Town of Schodack

National Honor Society Fund Raiser
National Honor Society is holding a fundraiser through Five Guys next Thursday, April 1, from 2:30-7:30 p.m.!
Please present this flyer to the cashier upon ordering - 20% of sales will be donated to Maple Hill.


COVID-19 UPDATES-April 24th Restrictions, Closing and Cancellations

Who has a Kienzle pen? Raise your hand!🙋‍♀️
An inspiring man, an amazing mind, a childlike enthusiasm, a gentle soul.
“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

 KIENZLE, JOHN F. Nassau – John F. Kienzle, 75 

Obituary of John Kienzle | Ray Funeral Service Inc.

TJA Clean Engergy Solar Farms on Paul Road

Watch the October 10,2019 Board meeting HERE!

*please note all of the empty seats

Also, listen to the big news about our little library!

Questar III moves classes to Maple Hill Middle School
Sep 23, 2019 | Questar III BOCES, Special Education

Students in some of Questar III’s special education programs started the new school year in a new building.
After leasing classroom space at Goff Middle School in East Greenbush, two classrooms have moved to
Maple Hill Middle School in Schodack following the district’s reorganization.
Questar III already had three classes located there, and this is the first of two phases of 

creating a new educational setting for students best served in a smaller environment.

Schodack group believes blasting issue key to appeal of Amazon suit
By Larry Rulison Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The neighbors in Schodack who live next to the Amazon warehouse construction site on Route 9 believe that their recent success in stopping rock blasting there by a contractor may help their efforts to try and force the town to undertake a more thorough environmental review of the $100 million

Schodack Planning and Development Association
We are a not-for-profit group dedicated to responsible growth and the town’s natural resources such as the Aquifer. Visit our website.

July 18, 2019 08:02 AM

SCHODACK- Police are engaged in a stand-off in Rensselaer County.

They received a call sometime after 5 p.m. on Wednesday night and responded to the scene near Schodack-Nassau Road.   

New York State Police have closed off Schodack-Nassau Road in both directions.

Police have been moving equipment from a staging area about a mile away. New York State Police also have a SWAT team assembled.

Police have pushed back neighbors and local media from the scene. 
NewsChannel 13’s John Craig has reported that he can hear shouting and a bull-horn coming from the scene.

Developer buys land for Amazon in Schodack and groundwork begins

Did you know  Schodack Meetings are Streamed LIVE?

Town Board meeting for March 28, 2019

Town Board Meeting June 13, 2019

Planning Board Meeting June 3, 2019

REVISED ON JANUARY 22, 2019 - 3:50PM

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Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 7:00pm
Related Event:
Town Board Meeting

Schodack Supervisor’s Report for February 2019 

Town Board Meeting January 10, 2019 

REVISED ON JANUARY 9, 2019 - 12:36PM

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Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 7:00pm

Schodack Planing Board 9-17-18 THEREFORE, PLEASE TAKE NOTICE AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Planning Board of the Town of Schodack has GRANTED the Application for Site Plan Approval to allow the construction of a Solar Farm on the subject property as proposed in the application with the aforementioned conditions and restrictions and also conditioned upon the Applicant satisfying the outstanding issues identified in the aforementioned letter by the following vote: NAME YES NO ABSTAIN AUBIN X D’ANGELO X JOHNSON X LAVOIE X MAYRER X PUCCIO X SHAUGHNESSY X 
Dated: September 17, 2018
Town Board 2018 Meeting Dates:
Regular meetings of the Town Board will generally be held at 7:00 pm on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, at the Schodack Town Hall at 265 Schuurman Road unless otherwise duly noticed


Public Hearing Minutes

Supervisor's June report indicates that These are available for public view during normal business hours at the Town Hall on the third floor. I encourage anyone who would like to see them to do so. We have strived to share any information we received with our residents and will continue to do so.
Read it here...
The Reformed Dutch Church of Schodack at Muitzeskill will hold its annual Mini-Market and Chicken Barbeque on Saturday, August 11th. If you would like to donate items for the Mini-Market, call 732-2471, to make arrangements for drop off of items.

PLEASE, NO clothing, stuffed animals, large appliances (including air conditioners), stuffed furniture, fitness machines or outdated electronics of ANY kind, will be accepted. Also, please do not donate items that are broken. Thank you.

Amazon eyeing Schodack land for distribution center
After months of remaining tight-lipped, representative reveals tenant

By Larry Rulison and Amanda Fries
Updated 8:38 am, Tuesday, June 19, 2018 Schodack
After months with town officials and developers remaining tight-lipped on who would fill a 1 million-square-foot distribution center, Amazon was identified as the tenant Monday evening.
The revelation came during a Schodack Town Planning Board meeting where tenant representative Eric Murray confirmed Amazon is working with Scannell Properties - the Indiana developer of the project-to build a 1,015,740-square-foot space for a fulfillment center on 116 acres between Interstate 90 and Route 9. 

It just so happens that many Amazon fulfillment centers built in recent years around the northeastern U.S. and in other states were built to that exact same specification: 1,015,740 square feet.
Amazon's fulfillment centers across the country have sprung up in similar fashion, with a developer proposing to build a 1- million-square-foot distribution center with an unknown tenant. Tax breaks are often sought as well, and the designs are similar in nature to the Schodack building designs produced by Scannell.

The Schodack project is already lined up with tax breaks through Rensselaer County and potentially New York state.
When contacted to inquire about the square footage of the project and how it matched up perfectly with other Amazon distribution centers, Scannell Properties spokeswoman Andrea Martone told the Times Union: "It's too premature in the process to comment. They just don't want us to comment."a

Murray's admission of representing Amazon as the tenant for the distribution center was met with applause from the crowd that packed Schodack Town Hall, but it did little alleviate the concerns nearby residents have.

Amazon could fill proposed mystery warehouse in Schodack

We now know a little more about what could fill a proposed building in Schodack.
Town officials announced that an Amazon Fulfillment Center could fill this proposed million square foot building just off of Route 9.

The mystery is finally revealed but there are still mixed feelings.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," John Schmidt, a Schodack resident, said.
“Knowledge is power."

Town Supervisor David Harris says a client of this caliber would be good for Schodack.
"I think it's going to be a good boost for the infrastructure that we're trying to get into the town."

People living nearby like Schmidt still aren't convinced.

"I'm an Amazon member of Amazon Prime. I love the company, I love the service. Unfortunately, I just don't want to live in their backyard."
Large distribution center proposal in Schodack angers residents
By Amanda Fries   Updated 7:46 am, Tuesday, April 3, 2018

SCHODACK - Town residents want Schodack officials to put the brakes on a plan for a million-plus-square-foot distribution center that between Interstate 90 and Route 9, expressing fear that heavy truck traffic would alter their residential neighborhoods.

Indiana-based real estate developer Scannell Properties on Monday presented plans to turn a 116-acre site, located off Hillcrest Avenue, into a warehouse with parking for more than 1,200 workers, 366 tractor-trailers and 93 loading docks.

With two children, 10 and 8 years old, Northcrest Road resident Heather Brehm worries about what buffer will be erected to protect her neighborhood from the hundreds of trucks that will park just a few hundred feet from her home.

Brehm built a ranch home with her husband about 10 years ago, but has lived on the road for 20 years.

“I’m not opposed to business, but when you’re going to bring tractor trailer into a residential neighborhood, that doesn’t fit,” she said. “If you want to bring in a normal 9-5 business, I can understand.”

Regular meetings of the Town Board will generally be held at 7:00 pm on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, at the Schodack Town Hall at 265 Schuurman Road unless otherwise duly noticed, as follows:

Town Board 2018 Meeting Dates:

January 11
January 25
February 8
February 22-NO MEETING
March 8
March 22
April 12
April 26
May 10
May 24
June 7
June 21
July 12
August 9
August 23
September 13
September 27
October 11
October 25
November 8
December 13
December 27 @ 6:00 pm/Close of Business

Schodack candidate forum Nov. 1

Schodack Planning & Development Association (SPDA) will host a public forum on Wednesday, November 1 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Maple Hill High School for all candidates for elected positions in the Schodack town government.

The public is invited to come, meet the candidates, and participate in the question and answer format forum.

“Please bring your questions to the candidates for Supervisor, Town Board, and Town Clerk,” said Barbara Spink, SPDA. “Election Day is November 7 – please vote in our local elections.”
The forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County, the Maple Hill High School Participation-in-Government students, and SPDA. More information at:

Food Truck Festival

Breezy beautiful day at the Schodack Landing Fire department.

Check out some photos here.

Maple Hill High School was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School!

Maple Hill High School was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 28, the only school in the Capital Region to receive the honor. This recognition was awarded to 342 schools throughout the country and only 19 schools in New York State.
"This award is a great honor and a credit to the hard work and talent of our dedicated faculty, staff, and administration who work tirelessly on behalf of the students of our community. Without the support of parents, the Board of Education, and our community partners this achievement would not be possible. National Blue Ribbon recognition is a reflection of our community's commitment to our schools and the priority it places on the value of education. We also would like to thank the New York State Education Department for nominating our school for this prestigious award, it is a true honor," said Superintendent Jason Chevrier. 


SchodackPlanning andDevelopmentAssociation

We are a non-profit group dedicated to responsible growth and the town’s natural resources such as the Aquifer.
We meet every second Wednesday of the month (excluding July and August) at the Nassau Free Library, Nassau, NY, lower level, 6:30 PM.
We welcome new members.

For June we will party at the Schodack Town Park on June 14th at 5:30 to dusk. New members and spouses welcome.


Schodack's new Super!
The Board of Education on March 8 named Jason Chevrier the next school superintendent.

"I am truly honored to be selected Superintendent of Schodack Central School District. We have such talented faculty and staff who take good care of our kids. We've got a wonderful community that is so supportive of our schools. I look forward to continuing to help make sure our students have the best education possible," said Mr. Chevrier.

The Board expects to appoint Mr. Chevrier at its March 23 meeting, contingent on the finalization of a contract. He is expected to start July 1.

"Jason is very articulate and knowledgeable about education, particularly in the area of curriculum. He is also very enthusiastic, especially when it comes to students," said Board President Michael Hiser. "His time at Castleton Elementary School brought him into contact with nearly every student in our district."

Mr. Chevrier will succeed Lee Bordick, who has served the past year as interim superintendent following the death of Superintendent Bob Horan on July 4, 2016.

"Working so closely with Bob for 11 years, he was a friend but also an inspiration and I learned a lot from his leadership. His personality, his energy, his innovation, his passion for education, and his love for family, those are pieces of Bob that I will hold on to, to cherish, and take with me as I move forward into this role," said Mr. Chevrier.
Read more…

Pair of Maple Hill bowlers make history, shocking onlookers in the process

By Dylan Rossiter on February 2, 2017 at 11:41 PM

Schodack, NY — When Maple Hill bowling coach Chuck Thomas rekindled the school’s
program after decades in the dark he never imagined that in just a few short seasons his squad would surpass career milestones while top teams in the Colonial Council stood by and watched.
“When we started this program our team average was like a 150. Did I think we would ever get a 300? Yes, but not this soon,” Thomas said. 
To say it’s been an eventful week for the Wildcats would be an understatement. 

To say it’s been an eventful week for the Wildcats would be an understatement. Last Thursday during a match against Catholic Central High School, senior Dylan Fletcher bowled the first perfect game of his career.

Peter "piped out" after 45 years

Bernhard (Bernie) Peter led the agency for 15 years
TU, WNYT, Newa10 and other sources

Members from several town agencies were on hand to honor Chief Bernhard Peter with a traditional piping out ceremony Friday afternoon. Peter is retiring after 45 combined years on the force.

Assistant Chief Joseph Belardo said the chief leaves an impressive mark on the Schodack department.

"I got to work with great people in all the departments over the years," said the 65-year-old Peter.
His 45-year career saw him work in the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Department and the police departments in East Greenbush, North Greenbush and Nassau, as well as Schodack. He served as chief in North Greenbush and Nassau in addition to Schodack, where he led the 18-member agency for 15 years.

We built a great team of professionals in the town," Peter said, reflecting on the last third of his career.

He began as a part-time officer in his hometown of Schodack on January 8, 1972, making $2.25 an hour, then adding the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office. He studied Police Science at HVCC from 1969-71.

The chief says he plans to travel with his wife of 43 years, Sue, and then spend time with their five grandchildren. Assistant Chief Joseph Belardo is expected to take his place.

That the Town of Schodack has a leash law.

That New York State mandates that all dogs over the age of 4 months be licensed in the municipality in which it lives. We recognize that many residents are not aware of this state and town law. In order to license your dog, proof of current rabies vaccination (Rabies Certificate) is required for all dogs. If your dog is spayed/neutered you must also provide a copy of the spaying/neutering certificate. The cost of licensing your dog is very nominal - $7.00 for a spayed/neutered dog and $15.00 for an unspayed/unneutered dog. This is an annual license.

If you have any questions please call the Schodack Town Clerk’s office at 477-7590.

At the Renewable Energy Fair at Maple Hill High School in Castleton, NY on Oct 29, there will be: twelve electric vehicles, a wind turbine, a solar boat, cell phone chargers powered by the sun, solar heat pumps, ways to pay electric bills via renewable energy, a workshop about investing in green energy funds, information on conservation and sustainability.

Expect some surprises too - did I mention alpacas?


Sophomores and Juniors interested in taking the PSAT need to register in the Counseling Center. The PSAT will be given on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. The cost to take the exam is $15.00. Students should bring a check to the Counseling Center payable to “Schodack Central Schools” by Thursday, September 22, 2016. The College Board makes fee waivers available to schools for students in eleventh grade from low-income families who can't afford the test fee. See your counselor for more information about fee waivers.

College Representatives Visiting Maple Hill 2016-2017 How do you know a college is right for you? The first step is to ask plenty of questions. The answers will tell you if the college you are looking into meets your needs. High school seniors and juniors should take advantage of the college reps visiting Maple Hill High School. Some things you may inquire about are their academics, student life, financial aid, admissions procedures and sports. Most reps visit in the Fall. The list will be updated as colleges are scheduled and will be placed on the daily announcements and posted on the Counseling Center website. 

See the schedule here.

May 16, 2016 DRAFT AS OF May 13, 2016

Project Red?!?

Site Plan/ Special Permit 4. Roderick Valente 2016-16/PD-3/189.-10-40.131 1710 Schodack Valley Road Proposed – Site Plan Modification 

Foes cheer Kinder Morgan decision to suspend pipeline plans

Company: Not enough natural gas contracts in New England market
"fierce, cumulative and cohesive public efforts"

Capital Region residents and local governments discussed the potential impact of the pipeline in town meetings and open forums over the last year. In late March, an estimated 400 people attended a forum at Maple Hill High School in Castleton-on-Hudson. 
Speakers led the crowd in a mass yell — "no new permits for fracking infrastructure."

Maple Hill 5, Hudson 4
Register Star
HUDSON — Maple Hill held off a late Hudson rally to post a 5-4 victory in Wednesday’s Patroon Conference softball action.
The Lady Wildcats (8-1, 5-1) were up 5-2 before the Lady Bluehawks rallied for two in the bottom of the sixth. That would be as close as they would get, however, as winning pitcher Alysa Houghtaling shut the door on any further damage.
Kaylee Fountain paced Maple Hill with a double, two singles and an RBI. Arianna Papas, Alex Stuto and Lilly Tedford each had a double and a single, Houghtaling two singles and an RBI, Maddie Bryda a single and an RBI and Elisabeth Brahm a single.
Hailey Beaumont had two singles and an RBI for Hudson (2-5). Kaylee Hoffman doubled and Karissa Garbarini, Alicia Salvatore and Jen Rosete all singled.
Houghtaling went the distance in the mound for MH, fanning 10, walking five and allowing four runs on six hits.
Losing pitcher Garbarini struck out three, walked one and surrendered five runs on 13 hits.
Maple Hill visits Taconic Hills today at 4:15 p.m. and hosts Hudson on Friday at 4:15 p.m.

— Tim Martin

In case you were wondering:

Supervisor Schodack (Vote for 1)

Schodack: reported:11 of 11100.00%

Dennis E. Dowds (Rep, CON, IND, REF)1,89197.42%

Town Clerk Schodack (Vote for 1)

Donna L. Conlin (Rep, CON, IND, REF)2,08199.47%

Town Council Schodack (Vote for 2)

Schodack: reported:11 of 11100.00%

Linda L. Underwood (Dem)1,24423.61%
Tracey L. Rex (Dem)1,35825.77%
Michael G. Kenney (Rep, CON, WOR, IND, REF)1,38626.30%
Francis H. Curtis (Rep, CON, WOR, IND, REF)1,28024.29%

Smart Schools Bond Act Public Hearing – Thursday, Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m.
Community members interested in how the district is investing in technology are encouraged to attend the Smart Schools Bond Act Public Hearing on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the Middle School library. Educators will discuss how they will use the New York State funding to improve technology infrastructure for students K-12 to increase learning opportunities for all students.

Would you like to help support Schodack Island State Park? Find out how.

Friday Night Skating
From February 13th to the 21st, weather permitting, we’ll keep on skating. We will also have free skate rental IF you bring a non-perishable food item (canned or dry packaged food) to donate to The Anchor Food Pantry. The Anchor Food Pantry and Thrift Store serves people in need in the Town of Schodack. For more information about the food pantry call 732-4120.
Please call the park office for further information about ice skating or other winter recreation activities at 518-732-0187.

SCHODACK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Sheriff Deputies say they have found the body of 33-year-old Michelle Shrader of East Greenbush.

Officials say she was located deceased in a wooded area just off of route 150 in the Town of Schodack around 4 p.m. on Monday. She was positively identified by her husband.

Using school space for higher good
No-rent home provides teaching opportunity for Superintendent Bob Horan’s students
Ariana Rawls Fine
Faced with a nearly 40 percent decrease in enrollment and a middle school at 33 percent capacity, Superintendent Bob Horan of Schodack CSD in upstate New York offered empty space to startup companies. 
Project Red revealed despite objections

Project Red," the mysterious and controversial enterprise planned for land on routes 9 and 20, is a secret no more.

McLane Foodservices officials met with the town Planning Board on Monday to publicly reveal plans for a grocery distribution center near the intersection with Route 150.

Word that a company wanted to build on the land has triggered anger in the surrounding community. Opponents were at Monday's meeting to decry the Planning Board's approval of the project.


Schodack Town Calendar

Future Events (subject to change, cancellation or revision)
Oct 2015
57pmPlanning BoardMeeting Draft Planning Agenda, when availablen/a
87pmTown BoardRegular Meeting Draft Agenda, when available)n/a
15,16,177a-3pTown: Fall Cleanup DaysReduced rate recycling at the Transfer Station
197pmPlanning BoardMeeting Draft Planning Agenda, when availablen/a
227pmTown BoardWorkshop Meeting Draft Agenda, when availablen/a
267pmZBAZBA MeetingDraft ZBA Agenda, when available

Schultz Dominates BayBears, Magic Number to Three
Schultz sets Biscuits single season record in 8-2 win

MOBILE, Ala - Jaime Schultz struck out 12 while the Biscuits' (73-57/39-23) offense exploded for 15 hits in an 8-2 win over the Mobile BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium. Montgomery's magic number is now three.

One night after Jake Faria struck out 13, Schultz came close to matching him by matching his own personal career-high in punch outs. The right-hander struck out five-straight at one point and also became the Biscuits single-season record holder for most strikeouts with 161. Schultz went 5.2 innings and allowed two runs for the win. Read more...

Elected to run on the Democratic Line were Jennifer Sober for Town Justice, and Linda Underwood and Tracey Rex for Town Board.

The Schodack Democratic Committee held a Party Caucus on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 6:30 P.M. in the Peter J. Andrews Memorial VFW Post 7337, 105 Scott Avenue, in the Village of Castleton, Town of Schodack, New York. The purpose of the Caucus was to nominate candidates for the following public offices, to be filled at the November 3, 2015 general election:
• Schodack Town Supervisor
• Schodack Town Clerk
• Schodack Town Justice
• Schodack Town Council (2 positions - 4 year terms)
• Schodack Receiver of Taxes
All enrolled Democrats residing in the Town of Schodack are eligible to attend, participate and vote.


The Public Hearing for the mysterious warehouse called "Project Red" will be 7 PM at the next Schodack Planning Board meeting on Monday June 15 at the town hall. I have never seen an applicant with a large project get such fast and secretive progress toward getting approval.

How does one speak at a public hearing if there is no information about what project red is? It appears someone has influence enough to grease the skids. To the best of my knowledge the applicant has appeared two times before the Planning Board. The second time the applicant asked for approval to schedule a Public Hearing. The only comment given I heard was "we will see how it goes." At the following Planning Board meeting Project Red was not on the agenda. I asked if it was still active and was told it was voted at the previous meeting to have a public hearing. Interesting that I and another resident at that meeting did not hear any such motion. It appears to be full steam ahead and all considerations such as water run off, aesthetics of the building, and impact to what precedent this will make on further development in the area are but a few concerns not to be ignored.

The larger problem will be, now that this project can be hushed up from the public. Will this be the new way of getting business in Schodack? This secret action is very similar to what the East Greenbush Town Board did in promoting a casino. Look where it got them.

I urge the members of the Planning Board, the Town Council and the Supervisor to remember the oath they took when being sworn into the office. Do they hold and weigh what is more important serving the people with all honestly or getting a warehouse by slipping it under the rug?

Ray Lemka Schodack resident

Photo by Coleen Papas

Spring Cleaning in Schodack

May 14-16  7a-3p

Town: Spring Cleanup Days

Reduced rate recycling at the Transfer Station
Considerable opposition to this pipeline is growing.

Come to a Public Forum about the high pressure, fracked gas pipeline and compressor station proposed to be located in Schodack

Sponsored by: Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline.

If you want to learn more, you can visit

For further information contact: John Serio, 518-733-0095
Email: Lisa Zimmerman at
MICROrganic Technologies looks to food processors to pilot techMar 24, 2015, 7:12am EDT UPDATED: Mar 24, 2015, 7:37am EDT

Brent Solina, president and founder of MICROrganic Technologies, said the startup is looking for strategic partnerships to bring its microbial fuel cell from development to commercialization.
MICROrganic makes microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment plants that drive a current by using bacteria and mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature. The five-person company, based in Castleton, New York, is targeting its product toward the food processing industry, where the fuel cells sanitize organic waste.

Update on Number of Snow Days Used This YearDue to the number of snow days the district has had to use this year, Friday, May 22 will be a half-day of school. This will allow the district to fulfill its state-mandated 180 days of student attendance while providing families flexibility for planning their Memorial Day holiday. Should the district need to use additional emergency closing days, make up dates would be April 10, April 9 and April 8, in that order. "This winter has been very tough on closings for all schools," said Superintendent Bob Horan. "We hope we don’t have to use days from Spring Recess but we want to let parents know in advance just in case."

