers. This point for self reflection helps students begin to separate fantasy from what might be tentative, and, in the years ahead, ultimately realistic. As elementary students ascend into middle school, they begin to think about career choices based on information available to them relative to their interests, skills and values.

“For now, we want our elementary students to dream and fantasize about their career possibilities and believe there are no boundaries to what is possible, if they are willing to set measurable goals and work hard to track their own progress toward success,” LES Principal Robert England said.

More photos can be found on our social media pages.

Liberty library to host summer events for kids

The Liberty Public Library is planning a series of free programs for children and their families this summer, with the theme of “Adventure Begins at Your Library.”

Two family shows will be offered the first Tuesday of July and August.

“Dino-Hunter Safari” will take place at 6:30 p.m. July 2, with Professor Livingpebble. Kids will get in touch with their inner T-Rex and embody reptiles big and small, while enjoying comic antics, including magic, bubble play, sound effects and props.

A Live Animal Show will be featured at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6. Families will have a chance to learn about and see animals such as snakes, ferrets, hedgehogs and chinchillas.

For students in Grades K-4 craft days will be offered  at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays in July . On July 9, 16, 23 and 30 students accompanied by an adult will have a chance to make a different craft each week, including sand art pictures,  outer space sun catchers, telescopes and upcycled wind chimes.

Elementary-age students will also have a chance to read to earn prizes July 2 to Aug. 6. Registration is for the Summer Reading program will be done through the library, with reading logs to be returned by each Tuesday to pick a prize and get chances to win a bigger prize weekly. Prizes will be on display at the Library.

Lego Club will be held at 11 a.m. four days in July—Friday July 5 and 19, and Saturday, July 13 and 27. Students, accompanied by an adult, will have a chance to work on a Lego challenge at the Library on those days.

There will also be events for infants and preschoolers.

Summer Story time will be offered 11 a.m. Wednesdays, June 26-Aug. 7, with stories, songs, crafts and games aimed to have fun and grow early literacy building skills.

Movement and Music will be held at 11 a.m. Mondays, July 8-29, where participants will make music, learn songs, dance and make a musical craft.

The library is at 189 N. Main St. in front of Liberty Elementary School. For more information, call 845-292-6070 or visit www.libertypubliclibrary. org.

Liberty unveils new logos

Liberty Redhawk badge logoAbout a year after deciding on a new mascot for Liberty Central School District, the district has finalized a new Redhawks logo.

The design process began in November, with the district working with Gilday Creative to come up with the initial designs. The designs were brought back to the district’s student liaison teams in all three schools for input. After several rounds of redesign and student input, two basic mascot designs were created: one with a redhawk in flight and another featuring the head of the redhawk in a badge form. Versions of each have been created with the words “Liberty Redhawks” and “Redhawks” included in the designs.

“This truly was a student-led design process,” Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sullivan said. “I appreciate the work and thoughtfulness our student leaders put into the process  to create the imagery that will represent Liberty Central School District and our Redhawks into the future.”

Following a mandate from New York State in November 2022, Liberty was required to move to discontinue the use of its Native American mascot and logo. Following a vote by the public in May 2023, the Board of Education approved the use of Redhawks mascot in June 2023.

The district had unveiled new logos in October, but they were discontinued over any potential legal issues that may have arisen from their use.

The new design will begin being put in use over the next several weeks.

Library plans summer events for teens

Liberty Public Library will host a series of events for teens from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays in July.

  • On July 1, teen will have a chance to create art with bubble painting.
  • “Minute to Win It” games, such as cup stacking, cup tango, take a knee and more, will be offered July 8.
  • On July 15, teens will be able to create string art, using string or yarn and upcycled materials.
  • July 22 will be “Game Afternoon” where teens can play board games, card games and word games.
  • The final event will be July 29, where students can make a “Flextangle” part creative doodling and part fidget.

Snack will be provided at all events.

Students will also have a chance to win an Amazon gift card by stopping at the front desk to get a reading log to record books read this summer. Each book will be an entry to win the gift card. All who participate will receive a prize when completed sheets are turned in.

The library is at 189 N. Main St. in Liberty in front of the Liberty Elementary School. For more information, call 845-292-6070 or visit

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