I am honored and excited to serve as the Liberty Central School District’s new superintendent. Since joining Liberty five years ago, it has been clear to me that our Board of Education, administration, staff, students, families, and the entire Liberty community are dedicated to providing the highest quality education and best learning experience for our students.
Prior to joining Liberty, I was an assistant principal and teacher with Sullivan County BOCES. I joined Liberty’s administrative team in 2016 as assistant director of student services and in 2018 became Liberty Middle School’s assistant principal. In July 2019, I was appointed assistant superintendent.
In each role I have had the privilege of getting to know many of you, and I look forward to strengthening the District’s relationships, building new ones, and working together. Later this summer, as we prepare for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, I will be asking for your input. I’m conducting two virtual and in-person forums – to be scheduled soon – and I hope you will join me. The ultimate goals of the forums are:
- Help the Liberty Central School District prepare for the 2021-2022 school year.
- Help me gather information to support our students’ learning opportunities for the next several years.
I am alway happy to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to email me at PSullivan@LibertyK12.org or call 845-292-6990.
Dr. Patrick Sullivan
Superintendent of Schools
One of Liberty Central School District’s respected educators is hanging up his badge. After 20+ years of arriving early, staying late and greeting students and teachers with a handshake and a smile, revered Liberty’s Middle/High School Principal Jack Strassman will be leaving at the close of this school year.
A fixture in the district for 23 years, Mr. Strassman has always been a spokesperson for Liberty Pride. He bleeds red and white. His students, staff and colleagues love him, have learned from him and will miss him tremendously.
Mr. Strassman started his career in education in 1979. He worked in New York City before joining the Liberty community as elementary school principal in 1995. During his tenure at Liberty, he’s served as elementary school co-principal and middle school co-principal, middle school principal and high school principal before becoming the sole principal of the middle and high school.
Mr. Strassman is the epitome of what it means to do your job with consistency and a genuine love for a school and community. If you were to ask him what his best memories at Liberty were, you’d need to block off an entire day to listen to his stories.
In fact, his office is steeped in Liberty history from top to bottom. In his gallery of Liberty relics, he proudly displays photographs, newspaper clippings, awards and accolades, student artwork and letters, graduation programs, yearbooks, gifts and other memorabilia.
“I just remember having lots of fun and being so proud,” Mr. Strassman said as he flipped through old photos and school memorabilia, recognizing names and faces from 15+ years ago. “I think your best moments are when your school, your faculty, your staff and your students are recognized.”
Everyone remembers the teachers who inspired them to pursue greatness/ Instead, Mr. Strassman remembers the students who inspired him. He reflects often on the classes that he had the pleasure of growing with from elementary to middle to high school. Some of them he’s still quite close with and many of them he hired as teachers.
Now he’s getting ready to retire. But don’t think he’s going sit at home relaxing. Walking, hiking and catching a baseball game are among his favorite activities, but he’ll be doing much more than that. He has plans to hike the red rock canyons in Utah, sample the freshest foods in California and catch some rays in Florida.
With heavy hearts, teachers, students and their families will bid farewell to Mr. Strassman on graduation day, June 23.
Educators at Liberty are reimagining learning environments as innovative spaces for students to get creative and use their imaginations in hands-on learning projects. To that end, the districts proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year would include the creation of Makerspace
The 2018-19 proposed school budget includes funds that would create a MakerSpace – a creative workshop that contains elements found in a woodshop class, science lab, computer lab and an art room – for students in grades K-8.
For several years, there has been a national focus on education and careers related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Most recently, this focus has come to include the arts, resulting in the implementation of STEAM-based programs in the Liberty Central School District.
If the budget is approved on Tuesday, May 15, the district will create three MakerSpace labs for grades K-4, 5-6 and 7-8.
At the heart of the Makerspace movement is a culture of participatory learning. Makerspaces provide both students AND teachers with opportunities to exercise elements of participatory learning, such as:
• heightened motivation and new forms of engagement through meaningful play and experimentation;
• opportunities for creating using a variety of media, tools, and practices;
• learning that feels relevant to students’ identities and interests; and
• co-configured expertise where educators and students pool their skills and knowledge and share in the tasks of learning and teaching.
What would the MakerSpace Lab look like in each school?
The elementary MakerSpace would provide a 21st century learning environment for students with resources, to learn, create, and share. The MakerSpace would become a course for grades 2-4 students to replace the traditional computer course. Students wuld be assigned to the space maker lab one full trimester each year in grades 2-4. The lab will also be open to students during recess periods to continue project work, as needed. Materials offered would include coding kits, invention kits, literacy kits and every day items and art supplies from batteries, foil and tape to marbles, playing cards and popsicle sticks.
The District’s current library curriculum, described below, is already organized to incorporate technology and STEM strategies, concepts and activities. The items requested will further enhance this curriculum.
Mondays: (Monster Monday) Students work towards being able to find books and other library related resources for academic and aesthetic growth.
Tuesdays: (Tech Tuesday) As our school follows a 1:1 iPad model, our learning target is technology related. Students work towards finding and using reliable, vetted sources of information (i.e. reference eBooks,subject specific databases, almanacs, encyclopedias). Students also learn the importance of technology, specifically computer coding, and how it fits into everyday life.
Wednesdays: (Wonder Wednesday) Our students work towards the skill of paraphrasing. The class is exposed to and discusses a quote by a famous person (i.e. Stephen Hawking, Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou), interprets the quote in their own words, learns about the life of the person, then gives their own thoughts about said quote, in turn connecting it to the famous person’s life.
Thursdays: (Thinker Thursday) Students work on their creative problem solving skills with various STEM activities.
Fridays: (First Chapter Fridays) Students learn about specific authors and are exposed to books by that author.
Activities in MakerSpaces range from technological empowerment to peer-to-peer project-based technical training to local problem-solving to small-scale high-tech business incubation to grass-roots research. Projects being developed and produced in MakerSpaces include solar and wind-powered turbines, thin-client computers and wireless data networks, analytical instrumentation for agriculture and healthcare, custom housing, and rapid-prototyping of rapid-prototyping machines. MakerSpaces share core capabilities, so that people and projects can be shared across them. This currently includes:
- A computer-controlled laser cutter, for press-fit assembly of 3D structures from 2D parts
- A larger (4’x8’) numerically-controlled milling machine, for making furniture- (and house-) sized parts
- A signcutter, to produce printing masks, flexible circuits, and antennas
- A precision (micron resolution) milling machine to make three-dimensional molds and surface-mount circuit boards
- Programming tools for low-cost high-speed embedded processors
These would work components and materials optimized for use in the field, and are controlled with custom software for integrated design, manufacturing, and project management.
Each school’s MakerSpace would be incorporated into its curriculum, allowing every student an opportunity to take part.
On Tuesday, Feb. 6, 17 members of the Liberty Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) traveled to Tri-Valley High School for an academic competition. All of the students represented Liberty very well and the following earned the following awards:
Cascio Fonseca: first place in Public Speaking.
Ysabel Manzi: third place in Introduction to FBLA
Steven Leal: fourth place in Job Interview
Michael Cohen: fifth place in Business Calculations
Gavin Racette: fifth place in Basic Decision Making
Cascio earned the right to represent the Liberty FBLA and District 3N at the New York State FBLA Conference in Binghamton from April 11-13. Congratulations to all who competed and best of luck Cascio in Binghamton.