Budget Presentation Available

Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse 2015 
WHAT: Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse (MHYL) is an instructional lacrosse program for grades K-9 boys and girls. WHEN: Boys (Grades 3-9) Mid April - Mid June 2015. Girls (Grades 3-9) Mid April - Mid June 2015. Yearlings (K-2) Sunday mornings End of April - Mid June WHERE: Practice sessions for all levels and home games for grades 3-9 will be scheduled for Middle and High School grounds. Games will be played throughout the Capital District. SIGN UP: Early registration can be done online at (Please use our online payment system. If paying by check please mail to MHYL Foundation P.O. box 65 Castleton, NY 12033) Please register early so coaching determinations, rosters, and schedules can be made. COST: Yearlings $55.00, Grades 3-9 $120.00. Registration cost includes raffle tickets. Not included in the MHYL registration is your US Lacrosse membership, which is required for all players and coaches. (U.S. Lacrosse memberships can be done through our web site or at 
9&20 Diner to re-open under new management!

After some minor renovations

Christakts Mikilliats will re-open the 9&20 Diner at 1842 Columbia Turnpike at the end of March or Early April!
Pipeline Opponents Form Multi-state Alliance

Concerned citizens from three states and over two dozen organizations have joined forces to fight the proposed Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project. The group’s current members hail from New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and call themselves The StopNED Coalition to reflect the regional scope of their mission.  “NED is a massive pipeline, extending over 350 miles from Pennsylvania to eastern Massachusetts, and the impacts to homeowners, open spaces and conserved habitats is equally massive.” said Wilmington, Massachusetts resident Suzanne Sullivan, one of the coalition’s members; “In Wilmington, the route is proposed through a Zone 1 Water Supply Protection Area, appearing to be literally only a few feet from the town’s public water supply well. This Coalition has been organized specifically to fight this travesty-in-waiting on a regional level. ”
A pipeline through Schodack?

There is a public information session coming up, hosted by the company Kinder Morgan, on Monday, February 9, from 6 - 8 pm at Green Meadow Elementary. The original plan for expansion was along the existing pipeline route, and that crosses through Schodack from west to east. Now the company wants to lay the new pipe along a power line right-of-way, and with this alternative plan they are planning to build a new compression station in Rensselaer County, quite possibly in Schodack. The same company has a compression station along Route 66 in Chatham already. The company's filed plans show that the compresssion station could be in the area between Routes 9 and 20 (south of the split) kind of near Shufelt Rd.

Watch this video for more information.

MONDAY — FEBRUARY 9, 2015 — Castleton-On-Hudson, NY

NEW LOCATION (formerly Nassau, NY)
February 9: Schodack, NY
Green Meadow Elementary School Cafeteria
234 Schuurman Road, Castleton-On-Hudson, NY 12033
Distance Learning Turns Study Hall into a Lesson From a Museum

A group of 6th and 7th graders spent their study hall and time afterschool on Dec. 3 learning about biofuels from an educator at the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The activity was made possible through Distance Learning where a museum educator led the lesson to a room full of excited students who hung on every word she said through videoconferencing.

“We learned about biofuels and fossil fuels and the color of gases,” explained 7th grader Claudia Eckel. “We also learned about how corn is used in more than 4,000 products as well as being used to feed animals.”

As the educator led the lesson, teacher Ed Finney helped students in the classroom. He explained students have participated in a number of similar Distance Learning opportunities, talking to individuals from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a Smithsonian museum and other organizations.


Maple Hill High School 2015 Winter Hitting Clinic

Instructors: Matt Quatraro, Major League Assistant Hitting Instructor for the Cleveland Indians & the Maple Hill HS Baseball Staff

This clinic is open to players ages 7-18 and is limited to the first 24 registrants. The cost of this four-week session is $50 per player for four one-hour sessions. Players are expected to bring their own bats and helmets. Pre-registration is required. 

Thanksgiving Recess - There will be no school Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Friday, Nov. 28 due to the Thanksgiving Recess. The district will be closed on Nov. 27 and Nov. 28. Posted 11/20/14.
Schodack Schools, moving forward! The Capital Project was approved today by a vote of 291 to 153. “We would like to thank everyone in our community who came out to vote,” said Superintendent Bob Horan. “This project will help us prepare out students even better for college and careers by providing modern classrooms that encourage collaboration while making us more efficient so we can put more money into programs instead of buildings.”
Halloween Horror Movie Night – Thursday, Oct. 23 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.Maple Hill High School will hold its annual Halloween Horror Movie Night on Thursday, Oct. 23 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Please note, while the movies shown will be PG-13, they may be scary for some viewers.

Blood Drive at MHHS – Thursday, Oct. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.The National Honor Society will sponsor a Red Cross Blood Mobile on Thursday Oct. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the High School. Walk-ins are welcome.Music Parents Association Meeting – Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m. The Maple Hill Music Parents Association will meet Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School chorus room. Interested parents are encouraged to attend.

10th Annual Locks of Love Event – Wednesday, June 25
Schodack CSD will hold the 10th Annual Locks of Love hair cutting drive Wednesday, June 25 from 8:10 to 8:30 a.m. in the CES gym. Anyone is welcome to participate if they have 8 to 10 inches of non-chemically treated hair to donate. Please e-mail Stacy Herron or call 732-7755 to register.

63 new campsites to open at Schodack Island State Park in Spring 2015

For the first time in about 35 years, the state is creating new campgrounds at a state park.

State and county officials came together at Schodack Island State Park Thursday to make the announcement. According to Andrew Beers, the executive deputy commissioner of the Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the 63 tent/trailer campsites with bathroom and shower buildings will be ready for nature lovers by next spring.



Plan for Schodack’s Town Center to be discussed

By Record staff,, @TroyRecord on Twitter Posted: 04/01/14, 12:37 PM EDT

SCHODACK -- A meeting to discuss Schodack’s future regarding many aspects of the prospective Town Center plan.

The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. on April 10 at Maple Hill Middle School, located at 1477 South Schodack Rd. in Castleton-on-Hudson.

The plan includes a community vision with specific strategies to revitalize the local economy and guide future growth in the town.

On the agenda are many citizen-sparked ideas including traffic calming tactics for Routes 9 and 20, pedestrian walkability improvement, land use and updating cycling and jogging facilities.

An action plan for the Town Center area’s design guidelines and funding for the project will be discussed as well. The draft plan’s highlights will be presented at the meeting, and copies are available at Schodack Town Hall or online at

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the plan before revision. Residents, property owners, civic groups, business owners, community leaders, and all other interested stakeholders are welcome to attend.

Any questions can be directed to the town offices at 477-7938.


Schodack CSD Budget Workshops
Budget Forum and Workshop Offer Opportunities for Community Questions Wednesday, March 26 and Tuesday, April 8

To help answer questions our community may have about the 2014-15 budget, the district will hold a Community Budget Forum on Wednesday, March 26 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the High School cafeteria. The Board of Education will also hold a budget workshop with community input on Tuesday, April 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the High School cafeteria. Free babysitting will be available for both meetings. Each meeting will offer opportunities to learn about the 2014-15 budget process and ask questions. Community members will also be able to ask questions about the proposition to address infrastructure needs as well as the Capital Project.

Schodack Central School District - Congratulations to the following Winter Sports Awards Winners - Boys Basketball: Co-MVP - Dante Prinzo and Tate Tibbitts, MIP - Austin Seymour; Girls Basketball: MVP - Lindsay Mannion, MIP - Courtney Unser; Boys Bowling: MVP - Jeremy Busdiecker, MIP - Matt Fuller; Girls Bowling: MVP - Michele Canestro, MIP - Kelsey Pascetto; and Wrestling: Co-MVP - Jordan Healy and Jeremy Morris, MIP - Alex Pomykaj.
MHHS Students of the Month Announced for February

Congratulations to freshman Adelyn Hoffman, sophomore Kristine Probst, junior Julia Keyoskey and senior Matthew Kirch who were named MHHS Students of the Month for February 2014!To see what their teachers wrote, click here... Posted 3/19/14.
January 9 Educational Summit Update

At last nights Board of Education meeting, the demographic study results and feedback from the faculty, staff, and administrative summit meeting were shared. I believe it was a very informative and productive meeting. The results and presentation will be available from the website under the capital project link.

I would like to invite you and any interested community members to the January 9th Educational Summit Update. The summit will be held in the Maple Hill High School Auditorium from 6:30 - 8:30. Babysitting will be available - please RSVP if you will be needing it. It is very important that we share with you what we have heard and get feedback as we begin the process of putting together a capital project to address our immediate and future facility and academic program needs.

I think you will find the information very interesting. I look forward to seeing you all again as we work together to ensure the best possible opportunities for our students and the community. Please RSVP to Michele Reickert at

I am expecting the link to be up by the end of the day from the school website Click on Capital Project, scroll down to "How I can Learn More" click on Robert Hendriks. Last nights demographic and program will be linked here.
Community rallies around family who lost farm in fire
SCHODACK, N.Y. -- For the Peter family, it didn't take long for help to come."They were there the day of the fire, and it has been non-stop from that point on," said Paul Peter, who lost his farm in a fire.
A fire in October ripped through the Peter's dairy farm, causing them to lose 20 cows and their barn.
"We just started going. The website raised about twelve-grand that people have donated. We had another fundraiser at Scarnato's where we raised just shy of $4,000. People have donated about $7,000 to a P.O. Box, so we're just around $20,000," said Jason Adams, who helped organize the fundraiser."
"The Peters are just givers givers givers. I'm so glad, everybody realizes that, and has given 150 percent," said Judy Dieckelmann, one of the Peter's family friends. Read more...
December 5, 2013

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. (Dec. 5, 2013) – Mercy College men's soccer senior Nick Papas (Castleton, N.Y. / Hudson Valley CC) has been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/ Continental Tire Division II Men's All-East Region Third Team.

NSCAA Release

Papas was also recently named to the Daktronics All-District Second Team and the East Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year after leading the conference with 81 saves for a .835 save percentage (both ranking 20th in the nation), a 0.84 goals against average and eight shutouts. He tied the Mercy program record with 15 clean sheets over his career and is the all-time leader in both minutes played and saves. The veteran stopper closed out the regular season with his fourth Defensive Player of the Week honors as the squad solidified its second consecutive #4 seed in the ECC Championship.


Oh yea!

Go Wild Cats
Maple Hill girls set Section II record with victory over Cairo-Durham

The Maple Hill High School’s boys and girls basketball programs are hosting a Midnight
Madness event to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The event will take place on Sunday,
Nov. 10 from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. The event is intended as a way to kick-off the upcoming
basketball season and as a way to bring the community together to help raise some money for
a worthy cause. The Wounded Warrior Project is celebrating 10 years of service to our
veterans. Their purpose is as follows:
To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service


With Monday, Nov. 11 being Veterans Day, student-athletes thought the Wounded Warrior

Project would be the perfect organization on which to focus its efforts. The evening will include

contests such as a skills challenge, 3-point shootout and knockout. There will be raffles, food

and T-shirts for sale as well as prizes from gear to gift certificate to local restaurants and

businesses. We will be looking to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. There is no

admission but there will be a donation jar at the door. All proceeds will go towards the

Wounded Warrior Project. We hope you will all join us to for what promises to be a fun night

for a great cause.

If you have any questions, please contact Scott Hanrahan by phone, 732-7701 or by e-mail,

Follow Maple Hill High School on Twitter

To help keep students and parents informed about Maple Hill High School, Principal Ron Agostinoni has started a Twitter account for the High School. Follow MHHS on Twitter at You can also follow tweets on the right side of the High School homepage. Please note, the Twitter page is at no cost to the district.

Follow Schodack CSD on Twitter

Schodack CSD has also started a Twitter page to help keep our community informed about school news. Follow the district on Twitter at Please note, the Twitter page is at no cost to the district.

First Day of School - Wednesday, Sept. 4

The first day of school for Schodack CSD is Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Booster Club Meeting – Monday, Sept. 9 at 7:00 p.m.

The Maple Hill Athletic Booster Club will meet Monday, Sept. 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School cafeteria. Interested parents are encouraged to attend.

Bus Drill – Thursday, Sept. 12

Maple Hill High School will hold its annual Bus Safety drill for students on Thursday, Sept. 12.


James Derby Named New Middle School Principal 

MHMS Principal James DerbyJames Derby, an educator with the Taconic Hills Central School District, was officially named principal of Maple Hill Middle School at the July 11 Board of Education meeting.  “We’re really excited to have him here. He has a lot of enthusiasm and excitement,” said Superintendent Bob Horan. “He will be perfect for our middle school and the excitement that’s going on there with our WRAPS and STEAM programs.”Mr. Derby was joined at the Board of Education meeting by his wife Christina and 3-year-old son Everett. The family lives in the town of Schodack. “I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Schodack Central School District and the community,” said Mr. Derby. “I look forward to meeting and working with students, parents, faculty and staff and the entire community.” Mr. Derby currently serves as Assistant Principal at Taconic Hills Elementary School, where he oversees a student body of approximately 700 students. He also serves as the district’s Athletic Director and is a member of the district’s Response to Intervention Team, Anti-Bullying Committee and Safety Committee. Mr. Derby started his educational career as a High School Social Studies teacher at Chatham Central School District. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Saint Rose.

Administrative Restructuring Will Keep Mr. Derby in MHMS Building

Mr. Derby will start July 22, succeeding Middle School Principal Michael Bennett. Mr. Bennett is taking over the district’s Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Pupil Personnel Services position after Donna Watson left the position at the end of the school year to join Troy Enlarged City School District.
Superintendent Horan noted that one of the benefits of the change is the restructuring of administrative duties it allows. While serving as Middle School principal, Mr. Bennett also worked as the Committee for Special Education Chair for grades 7-12. Those duties often required Mr. Bennett to leave the Middle School for meetings.
Mr. Derby will not handle those additional duties. Instead, he will also serve as the chief information officer for the district, coordinating all the data reporting that the state requires. Those duties, Mr. Horan noted, will not pull Mr. Derby from the building.
“This will keep James in the building for students, parents and faculty,” said Mr. Horan. “His main focus will be where the Middle School is going.”
Hiring Process

The district received 99 applications for the Middle School principal position. Administrators chose 10 final candidates who were interviewed by three groups, a student, parent, and faculty and staff group.
“I’m particularly proud of our student team of 10 middle school students,” said Mr. Horan. “The candidates who interviewed all said they were impressed by the students who asked very thoughtful questions and provided us with great feedback.”
Students and parents will have an opportunity to meet Mr. Derby this summer at the August 21 Grade 6 and New Student Open House as well as the August 28 Middle School PTO Ice Cream Social.


Schodack doctor, wife and another arrested in prescription drug scam

By Charles Sweeney
COLONIE — A Schodack-based doctor and his wife, along with a Schenectady man, are facing criminal charges in connection with a prescription drug scam targeting area pharmacies, police said.
The three — Jennifer George, 28, Dr. Kevin George, 53, and Nicholas Marro, 30 — were arrested by Colonie police on July 8, after a suspicious pharmacist triggered an investigation.
The investigation began in June, when police received a call from a Shop Rite pharmacist who reported receiving a forged prescription for two drugs, Xanax and Morphine, both controlled substances.
A check of the scripts by the pharmacist determined they’d been stolen from the office of Dr. George and forged. Jennifer George allegedly used a false name trying to redeem the scripts, police said.
During a later arrest for DWAI, evidence of these scripts were found in her possession, police said.
The investigation eventually led police to a CVS pharmacy on Sand Creek Road Monday, where Marro attempted to redeem a script for the drugPercocet, also a controlled substance.
Jennifer George was in on the scam, police said, and both were arrested. Cops also arrested Dr. George when he showed up at the booking center in Colonie.
All three face charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, possession of a forged instrument and narcotics possession.
Roundup: Jaime Schultz, Will Remillard caught up in MLB Draft

Published: Sunday, June 09, 2013 By The Record sports staff

Jaime Schultz had dreamed of being chosen in the Major League Baseball draft and on Saturday, that dream came true.
Schultz, a Maple Hill grad, who just finished his junior season pitching at High Point University, was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays, in the 14th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
“This is an absolute dream come true,” Schultz told High Point’s athletics department. “I can’t imagine anything better right now.”
Schultz was taken with the 428th pick, becoming only the second High Point player to be chosen in the top 15 rounds of the draft.
“We are very excited that Jaime has received the opportunity to play professionally in the Tamp Bay Rays organization,” High Point coach Craig Cozart said. “We are always proud when guys in our program are able to make the next step. Jaime is a talented pitcher and I have no doubt that he will be very successful in his professionally career.”

Schultz started the 2013 season in the bullpen, but transitioned into a starter in April. He finished the year with a 1-6 record, but a 3.56 ERA.

Schultz ends his High Point career as the Division I record holder in both opposing batting average (.233) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.82). He also finishes second in ERA (3.90).
Schultz could potentially start his career in the NY/Penn League, with the Rays’ affiliate Hudson Valley Renegades.
“This is the greatest thrill of my life,” Schultz said. “I want to thank all my coaches and teammates at High Point University. I would never have been in this situation with them.”
Schultz wasn’t the only local take on Saturday, as La Salle Institute grad Will Remillard and Siena College outfielder Mike Fish were also selected. 

Groups Selling Luminaria Bags for Relay Recess Event
As part of the June 5 Relay for Life event, the Builders Club and SCCP are teaming up to sell luminaria bags for $5. These are white paper bags that can be decorated and will be lit with candles to line along the track for the night of the event. Each bag is in memory or in support of someone who has fought or is fighting cancer. Forms will be sent home with students and a table will also be set up the night of the event. For questions, e-mail Jacqueline HillPosted 5/13/13.

Community to Host Relay Recess Event - June 5

The Schodack CSD community will host their 1st Relay Recess event on Wednesday, June 5 from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the High School track. Relay Recess is an extension of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, the Society’s signature event, which brings together communities for fun-filled, activities that educate people about cancer and healthy behaviors, and gives them a chance to celebrate survivors, remember loved ones lost and fight back against this disease. If you are interested in helping out or donating, please click here… You can either donate money under your child’s teacher’s webpage or create your own team! For more information, e-mailZenia Skalij or Carol-Jo PusateriPosted 4/12/13.

Hoops Against Hunger Charity Basketball Game - Friday, May 31

Schodack CSD will host the 5th Annual Hoops Against Hunger charity basketball game onFriday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m. in the MHHS gym. The event features faculty and staff from CES and MHMS playing against faculty and staff from MHHS. Admission is $2 and a canned good or non-perishable food item. All proceeds benefit the Anchor food pantry in Castleton. There also will be a concession stand, 50/50 raffle and knockout games at half-time. “Come on out and watch your favorite out of shape and past their prime teachers compete against each other in a fun event for a good cause,” said teacher and organizer Patrick Austin. “We hope to see you there!” Posted 5/16/13.

Students' Artwork Selected for Exhibits

This school year, Schodack CSD students have had their artwork selected for a number of juried art exhibits. Madison Bennett, Paige Bleau, Elizabeth Briggs, Moira Kelly, Cameron Renslow and Kyle Tedford had their artwork featured in the Legislative Art Exhibit; Jillian Flood, Samantha Giacomino, Alex Grossmann, Hannah Meacham and Amanda Thitz had their artwork featured in the High School Regional Juried Art Exhibition; and Kirsten Geracitano, Oteria Ludwig, Kellen Nugent, Bryce Perry, and Savanna Wemmette had their artwork selected for the Questar III High School Invitational Art Exhibit. Congratulations to all our students! Click here for a photo slideshow… Posted 5/16/13.

Art DonationEagles Donate Money to Art Department

Schodack CSD school art departments will receive new equipment including easels and lighting equipment at no cost to the district thanks to the Fraternal Order of Eagles. In February, the organization donated $800 to the art department for supplies. Thank you to the Fraternal Order of Eagles for your generosity! Posted 3/06/13

Court Officer Bill Dikant, flanked by Hon. Bruce J. Wagner (left) and Hon. Paul W. Peter (right)
Court Officer Honored by Town Board
Court Officer Bill Dikant, flanked by Hon. Bruce J. Wagner (left) and Hon. Paul W. Peter (right), after the March 11, 2004 adoption of a Town Board Resolution marking Dikant's achievements as Town of Schodack Justice Court Officer.


A floating city...I've seen this somewhere before.

Interestingly, this idea is not new.  The middle school students at Maple Hill in Schodack prepared and compete in a Future Cities competition each year.

This particular design - Green Sea Star - reminded me that our students are exactly right about sustainable energy. A few years ago a team from MHMS  put together a floating city, completely self sufficient, with jobs, infrastructure, health care facilities, security protocol and schools, that floated off the mainland and was able to support a population comparable to a large American city.

If I remember correctly, the team of young scientist, designer, engineers, built a model of a city much like this one. 

Floating cities of the future.  National Geographic Magazine (click here to read the article) has a posted pictures of conceptual floating cities.  The one that caught my eye is the Green Sea Star.
Green Sea Star Illustration courtesy Koen Olthius

Slated to open in 2014, the Greenstar is to be a floating hotel and conference center off the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. The island nation is the world's lowest-lying country, making it among the most threatened by anticipated climate change-induced sea level rise.

Designed by Waterstudio.NL to blend in with its ocean surroundings, the Greenstar will have room for 800 overnight guests and 2,000 conference attendees.

Intended to be highly efficient, the development's small environmental footprint is a tribute to the country's determination to fight global warming, according to Waterstudio.NL architects. Appropriately enough, organizers intend the Greenstar to be the number one meeting place for global climate change discussions.

The competition is sponsored by National Engineers Week, with students having the opportunity to work with an engineer to answer technical questions for their plans. According to their website -  This flexible, cross-curricular educational program gives students the opportunity to do the things that engineers do—identify problems; brainstorm ideas; design solutions; test, retest and build; and share their results. This process is called the engineering design process. With this at its center, Future City is an engaging way to build students’ 21st century skills while they apply math and science concepts to real-world problems. More at What is Future City.

The Future City Competition is a national, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity™ 4 Deluxe software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February. 

Schodack Students have consistently scored well with their innovative models and sharp informative presentation.  Looks like they know what they're doing.

Once again, Maple Hill Middle School students excelled at this year’s Capital District Future City Competition, finishing 3rd out of 25 teams from across the region, including districts much larger than Schodack CSD. Read more...

