BEDFORD, N.Y. -- The first item on the board of education’s agenda this week served to remind its members why they had volunteered for the board in the first place: recognizing the accomplishments of the students.
Wednesday night was a welcome break from budget talks as the board of education took the time to honor Fox Lane High School athletes and musicians who qualified for state competition, and the winners of academic accolades, in front of their parents, friends and coaches.
“There are only a handful of board meetings that board members really do enjoy and this is one of them,” said Susan Elion Wollin. “When we get to have the students here and the staff that work with them so closely and help guide them in their endeavors. We’re very delighted to see you all here.”
Athletic Director Beth Staropoli presented the awards for fall and winter state athletes who made it to the state competition level.
Among the honorees was Kate Burbank, an all-league, all-section and all-state girls state lacrosse player and two-sport athlete, who has been the starting varsity soccer goalie since seventh grade.
There was freshman skier Taylor Ludl, who placed third in the giant slalom at sectionals. She was all-league and all-section and represented the team at the state meet, even though she had been injured for the first six weeks of the ski season.
The state-qualifying boys freestyle relay team and state wrestlers were also honored. Staropoli took the time to recognize the wrestling coach, Joe Amuso, who is retiring after 41 years at Fox Lane as a coach and teacher.
“He is a man of integrity, honor and teaches life lessons to all of his athletes,” Staropoli said. For him, Staropoli said, it truly is all about the kids.
Coordinator of Performing Arts Dr. Paul Tooker recognized all-state singers Leigh Tooker, for qualifying for the all-state vocal jazz ensemble, and Sara Snadowksy for all-state women’s chorus.
In the academic portion of the evening, Fox Lane department coordinators honored student achievers in math and science.
Coordinator of Science Stacey Haynesworth recognized the members of the 15-member Science Olympiad A team, who received fifth place at the sectional Olympiad competition and earned 11 individual medals among the group. The team will go on to represent Fox Lane at the state level. She also remarked upon the exceptional accomplishments of two senior science research students: Kurt Wasserman and Matthew Bruck.
Finally, Coordinator of Math Michelle Grier recognized math honors students for their achievements on the American Mathematics Contest invitational exam. In the 11th and 12th grade division, J.B. Kim and Jared Pasetsky scored in the top 5 percent in the nation. The top three performers in the ninth and 10th grades were Silas Grossberndt, Jake Cohen and Benjamin Barton.