Schodack Central School District's energy savings rewarded with grant

Published: Saturday, March 09, 2013

By Charles

The Schodack Central School District is one of 12 across the state to receive a portion of a $9 million grant as a reward for finding $9 million in energy savings.
School districts across the state were invited to apply for the grant by demonstrating how innovative cost-savings were implemented in their districts. The dozen schools found efficiencies and savings in their district’s operations, in areas such as transportation, maintenance staff, and administrative support. As models, these districts will serve as roadmaps for other districts to follow when containing costs which continue to escalate every year.
“Our education system must become more efficient and direct spending away from the bureaucracy into the classroom,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “The 12 districts we are awarding today stand out as leading examples and will serve as models for other districts across the state.”
Schodack was awarded $298,761 over three years for identifying a total of $331,956 in eligible savings by consolidating and reducing central office administrative responsibilities and positions and installing solar panels.
Other districts were in Middletown, Lake Shore, Broadalbin Perth, Rush-Henrietta, Williamsville, Cheektowaga, Mineola, Mount Vernon, Schalmont, and Three Village.
TOWN OF SCHODACK PEE WEE WRESTLING PROGRAM The Town of Schodack is pleased to announce the 2013 Pee Wee Wrestling Program to be held at the Maple Hill High School Multi-Use Facility (MUF). The program will be held on Tuesday and Thursday beginning February 5, 2013 and continue through March 21, 2013 except during the February break. The cost is $25.00 for one child or $50.00 per family, which includes tee shirt and tournament with awards. Children in grades 1, 2 or 3 will meet from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and those in grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 will meet from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Registration may be made in person at the Schodack Town Clerk’s Office or by mail. Send in the registration form (available at the Town Hall or on line at and a check made payable to Town of Schodack Recreation by February 7, 2013 to the following address: Schodack Town Clerk’s Office, 265 Schuurman Rd., Castleton, NY 12033. Further questions can be directed to Recreation Director Sheila Golden at
Schodack Democratic Committee/Club
Contact: Linda Underwood 257-0096 
News Release, for immediate release: January 14, 2013

Schodack Democrats to hold first meeting of the New Year

The Schodack Democratic Club will meet on Monday, January 28 at 7:30 pm at the Peter Andrews VFW Hall on Scott Ave. in Castleton. At the top of this month's agenda will be selecting officers for the coming year, proposals for the use of the land between that was considered for the Dollar Tree Warehouse, the pending appointment of a new town board member to fill the seat left vacant by Debra Young, the upcoming "Groundhog Day" fund-raiser and other issues of interest. All interested Democrats and like-minded individuals are welcome. The Schodack Democratic Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Club members are asked to refrain from coming early so the committee can conduct its business in executive session.
For more information, please visit our website:

December 31, 2012

The Wildcats (9-0), winners of 104 straight Patroon Conference contests dating back to 2006, held the Bulldogs (5-1) scoreless for nearly seven minutes between the third and fourth quarters.

Read more:


Schodack business owner killed
By Lauren Stanforth
Updated 6:44 pm, Sunday, December 16, 2012
SCHODACK — The boyfriend of the realtor who was stabbed to death will be arraigned Sunday evening on second-degree murder charges.

At approximately 4:35 a.m. Sunday, emergency responders were called to 20 Bri Lan Ave for a report of an assault with a knife. Police arrived and found 33-year-old Nikki Hart, who was transported to Albany Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Hart owns Hart Real Estate on Columbia Turnpike. She took the business over from her dad, Bill, in 2008. Another adult was at the home at the time of the killing.

Police and Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally said
Sunday that Jason Guynup, 29, of the same address, crashed his truck
near Hayes Road shortly after the stabbing and was caught on foot by
police on Route 9J. He was taken into custody "as a person of interest," but is expected to be formally charged Sunday evening. The couple have two children together, and Hart had taken Guynup to Family Court recently, police said.

State Police are being assisted by police departments from East
Greenbush, North Greenbush, City of Rensselaer, Rensselaer County
Sheriff's, and the Rensselaer County District Attorney's Office.

Christmas Eve Celebration 
December 24, 2012, at 7 p.m., a Christmas Eve Celebration of music, carols, the Christmas Story from Scripture, a children's message, an original Christmas story by Rev. Glenn Van Oort, and candle lighting will take place at the Reformed Dutch Church of Schodack at Muitzeskill. The Church is located at the intersection of Muitzeskill Road and Schodack Landing Road,Schodack Landing, NY 12156.  The Church is handicapped accessible.  Any questions, call 732-7500.

Red Cross Blood Drive Rescheduled 

The Red Cross Blood Drive has been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the High School. To make an appointment, please e-mail teacher Jennifer Gold. Walk ins are also welcome.

Team Meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 11

For the fifth straight year, the district is organizing a Community Budget Advisory Team where residents can learn about the budget process, provide suggestions and help communicate budget news to the community. 

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the High School Library. Topics to be discussed include pension costs, state aid reductions and a community budget survey. This also is an organizational meeting where the committee will decide what budget topics they would like to discuss this school year. Interested community members are encouraged to attend. 

For questions, please contact Superintendent Bob Horan at 732-2297.

Students to Perform at Proctor's Theater

Three Maple Hill High School students will perform in the annual Melodies of Christmas concert at Proctor’s Theatre on Dec. 20-23. Senior Alec Hicks and sophomores Nathaniel Coleda and Alex Konig auditioned and were accepted to perform with the Empire State Youth Chorale. The students have rehearsed weekly for the concert which benefits the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center. Congratulations! Click here for ticket information... Posted 11/28/12.

District's Efforts With Startup Companies Featured in Business Review

Schodack CSD’s efforts to lease out school building space to startup companies that provide our students with hands-on experience with young entrepreneurs was featured in a recentBusiness Review article. Click here to read the story (please note, the story is a scanned version in .pdf format)… Posted 11/26/12.

Schodack CSD’s efforts to lease out school building space to startup companies, who in turn provide our students with hands-on experience working with young entrepreneurs, was featured in a recent Business Review article. Click the link below to read the story (please note, the story is a scanned version in .pdf format). Read more...

Key Club Holds Haunted House at Goold Orchards on Weekends

The Maple Hill Key Club is holding a Haunted House at Goold Orchards on Saturdays and Sundays before Halloween from noon to 5:00 p.m. Cost is $3 a child and is appropriate for young children up to adults (Key Club members will modify the level of scariness for children). The event is one of the Key Club’s main fundraisers for the year. Click here for information about Goold’s Orchards including directions... Posted 10/18/12.

 District Repairing New Lebanon CSD School Bus
As part of a shared services agreement that brings revenue into the district, Schodack CSD’s Transportation Department has been repairing a New Lebanon CSD school bus this week. "It's not a lot of money but it helps offset the cost of our mechanics," said Superintendent Bob Horan. Read more by clicking here... Posted 9/19/12.

School Leaders Explore Chinese School Partnership

A Chinese collaborative group visited Schodack CSD in September to discuss the possibility of establishing a sister-school relationship with a district in China. “I want our students to understand China’s language and culture. I want them to understand China’s place in the global economy and understand their future may well be tied to China,” explained Superintendent Bob Horan. Read more by clicking here... Posted 10/04/12.

Booster Club Raffle Raises $10,000 for Modified Sports

The Maple Hill Booster Club raised $10,000 to help fund Modified Sports with its mega raffle contest this year. The Booster Club sold 200 tickets at $100 each for the raffle, with Amy McGarvey-Roe of Castleton winning the $10,000 prize during the Oct. 8 drawing. The Booster Club would like to thank everyone who supported the Modified Sports program by purchasing a ticket. “Last spring, the Booster Club asked the district to preserve the Modified Sports program if they could raise the funds to offset the district’s $25,000 reduction in the sports budget,” said Superintendent Bob Horan. “They have once again come through for our students and we would like to thank them and our community for their support.” Posted 10/10/12.

Supporters of Maple Hill Athletics

The Maple Hill Athletic Booster Club would like to thank supporters of Maple Hill athletics for the 2012-13 school year listed below.

If your organization would like to learn more about the benefits of becoming a supporter of Maple Hill Athletics, please e-mail Athletic Director Mark Bubniak or call him at 732-0109. A donor letter and form with additional info is also available by clicking here...

District Seeks Community Members for Facilities Committee
The district is seeking community members interested in joining a Facilities Committee to look at buildings and grounds to assess the district’s facility needs. The committee, which will also include teachers, staff, Board members and administrators, will meet three to five times starting in October. Meetings will be held in the evening and include tours of buildings and grounds. The committee will help identify the most pressing needs and recommend priorities for a report to the Board of Education. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Matt LaClair at 732-2831.


On Saturday, Sept. 29th, from 9 am to 4 pm, we're going to be at Schodack Island to do some hands on conservation work and everyone is invited! (Rain Date is Sun, Sept 30th.)
This work is being sponsored by a TogetherGreen Grant from Toyota and National Audubon.  We've planned the day in collaboration with Casey Holzworth, NYS Park Biologist.  The Friends of Schodack Island and graduate students from SUNY Albany will be involved, too. 
Our goal is to cut all oriental bittersweet vines that are 3" and greater in diameter in a 98 acre area around the nesting and roosting sites of cerulean warblers and bald eagles.  As you probably know, bald eagles have been re-established in NYS after a lot of intensive work by DEC.  Cerulean warbler numbers have declined more than 70% since the '60s and they are a species of special concern to Audubon.

We will provide lunch, snacks, drinks, and a gift for each participant.  We will also do our best to make the day as rewarding as possible.  There is poison ivy on the island, but not so much in the southern part where we'll be working.

Schodack Valley Pizza Night is back! Saturday, September 15 from 4-9 p.m.

Eat in or Take out (518) 477-4215. Pizza, wings with home-made wing sauce (mild, hot, BBQ and Garlic Parmesan), mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, fully loaded, freshly made, antipasto and side salads all available! This month pizza special is Chicken Parm!

Eat in or take-out!

 Mini-Market and Chicken Barbecue
Cleaning out your attic or storage unit?  Had a garage sale and now have items not sold?  Should have had a sale but did not? 

The Reformed Dutch Church of Schodack at Muitzeskill will be holding its Annual Mini-Market and Chicken Barbecue on Saturday, August 11.  If you would like to donate items for the Mini-Market, call 732-7500 or 732-7976 to arrange for the drop off of items.


ICC won’t merge

After months of study, discussion, district won’t combine with Schodack

By Barbara Reina
For Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
Published:Thursday, June 7, 2012 2:08 AM EDT
VALATIE — The Ichabod Central and Schodack school districts won’t be merging anytime soon, according to ICC Board of Education President Regina Rose. ICC BOE members expressed their general consensus to decline going forward with a merger at Tuesday night’s regular meeting, held in the ICC middle school library.

The completed reorganization feasibility study, along with final results, can be viewed online at the Ichabod Crane official website:

A referendum vote on the merger will not be put before either district, said Rose. State education guidelines outlined in the study stipulate that a straw vote would only be put before residents in both districts in the event that both boards of education first approve the viability of a merger.

ICC BOE member John Chandler said, “the general consensus as it occurs to me is that the study is much more productive as shared services (between schools) because of the disparity of tax rates.”
The findings of the study on page 69 relating to estimated property tax speculations for 2013-2014 with a merger state: “a property owner with a $150,000 home in Ichabod Crane can expect a property school tax bill of about $488 more in 2013-2014 compared to 2011-2012 … The Schodack owner of a $150,000 home can expect a property school tax bill of about $231 less in 2013-2014.”

Board member Thomas Neufeld said, “it would be a fiscal disaster to go forward with a merger for our district.”

Rose commented, “a merger is not in the cards right now for sure.” She added, “all the data is a very valuable source for the next superintendent” and “a lot of good things can come out of it” in shared services that she called “a give and take between districts.”

ICC Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick said that one result of the study has been “a positive, close working relationship with the Schodack administration and staff. As we go forward, this will enable us to do some things differently than they have traditionally been done.”

Bordick said, “possibly we may have some Ichabod students participate in a Mandarin Chinese program in Schodack and have some Schodack students participate in Ichabod programs. It’s an entree for further discussions. Hopefully in September we will have some of our students in that course. As we pool resources to provide opportunities, we are also looking regionally. ”

The SES Study Team of Paul Seversky, Doug Exley and Sam Shevat prepared the 73-page study with state funding under the local government efficiency grant program.

Findings included data from both districts on educational programs, enrollment projections and property tax estimations to discern the feasibility of combining both districts into one reorganized district.

Boys Tennis Team Wins 6th Consecutive Title

The boys’ varsity tennis team closed out their season June 1 with a 6-1 win over Doane Stuart to claim the 2012 Section Class C/D Championship. This marks the 6th consecutive sectional title for the team. The Patroon Conference champions finished the year 18-2 overall, outscoring their opponents 117-18 along the way. Seniors on the team include Paul Ancin, Dakota Bolt, Jeremy Kelly, John Lind, Ian Myers, Jakob Yager and Casey Yurista. Congratulations! Posted 6/04/12.

Senior Art Show to Be Held at Art Gallery-Friday, 6/15

MHHS seniors will have an opportunity to exhibit their artwork at an actual gallery for this year’s Senior Art Show. Instead of holding the event in the school library, the art show will be held at Arcane Gallery, 52 South Main Street in Castleton on Friday, June 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Awards start at 7:00 p.m. The event will feature student artwork, live music and food. Thank you to gallery owner Jon Verna for allowing the district to use his gallery space to show off student artwork! Posted 5/30/12.

Student's Painting Selected for Congressional Art Competition

MHHS senior Stuart Allen’s acrylic landscape “Wormwood” was selected for an exhibit at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. Stuart’s work was part of the 2012 Congressional Art Competition which honors artwork by high school students. A reception was held with Congressman Paul Tonko on May 14. Congratulations Stuart! Posted 5/21/12.

Kiwanis Help Students Build Lost and Found Unit
CES students worked with community members from the Kiwanis this year to build a new lost and found unit for the school. The project was taken on by K-Kids Club, a service learning group affiliated with Kiwanis. Great work students and thank you to the Kiwanis for your continued support! Click here for a photo slideshow… Posted 5/10/12.

MHMS Students Collect Books for Unity House

Thanks to the efforts of the National Junior Honor Society, Unity House of Troy received donations of hundreds of books recently as part of a community service project. Students reached out to the school and community for used books by posting signs, making announcement and setting up drop boxes at the Middle School. Great work! Posted 5/17/12.

Arbor Day Poster contest winner...
Fifth grader Grace Hudgins was named a Regional Winner in NYS DEC’s 2012 Arbor Day Poster Contest. For the contest, fifth grade students learned about trees in Science class and learned about composition, lettering and poster design in Art class. Students then created posters and Grace’s was selected for the statewide competition, earning the regional award. 
“We couldn’t be prouder of Grace’s excellent effort and resulting excellent work,” said Art Teacher Suzanne Pazienza. “Our ‘region’ is large so her status as a winner of our region is a big honor. Congratulations!”
Study: Merger means ICC tax hike

Thursday, 24 May 2012 11:53
Districts many steps away from decision to combine

KINDERHOOK--The Ichabod Crane School Board met this week to review the data collected by the merger study team looking into the feasibility of a merger with Schodack Central Schools. What the team found was a 33% difference in the current property tax rate between the two districts, which would mean lower taxes for Schodack residents and higher taxes for ICC residents if the districts merge.
The study team, made up of three former superintendents who conduct merger studies for districts in the state, worked with community members from both districts to create a “road map” for a merged district with a budget of $57 million.

As the team members reviewed the proposed merged district they talked about busing, building needs, staffing and programming, but it was the finances that took up much of the sparsely attended meeting at the ICC High School auditorium.
“That's a significant nut when looking at reorganization,” said study team member Paul Seversky of the tax rate. According to their study, the owner of a home with a true value of $150,000 in the current ICC district could expect a property tax bill from the school district of $488 more following a merger. A taxpayer in Schodack with a home of the same value would see his or her school tax bill reduced by $231.
Currently Schodack property owners pay more in taxes to support their district since that district includes parts of two towns and doesn't have has many taxable properties as the ICC District. Ichabod Crane covers parts of seven towns, including a small section of Schodack.
What the study team members don't know is how the state's 2% cap on property tax increases would affect a merged district, though they do know the combined district would receive a total of $34 million in incentive aid from the state over 14 years. The team did stress that a merged district would need to reduce spending because the additional state aid would eventually end.
The team also emphasized that its job is not make recommendations, it is just presenting the data. Members said that the information could be used to look at sharing services rather than merging.
The study's data and conclusions should remain useful for two years. “It's a planning tool, it's a sharing tool,” said study team member Doug Exley.
The study team was paid for by a grant awarded to both districts and the report has already been sent to state Education Department for review. But like the team, the state will take no position on whether the districts should proceed with a merger.
Mr. Seversky, who conducted a demographic study for the district several years ago, pointed out that both districts have declining enrollment. The budget for a merged district in 5 to 8 years might be smaller than the projected $57 million.
Sam Shevat, the third member of the study team, said that there have been no school mergers since 2004, but he pointed out that in the year 1910 there were 10,000 school districts in the state and now there about 700.
ICC school board President Regina Rose pointed out after the team's presentation that her taxes are go up every year and they will be closer to the merged district amount soon. She also said that both districts have had to cut programs and will have to make more cuts to survive.
The study team pointed out in the report that state aid for the separate school districts will most likely stay flat or decline in coming years, leading to more cuts.
At the end of the study report, which is available at the district office and online at, the team summed up the major items for consideration by both communities, which include “educational program offerings for the students and long-term program viability as two separate school districts as compared to the long-term viability of one reorganized school district” and “property tax estimated outlook as two separate school districts long-term as compared to the estimated property tax outlook for one reorganized school districts.”
To merge, both ICC and Schodack school boards would have to accept the report before moving on to a straw vote in the communities vote and then a second, binding election that would require the approval of a majority of voters in both districts before a merger could take place.
Neither board has yet made any formal decision about the report. The next regular ICC board meeting is Tuesday June 5 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

CES Agricultural Project Meeting-Wed., 5/2 at 6:30 p.m.

The CES Agricultural Project group will meet Wednesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the CES Library. Items to be discussed include the rescheduling of raised bed planter construction, updated financial report and possible need for a treasurer, and committee meetings and reports.  Please contact Susan Penn (PTO Liaison) or Christine Charsky (Teacher Liaison) with any questions. Posted 4/25/12.

Board of Education Workshop Meeting – Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m.

The Board of Education will hold a workshop meeting on Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the High School library. All interested community members are welcome to attend.

MHHS Senior Citizen Lunch – Friday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m.

Maple Hill High School will hold its annual Senior Citizen Lunch on Friday, May 4 at 1:00 p.m. at Maple Hill High School. Students will perform entertainment and serve food prepared by Schodack CSD faculty and staff. All interested senior citizens in our district are encouraged to attend.

Booster Club Meeting – Monday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m.

The Maple Hill Athletic Booster Club will meet Monday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School cafeteria. Interested parents are welcome to attend.

Students Learn First-Hand About Photovoltaics

Students in MHHS’s Principles of Engineering class got a first-hand lesson in photovoltaic technology April 26 by visiting the school’s roof. Students learned from representatives of Monolith Solar Associates how the solar panels on the school’s roof create electricity, even on a cloudy day. The visit is an example of how the district is integrating photovoltaics into curriculum to help get students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Posted 4/26/12.

The Board of Education adopted a 2012-13 budget on Thursday, April 19. After three straight years of lower budgets, the proposed 2012-13 budget increases spending $114,916 over the current year. However, due to a third straight year of state aid cuts, reductions were made in almost all spending areas. To offset the revenue loss, the budget requires a 2.47% increase in the tax levy. A budget newsletter is currently being printed and will be mailed to all district residents next week. However, an advanced copy is available by clicking the link below.


Welcome to the fundraising page of Craig Wilkinson

17 surgeries to date and my 18th scheduled for the early fall. Arthritis has made my life difficult, but it hasn't taken over my life.

I'm asking you to support my team "Wildcat Pride" as we raise money to help find a cure for arthritis.

You don't even have to walk, just join my team and get involved.

I appreciate your support and on behalf of the people who live with arthritis pain, THANK YOU! 

District Creates Alumni Webpage for Those Who Would Like to Help
At the request of our community, the district has created this webpage to provide alumni who would like to give back to their school a convenient place to find out how they can help. The district is still exploring the creation of a non-profit Foundation to support the school district but in the meantime, community members asked us to create this webpage to start helping the district with its financial challenges. Click here to learn more...  
Posted 4/19/12.


Wildcats are no pushovers

SCHODACK — The final score showed the Maple Hill softball team had dropped a 1-0 decision to Chatham on Monday afternoon, but the Wildcats departing the school's new field certainly played, felt and acted like winners.
Maple Hill may have dropped to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Patroon Conference, but the loss to the Panthers came against the state's No. 9-ranked Class B team. Chatham junior pitcher Kayla Doty just provided the University of Connecticut her oral commitment to compete for the Huskies in 2014 and the Panthers' lone loss came against South Glens Falls, the state's No. 1-ranked Class A squad.
And the Wildcats played the last five innings without junior Sierra Pizzola, who suffered a high right ankle sprain and left the field in an ambulance.
"They gutted it out and they played very good defense," Chatham coach J.B. Brantley said of Maple Hill. "They stayed right there until the end."
The performance Monday, coupled with the Wildcats' exhilarating two-game showing Saturday to win the school's tournament on the day the new Maple Hill field was dedicated, had everyone feeling remarkably upbeat.
"We came in thinking they were going to blow us out. They didn't," Maple Hill senior pitcher Maggie Miller said. "We played well, hung in and made the key plays when we needed to. ... We can play with Taconic (Hills) and we can play with Chatham. We're not bad — like some people say about us."
"It is as good as it can be. We've had a very good week, even this one," Maple Hill coach Dave Austin said. "I can't fault our girls. That is a very intimidating team to play. There is no weakness."
Doty struck out 15 and finished with a four-hitter despite getting sick to her stomach more than once.
Maple Hill, without a JV program and featuring a varsity starting unit consisting of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomore, one freshman and one eighth-grader, showed Monday and over the weekend it can compete with any small-school team in Section II.
Saturday, the Wildcats rallied from a 3-1 deficit with three runs in the bottom of sixth to beat Voorheesville 4-3.
In the final vs. Granville, Maple Hill overcame a 5-2 deficit with six runs in the top of the seventh to post an 8-5 title triumph.
"It was great and I really liked that feeling a lot," said Miller, a co-captain with junior catcher Heather Dugan and in her fourth varsity season. "What made it exciting was instead of playing games when you kill someone, we had to stay in there and fight back to win twice. It felt really good to win this first tournament on this field."
"That was great. To open the field and win those games, and come back twice the way we did, really picked up our spirits. It was big," Dugan said. "I'm really excited about the rest of the season."
Eighth-grader Kayley Fountain hit a home run Friday and two in Saturday's title win over Granville.
Monday, she singled and stole second in the sixth and helped end the top of the seventh with a relay throw that cut down Chatham's Michaela Smith at the plate.
Pizzola is the team's other pitcher and her status is up in the air. Miller says she's up to the challenge if she has to pitch every game.
"Maggie did a very, very good job," Austin said. "She isn't the hardest thrower you will see, but she hits her spots. One through nine, there isn't a weakness in Chatham's lineup. To be 0-0 with them in the seventh says a lot."
"It would be great for the younger girls to experience (the playoffs)," Miller said. "We are a good team." • 518-454-5062 • @TUSidelines

 Schodack - BOE to Discuss Budget at Workshop Meeting- 4/16/12 6 p.m.

The Board of Education will hold a special workshop meeting on Monday, April 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the Middle School library to discuss the proposed 2012-13 budget. The Board is still scheduled to adopt the budget on Thursday, April 19 but wanted an additional opportunity to discuss the budget with school officials before that meeting. Interested community members are encouraged to attend. Posted 4/11/12. 
Schodack Democrats
News Release – for immediate release 4/9/2012
Contact Linda Underwood: 257-0096

Schodack Democrats Scholarship Deadline Nears
Schodack Democrats will be awarding two $250 scholarships to college-bound students who are Schodack residents. One scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior from Columbia High School and one will be awarded to a graduating senior from Maple Hill High School. The purpose of this non-partisan award is to encourage future student participation in and the study of the United States government at the local, state and national level.

Applications and a complete list of requirements are available at Guidance Counselor’s office of each high school and at the Schodack Democrats’ website

Deadline:    April 20, 2012    
Submit Application To:
                                 Schodack Democratic Club Scholarship
                                 PO Box 145
                                 East Schodack NY  12063


 Draft Two Budget Reduces Spending in Response to State Aid Cuts

School officials presented the second draft of the preliminary 2012-13 budget at the March 15 Board of Education meeting, a $20,065,160 budget that reduces spending for the fourth year in a row. Superintendent Robert Horan explained the district has little choice but to reduce spending again after the state has proposed cutting state aid for the fourth year in a row. “All of this hurts. It’s not easy,” said Mr. Horan. Click here to read more... Posted 3/21/12.


Merger Feasibility Report Delayed Until April

To give consultants more time to ensure their information is complete and accurate, the report for the Merger Feasibility Study has been delayed until April. Once the Boards of Education receive the report, they have two main options. They can accept it as a draft which would allow both districts to come together to develop a more detailed plan of programs and costs, or both Boards could decide not to move forward with a merger vote and use the study’s data to look at shared services. Read more by clicking here... Posted 3/12/12.

District Leases Empty Classrooms to Questar III BOCES

The district has agreed to lease an empty classroom at Maple Hill Middle School to Questar III BOCES for one of its programs, bringing additional revenue into the district. “It’s not a lot of money but every little bit helps,” said Superintendent Robert Horan. The district is also discussing the possibility of leasing two additional rooms to Questar III next year. Read more by clicking here... Posted 3/12/12.

CBAT Agenda

Attached please find the Agenda for this Wednesday’s CBAT meeting which will be held at 6:30pm in the HS Library. Additionally, I have attached the impact/rationale report that was given to the Board at the last Board meeting for review and comment at this Wednesday night’s meeting.  Hope to see you all there.

Thank you
Monica C. Kim, CPA
Director of Business and Support Services
Schodack Central School District
1216 Maple Hill Road
Castleton, N.Y. 12033
(518) 732-2124 Tel.
(518) 732-7710 Fax.
2 Attached files| 194KB

Discover Dairy to Open at Dutch Hollow Farm
Many of you can remember the farm your parents or grandparents owned a decade or two ago, but how long has it been since you visited a modern dairy farm?

Beginning April 1, 2012 Dutch Hollow Farm is inviting schools, groups, summer camps and community organizations to visit the Discovery Center, our on farm education center. Visitors will learn about modern agriculture, where nature's most nearly perfect food,milk, is the source of income.

A visit to the Discovery Center will begin in the maternity barn where newborn calves enter the world. Next, travel to the nursery to see calves drinking their fortified milk and eating grain. Watch the cows come and go in the milking parlor as they happily give their rich delicious milk. Observe how technology has changed the procedures of milking a cow. Finally, visit the vast barn where cows roam, eat, and  sleep on mattresses.

Tour host and farmer, Beth Chittenden has combined her two passions - teaching and agriculture-with the opening of Discover Dairy. Beth combines classroom experience and a life time in agriculture  to create an experience that teaches groups about where their food comes from and how it is produced. Each day on a dairy farm is different and each group that visits will see different things. Some may have a chance to experience a calf being born, cows getting their feet trimmed or a veterinarian giving an animal a routine check-up.

Along with a tour of the farm, groups may enjoy a petting zoo, including lambs, chickens, bunnies and more.  Groups may also choose from a variety of lessons prepared to teach various age groups about life on the farm, how the food for the 600 cows is grown, and the advancement of technology on the farm.

Kids can be a farmer for a day - measuring and weighing the food for different ages of animals and learning about life cycles and food chains on the farm.  All the visits can be tailored to meet the needs, interests and ages of the group.

Discover Dairy will open their doors April 1, 2012. Reservations are required. Please contact Beth Chittenden at ( or (518) 929-5099. A fee of $6.00 is charged for each member of the group visiting which includes a tour, lesson and a snack.

The farm is located 20 miles south east of Albany and 20 miles north of Hudson at 101 Running Creek Rd, Schodack Landing, NY 12156. Check us out on line at: or  “Like” us on facebook.


Wildcats Raise $21,858 to Conquer Kids' Cancer

The idea quickly grew into a school-wide event with 60 shavees participating. The event raised $21,858.

“That's one thing I've always said about Maple Hill students they always do more than what's asked of them.  Everything's extra, so I joined in, I said if they're doing to do it, I can do it,” said Superintendent Bob Horan.

The Saint Baldrick's fundraiser started as an idea for teacher, Kevin Hunter, had for his Global Awareness class, to teach young people about the needs of others and to raise awareness, and money for research for pediatric cancer.


Maple Hill's very own St. Baldrick's event will take place March 16th To make this event successful we are asking for your support. if you are interested in donating to this worthwhile event please go to

Maple Hill High School

Event ID: 8217 - Private Event

Event Date:March 16, 2012
Start Time:12:30 pm
Address:1216 Maple Hill Road,Castleton, NY 12033


Raised: $14,578 - Goal: $6,000

Top Participants:
Top Teams:
I have attached the PowerPoint presentation that was presented to the board last Thursday. It is very similar to the presentation at our last CBAT meeting except it identifies cost reduction options. Please remember that this is a starting point. We have three months of community feedback, adjustments from the state, and additional work by the administrative team. Student program will remain as the top priority in this budget as it has been in the past. We will also be looking at state mandated time requirement for all core academic and elective areas. I have heard rumors as early as Friday, the day after the board meeting, that people had been let go and that this was the final budget draft - not true at all. Being a member of CBAT you know that we have a long way to go and I would appreciate you spreading the word. We will spend the next few months reviewing options, looking at impact of each option as they relate to student program, rational for reductions, and make adjustment as needed.
Our next meeting is Wednesday February 29th, 6:30 in the high school library. I hope to have an agenda out to you by Friday of this week.  
Two presentations attached – one for computer monitor viewing the other is for printing.
Robert M. Horan
Superintendent Schodack Central Schools
1216 Maple Hill Road

Castleton, New York 12033



Solar Panel Installation Progresses Quickly

Solar panels on MHHS roofInstallation of solar panels is progressing quickly with all the solar panels installed on the High School’s roof and wiring work started. Mounts have been installed on the Middle School roof and mounts were delivered to Castleton Elementary School on February 15, which are expected to be installed next week. We also have heard some community questions about the project. Here is a link to a story from the January 2012 newsletter that provides background on the project… Work will be done approximately from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. While workers have been instructed to keep disturbances to a minimum, neighboring residents may hear occasional beeps from a forklift backing up. If community members have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to call Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Matt LaClair at 813-6414. This project is at no cost to the district. Posted 2/15/12.

District Faces $1.5 Million Budget Gap for 2012/13

Superintendent Robert Horan provided an overview of the preliminary 2012-13 budget to the Community Budget Advisory Team on February 8, explaining how the district faces a $1.5 million budget gap and cuts possibly twice as deep as last year unless state aid is increased. “We’ve reduced our budget the last three years in a row. We’ll reduce it again this year,” said Mr. Horan. “We’re going to stay as positive as possible. It won’t be easy, though. It’s going to hurt.” Read more by clicking here... Posted 2/16/12.


Schodack Castleton Community Partnership

A community partnership working together to build a safe, respectful and substance free environment that utilizes local resources to encourage tolerance and healthy character.
Dear friends of the Schodack Castleton Community Partnership;

Please join us on Monday, February 13th at 7pm in the Maple Hill High School Library for an opportunity to help plan for the future of the coalition.

It has taken the dedication and hard work of many over the years to foster positive change and provide healthy activities in our community.  At this time, our coalition is struggling to continue to carry out the mission that has served Schodack and Castleton so well.

SCCP is looking for direction and input from the people it serves.  You will find attached the coalition's most recent action plan, including prevention activities and programs.  Feel free to look over this document and identify the pieces that you feel are valuable and sustainable in our community.

In addition, the SCCP website is a great way to stay in touch with the coalition and all of the ongoings of the group.  Visit

Please RSVP to  if you will be able to attend this important meeting.  Agenda below.


Mr. Kolby Flach
Chair, SCCP

Coalition Meeting February 13, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm

1.  Review of 1/9 Coalition meeting/minutes
2.  Current Status of SCCP
3.  Identifying Strategies for Leadership
4.  Funding Opportunities
5.  Prevention Efforts Update
6.  New Business
7.  Adjournment

Coalition will next meet on: March  12th, 2012    7:00pm @ M.H.H.S Library


Hannaford Settles Tax Certiorari Lawsuit with Town

For the second time in just over two years, a business in Schodack will receive a multi-million dollar reduction in its property assessment, reducing the district’s tax base and shifting the tax burden more to homeowners.

In a settlement reached after more than three years of negotiations, Hannaford and the town of Schodack agreed to reduce the value of the company’s distribution center on Route 9 from $38.7 million to $28.3 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Hannaford.

“This is unfortunate as it will have an adverse impact on our community’s homeowners,” said Superintendent Robert Horan. “I would like to sincerely thank town officials for working so hard these past few years to resolve this lawsuit brought by Hannaford. We worked closely with the town on this and appreciate their efforts to minimize the impact as much as we could on our taxpayers.”

The agreement, approved by the town in December, will settle the tax certiorari case which dates back to the 2008-09 tax year. As a result of the lowered assessment, Schodack Central School District will have to pay $190,547 in back taxes.

“We anticipated this case would be resolved at some point so we put money in our tax certiorari reserve fund to cover the back taxes,” said Monica Kim, Director of Business and Support Services for Schodack CSD. “No money from our general fund will have to pay for this settlement.”

However, due to the $10.4 million reduction in Hannaford’s assessed value, property taxes for the town and school district going forward will fall more heavily on homeowners in future years.

“Essentially, Hannaford now has a smaller piece of the pie and other taxpayers will have to share a larger portion of the tax burden,” explained Ms. Kim.

Hannaford originally sought to reduce their assessed value to $25 million. But as part of the settlement with the town, which handles property assessment challenges, Hannaford agreed to a gradual reduction to $28.3 million assessed value from 2008-09 to 2012-13.

Hannaford also agreed to forgo back taxes for the 2010-11 tax year. The company also agreed not to challenge its assessment for the next three years.

In 2010, a tax certiorari lawsuit filed by EPCOR Power on River Street was settled, resulting in the company’s assessed value dropping from $40 million to $10 million.


8th Grader Wins MHMS Spelling Bee Posted 1/19/12

Eighth grader Matthew Schottenfeld will represent Schodack CSD at the Regional Spelling Bee at Proctor’s Theatre on Feb. 7 after winning the Maple Hill Middle School spelling bee on January 13. After a prolonged final match with 7th grader Adam Hacker, Matthew eventually won the competition by spelling correctly “irritability”. “Good luck, Matt. I know you’ll represent Maple Hill well,” said Principal Michael Bennett. “And congratulations to all our students. It takes a lot of courage to stand up here and show off your spelling talents in front of your classmates.” Read more...


Schodack neighbors retain attorney; Dollar Tree puts project on hold

SCHODACK —Neighbors living on land adjacent to a proposed site that could become home to a one-million-square foot Dollar Tree distribution facility off Exit 11 of Interstate 90 in Schodack have formed an association and retained an attorney in their fight against the project.

And their efforts may already have changed its course because Dollar Tree appears to be looking for greener pastures. A spokesperson for the bargain retail chain admitted Tuesday that the company has decided to put the project on hold for 30 days.

Representatives from Dollar Tree, Inc. would neither confirm nor deny that Schodack has been eliminated, or at the very least been downgraded, as its top choice for a Northeast distribution center.

“We have consistently said that we are considering Schodack and sites in Connecticut and Massachusetts,” Dollar Tree spokesperson Tim Reid said Tuesday evening. “We are now taking a 30-day pause in the process to review all of our options.”

Attorney Meave Tooher, a partner with Tooher & Barone law firm in Albany, confirmed Tuesday that she had been hired to represent 14 neighbors who reside near the proposed site. The neighbors hail from Richwood and Julianne drives and Star Terrace.

Tooher’s clients are concerned about the potential environmental impact a project of such large scope would have on the area, adding that it will sit directly above an aquifer. They have formed an association in response to the project.

“The quality of the neighborhood, the value of their property, the potential pollution and the impact on the aquifer are their primary concerns about this facility,” Tooher said. “We still don’t know who is supposed to be the lead agency on the project with regard to SEQRA, (New York State’s Quality Review Act).”

The land where the project would be built is zoned for commercial use, according to town officials. But the controversy, neighbors say, is over whether or not the area is zoned to support light commercial/retail enterprises (a PD3 Zone) or those of a heavier commercial use, such as the Hannaford Distribution Facility at 970 Route 9 in Schodack Landing, which is located in what the town identifies as a PD4 Zone.
The project was rushed through the process, said town resident Joe Visalli, a former Schodack Town Planning Board member.
“Another question I have is why this site? And why is it nearly impossible to find out anything about the land owners, who are (reportedly) so in favor of this project?” Visalli asked.
Visalli claimed there is no town zoning law on the books to support the use Dollar Tree has in mind in that part of Schodack. He said he served on the Planning Board when the town revised its zoning maps.
The Rensselaer County Industrial Development Agency initially vied to be lead agency but eventually deferred to the Town, Planning Board Director Nadine Fuda said.
Fuda refuted neighbors’ claims that the timetable of the project has been rushed.

It wasn’t until the end of November that Dollar Tree Inc. hired engineers and made application, she said.  “A sales and distribution center is a permitted use,” Fuda added.

Neighbors see it differently. 

“We may have to legally challenge that to determine if that use is a suitable use for that area,” Tooher said. 
Fuda countered that the Planning Board is mindful of preserving the environmental health of the Town.

“Our attorney has said they do not see any environmental issues that would stop this project.”

But that could be a moot point. Representatives from Dollar Tree recently asked Fuda to cancel the upcoming public hearing slated for Jan. 23 and a workshop on the matter slated for Jan. 30.

Choices not easy in school mergers
Schodack, Ichabod Crane in talks as state leaders continue their push
By SCOTT WALDMAN, Staff writer
Published 11:11 p.m., Friday, January 13, 2012

(John Carl D'Annibale / Times Union)

 CASTLETON-ON-HUDSON — To bring back football and advanced placement classes at one school, you might have to close the doors at another.
"This is a difficult process, people have strong identities and loyalties to their communities," said Lee Bordick, interim superintendent at Ichabod Crane.
School district consolidation is touted as a way to save money at a time of shrinking education aid. While joining schools together can bring back programs by putting more students in classrooms, it can also mean some schools will be left vacant and that a community loses part of its identity.

School district consolidation is a favorite talking point of those who control the purse strings for the state's coffers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that school districts concerned about the new property tax cap should combine resources to save money and has offered hundreds of millions in grant money for those that do. Education Commissioner John King is pushing suburban schools in densely populated areas downstate to merge and has suggested county-wide districts and large, regional high schools. Districts are under significant pressure to consolidate, merge into one or simply share some functions.

But the ongoing consolidation talks between two local districts show that, even if a merger seems like a natural fit, it is a long process that takes years without any guarantee of success. The Schodack Central and the Ichabod Crane school districts, small, rural districts that have seen years of enrollment declines, are in the middle of an ongoing conversation about merging that started in September 2009 and won't end until July 2013, if the measure passes two separate community votes.

"This is a difficult process, people have strong identities and loyalties to their communities," said Lee Bordick, interim superintendent at Ichabod Crane.

The Schodack district enrolls 1,091 students at its three schools in Castleton and has a $20 million budget. Meanwhile, Ichabod Crane, with a $33.8 million budget, enrolls 2,027 at its three schools in Valatie. The exact amount they could save by consolidating would depend on how they combined.

There are about 700 school districts in New York and the last decade has seen only four mergers, according to the state Education Department. At least three other pairs of districts are considering consolidation now. Next week, four Herkimer County school districts will conduct an initial "straw vote" on whether to merge. If that passes, the measure would be put to a binding vote in February.

For some districts, consolidation would mean trimming administrator, transportation and building costs an pouring those savings into classrooms. However, joining districts don't necessarily save money for all taxpayers, because varying tax rates could mean property tax bills for some communities would increase even as they decrease in others. In addition, combining the collective bargaining agreements for separate teacher unions can make the process extremely difficult.
State law requires two community votes before a merger. In Schodack and Ichabod Crane, school officials and 30 community members have been meeting for months and are waiting on a merger study. They plan to hold a series of community hearings before finally putting it out for vote this summer. If it is voted down, then the process essentially begins again.

Still, Schodack Superintendent Robert Horan doesn't want to speed up the process, not if it means risking the wrong decision for each community. Every week, he assures a couple of anxious callers that joining with another district is just a conversation and not a done deal. He tells them it's a necessary consideration because the current programs offered in each district are not sustainable.

He said he has wanted an advanced placement chemistry class at Maple Hill High School for years, but there were never enough students. Bringing students over from Ichabod Crane could achieve the proper enrollment. It could also mean students at his school could have a football team and students at Ichabod could play lacrosse.

The consolidation process is too cumbersome and must be streamlined, but it's not something that can be decided in a month or two, said state Senate Education Committee chairman John Flanagan, R-Long Island. He said even seemingly minor issues, like choosing a new district name and eliminating one school's band uniforms, can become heated emotional battles. It takes time to work out those problems.

"This is a real-life issue because people identify who they are and where they come from with their school," Flanagan said.

Reach Scott Waldman at 454-5080
Read more:


International Dessert Night-Wednesday, 1/11/12  6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Maple Hill Middle School will host its 18th Annual International Dessert Night on Wednesday, January 11 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the middle school cafeteria The event features representatives from school and community organization as well as delicious desserts and nutritious snacks. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students (must be accompanied by an adult) and $12 for families (adult(s) attending with two or more students). Proceeds benefit the school's Wildcat Pride initiatives and Work Study Program. Posted 12/21/11.

Join the Community Budget Advisory Team - Wednesday, January 11, 6:00 p.m.

For the fourth consecutive year, the district is organizing a Community Budget Advisory Team to provide an opportunity for community members to learn about the budget process, provide input on the budget, and act as key communicators by bringing concerns and questions from the community to the district and bringing budget information back to friends and neighbors. If you would like to join the Community Budget Advisory Team, please call the District Office at 732-2297, e-mail Michele Reickert or simply show up to the first meeting on January 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the High School library. For more information, please see the Budget Information webpage... Posted 12/08/11.

Superintendent Robert Horan talks with committee membersReorganization Feasibility Study Community Advisory Committee Meeting - Thursday, Jan. 12 at 6:00 p.m.

The next meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for the Reorganization Feasibility Study will be held Thursday, January 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Maple Hill Middle School library. Interested residents are encouraged to attend. Learn more by visiting the Reorganization Feasibility Study webpage... Posted 1/09/11.

Nathaniel ColedaStudent Performs in Annual Tuba Christmas Concert

MHHS freshman Nathaniel Coleda participated in the 3rd Annual Capital Region grouping of the 38th Annual Tuba Christmas concert in December at the Empire State Plaza and Aviation Mall in Queensbury. Tuba Christmas is a concert of Christmas music played by a band that contains only tubas, euphoniums and baritones. The group consists of students and adults, who practice on their own time, and get one afternoon of rehearsal before performing for the community. This is Nathaniel’s second year performing with the group. Congratulations! Posted 1/09/12.

Maple Hill Booster Club Bottle Drive - January 15 - 28

Maple Hill's Booster Club is hosting a bottle drive at Price Chopper in East Greenbush from January 15- 28. Please drop your returnable cans and bottles off in the designated bin in the recycling area, or if you prefer, drop your recycling receipt off in the designated box at Customer Service. All proceeds will benefit the Maple Hill Booster Club. Thank you for your support. Please e-mail Lorrie Pizzola or call 956-3866 with any questions. Posted 1/09/12.

A note from the Superintendent ~

Hello everyone – I hope you are enjoying the final few days of 2011. It is hard to believe that we are just about halfway through another school year and in the process of starting the 2012-2013 budget cycle.
I am sure that all of you have heard a lot about the new property tax cap law (2% tax levy cap – does not necessarily equate to a  2% tax rate cap), less state aid, elimination of federal jobs fund aid, while mandate relief is minimal with additional mandates added. Please take some time to review the following link from our webpage and share with friends and family.
I am looking forward to catching up with everyone at the January 11th CBAT meeting as we begin to develop our 2012 -2013 budget.
Happy New Year!
Robert M. Horan
Superintendent Schodack Central Schools
1216 Maple Hill Road

Castleton, New York 12033


By Catherine Sager
December 20, 2011

Dollar Tree - we want you, but....

More than 100 people packed the meeting room at the Town Hall for the Schodack Planning Board meeting about the 718,000 square foot Dollar Tree Distribution Center that is proposed for Schodack off of Exit 11. The plan includes an additional 294,000 square feet to be constructed at a later date with a completed warehouse of approximately 1,000,000 square feet.
Plans include breaking ground as early as March 2012. At a previous meeting it was considered that the role of lead agency may be taken over by the County. At the meeting on Monday, the Town Planning Board declared Schodack the lead agency for the proposed project. In attendance were: Denise Mayrer, Chairman , Wayne Johnson, G. Jeffrey Haber, Paul Puccio, John LaVoie, Andrew Timmis, Jim Church, Attorney: Robert Linville, Esq.

On Monday, officials in Schodack confirmed that the town is one of two finalists for the facility, competing against Connecticut. Dollar Tree could make a decision by the end of next month.

Schodack is offering a 106-acre site near exit 11E of Interstate 90, an area where routes 9/20 and 150 cross paths. The plan, dubbed "Project Liberty," was first presented to the town just before Thanksgiving.

The down economy has been brutal to many retailers, but discount chains like Dollar Tree and Dollar General have been thriving as shoppers seek to cut expenses.

The company is deciding whether to build the facility in the town of Schodack, or at an alternative site in Connecticut, said Robert Pasinella, executive director of the Rensselaer County Industrial Development Agency

Dollar Tree representatives attended the meeting offering a prepared presentation to residents.  
Steve White, Chief Logistics Officer, Senior Vice President of Dollar Tree Distribution Inc. gave a presentation to the crowd outlining the success of the company since its beginning in 1986."When we move, we move fast. So we're going to break ground in March of 2012. We'll have the structure complete no later than December of 2012."  The warehouse will start receiving inventory by May 2013 with distribution beginning in June of 2013.

"As of today we have 4,252 stores in 48 states with187 stores in New York," White said. "We are a fast-growing retailer opening stores just about on a daily basis. We have 64,300 associates of which 3,200 are here in the state of New York with sales between $6.5 and $6.8 billion dollars, with a compounded annual growth rate of 11.6%."

Further details out line the 240 million pieces of merchandise supplied to their retail stores. Beginning to feel the pressure in their distribution network to continue the supply chain to New York and Canada, the company hopes to build new distribution center here to run goods to established stores. "Our distribution center in Berwick, Pennsylvania serves close to 900 stores. We are running out of space and need additional logistical support."

The plan is to build a highly automated center. The company is still trying to decide to begin at 718,000 square feet or to build the warehouse at 1,000,000 square feet "right out of the gate."

If the plan goes through it would conservatively create 146 jobs when the plant opened in 2013 with close to 190 jobs by 2017. "We want to make sure that the people we hire like to work for the company and look at it as a career path for life. We want our associates to retire from the company. So we pay them well."

Mr. White went on to say that it's really important to note that these full-time positions pay more than minimum wage and, after six months of employment, come with fully funded health benefits, a guaranteed 40 hour work week, a 401k, profit sharing and a stock purchase program. "So it's real important to us to take care of our associates. We also provide the opportunity for career advancement. If someone comes in as an hourly associate, we give them the road map to get to management. Currently we have 219 managers out of which 72 of those managers have been promoted out of the hourly ranks."

The capital investment he said is approximately $63 million. Inbound truck traffic would include about 65 units daily with outbound loads of 42 per day. Most of the traffic exiting off of exit 11. A problem with tandem trucks leaving the Thruway entering Schodack on Route 9 still needs to be addressed. "It's very important that we build a facility in a community that really wants a Dollar Tree Distribution Center. We want to be an important part of the community. We get involved with the schools and other organizations like Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House and Make a Wish. It's really important to us to give back to the community."

A schematic was presented for review showing the land and surrounding community including landscaping and traffic flow for employees and for tractor trailers. Also available were aerial views of similar plants in other communities. "We put a lot of money into the construction. It's important to construct a facility that we are proud of and that our associates are proud of and that the town is proud of."
Following his presentation, Steve Laberge outlined the impacts the facility may have.  Although it was not clear if an EIS (Environmental Impact Study) had been completed, Laberge stated that in conjunction with civil engineers from Bergmann and Associates, it was determined that the total area of the project would cover 106 acres with two points of access off of Route 150. The project would disturb roughly 60 acres on the proposed site, with a proposed landscape plan to provide screening. The noise level will be increased by approximately two decibels and that no endangered species will be impacted.  Traffic patterns were studied and indicate that the two shifts would have little impact on traffic patterns as they begin and end during "off peak" commuter times. Laberge went on to say that drainage would be contained in two on-site drainage ponds in two naturally low- lying areas.

In addition to the preliminary engineering plans on file, he said there were several technical studies to address the impact of the project including a wetland investigation, a drainage study, a visual impact analysis, lighting design, a detailed traffic impact study, a detailed noise study, air quality, archeological, soil study, geo-technical engineering study and utility studies were conducted. According to Mr. Laberge it was determined that the environmental study conducted revealed a jurisdictional wetland area and two other wetland areas on the site will not be impacted. With a supporting letter from the DEC, there are no endangered species on this property.  The NYS Office of Historic Preservation also walked the site determining that there are no impacts with regard to the property.

The public comment portion of the meeting had residents asking questions about the studies.

Many residents want to know what the rush is.  For many from Thanksgiving until December 19 did not allow for adequate notice of the project. One area resident who asked for the board to maximize transparency on the project stating that important information should be posted on the town's website and asking for the extension the public comment time to allow for residents to learn more about the proposed project and its long term impact.

Residents, particularly those on Julianne Drive, spoke of concerns about the aquifer, traffic pattern competing with school bus traffic, property values, noise produce from idling trucks and large refrigeration units as well as drainage concerns and the impact the warehouse will have on their serene, tranquil community.

"Our neighborhood is like the old time neighborhoods you see on TV where neighbors know each other and kids play outside," said Dan Wood.  "We don't want to look out and see this monstrosity. I invite all of you to come to my house, (the one where the visual study was conducted) to see it for yourselves. It's winter and the few trees there don't have any leaves. Screen trees won't grow there."

Mr. Wood says that the studies sound good, "you can say the same thing, but change the words to sound the way you want them to sound."

Others talked about the assessments and how they wouldn't be able to sell a house with a view of a warehouse off the back deck.

"This warehouse is four times the size of the FedEx plant in North Greenbush. This seems to be rushed with no public input."

Ken Stokem was concerned with the lack of notice given to residents. "I'm not reassured that this will be an open process. Is this part of the master plan?"  Stokem asked if any other locations in town had been entertained as an alternative.

In the town's own Master Plan, dated January 2011, was a Route 9 Corridor Study stating "The southernmost area of the Route (9 Corridor is "ideally located to serve ...distribution, warehousing and industrial businesses." (pg 28)

Other concerns included the lack of oversight of the Commercial Design Standards at the Pilot store/truck stop on Route 9. "How would this be different?"

Still more questions about the protection of the Moordender Kill as a trout habitat. Lack of drainage will foster a mosquito breeding ground.  Why at the center of town? Will a proper EIS be conducted?
But some residents want the project to move ahead. "This project would be good for the town, the county and the state.  Do we know what we'd be giving up?"

Even as a PILOT program the town would reap 50% of the taxes assessed with an increase of 5% per year for the proposed 10 years of the plan.

Dollar Tree, headquartered in Virginia, operates more than 4,300 stores in 48 U.S. states and five provinces in Canada. The company sells a variety of goods, all for $1.  Dollar Tree's net sales stood at $4.7 billion as of last month, the end of its third quarter—a 13 percent increase year-to-date.
A painful reminder of lost opportunity?

A few years ago, the same site was unsuccessfully pitched to Cabela's Inc.   (NYSE: CAB), which sells hunting, fishing and camping equipment.

Would be developer, Roddy Valente faced opposition from neighbors in 2001 when he was blocked from mining a hilly site on the opposite corner of the intersection of Route 9 & 20 and East Schodack Road (Route 150), directly across from (former) town hall.

In a move to appease his critics, Valente changed his plans nixing his mining proposal and replacing it with the Moordener Kill Plaza and Office Park, a "large box'' retail complex with two buildings, one 202,500 square feet and the other 62,500 square feet. The partly wooded parcel called the Snook Bank is prime commercial real estate that abuts two state highways, Routes 9 & 20 and Route 150, and is less than a half-mile south of I-90 Exit 11.

In the time since his proposal, the property has been on the market with several realtors with not one inquiry.

Residents then and now  worry the project may damage their wells, increase traffic, noise and decrease their home values.

Schodack eNews - Maple Hill High School
Clarification on Body Mass Index Reporting Announcement

The district would like to clear up a misunderstanding about the Body Mass Index reporting announcement that was sent out through eNews earlier this week. Due to the wording of the announcement, it may have appeared that the district asked to be a part of this survey. That is not the case. The district was one of many the state selected and is requiring the district to participate. Failure to do so would be a violation of Education Law. We apologize for the confusion the eNews announcement created. The intent of the announcement was to let parents know they could request their student's summary information be left out of the reporting by filling out the attached form and returning it to the school nurse by December 19. Thank you.

This e-mail is being sent by Schodack eNews


Places for Retail Businesses near Schodack, NY

Country True Value Hardware & Rental

2 Troy Road
East Greenbush
(518) 477-1104

Bud's Florist & Greenhouses

1614 Rte 9
(518) 732-7563

Flying Arrow Sports, Inc

517 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush
(518) 477-2697
Bountiful Blooms Florist

1598 Columbia Tpke
Castleton On Hudson
(518) 477-1428

Grand Premier Tire & Custom Wheel

3517 US Rte 20
(518) 766-3717

Curtis Lumber Co Inc
1657 Columbia Turnpike
(518) 477-7503

Retail Businesses in Valatie

Crazy Daisy Florist & Candy
3027 Main St, Valatie, NY 12184 21 Healy Blvd Hudson, NY ...
3455 Us Route 9 Valatie
(518) 784-3663

Steiner's Sports
2967 US Highway 9 Valatie
(518) 758-8463

Kinderhook Wine & Spirits
Kinderhook Wine & Spirits is located in the Hannaford Plaza


Maple Hill Cross Country Team Makes School History

Maple Hill High School's Cross Country teamThe Maple Hill Cross Country runners made school history on Oct. 25 at the Patroon Conference Championships at Schodack Island State Park. Our runners dominated each and every race bringing home multiple league championships and achieving perfect undefeated seasons in league competition.

The Boys Varsity Cross Country team crushed the rest of the league by placing all runners in the top 20. The team was led by second place finisher Jordan Healy and was closely supported by Adrian Barber (8th), Franco Fettuccia (9th), Jake Davis (11th), Alex Pulver (12th), Will Noll (16th) and Leland Axtmann (20th).

The Girls Varsity Cross Country team equally dominated the league with a very low team score of 33 points. The Lady Wildcats were led by race winner and Conference MVP Hannah Riordan. Hannah was strongly supported by Kelsey Oglesby (3rd), Kelly Pasko (4th), Sarah Plitnik (14th), Melanie Hicks (15th), Kelly Healy (22nd) and Abby Peters (29th).

The JV Boys Cross Country team was an unstoppable force in their race. The unbeaten boys placed six runners in the top eight and twelve in the top twenty. The team was led by race winner Roscoe Quint who was strongly supported by Norm Bullinger (3rd), Sean Smith (4th), Sean Brady (6), Ted Tobin (7), Stuart Allen (8), Nick Mannion (11), Adam Migirditch (12), Gabe Dingman (13), Jeremy Bryda (16), Kolby Randall (17) and Zach Siakowski (20).

The JV Girls Cross Country team also had the best showing of the conference. The girls were led by race winner Kayla Belschwinder who was strongly supported by Hailey Nelson (4th), Kelly McInerney (5th) and Robyn Eames (7th).

- Written by James Farrell, 8th Grade Teacher and MHHS Cross Country Coach


Reorganization Feasibility Study Community Advisory Committee Meeting - Monday, October 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The Reorganization Feasibility Study Community Advisory Committee will hold a meeting on Monday, October 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Maple Hill Middle School library. Interested community members are welcome to attend.

Schodack Boards of Education Discusses Next Steps for Reorganization Feasibility Study

The Ichabod Crane and Schodack Central School District Boards of Education gathered together on October 11 to discuss how to proceed with the Reorganization Feasibility Study once the Community Advisory Committee has finished its work.

Consultant Paul Seversky explained the committee is expected to finish its work reviewing data by December. After that, consultants will use the data and the committee's feedback to complete a report and present it to both Boards of Education.

That report will not recommend whether the districts merge, Mr. Seversky noted. Instead, it will provide an analysis of what a merger might look like, including projections on school programs, budgets and impacts on district tax levies.

Public meetings would be held in each district to provide both community members and district employees an overview of the report as well as opportunities to ask questions.

Once both Boards receive the report, it will be their decision whether to move forward with planning community votes for a possible merger or instead use the report to pursue only shared services that would reduce costs and/or increase student opportunities.

"It's very, very important for people to understand that no decisions have been made yet," said Schodack CSD Superintendent Robert Horan. "There's no reason to rush this."

If both Boards did decide to pursue a possible merger, Mr. Seversky explained the state would first require a "straw vote" in each community. If either community voted against a merger, the process would stop there. But if both communities voted in favor of a merger, the state would require a second "binding vote" in each community.

While Mr. Seversky said the earliest possible date for the first "straw vote" would likely be April, Board members and superintendents from each district indicated they would probably need more time if they chose to pursue a merger.

Both Boards agreed that extensive communication efforts would be necessary to ensure the communities understand the opportunities and challenges of a possible merger.

"We need to make sure any decision on this is an informed decision for our communities," noted Lee Bordick, Ichabod Crane CSD Interim Superintendent.

Mr. Bordick added that both school districts will also be challenged early next year with budget communications, including explaining the impact of the state's property tax cap on the 2012-13 budget process.

"The property tax cap is looming," Mr. Bordick said. "In a few months, we'll be talking about what to preserve."

While a potential merger would likely be more than a year away if both communities agreed, Mr. Bordick noted that the study has already helped both districts by highlighting areas where they can work together to reduce costs and/or increase student opportunities.

"I predict that next year's budget will include shared services between the districts," Mr. Bordick said.

Town of Schodack
Town Board Meeting September 22, 2011
Draft, as of 19 Sept 11

Join SCCP at Maple Hill Middle School Library
Monday, September 26 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Schodack Castleton Community Partnership (Schodack Castleton Coalition)
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Your Teen, Tween & Everything In Between
Please join us for a discussion with local therapist, Barbara Wood, A.C.S.W, about positive communication and setting healthy boundaries with our tweens/teens. Lots of tips and strategies will be discussed!
Light Refreshments and childcare provided.

Schodack Democratic Caucus
On Tuesday night Schodack Democrats chose their candidate for town board. 
Linda Underwood was unanimously elected by those in attendance at the Democratic  caucus held at the Peter Andrews VFW Post in Castleton. Underwood vowed to work to represent the residents of Schodack by debating the merits of all expenditures.

"Resolutions are passed at every meeting without a single question from board members," she said. "Our elected officials rubber-stamp proposals without explaining their thinking or debating the merits of what they are doing. Residents need to know how and why our hard-earned tax dollars are being spent. It is time for someone to ask tough questions and hole our elected officials accountable for their actions and I pledge to do that."

Underwood is running on the Democratic line against two Republican incumbents in a three-way at-large election where the two highest vote-getters will be elected.


For more information about the study, please visit the Reorganization Feasibility Study webpage...

Attention Schodack Democrats!
Please attend the Schodack Democratic Caucus

The Schodack Democratic Committee is holding its nominating caucus this Tuesday, September 13 at 7 p.m. at the Peter Andrews VFW Post on Scott Ave. in the Village of Castleton.

All residents of Schodack who are registered in the Democrat Party may cast a vote in this caucus.

Your attendance is necessary to insure that candidates of the majority's choosing represent the Schodack Democratic Party in the up-coming town elections.

The Schodack Democratic Committee


High School and BOCES Programs Discussed at Community Advisory Committee Meeting

The High School and BOCES programs for Ichabod Crane and Schodack Central School Districts were discussed in depth at the August 3rd Community Advisory Committee meeting for the Reorganization Feasibility Study.

Similar to previous meetings on Elementary and Middle School programs, a panel of teachers, counselors and administrators from each school answered questions from committee members during the group's fifth meeting, which was held at the Ichabod Crane High School library.

The panel included from Ichabod Crane CSD, Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick, Guidance Counselor Melissa Donohue, Math Teacher Linda Knight, Principal William Schneider and Athletic Director Paul Thompson.

From Schodack CSD were Principal Ron Agostinoni, Athletic Director and Business Teacher Mark Bubniak, English Teacher Caitlin Donahue, Guidance Counselor Teresa Hebert and Schodack CSD Superintendent Robert Horan.

A wide ranging discussion started with class sections which revealed both districts largely offer similar sections. Both districts offer AP and Regents classes, although Ichabod Crane also offers Honors courses. School officials noted declining enrollment is affecting how many sections of each course they can offer. Both high schools currently use a minimum of 10 students in a class to offer that class.

Committee members agreed that declining enrollment would be a key consideration in deciding whether a merger is the best option when it comes to a decision on reorganization.

A discussion on electives revealed that Ichabod Crane High School offers more electives than Maple Hill High School. However, Schodack CSD officials noted they also utilize distance learning to expand student opportunities. Ichabod Crane CSD officials said they might consider that as an option in the future and have tried it with a few students.

Course selection for juniors and seniors was a concern raised by committee members who said they believe there are too many study halls for students. Both districts agreed that budget cutbacks and the impact on staffing could impact study hall numbers. Counselors and principals discussed giving students more electives while focusing on their goals so students' schedules fit their educational needs.

As an alternative to study halls, Ichabod Crane CSD officials explained their juniors and seniors have participated in mentoring students in the lower grades. Juniors and seniors have similarly mentored classmates who are struggling in various subjects with outstanding outcomes.

While there was agreement that the number of study halls needs to be monitored, benefits of study halls in general were also discussed. Some students who have five credits prefer to take study halls with parental support. A parent on the committee also said there needs to be some down time for seniors so they do not become burned out before reaching college.

The conversation continued with a focus on online courses, which are available through BOCES. The committee agreed that even if a merger does not take place, some shared services in this area would benefit both schools. Schodack CSD officials noted they currently use an online learning program for credit recovery and graduation goals. Courses are usually paid for by the class, however, and can become expensive.

A concern was also raised about the impact of a possible merger on counselor-to-student ratios. Counselors from both districts reassured the committee that they believed their offices could still provide the one-on-one services students currently receive. Ichabod Crane High School Guidance Counselor Melissa Donohue added that their counselors are already preparing for their roles to change due to the elimination of the Senior Seminar course.

Student management systems were also discussed. Schodack CSD officials explained they currently utilize web-based software that allows parents to check on their student's grades and homework assignments. Ichabod Crane CSD officials noted they are currently looking into a similar system.

Class sizes were also discussed with both districts concluding that a reasonable class size is about 25. Ichabod Crane Math Teacher Linda Knight and Maple Hill English Teacher Caitlin Donahue both spoke about the challenges of class sizes larger than 25, including the challenge of reaching all students regardless of academic level.

The impact on self-contained classrooms was also considered, including how class times would affect interactions with social service workers. School officials responded that an appropriate time would continue to be provided for students and that a potential merger could actually improve the services students receive.

The BOCES program and CTE (Career and Technical Education) program also were discussed, including whether BOCES could take over a work study program. CIEP programs were also brought up. However, neither Ichabod Crane CSD nor Schodack CSD offers the program which is usually only offered to larger school districts.

At the end of the meeting, consultants asked the panel how high school programs and learning opportunities could be improved if additional resources were made available through a reorganization.

The panel responded that a merger of the two districts could be more cost effective over a long-term time frame and have a positive effect on students. However, they stressed the importance of considering the financial constraints of future economic conditions. The students and programs must come first.

The panel also discussed the challenges of reorganization including logistics, dialogue and transportation. The general consensus was that students would likely adjust well but it might be more difficult for staff, community members and administration. The two districts would also have to continue to honor their cultures, traditions and community events.

Due to time constraints athletics and co-curricular activities were moved to the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Maple Hill Middle School.




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that a public hearing will be held by the Town Board of the Town of Schodack, Rensselaer County, State of New York, at the Schodack Town Hall, 265 Schuurman Rd., Castleton, NY 12033, on Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 7:15 p.m. to seek input on proposed Local Law #2 of 2011 (P2-2011), to amend the Zoning Schedule of Use Regulations parts 1 through 6 of the Town of Schodack.
FURTHER, a copy of the proposed local law will be available at least five (5) business days in advance of the public hearing in the office of the Town Clerk between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
FURTHER, at the above time and place, all interested parties will be given an opportunity to be heard.

Schodack Town Board
Donna L. Conlin, Schodack Town Clerk

Proposed Local Law P2-2011 (.pdf)
or As a MS Word doc and in summary



Schodack  District News

Free Outdoor Movie Night at Maple Hill Middle School - Tuesday, August 2
The Schodack community is invited to a free outdoor Movie Night on the back lawn of Maple Hill Middle School on Tuesday, August 2. The event will feature bouncy bounces, a rock climbing wall, popcorn and more from 6 to 8 p.m. The movie "Rango" will start at 8 p.m. For more information, please visit the school website,, to see a flyer. Thanks to the Schodack Castleton Community Partnership and Schodack Youth Department for sponsoring this event!

Reorganization Feasibility Study Community Advisory Committee Meeting - Wednesday, August 3 at Ichabod Crane High School Library
The Community Advisory Committee for the Reorganization Feasibility Study will meet Wednesday, August 3 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Ichabod Crane High School library. Interested community members are encouraged to attend to listen to the discussion on high school programs, special education programs, BOCES services, athletics and co-curricular activities. To read about the last meeting where the Middle School program was discussed, visit the school website,



Dutch Reformed Church of Schodack Mini-Market

Cleaning out your attic or storage unit?  Had a garage sale and now have items not sold?  Should have had a sale but didn't?

The Reformed Church of Schodack at Muitzeskill will be holding its Annual Mini-Market and Chicken Barbecue on Saturday, August 13.

If you would like to donate items for the Mini-Market, call
732-7976 or 732-2471 to make arrangements for the drop off of items. 

Submitted by K. Ormiston



Town of Schodack Actions of July 14, 2011

Stay up-to-date on meetings and Town Board Resolutions.


Truck Fire causes delays 

SCHODACK -- A truck fire closed I-90 eastbound between exits 11 and 12 on Monday afternoon. No one was injured and the lanes reopened about 5 p.m., according to State Police.


Police: Woman stabbed man at their Castleton home

SCHODACK -- A 43-year-old man is in stable condition a day after he was stabbed in the abdomen, and the 35-year-old woman with whom he lives has been charged with first degree assault in the domestic dispute, State Police said.

Soraira S. Simmons was arrested at the Hostfield Inn at 1565 Columbia Turnpike in Castleton, where the couple lives, on Monday around 7:30 p.m., according to the police, who said Randy L. Jones was treated at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Simmons, who was arraigned in Town Court, is being held at the Rensselaer County jail in a lieu of a $20,000 bail bond.




Mini-Market and Chicken Barbecue

Dutch Reformed Church of Schodack Mini-Market

Cleaning out your attic or storage unit?  Had a garage sale and now have items not sold?  Should have had a sale but didn't?

The Reformed Church of Schodack at Muitzeskill will be holding its Annual Mini-Market and Chicken Barbecue on Saturday, August 13.

If you would like to donate items for the Mini-Market, call
732-7976 or 732-2471 to make arrangements for the drop off of items. 

Submitted by K. Ormiston


George Warner The graduation rate at Schodack School District is 96%!! One of the highest graduation rates in NY State. In addition, 14 of 15 teams were scholar athlete teams (team scholastic average must be 90% or higher). Yes, I’m bragging. Education is alive & well in Schodack Schools This community works hard to ensure the success of its children. If you want your children to have this success, come join our community. If you want your firm to be part of such a community, contact me.

George Warner
Term: 2009-2012


Schodack residents can dispose electronic items free
Residents in Schodack can now dispose of many electronics items for free at the town transfer station, Councilwoman Debra Young announced in a press release.
The town recently applied to become an electronic collection site in order to allow the Transfer Station to continue to accept these electronic items. Young recently sponsored a resolution waiving the fee on collection, as electronics products manufacturers will now cover most of the expenses.
The electronics items that can be disposed for free include a computer with a monitor, computer tower, printers, radios and stereos.

“This will help ensure Schodack residents can dispose of unwanted electronics items both safely and cheaply,” said Young in a statement.
The town transfer station is located on Poyneer Road. 

For more information on hours of operation, visit


Community Advisory Committee Learns About Elementary School Programs

The Community Advisory Committee for the Reorganization Feasibility Study held its second meeting on Tuesday, May 24, learning firsthand about each district's Elementary School programs from teachers, principals and superintendents.

The 30 members of the committee met at the Maple Hill Middle School library for the meeting, where they reviewed data about each district's Elementary programs and asked questions of a panel.

The panel consisted of Castleton Elementary School Principal Jason Chevrier, Castleton Elementary School Teacher Laura Cook, Ichabod Crane Primary School Principal Melissa Murray, Ichabod Crane Primary School Teacher Karen Vecellio, Ichabod Crane CSD Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick and Schodack CSD Superintendent Robert Horan.

The discussion highlighted differences and similarities in how the two districts offer Elementary School programs and what they would add if they had more resources. Consultant Sam Shevat explained more resources could be available through sharing as well as additional state aid if the districts merged.

Castleton Elementary School Principal Jason Chevrier, for example, answered questions about his school's library program, which no longer has dedicated time each day for students to use the library.

Mr. Chevrier explained all students still regularly come to the library. However, the Library Media Specialist instead works collaboratively with teachers to develop projects for students. Teachers then bring students to the library where they develop research and library skills and work collaboratively. Students still have the same opportunities to take books out as well.

"Our kindergartners are now doing research projects," Mr. Chevrier said.

The panel then discussed what opportunities for students they would want if they had more resources. There was much agreement including sharing technology such as Distance Learning, minimizing class sizes, starting foreign language in Elementary School, more co-curricular activities and increased small group collaborative learning.

Ichabod Crane Primary School Principal Melissa Murray noted a coordinated professional development program between the two school districts where resources were shared to continually improve teaching would be extremely beneficial for students.

"The quality of the teacher has the biggest impact in the classroom," Ms. Murray said.

The panel also talked frankly about some of the potential challenges the two districts may face if they shared services or merged. Challenges included getting used to different school cultures, building new relationships between colleagues and communities, and minimizing student time on buses.

After the panel discussion, the committee looked over data provided by consultants. That data is available here:

Committee members asked for additional time to digest the data they were provided. Schodack CSD Superintendent Robert Horan reassured the committee that the districts would provide them with whatever time they needed, including the possibility of additional meetings.

"We don't want you to feel rushed," Mr. Horan told the group. "This is too important."

Consultant Doug Exley also reminded committee members that no matter what the outcome of the study is – useful data about the districts, conversations about sharing resources, or a recommendation for a full merger – the decision lies with the communities since it requires Board of Education and community votes.

"Ultimately, what happens in the end once the study is completed is up to the districts," Mr. Exley said.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, June 28 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Ichabod Crane Central School District.




Board of Education ppoints New Business Official

Ms. Kim, who has worked in the Onteora Central School District in Boiceville, NY for the last five years, will succeed Sherri Fisher, who is leaving the district at the end of June for a position with the South Colonie School District.
Monica Kim
Monica Kim

"We are very excited to welcome Monica to Schodack," said Superintendent Robert Horan. "She's very energetic and enthusiastic. She has the same vision we do: we have to look at different ways to continue to provide enriched and enhanced opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the community."

Ms. Kim said she is equally excited to join Schodack Central School District.

"Schodack is a wonderful community and I am very excited and honored to be part of the Schodack team," Ms. Kim said. "I look forward to enhancing the support system of the district and helping meet its educational vision for the future."

Professional Background

Ms. Kim is a certified public accountant and certified school business administrator. For the past four years she has served as district treasurer for the Onteora Central School District as well as interning with the assistant superintendent of business and support services for the district, overseeing a budget of $50 million.

Ms. Kim also is very experienced in financial accounting, auditing and payroll. She supervises and trains personnel, works closely with agencies in the community and prepares annual state and federal reports. Ms. Kim previously worked as an internal claims auditor with the district, evaluating the adequacy of the district's system of internal controls.

Prior to Onteora Central School District, Ms. Kim worked for a public accounting firm as a staff accountant and auditor, where she was involved in the external audits of school districts, towns, and counties. She also worked with the Department of the Navy in Foreign Military Sales, providing support for the selling of fighter jets to the Swiss Armed Forces.

Ms. Kim is the current President of the Onteora Athletic Booster Club, current Treasurer of the Woodstock AYSO Soccer Club and former President and Treasurer of the Woodstock PTA. She enjoys horseback riding, skiing and boating.

”She's a good fit. She offers a lot and we'll be asking a lot of her," Mr. Horan said.

Interview Process

A total of 28 candidates applied for Schodack's business position. Fifteen were screened and eight were brought in for interviews. Candidates met with three committees: an administrator committee, a faculty and staff committee, and a committee of community residents. The final two candidates interviewed with the Board of Education.

"The interview process is long and grueling but it's important because a business official has to work with everyone, from staff and faculty to members of the community," said Mr. Horan.

During the interviews, Mr. Horan said committees were impressed with how Ms. Kim talked not just about numbers but repeatedly stressed the importance of programs for students.

"She realizes that we have to look at alternative ways to provide programs for students besides relying on state and federal money," Mr. Horan said. "She has creative ideas and takes the approach that if it's a good program, let's figure out how to fund it."

Ms. Kim will start July 6 but will meet with Ms. Fisher and district office staff before her start date to get acclimated to her new position.

Anyone who would like to meet Ms. Kim is encouraged to come to a reception for her on Thursday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the High School library before the Board of Education meeting.


 Out Of The Darkness Walk

"Well Em and I did it along with 2,000 others who walked the "out of the darkness walk" on Saturday for Suicide Prevention. It was an amazing journey that I will always remember," Kelli Carney

In 2011, the Out of the Darkness Overnight national walk journeys to New York City- a lively city filled with the energy that we know will fuel our quest for awareness and prevention. Kelli Carney and Emily Santore walked in memory of Kim. A beautiful woman, mother and friend to many who miss her.

From the Out Of The Darkness website:
The Overnight is a fundraising walk unlike any other. Starting at dusk and ending at dawn, I along with thousands of others will walk up to 18 miles, a moving community of diverse individuals connected by a common goal.

This year, we will make suicide prevention a national priority. Through your generous monetary donations, you’ll send a loud, clear message, heard from your house to the White House, that it’s time to end the stigma surrounding suicide and shed light on the tragic consequences of depression, substance abuse, anxiety and other mood disorders that, left untreated, can lead to suicide.

Your money will go directly towards scientific research, prevention projects, education of the health professionals and the general public and providing survivor support!

Link to Donate



3rd Annual Hoops Against Hunger Event - Friday, May 20

Schodack CSD will hold its 3rd Annual Hoops Against Hunger event on Friday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the MHHS gym. 

The event features faculty and staff from the MHHS taking on MHMS and CES in a fun night of basketball. Admission is $2 along with a canned food or non-perishable food item. All donations help The Anchor food pantry. 

 Posted on Schodack CSD site


Maple Hill Swing Choir Performance

The Maple Hill Swing Choir will perform with The Hendrick Hudson Male Chorus on Friday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. for a concert at St. Paul’s Church on Carney Road in Castleton. Tickets may be purchased at the door; $8 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. This is a great opportunity for the students to perform in the community. Please come out and show your support. 

Posted on Schodack CSD site


 Boys Varsity Tennis Team Wins Patroon Conference

Congratulations to the Maple Hill High School boys varsity tennis team which won the Patroon Conference! 

Junior Jakob Yager, team captain and #1 seed for the team, finished the regular season undefeated and without losing a set. Congratulations! 

Posted on Schodack CSD site


 Meet the Candidates Tonight

Budget Public Hearing and Meet the Candidates Night - Tuesday, May 10

Schodack CSD will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2011-12 school budget followed by a Meet the Candidates Night on Tuesday, May 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School library.

Community Moonlight Memory Walk - Thursday, May 12

The 2nd Annual Community Moonlight Memory Walk in memory of Chris Beebe and Kyle Koch will be held on Thursday, May 12 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The walk will begin and end at the CES basketball courts where refreshments will be served. The walk is sponsored by the Schodack Castleton Community Partnership and SADD.

For questions, please e-mail Jacqueline Hill. The first 150 people will get T-shirts. Food and drink donations are also welcome and can be dropped off at the Middle School on Wednesday or Thursday or they can be brought directly to the walk.

The district has cut spending for the third year in a row with its 2011-12 proposed budget, which totals $20,125,047. However, due to a $761,126 cut in state aid for 2011-12 - and a $1.9 million state aid cut over the last two years - the budget requires a 2.71% increase in the tax levy. The budget newsletter was mailed to residents and is available here. For more information, please visit the Budget Information webpage 

Posted on Schodack's site 5/02/11


3rd Annual Hoops Against Hunger Event - Friday, May 20

Schodack CSD will hold its 3rd Annual Hoops Against Hunger event on Friday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the MHHS gym. The event features faculty and staff from the MHHS taking on MHMS and CES in a fun night of basketball. 

Admission is $2 along with a canned food or non-perishable food item. All donations help The Anchor food pantry.

Schodack Rescue

At approximately 1:12 PM, a New York State Thruway employee, working on the Castleton Bridge, observed a person who appeared to be stuck and struggling in waist deep mud on the eastern shore of the Schodack Island State Park.

New York State Police, New York State Park Police, and Schodack Landing Fire & Rescue responded. The subject, a 62 year old man from East Greenbush, managed to free himself prior to being located by responding personnel.

Personnel from Castleton, Clinton Heights assisted Schodack Landing at the scene.

The subject, who was not injured, stated that he frequently hikes in the park but on this occasion had ventured off the established trails and misjudged the depth of the mud along the shoreline during low tide.


 County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino has announces Town of Schodack is the winner of this year’s Water Taste Test, Rensselaer

Over 80 individuals participated in the contest.  The town will now compete in the regional Water Taste Test Contest to be held later on this summer.  The Village of Hoosick Falls came in second.  The City of Troy and the Village of Nassau also participated in this years contest. 

“Congratulations to the Town of Schodack who now holds the title of County’s best tasting water.  I also want to thank the other municipalities who participated in this event and work day in and day out to ensure a safe water supply to the residents of Rensselaer County,” said Jimino in a statement.

 For those that participated in the contest:

  • Letter A represented water from the Town of Schodack
  • Letter B represented water from the Village of Hoosick Falls
  • Letter C represented water from the City of Troy
  • Letter D represented water from the Village of Nassau



Schodack 2011-12 School Budget Information

On Tuesday, May 17, community members can vote on the 2011-12 school budget from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the high school gymnasium

Highlights of the 2011-12 Proposed Budget:

  • Spending totals $20,125,047
  • Spending was cut by $362,673 over 2010-11
  • Third year in a row spending is cut
  • Community input from nine public meetings helped target areas for cuts
  • Budget requires a 2.71% tax levy increase, largely due to a $761,126 cut in state aid
  • Use of $840,000 in fund balance and reserves
  • Reduction of 12.8 FTE (full-time equivalency) positions
    • 8 teaching assistants (including three retirements)
    • 4.2 FTE teachers (including two retirements)
    • 0.6 FTE non instructional support staff

Additional Budget Information:


Town Board


Board Adopts 2011-12 Budget

Spending Reduced for Third Straight Year

The Board of Education adopted the 2011-12 budget at its meeting Thursday, April 14. The $20,125,047 budget reduces spending for the third straight year. However, due to a $761,126 cut in state aid for 2011-12 - and a $1.9 million state aid cut over the last two years - the budget requires a 2.71 percent increase in the tax levy. Please check back on Monday, April 18 when we will have more details, including a PowerPoint Presentation

A letter from Superintendent Bob Horan

Good morning – I hope you are enjoying the week if you have scheduled time off, if not, let’s hope the sun and warmer temperatures are here for the weekend.

I have attached the Adopted 2011-2012 Budget that was presented to the Board on Thursday April 14. It will be posted to the website this week for all to review. We were able to get the tax levy down to 2.71% with a tax rate of 2.99%.

There were some very tough decisions that had to be made and I appreciate all the input and support from the team. We will continue to meet with the public to answer questions and provide more explanation as we approach May 17th. It is important to continue to inform the community of the process and challenges the district is facing. Your continued involvement is very important.  I have scheduled a May 10th CBAT meeting from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. followed by the Public Budget Hearing and Meet the Candidates Night, MHHS Library at 7:00 p.m.

Looking at what we have had to deal with in regards to state aid, property tax base dropping by $28 million in the last two years, a reduced work force two years in a row, reduced budget three years in a row, and instability with  transition at the state level - this budget still minimizes impact on student programs and works hard to provide additional opportunities. With these changes, we will continue to closely monitor our students and make adjustments as needed during the school year. There are challenges we will be faced with in the coming years, and as a community we will work together to continue to provide for our students a good educational program that prepares them for their future.

I have also attached information about the Community Advisory Committee (Key Communicators) from our consulting firm SES. We are looking for individuals from the community who would be interested in representing one of the categories identified. The meetings typically will be from about 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at a mutually convenient or central site.  The collective Community Advisory Committees from the two school districts will work together for as many as 8 to 12 meetings.  Between meetings, committee members will be asked to review various documents on their own personal time and provide ideas/insights electronically as necessary to the study consultant team. The members of the Community Advisory Committee will be announced to our community and committee members will be encouraged to communicate with you during the normal pattern of activity in our community. The Board of Education charge to the Community Advisory Committee is:

  • To listen to presentations and discussions and provide perspectives and feedback about the data and their analysis during the study process.
  • To advise the consultants on issues related to the study.
  • To help keep district residents informed with accurate information about the study.
  • To promote 3-way communication among school district officials and personnel, the citizens of the districts, and the SES Study Team consultants.

If you are interested or would like to recommend someone, please let me know asap so that we can begin to organize the Schodack team.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

BOE Minutes from February 17, 2011


Annual Highway Clean-up

The Schodack Area Land Trust is having their annual highway clean-up on Saturday, April 30th. We are meeting at the old Schodack Town Hall on the corner of Route 150 and Routes 9 & 20 at 10am.

Please consider joining us as more hands make less work. Remember to wear good shoes and bring gloves. SALT will provide safety vests and the trash bags. The clean-up only takes about 1 hour.

It's fun and cleans up our community and you'll feel good.
SALT can be reached at or call Bill Murphy at 727-5239.

Zachary Despart, a student at UVM with the assistance of Candace Morgan (also Maple Hill alum) and our family.  It will be part of the annual film festival- happening today at UVM.

Check it out!

The performed at the NYS Museum as part of a special event for elementary students that was a part of Riverway Storytelling Festival. This is the 9th year of the festival and Maple Hill kids have been involved every year.
They also told at Castleton Kids at CES and the performance at the MS library
Emily Bonin is a senior this year and she participated every year since 7th grade!
We are doing a performance, along with students from Green Island Schools, on Wednesday, April 27 from 4 -5 pm at the Green Island Senior Center.
Also, we are doing a performance for 7th graders at Doyle Middle School on Wed, May 25.


Agenda for April 11, 2011 __________________________________________________
Tuesday April 12, 2011
Maple Hill High School Library
    6:00 – 7:30p.m.   

1.    Welcome Back:
·    Merger Feasibility Study Update
·    Call for Community Advisory Committee (Key Communicators)

2.    Budget Financial Update:
·    Community Forum Questions and Comments

3.    Additional Comments on Tier Options:

4.    Response to questions:
·    E-mails questions
·    Newsletter questions

5.    Comments / Concerns:
·    What do you think are the key budget points that we need to explain or talk about to the community in the district's budget communications?
·    What are you hearing?

6.    Adjourn


Community Forum Meeting

1.     2011-12 Grade 3 reduction to 3 sections, concerns about our youngest learners building the foundation.

2.    How many students are in HS AP courses?

3.    Tier 2 – Music, no loss of student contact time?  Explain.

4.    Will Grade 5 still have the opportunity to take instrumental lessons?

5.    HS FACS, what will the elective options be for these students?

6.    Need to advertise in The Advertiser, use this resource to increase P.R.

7.    Can HS Chinese classes be condensed?  What are the numbers?


Sherri Fisher Leaving Schodack After Decade as Business Official

Assistant Superintendent for Business and Support Services Sherri Fisher will be leaving Schodack CSD at the end of June after accepting a position with the South Colonie Central School District.

“As the business and support services leader, it has been an absolute privilege to serve the Schodack school community for the past decade. I will be forever grateful to the current and past Boards of Education, administration, faculty and staff, and community for their support of my role here in Schodack. I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and compassionate group of people to work with. Schodack is an awesome community that has shown tremendous commitment to the school and the children that we serve. While I am excited about the move to South Colonie, I feel so fortunate to have been a part of this wonderful school district,” Mrs. Fisher said. 

The district has started a search for a new business official.  
Posted on Schodack's webite 4/06/11.

Sherri Fisher addressed the community


School Officials Push for Economic Development

In an effort to increase the tax base in Schodack to help homeowners, school officials and Board of Education members sat down with local leaders in March to talk about what they could do to help encourage economic development.

Superintendent Robert Horan explained the meeting was prompted by repeated requests from the community to encourage economic development in Schodack as a way to alleviate the tax burden which falls largely on homeowners.

“We talked about how we can work together to try to look at economic development in Schodack,” explained Mr. Horan. “It was a great meeting and we really appreciate them taking the time to work with us.”

Mr. Horan was joined by Board members Ken Flood, Lisa Lafferty, Paul Puccio and George Warner, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino, and Deputy Director of Rensselaer County Economic Development and Planning Jack Bonesteel.

The group specifically talked about economic possibilities for the Route 9 corridor between exits 11 and 12. One suggestion was to reach out to commercial realtors to open up lines of communication and stress the desire for growth.

The district will hold another walk-through of Schodack schools for both residential and commercial realtors in April to help
realtors  better market the community.

“We’ll work with them anyway we can,” Mr. Horan said.

The group also toured Schodack schools to show county officials what they have to offer. Mr. Horan noted that Ms. Jimino and Mr. Bonesteel stressed the importance of quality schools to attract both families and businesses.

The district plans to continue such work with not only Rensselaer County leaders but town and village leaders as well. Mr. Horan noted Schodack Supervisor Dennis Dowds and Castleton-on-Hudson Mayor Joseph Keegan have been very supportive of working together on economic development.

“We also can’t forget about agriculture,” Mr. Horan said. “It is a very important part of our community.”


District Presents Third Draft of Budget

School officials presented the third draft of the 2011-12 budget to the Board of Education on March 31, agreeing to a number of options that would cut spending by $238,437 over the 2010-11 budget.

In an effort to reduce the impact on taxpayers, the Board also instructed school officials to consider additional options that would further cut spending.

The final draft of the budget will be presented to the Board on April 14, when they are scheduled to adopt the budget. The community budget vote will be May 17.

State Aid revenues

Sherri Fisher, assistant superintendent for business and support services, explained that the recently adopted state budget restored $118,790 in state aid for the district.

However, the result is a $762,126 cut in state aid for the 2011-12 school years. Over the last two years, state aid has been cut by nearly $1.9 million.

In the budget presentation Ms. Fisher presented a “tier one” of spending cuts to the Board that were included in the Draft 3 budget. 

However, with “tier one” spending cuts requiring a projected 4.47% increase in the tax levy, a second tier of proposed cuts was presented for Board consideration. The Board asked school officials to make adjustments to the budget for potential retirements, final health insurance rates and other changes. The “tier two” options will be prioritized by administration and presented to the Board for consideration in adopting the final budget on April 14.

If community members have questions about the proposed budget, they are encouraged to attend the Community Budget Forum on Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School.

Mark your calendar

Thursday, April 14, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Education Meeting: Final Draft of 2011-12 Budget Presented and Adopted
Monday, April 18
Deadline for submission of petitions to run for Board of Education
Tuesday, May 10, 7:00 p.m.
Public Hearing on Budget and Meet the Candidates Night
Tuesday, May 17, 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Community Vote on Proposed 2011-12 Budget


District Presents Second Draft of Budget

The Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Thursday, March 31 at 6:00 p.m. in the High School library to discuss a third draft of the 2011-12 budget.

After reviewing the second draft budget at its March 17 meeting, Board members instructed school officials to prepare a third draft that would require a
tax levy increase between 4 and 6 percent and maintain all sports, co-curricular activities, and arts and music.

The Board of Education is not scheduled to adopt a budget until April 14. The community vote on the budget is scheduled (by New York State) for May 17.

At the March 17 Board meeting, school officials presented the latest draft of the budget, which totals $20,646,716, an increase of 0.78 percent over the current budget.

Sherri Fisher, assistant superintendent of business and support services, explained the district has cut spending the last three years as state aid continues to be reduced.

State AidFor 2011-12, the state has proposed cutting the district’s aid by $879,916. In the past two years, state aid has been cut by over $2 million.

The district also hasn’t increased the tax levy, the total amount of money collected in school taxes, in two years, Mrs. Fisher noted. However, residents did experience a tax rate increase in 2010-11 due to a loss in property assessment. In the past three years, the district’s assessment base has dropped by $28.1 million.

“We’ve cut spending for three straight years and our tax levy hasn’t increased in two years,” said Mrs. Fisher. “We cannot continue to make deep spending cuts without significantly harming our programs.”

Superintendent Robert Horan encouraged anyone interested in the budget process to attend the March 31 meeting. He thanked community members for their attendance at the district’s six public meetings on the budget so far this year.

“The community’s comments, concerns and ideas have been very informative and has helped us as we continue to develop the budget,” Mr. Horan said. “We have some difficult decisions to make and it’s essential we hear from our community.”

Maple Hill Student-Athletes Named to Conference All-Star

Congratulations to the following student-athletes for being named Patroon Conference All-Stars for the winter season. Girls Basketball: Katie Roth – MVP, Sierra Legge – 1st team, Aubrey Racz – 2nd team; Boys Basketball: Jon Chesky – 1st team; Boys Volleyball - Jeremy Kelly – 1st team, Eric Berney – 2nd team. Posted on Schodack's website 3/14/11.

Student Artists' Exhibit

Student Artwork Selected for Exhibit

Artwork by Schodack students Anna Curtin, Franco Fettucia, Matthew Fiebke, Michelle Garcia, Alex Grossman, Mary Hadden, Zach Hays, Aaron Herr, Alyxe Perry and Katherine Zink was selected for this year’s High School Juried Regional Art Exhibition. Artwork was selected from nearly 400 works from 20 school districts by a panel of artists and heads of art departments from the area. The exhibit runs from March 20 to April 14 at the Opalka Gallery at Sage Albany

A reception will be held April 1 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Congratulations! Posted on the Schodack website 3/14/11.

Bus Accident CES Field Trip

Update on School Bus Accident
All Students Released from Hospital After Precautionary Checks

Several elementary school students from Schodack were taken to Albany Medical Center to be evaluated Monday after an accident between two buses during a field trip to Albany. 

According to Schodack Superintendent Bob Horan, three buses were taking the students to see "Aesop's Fables" at the Palace Theatre when one bus "tapped" the back end of another bus.



Letter from MHHS Varisty Volleyball Coach Jake Colwell

MHHS Volleyball TeamFollowing a successful year in which the team won sectionals, but graduated most starters, we had a lot of work to do to live up to the previous accomplishments. From the beginning, our success for the year was ultimately dependent on the ability of Tyler Shorey and Brian Pulikowski to step up to the challenge of controlling our offense as setters. The improvement those two have show as setters and as leaders of the team throughout the season is immense. Brian was an easy candidate for team captain, always keeping a level head, and being a strong positive voice on the floor. Tyler's leadership and winning edge proved to be great in times of need. He really put the team on his back during the first round of sectionals against number 1 seed New Lebanon.

As the setters improved, the opportunities for our hitters to shine did as well. We often counted on the leadership, experience and ability of one of our team captains, Eric Berney. When Eric is confident, poised and successful, the whole team performs better. Which was undoubtedly the case in our sectionals championship match against Chatham when Eric had a stunning 18 kills. Luckily, Eric was not the only big hitter to take control of games this season. I have at least 3 matches recorded in which Andrew Donnelly was the dominant scoring force that lead to our victory. He averaged over 5 kills and 4 blocks a match. When either of these two and Robert Arcuri or Tom Maffucci were on fire in a game, we would be pretty much unstoppable. 

Defeating Cairo-Durham (14-4) and Cobleskill-Richmondville (12-5) were two highlights of our season. On those nights, blocking big hitters were key. Our front row really owned the space above the net those nights. Robert, Tom, Eric, and Andrew along with first year players Jakob Yager and Matt Palmer were brick walls against well known power hitters like Andy Fishman. Jake and Matt were huge additions to the team. Both are phenomenal athletes, who started almost every match this year. Matt was one of our biggest set of hands on the net and Jake became a full time starter by mid season. 

Easily the most talked about player on this team is our libero Jeremy Kelly. Not a game goes by where the opposing coach doesn't comment on how impressive he is. Jeremy has physical ability and an instinct that is uncanny. In every match this season he has given his full effort to collect countless digs ans service points and continually stun the spectators, his teammates and his coach in efforts to make quality passes and keep the ball in play. 

We were a deep team this year. We had a great supporting cast of players that were eager to get playing time. Senior Nick Rush played a huge role on senior night against Hudson as well as other matches. He was a first year player who developed as a strong defender who could put a lot of power on the ball from the back row. Jon Plitnick stepped in as a setter on numerous occasions in practices and matches, showing a lot of promise as one of the leaders of our underclassmen squad. Two returning players that helped us win matches against Berlin, Greenville and Coxsackie are Will Noll and Jason Zobre. These two have become quality back row players that I know I will be depending on even more next season. Silviano Christman, Kolby Randall, and Judsen Hoffmann all joined the team this year as well. They brought energy and much needed support as well as scoring and defense when starters weren't available. We would have never had a productive practice without these player. 

The team has grown as individuals throughout the season. The skills and confidence of the players on this team are so much greater than they were back in November. But more importantly, the team unity has grown. These are all excellent young athletes and young men. You would be hard to pressed to find team in the league that has approached the game and the matches with more respect. It has been a pleasure coaching this team to a sectional victory. We hope to continue to have the support of the school community as we head into our regional match next Saturday against Mount Markham at Hudson High School at 1:00 pm.

Jake Colwell

Coach of Maple Hill Varsity Boys Volleyball Team


Come to a Spaghetti Dinner!
Friday, March 11th ‐ 5 pm to 6:45 pm. Have some dinner before the concert. Spaghetti will be served in the Maple Hill High School Cafeteria. (Before the Music in our Schools Concert – how much more convenient could it be?)

$8 for adults, $6 for children under 10.

Spaghetti & meatballs, salad, bread, butter, drink and dessert!

Open seating – pay at the door.
Come early and relax before the concert.
Proceeds will support the 8th grade trip to Philadelphia this spring.

If you have any questions: contact Robin Perry, 423‐2387 or 

Registration Now Open for Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse

Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse has opened its registration for the 2011 spring season. For information, please visit the Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse website. Please note, the Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse League is run independently from Schodack CSD and is self-financed, receiving no school district funds. Posted 2/14/11.

Community Budget Advisory Team Encourages Residents to Learn About Budget

As school officials consider how to cut $800,000 from the 2011-12 budget, members of the Community Budget Advisory Team are stressing the need for the community to get involved in the budget process.

Gathered in the High School library for their third meeting on Thursday, March 3, the two dozen parents, teachers, seniors, concerned taxpayers and other community members raised concerns the community doesn’t know the impact of cuts the district may have to make.

Faced with a proposed $879,916 cut in state education aid, the district is considering cuts to athletics, after school clubs, teaching assistant positions, and other areas. A full list of possible reductions is available here...

“These reductions are not final. They’re a start to a conversation. We need to hear from the community about what it values,” Superintendent Robert Horan told the group.

he next opportunity for residents to learn about the budget process is a Community Budget Forum scheduled for Monday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the High School auditorium. Officials will review the first draft of the budget and answer questions from the community. The district will present a second draft budget on March 17. The Board of Education will adopt a third draft budget on April 14.

On Thursday, the Community Budget Advisory Team met in small groups to discuss issues such as what programs were important to the community and how much of a tax increase the community could support.

Community members raised concerns about a number of proposed reductions. They also asked dozens of questions about areas such as employee salaries and benefits, how reductions in class sections would affect teachers, and where additional cost savings could come from.

At the end of the meeting, team members stressed the need for the district to explore all ways to reach out to the community to ensure they understand the impact of proposed budget cuts. Mr. Horan noted the district will continue community forums, posting info on the website, sending out eNews, mailing newsletters and meeting with groups.

“We’ll go wherever people want to talk about the budget,” Mr. Horan said. “If you want me to meet with 15 people in a living room, I’ll be there.”


Community Budget Advisory Team Meeting
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
Maple Hill High School Library

Superintendent Robert Horan thanked the three dozen attendees for coming to the second meeting of this year’s Community Budget Advisory Team. A few new members to the team introduced themselves.

Mr. Horan explained administrators would talk for the first part of the meeting. But most of the meeting would be spent in small group discussions to allow team members to talk about issues. Mr. Horan read the district’s new vision statement, explaining it was created by a team of 25 to 30 individuals including administrators, faculty, staff, community members, students, town officials and others. They met three times to create the vision which states what expectations are for graduates of Schodack schools. The vision is available here… The obvious question is how do you accomplish a vision with limited resources. The answer is we need to focus on what we do well and continue to do that along with looking at new approaches. Students didn’t see a big change when they started the school year but employees did. With the further cuts that are needed, there will be a point that students see the changes. The district’s goal is to make those changes as positive as possible.

Principal Jason Chevrier gave an overview of CES. There has been much change this year, including fifth grade at CES which has gone well and ultimately saved a few positions by allowing more flexibility in scheduling. The “alternate to the core” program which helps struggling learners has been very successful according to testing data. The reading program has focused more reading specialist time on working with students who are struggling the most with reading. Physical education is offered at the same time, allowing teachers common planning time. Morning program is offered once a month; while not the same as every day, it provides similar benefits. For 2011-12, CES will have to continue to look at staffing levels due to budget constraints; the school needs to help its talented faculty and staff come up with creative ways to change how to provide education and allow them to be leaders in their field.

Principal Michael Bennett gave an overview of MHMS. The school has adapted well to going from a grade 4-8 school two years ago to a grade 6-8 school. An “alternate to the core” program has been introduced this year to help students who need help in reading similar to CES. MHMS is also targeting students who are struggling in other areas to provide the support they need. The school continues to try to be creative with study hall time and will look at the possibility of offering electives in areas such as English Language Arts, Math and Science.

Principal Ron Agostinoni gave an overview of MHHS. Students need 22 credits at the High School to graduate and can fulfill them in a variety of ways. MHHS has a large number of study halls; the school is looking at creative ways to reduce those numbers. Ideas include increasing the number of College in the High School courses so students can earn college credit at MHHS at a discounted tuition rate, working with colleges such as HVCC and Syracuse University, increasing online learning opportunities and possibly rotating electives every other year.

Residents had a number of questions, including:

Q: How can MHMS deal with the study hall issue in a time when the school is reducing costs?

A: It is a tough issue. Have to look at all options, including possibly rotating course offerings. Changes at MHHS (such as rotating electives every other year) could help free up teachers to help at Middle School. District continues to explore creative solutions such as utilizing volunteers in the community who are willing to share their expertise in the schools.

Q: Is online learning at MHHS mainly for remedial work?

A: Currently, must of online learning at MHHS is for credit recovery, helping students who struggled with a class learn and pass courses. But MHHS is exploring expanding that. However, online learning only helps certain students as it requires a lot of self motivation. It is popular at colleges so those students using it in high school will be well prepared at college.

Q: Is online learning like college online classes?

A: Somewhat. Teachers are still involved in online learning and have to check student work. There are online opportunities to teach subjects in core areas for all four grade levels. The school doesn’t currently offer electives through online classes but possibly next year.

Sherri Fisher, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Support Services, gave an update of the current budget process. Overview:

  • Governor Cuomo released his state budget and has a $1.5 billion cut to state education aid, worse than expected.
  • The district saved $322,921 in federal jobs funding it received late last year for the 2011-12 school budget to help minimize the impact of reduced state aid.
  • Schodack CSD is projected to receive $7.6 million in state aid according to the Governor’s budget; that is a reduction of $556,996. This is the third year in a row the state has frozen foundation aid (the largest portion of state aid for schools).
  • The State Senate passed a property tax cap that would start with the 2012-13 school year and cap local property taxes at 2 percent or rate of inflation. The Assembly has yet to pass a property tax cap but Speaker Silver has said publicly he favors capping property taxes. A 2 percent tax cap for Schodack CSD would allow the district to increase the tax levy (total amount raised in local property taxes) by $209,658 but would mean a $1.1 million in spending cuts.
  • The district will apply $790,000 in unreserved fund balance towards the budget. The district has $2.1 million in total fund balance but $1 million is reserved to specifically pay the results of outstanding tax contiorari cases.
  • The district has a three year plan to use unreserved fund balance, to provide stability in the tax rate. If the district used all of its fund balance this year, it would create a revenue problem in future years. Districts have unreserved fund balances because either revenues come in higher than expected or spending comes in lower than expected.
  • Governor Cuomo has created a commission for mandate relief with a report expected by March 1. With a state budget due by April 1, it is unclear whether any mandate relief would help the district with its 2011-12 school year budget. However, it is good to see movement on the mandate issue.

Budget Season is under way!  

See the Power Point Presentation of the First Draft of the Budget.

Robert Horan, Superintendent Schodack Central Schools sent information to residents who have joined the discussion about the upcoming school year's budget.
Read about the Budget Advisory Meeting!

At a meeting on February 8, a group of Schodack residents gathered to hear about the proposed budget for the 2011-2012 school year.  The Administration posed several question and asked for feedback for each.  Below is the transcribed Q&A.

Community Budget Advisory Meeting
2-8-11 Feedback

1.     What do you value most in a child’s education?

a.    Academic Rigor
b.    Alternative activities
i.     Athletics
ii.    Arts
c.    Attention to individuals needs
d.    Diverse learning experience
e.    Problem solving skills – 21st century skills
f.     Teamwork – 21st century skills
g.    Positive enthusiastic people / caring people
h.    Strong social network (positive)
i.     Independent thinking
j.     Alternative academic opportunities
i.     Trade studies
ii.    Advanced studies
k.    Life (survival) skills
l.     Character education
m.   Cultural understandings
n.    Service learning
o.    Teachers encouraging students to take academic risk and pushing their own potential.
p.    Teachers who create “the spark” in their students.
q.    Adapted to changing times

2.    What are your expectations of a Maple Hill Graduate?

a.    Ready for world in area of choice
b.    Life skills
c.    Language earlier in school life
d.    Public speaking
e.    People, creative thinking (risk taking)
f.    Able to grasp new ideas
g.    Responsible / accountable
h.    Courteous
i.     Read & write at high school level
j.     Life-long curiosity
k.    Collaboration (?)
l.     Enjoyable for those not college bound
m.   Confident for next step
n.    Critical thinking skills
o.    Advocate for themselves
p.    Active in community
q.    Civic minded
r.    Insure education curriculum is up to date using the most current resources available
s.    To be a “modern” graduate
t.    To be proud to be a Maple Hill Grad and ambassador for the school and Schodack community.
u.    Able to compete in
i.     College
ii.    Workplace
v.    Research skills
w.    Leadership skills

3.    Given the information provided in the presentation of the 2011-2012 “Roll Over” budget this evening, what preliminary advise can you offer to the Board of Education to guide its considerations for the development of school programs over the next 2 years?

a.    Look into biggest impact on students
b.    How to quantify
c.    Maximize use of technology
i.    Within district
ii.   Between districts
d.   Build partnership with community (during the instructional day)
e.    Look for cuts that don’t impact academic programs
f.    Public outreach
g.    “ manage” special interest groups fairly
h.    Look at the vision statement
i.    Restructure music program
i.    Flute all one lesson (more students together
ii.    Possibly after school
iii.   Keep athletics (including modified)
iv.   Emphasis on large group sports – weight room
v.    Kindergarten
vi.   Effect / cost per student of cuts proposed
vii.   Shared out district transportation

4.    Comments you have with regards to building level programs:

a.    What is the impact of changes / potential changes on kids? (Taking the longer view)
b.    We NEED more programs in the Middle School
c.    What is mandated at every level.
d.    Maintain a level of education for all level of learners
e.    Incorporate use of college student to support education program.
f.    Careful consideration of allocation of resources
g.    Tap students as a resource (ex.  using upper classmen as mentors)
h.    Parent involvement needs to increase in education at home.
i.    5th graders lost out on many activities by remaining at elementary school / lack of locker facilities
j.    Like monthly morning program
k.   Distance learning and blended learning opportunities expansion
l.    Walk to read expansion
m.  Communication regarding options for students
n.   Look for ways to increase school to community and community to school interaction at all levels.

5.    What do you want the Board to hear?

a.    Oppose legislature for moving Special Education costs to County.
b.    Advocate for consistent, reliable system for education funding
c.    Develop innovative, creative delivery of knowledge
d.    Listen to ALL district employees
e.    Your community supports you
f.    Raise awareness of impact of reductions
g.    Community outreach
h.    Continue to look for alternative revenue sources and academic opportunities for students
i.    Are there ways to get greater parent involvement / accountability
j.    Place efforts on lobbying for legislative change
i.    Pension reform
ii.    Health insurance
k.    What is long term plan for the district
l.    Get Schodack and Ichabod Crane communities together, break down the barriers, get involved in a non-competitive way.
m.   Consolidation of services
i.      Bus Maintenance
ii.    Administrative support
iii.    Faculty
iv.    Programs
n.    More distance learning (hosting)
o.    Keep listening to the community
p.    Actively look for tenants for vacant space at MHMS

Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse

Registration is open at all levels. Online registration available.

Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse

Mission Statement
Maple Hill Youth Lacrosse (MHYL) is dedicated to promoting the growth and development of the sport of lacrosse to the youth of our community. MHYL will strive to build a love for the great sport that is lacrosse by teaching the fundamentals of the game and knowledge of the rules, while emphasizing good sportsmanship, team spirit, and respect for the game and its players. We are also dedicated to teaching parents about the rules of lacrosse, and the importance of being positive, supportive spectators.
MHYL expects that players, parents, spectators, coaches, and officials abide by a "Code of Conduct"; basic common sense principles that demonstrate consideration of others, adoption and understanding of set rules, and projects a positive image to our young athletes.


Maple Hill Seniors Win Section Championships in Wrestling

Congratulations to Maple Hill High School seniors Zach Bazan and Jeff Wagner for winning Section Class C Championships in wrestling. Zach is the Class C Champion in the 189 pound weight class. 

Jeff is the Class C Champion in the 215 pound weight class.  
Posted on the Schodack website 2/14/11


To the Dogs?  Word around town says that his lawsuit is an effort to reclaim money spent on the Town's Police Dog...


Rossiter v. Town of Schodack, New York

Plaintiff: Brian Rossiter 
Defendant: Town of Schodack, New York

Case Number: 1:2011cv00003
Filed: January 3, 2011

Court: New York Northern District Court
Office: Albany         Office
County: Rensselaer
Presiding Judge: Glenn T. Suddaby
Referring Judge: David R. Homer

Nature of Suit: Labor - Fair Labor Standards Act
Cause: 29:201
Jurisdiction: Federal Question        
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff      

Evergreen Country Club Fire

Photos by Catherine Sager
At around 5 a.m. Saturday, February 12, a fire destroyed a maintenance building on the grounds of the Evergreen Country Club. The Schodack Valley Fire Department with other local fire companies extinguished the fire and assisted with clean up of what was left of the destroyed building.

Firefighters believe that two propane tanks are at fault for the total loss of the building, but an investigation continues.

The Schodack Valley Fire chief said those two tanks were the last to be put out.

There were no injuries reported. On Sunday, the pile was still smoldering. 


Community Budget Advisory 

Schodack residents discussed the budget challenges facing its schools on January 6 when the Community Budget Advisory Team met for the first of four scheduled meetings.

This year’s meetings will provide more opportunities for residents to ask questions and offer advice, noted Superintendent Robert Horan. He encouraged anyone interested to attend the remaining meetings, scheduled for February 8, March 3 and March 29.

“Your input is very, very important to us. These are your meetings. We want to hear from you,” Mr. Horan said. “We’re all in this together. We’re all here to provide the best education we can for our students.

Sherri Fisher, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Support Services, provided a preliminary overview of the 2011-12 budget. Due to challenges such as reductions in state aid, a possible property tax cap and rising pension and
health insurance costs, the district will have to make significant spending cuts to minimize the impact to taxpayers, she said.

Many of the residents’ questions focused on the consolidation-merger study with Ichabod Crane CSD. Mr. Horan noted the district expects recommendations in September, which could range from shared services in areas such as transportation or special education to a merger. But Mr. Horan stressed that both communities would have to agree to merge as the action requires a community vote.

“If the study recommends we merge, it’s up to the Boards of Education and the community whether they want to,” Mr. Horan said.

Residents also asked questions about the status of employee contracts, the rising costs of pension and health care, and possibility of state mandate relief.

If you would like to join the Community Budget Advisory Team, please contact the district office at 732-2297 or simply attend the next meeting on February 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the High School library.


A hot ticket in his field

For second straight year, Castleton native wins prize at engineering conference
By STEPHANIE LEE Staff Writer Published: 12:00 a.m., Monday, January 24, 2011
Dwight Cooke may be 24, but his career is just heating up.
Cooke, a master's student in mechanical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology and a Castleton native, is making a name for himself for his research into the dynamics of heat transfer. For the second year in a row, he won top prize in the graduate student category at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society Conference, held in November in Albuquerque, N.M.

In the paper, "Pool Boiling Heat Transfer Over Micro-grooved Surfaces," Cooke evaluated electronic chips with varying surface geometries under boiling conditions to test how efficiently they transferred heat.
His research could be commercially significant, he said, because the electronics industry is concerned with ensuring that integrated circuits and computer processors resist overheating.

"I wasn't really expecting to win it the second time," Cooke said. "When they announced my name, I was really happy, and it was really fun, too, because we had a good group of students that went from RIT to the conference. They stood up and clapped. It was really nice."
The conference, attended by more than 1,800 Native American, First Nations and Native Hawaiian college students, was established to highlight their achievements in science, technology, engineering and math and to encourage them to become leaders in their tribal communities.

For Cooke, the trip was a chance to connect with young academics from similar backgrounds. "'Where are you from? What's your tribal affiliation? What graduate program are you in, master's or Ph.D.?'" he recalled them asking each other. "It seems that everyone's in the same boat."

Cooke, born in Castleton, is Native American on his father's side and Irish/German on his mother's. He belongs to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, whose reservation is near the Canadian border. There he has some three dozen relatives whom he visits a few times each year.
Cooke recalls that he and his brother and sister were the only students of Native American descent at Maple Hill High School, where he played soccer and developed a keen interest in the hard sciences. "Even going through middle school and high school, I just found that science and math came pretty easy to me," he said.
After graduating in 2004, he enrolled in the Rochester Institute of Technology. Mechanical engineering as a major came as an intuitive choice, since his uncle and grandfather were both engineers.

Seeking to gain experience in a laboratory, Cooke met Satish Kandlikar, a mechanical engineer professor. Together, they went on to publish papers on hydrogen fuel cells and heat transfer in prestigious science journals, the latter of which resulted in Cooke's latest award.

In continuing this line of research, Cooke believes that about a month ago he conducted a heat transfer whose level of efficiency was three times greater than the norm.

Kandlikar describes Cooke as among "the brightest students that have worked in this lab" in the course of his 30-year career. Even though Cooke isn't sure whether to pursue a doctorate degree or a job when he finishes his master's degree this spring, his faculty mentor is confident he has a bright future ahead of him.

"He's a very dedicated researcher, hard-working, very talented and always willing to help others," Kandlikar said, adding, "He saw all these opportunities in terms of research, and he just grabbed them and excelled in anything that was given to him."

Reach Stephanie Lee at 454-5057 or



1 Schodack Island Way
Schodack Landing, New York 12156

Ice skating daily 10am to 4pm
Weather Permitting

Bring your skates &enjoy a day on the ice

  or come to the park for
Friday Night Skating

January 14th ~ March 2011
 5 pm ~ 8 pm
Bon Fire & Refreshments available  
Weather Permitting
Enjoy daily snow shoeing and cross country skiing on over five miles of trails
For more information call the park at


  Continuing Education Program

The Schodack Central School District provides Continuing Education opportunities to promote lifelong learning in the community. Continuing Education is self-supporting, with no bearing on the district's tax rate. It is only through the continuing support of the community that this program is possible.

Eligibility - Registration is open to all residents of the Schodack Central School District. Non-residents may enroll in courses on a space-available basis.

Senior Citizens - District residents who are 60 or older may attend many courses tuition-free or at a reduced rate. Those courses which are not free are noted in the course description. All materials fees are the responsibility of the participant.

Fees - All course fees must be paid by the first course meeting. Registrations are binding because financial commitments are made based on the number of registrants for each course. We are sorry, but no refunds will be made unless the class is canceled due to insufficient enrollment or filled to maximum capacity. Each class must meet a minimum enrollment. If a course is canceled due to insufficient enrollment, or over-enrolled, notifications and refunds will be sent by mail.

Registration must be made in advance.

Registration forms are available here.

Early-start courses – Please call or send in registrations now for early start courses.

To register, please fill out a separate registration form for each course, enclose tuition and any materials fee (if noted in the course description) with a check payable to Schodack Central Schools to:

Director of Continuing Education
Maple Hill High School
1216 Maple Hill Road
Castleton, NY 12033-1699
You will be notified only if a class is canceled.

Questions? Would you like to teach a course you don't see offered? Please e-mail Continuing Education Director Theresa Hovish or call her between 8 and 10 a.m. at (518) 732-7701.


 Kimberly A. Santore

Santore, Kimberly A. CASTLETON Kimberly A. Purcell Santore, age 43, of Castleton, N.Y., passed away on Monday, January 24, 2011. She was born in Albany and lived many years in Rensselaer before moving to Castleton 11 years ago. Kim was employed as an administrative assistant for CHP for 11 years and afterward was employed for Schodack Central School District and most recently, a stay-at-home mother. She enjoyed exercise, especially walking, and interior design and choosing interior colors, but the biggest joy in her life was her husband, daughter and son. Wife of David W. Santore of Castleton; mother of Emily and Jack Santore, both of Castleton; daughter-in-law of Margaret Santore and the late William J. Santore; sister-in-law of Joanne Santore; daughter of the late John J. Purcell Jr. and Dolores Welch Purcell; sister of Patrick (Kathy) Purcell of Albany, Nancy (Steve) Agans of Rensselaer, Julie (John) Sanford of Rensselaer, Gena Purcell of Rensselaer, Jackie (Jerry) Alevisatos of Ormond Beach, Fla., Geraldine Purcell (Michael Mancini) of East Greenbush and Amy (Carlton) Nelson of Connecticut; also survived by several nieces and nephews. Funeral from the W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home, 1700 Washington Ave., Rensselaer, Friday morning at 9:30 and 10:30 at Sacred Heart Church, Castleton, where the Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be offered. Relatives and friends are invited and may call at the funeral home Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Greenbush. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Maple Hill Booster Club, 1216 Maple Hill Rd., c/o Lisa Samarija, Castleton, NY 12033. Condolence page at



Retail watch: Cabela’s almost came to Schodack

Robert Pasinella, executive director of the Rensselaer County IDA, told me yesterday that Cabela’s nearly decided to build a store in Schodack, directly off Exit 11 from Interstate 90.
Cabela’s also looked closely at the site in East Greenbush where FedEx is planning a massive distribution center. But the Nebraska company was most serious about Schodack, Pasinella said.
Cabela’s rumors have circulated around the Capital Region for years. The company apparently considered a rural Schenectady County site as well, and Greene County officials have long been trying to lure the store to New Baltimore.
But Pasinella said the Cabela’s seems to have cooled on building a store here, perhaps because the economic downturn has made it skittish about opening new stores.
I’ve never been to a Cabela’s, so I can’t really say what all the fuss is about. But the company typically builds mammoth stores that attract huge crowds.


Free Ice Skating 

The Ice Skating rink at Schodack Island State Park in now open seven days a week. Free admission!
Friday night skating will start January 14. On Friday nights the snack bar will be open from 5 to 8 pm. Hot dogs, hamburgers, pork chop on a stick, and more hot foods. 
Food by the Schodack Landing Fire Company!




Press Release

East Schodack Fire Co.
Route 150, East Schodack, NY

Date: January 10, 2011

East Schodack Fire Co. Supports Bridge Project at Schodack Town Park

    The East Schodack Fire Co. has made a donation to support a project to install a second pedestrian walkway bridge at the Schodack Town Park, fire company officials announced.

    The fire company decided to donate $500 to the bridge project, following discussion by members of the company. The park is located a short distance from the fire company on State Route 150.

    An Election Day dinner and bake sale generated the proceeds being used by the fire company to support the bridge project, said East Schodack Fire Co. President Ali Signer. Other funds from the Election Day dinner and bake sale will be used to support a department scholarship fund.

    “We are thrilled to be able to support this project and put this money back into the community. Many of our members and neighbors use the park, and we are excited to help make this improvement possible,” said Signer.

    The town has been seeking donations from the community to help with the placement of the bridge. Local businesses also donated labor to help install the second bridge.

    The project to install the second bridge was organized by businessman Lou Spada, with assistance from town employees and local businesses.

    The Town Park is situated between Poyneer Road and State Route 150 and features hiking trails, a small playground, athletic fields, nature areas and a picnic pavilion. The Moordener Kill runs through the park, which is used to host summer concerts sponsored by the town.

    The Town Park was founded in the 1990s with strong support from the community. Volunteers who helped create the park included members of the town Highway Department, with support from local government and town businesses.


Schodack Republican Club

January 11, 2011

Schodack Republican Club Elects New Officers

The members of the Schodack Republican Club elected new officers for the coming year at the January 6 meeting, following successful elections for candidates backed by the Club.

Officers elected include Chris Lucarelli as president, with Lucarelli succeeding Linda Shannon who did not seek a new term as president after several years of service. Club members thanked her for her many contributions to the organization and the community.

Along with Lucarelli, officers elected include first vice-president Marianne Carner, second vice-president Karen Vecchione, treasurer Kathy Lubbers, recording secretary Jacob Westman and corresponding secretary Debra Young.

Elected to the Board of Directors were Donna Conlin, Warren Carner, Dave Harris, Alice Platt and Linda Shannon. Officers and trustees were all sworn-in by Rensselaer County Legislator Alex Shannon, who is a representative of Schodack in the County Legislature.

The Schodack Republican Club supported a number of candidates who saw success in the 2010 elections, including Councilman Mike Kenney and Judge Bruce Wagner. The Republican Club also supported the election of Congressman Chris Gibson, re-election of State Senator Roy McDonald and the election of Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin.

Along with joining the Schodack Republican Committee in supporting Republican candidates for federal, state, county and local office, the Club also supports various community and educational efforts in Schodack and Rensselaer County.

The Republican Club generally meets the first Thursday of each month, and interested Republicans are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Chris Lucarelli at or (518) 477-8260.


Free Ice Skating 

The Ice Skating rink at Schodack Island State Park in now open seven days a week. Free admission!
Friday night skating will start January 14. On Friday nights the snack bar will be open from 5 to 8 pm. Hot dogs, hamburgers, pork chop on a stick, and more hot foods. 
Food by the Schodack Landing Fire Company!

  HVCC to Offer Night Courses at Schodack Schools

Starting in January, residents interested in taking an introductory college computer class, a mathematics class or a general psychology class at night can do so at Maple Hill High School.

District officials finalized an agreement with Hudson Valley Community College to start offering some college courses at Schodack schools. HVCC has similar agreements with other area school districts.

HVCC will initially offer three courses starting in January:

  • Personal Computer Concepts & Applications (Mondays from 6:00 – 9:20 p.m.)
  • College Algebra with Trigonometry (Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:10 p.m.)
  • General Psychology (Wednesdays from 6:00 - 9:20 p.m.)
By Catherine Sager

Sale of the old Town Hall Property

Whether or not to sell the old Town Hall property at the intersection of routes 9&20 and Route 150 will be determined by a vote of the residents of the Town of Schodack.

In question is the sale of the property to David Bryce, as is, for the amount of $300,000 as a vacant lot.

Following the resolution passed by the Town Board, a petition was submitted on November 13 calling for a vote. If voters determine the property not be sold, the lot and building would be placed back on the market.

The corner lot has been for sale since 2006 when it was appraised at between $300,000 and $450,000. The original asking price was a hefty 1.2 million. There were no offers on the property, due in part to the fact that there is no access from Route 9.  Mr. Bryce contacted the town indicating his interest in purchasing the lot as vacant property. His plan, according to Schodack Supervisor, Dennis Dowds, is to erect a 10,000 square foot office building and place the property back on the tax rolls.

Mr. Bryce would be responsible for the asbestos abatement and demolition of the existing building. According to the agreement, Mr. Bryce would be allowed six months to decide definitively if he plans to go through with the sale. During that time the town would  receive $1,000 a month for the first three months and $1,500 a month for the next three months. The option having started on November 1, 2010 will expire on March 31, 2011. If after that time it is decided that the purchase will not be completed, the town will be allowed to keep the $7,500 and put the property back on the market. If the sale goes through the property would be sold for the full $300,000 without  the town incurring the standard 10% sellers fees.

"At this point the sale is in the best interest of the town," said Mr. Dowds.  "We would be relieved of an eyesore and funds from the transaction would be used to help reduce the town's debt."

In a mailing being sent to residents the Supervisor states the following:

January 20, 2011, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.  

Schodack Town Hall, 265 Schuurman Road

Permissive Referendum relating to authorizing the sale of old Schodack Town Hall Property on 2.1 acres located at the intersection of Routes 9&20 and Route 150.

Selling price of $300,000.00, with NO selling commission or building removal fees incurred by  Schodack taxpayers. Proceeds will be used to reduce debt payments on existing     Schodack Town Hall.
Turn out to vote on January 20, 2011

The proposition presented to the electors for a yes or no vote shall be as follows:

Shall the action of the Schodack Town Board, by resolution number 2010-327, adopted October 14, 2010, authorizing the Town to enter into an option agreement with David Bryce for the sale of the former Town Hall property, located at the intersection of routes 9&20 and Route 150 for $300,000.00 be approved?
Yes_____________   NO_____________

Ken Stokem and other members of the SPDA have concerns about the sale and the details not being conveyed to the public.
"It is clear to us that there is an absence of public information that could assist voters in making an informed choice to sell in this way at this price or not. Voters are not being given other possibilities for comparison to the Bryce offer," Stokem told the SCENE.
"I suggest that information should be disseminated to voters about how the Town Hall might be auctioned. If auctioned, could it start with a minimum bid such as the current Bryce option price of $300,000? 
According to Stokem, Joe Vissali noted that the Bryce sales option does not preclude them from selling the old Town Hall to a non-profit. Thereby not necessarily add that property to the town tax rolls.
"It was originally touted that the old Town Hall could be sold for $1.2 million that would substantially offset the $1.4 million purchase price of the former SEFCU building that became the current Town Hall along with an additional expenditure of $600,000 spent moving into and improvements to the SEFCU building to make it replace the old Town Hall." he said in an email to the SCENE.
Contact me at

History Buffs - meet the Esquataks
By Catherine Sager
September 24, 2010
The Historical Society of Esquatak has a full schedule of events covering an array of programs focusing on the history of the region.
Most recently, the group hosted an ice cream social and concert on Friday, September 24 at the Schodack Town Hall.  Admission to this community event was free and nearly 50 people attended.
Glenn Hankle, president of the society offered a lesson in Banjo history for the group with music, photos and books about the instrument  An accomplished musician, Mr. Hankle held a discussion about the history of the banjo, followed by a sing-a-long.
Mr. Hankle has been playing banjo since 1959 and brought with him a collection of instruments to showcase. The banjos ranged from the simple to the ornate, with each described in a historical perspective. The most basic of his banjos paled by comparison to the sample of the most ornate.  "This particular banjo probably cost about $350 to make. That was more than is cost to buy a car at the time."
Mr. Hankle explained that, at first, the banjos were made out of gourds and skins. Banjo strings numbered between three and nine, but the most popular being those with four- and five-strings. In the 18th and early 19th century, writers recorded the name of these instruments variously as bangie, banza, banjer and banjar.
The Historical Society of Esquatak has listed upcoming events including an October 23 visit to Eastfield Village in Nassau.  This is a members-only event. Members are invited to a brown bag lunch and guided tour led by Don Carpentier. This event is not open to the public.
In November, the photo project a the Schodack Town Hall, will allow members to share photos of Schodack and Nassau where they can be digitized.

January 16, a one-act play "Controversy at the White House," will be presented by Clifford Oliver Leally, portraying Booker T. Washington and Pal Stillman at President Theodore Roosevelt. This program is sponsored by the Historical Society of Esquatak  in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. and Black History Month.  The play will be held at St. Timothy's Lutheran Church in North Greenbush.
On March 18, "Public Seals and Hidden Meanings," will be presented by author Marvin Bubie at the Nassau Village Hall.  Mr. Bubie will offer insight into town seals, and promises that "you will never look at town seals the same again."
The Historical Society of Esquatak  was founded in 1971 by residents of Schodack and Nassau with the overall mission to identify and preserve the historic resources of these towns. The society is a not-for -profit educational organization chartered by the New York State Education Department.
Everyone is welcome and the group is always looking for members with an interest in local history, antiques, genealogy and preservation. Attend a meeting and sign up to become a member. 

Membership submissions can be mailed to PO Box 151, Castleton, NY 12033.  For more information contact Glenn Hankle at
 Body found hanging from tree in Nassau
An autopsy will be soon be performed on a body presumed to be Steven R. Klippert, 52. Klippert, who lived on Lenox Road in the village, has been missing since a September 22 accident on Columbia Turnpike in which a 19-year-old pedestrian was struck and suffered a broken leg. There was no question that Klipert hit the pedestrian because the victim's glasses were still caught under the car's windshield wipers.

According to witnesses, he parked the car immediately after the collision and walked away.

Shortly after the accident, the case turned into a search for Klippert as a missing person, which led police to carry out two concentrated search with bloodhounds other K-9 units in the area around his home. The searches yielded no evidence of Klippert.

''They will likely have to use dental records or DNA for a positive identification,'' Christopher Lavin, East Greenbush police chief told the Times Union.

Due to the condition of the body, it is possible that the remains have been in the woods since the September accident.

The body was discovered hanging from a tree early Monday morning on John Street in the Village of Nassau, in the woods close to the Nassau Post Office. While walking her dog in the woods, a woman called State Police in Schodack, to report finding the body. East Greenbush Police were brought in to assist in the investigation since the original accident happened on Columbia Turnpike near the Schodack town line

Klippert was last seen walking at Eleanor Square, 3531 Route 20, after abandoning his car Lavin said. A spot  less then a mile from where the body was found.
Schodack Landing vs Castleton - Hockey Game
 January 7,  is the first night skating. 
There are skates if you don't have any. Beautiful new out door fire place for a warming station. 
Food, hot drinks, from 5 to 8 p.m. Don't miss the Big hockey game Sunday, January  16 at high  noon. 
Trophy will be awarded.

Sale of the Old Town Hall Building

Resolution # 380 was passed at the Town Board meeting held Thursday December 9, 2010.  It calls for a referendum to be held on January 20, 2011 at the present town hall on Schuurman Rd. between the hours of 1:00 PM and 8 PM.  A proposition presented to the electors will read as follows.

Shall the action of the Schodack Town Board by resolution number 2010-327, adopted October 14, 2010, authorizing the town to enter into an option agreement with David Bryce for the sale of the former Town Hall property, located at the intersection of routes 9&20 and Route 150, for $300,000 be approved?    Yes_____________   NO_____________

Supervisor Dowds responded [during open forum] that there would not be a info meeting but instead information would be provided in the West Sand Lake Advertiser and also on the Town web-site.

Please pass word of this coming January 20th vote to your fellow Schodack voters and please turn out to vote.
If an informational flyer on the old Town Hall sale were to be created, I would contribute towards its cost of production plus I would assist with its distribution to deliver it to Schodack homes on a Saturday or Sunday in January. Winter is less optimal for leafleting mailbox flags and newspaper tubes due to wind, wet, and snow, but I think providing information in this way has the lowest cost and greater potential to reach the most voters, if we have sufficient volunteers assisting with the lit distribution.
If anyone wished to create and place an informational ad in the Advertiser, I would contribute towards that effort as well.
Last night Tony Kirby, Dan Spilman, Joe Visalli, myself and other active involved Schodack citizens gathered for an informal SPDA holiday meeting at Mahar’s Pub in Castleton. The Town Hall sale issue was among the issues discussed. It was suggested that an auction of the old Town Hall should be tried before giving any realtor an option to purchase it, such as is the case with the proposed option that could being offer to Bryce with by the coming vote.
It is clear to us that there is an absence of public information that could assist voters in making an informed choice to sell in this way at this price or not. Voters are not being given other possibilities for comparison to the Bryce offer.
I suggest that information should be disseminated to voters about how the Town Hall might be auctioned. If auctioned, could it start with a minimum bid such as the current Bryce option price of $300,000?  Tony Kirby can better explain how such an auction might work than I.
Joe V. noted that the Bryce sales option does not preclude them from selling the old Town Hall to a non-profit. Thereby it will not necessarily add that property to the town tax rolls.
It was originally touted that the old Town Hall could be sold for $1.2 million that would substantially offset the $1.4 million purchase price of the former SEFCU building that became the current Town Hall with along with an additional expenditure of $600,000 spent moving into and improvements to the SEFCU building to make it replace the old Town Hall. That was a total cost of just over $2 million to purchase and outfit the current Town Hall. How much is $300,000 going to bring down the debt from that purchase and how much will it offset the $13 million debt our town is carrying from the excessive spending of our past town government.
Please read on below for more on the Town Hall sales proposal by Ray Lemka and Tony Kirby. If you are interested in helping to publicize the coming vote to sell the old Town Hall on January 20th, please reach out to Ray Lemka to let him know how you can assist.
Ken Stokem
P Please consider the environment before printing this email

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Kirby
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 8:00 AM
Cc: Ray & Sue Lemka
Subject: Fwd: vote to sell the old town hall
As promised to those who attended the SPDA meeting last night.  Ray's comments are consistent with our discussion.  There is clearly a lack of openness in the approach the town is taken on this.  Although this is technically not an SPDA issue, it is an issue we have been concerned with and that is our concern regarding the participation of citizens in town decision making processes.  Nowhere in anything I've read, other than the appraisal, which I had to FOIL, is the assessed value of $450,000 mentioned nor the highest and best use of the property valued at $1,000,000 - $1,200,000.  These highest and best use numbers were the numbers used to justify the purchase of the new Town Hall.  Please pass this on to other residents you know.
From: Ray & Sue Lemka []
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 8:56 PM
To:; Dan Spilman; Keith J. McCarthy;; Shauntel there's only one !!; Stokem, Kenneth C.; Tom Lally; Tony Kirby
Subject: vote to seel the old town hall
Subject: Selling the old town hall!  Action needed.

Resolution # 380 was passed at the Town Board meeting held Thursday December 9, 2010.  It calls for a referendum to be held on January 20, 2011 at the present town hall on Schuurman Rd. between the hours of 1:00 PM and 8 PM.  A proposition presented to the electors will read as follows.

Shall the action of the Schodack Town Board by resolution number 2010-327, adopted October 14, 2010, authorizing the town to enter into an option agreement with David Bryce for the sale of the former Town Hall property, located at the intersection of routes 9&20 and Route 150, for $300,000 be approved?    Yes_____________   NO_____________

During Public comment period, I stated the people are pretty much in the dark about this intended sale because there is no news coverage for our town.  I then asked if the Town Board intended to hold an information meeting before the January 20th vote?

Supervisor Dowds responded that there would not be a info meeting but instead information would be provided in the West Sand Lake Advertiser and also on the Town web-site.

I have given this some thought and concluded this method of informing the public gives quite an advantage to the Town Board's decision to sell.

#-1. It does not provide for a question and answer period from the public which could bring out a different reason on how to vote.

2. It could give one sided information with no way to counter opinion.

3. It may not give pertinent details such as the 6 month option  to decide to purchase which will be granted to Bryce.

4. There are many residents in the Southern end of the town who do not receive the Advertiser.  Many who do receive it, do not read it and one has to wonder how many read the town web-site?

What should be done?? 

I think letters in the Advertiser would be quite effective.  You could give a heads up about the voting day and detail the terms of the sale,  If you wanted to give your opinion on how you are going to vote, you could express your feelings.  I would rather not send in another letter as I think it would be more effective if others sent in letters.  Deadline is 4 PM on Friday.  E-mail to
< >  I believe the limit is 350 words and you computer will tell you how many words you have.

This Eeee could be sent on to others who are interested.

It seems after all the effort of the volunteers who circulated the petitions, it could be for nothing with the present Town Board plan.

If you feel an information meeting would be a better way of informing the residents, I suggest you call each and every Town Councilman and express your concern including the Supervisor. 

Supervisor Dennis Dowds - office phone 477-7918

Frank Curtis - home phone (evenings)  766-3318
Debbie Young - home phone (evenings)  477-8260
Jim Bult           - home phone (evenings)  732-7863
Michael Kenney - home phone (evenings)   479-7182

Please bear in mind that many may not attend an info meeting and it may be wise to suggest it be held at a regular Town Board meeting.  It should also be considered that many will not vote, therefore; should we compose a flyer with the facts of when the vote is and at least give a flyer to each of the residents who signed your petition?  I have copies of all petitions.

Although I  have an opinion on how I will vote, my main concern is for the residents to be correctly informed and be given an opportunity to vote.  I think it is best that the flyer be composed with just facts and be neutral on how to vote but that is up to the majority who and if  such a flyer is composed.

Feel free to send this on to other interested residents.

Thanks for your concern.  ====Ray=====

on long awaited Comprehensive Plan for Schodack at Town Hall

"Stokem, Kenneth C."

on long awaited Comprehensive Plan for Schodack at Town Hall
This Thursday, the 20 plus years long awaited response to the call for a Town Master Plan will come up before the Town Board. This is an only lightly altered version of the Plan created by a committee of the Town Planning Board in collaboration ($40,000 worth) with Laberge Engineering and presented at the Maple Hill High School in January 2009. It presents pretty much the same only very general outline and principles for a vision of Schodack. It can be viewed using the link at the Town Website shown below.
In terms of importance for the direction a Town takes, a good clear Comp Plan can provide a very constructive vision of the way forward.
Does this plan take us anywhere? What do you think?
Please try to attend the Thursday Town Board hearing to provide your input and to listen to the input of others, as well as, to the Town Board and Supervisor. Please come and ask your questions and let the Board know how you feel before they vote to approve this plan.
Will this Plan accomplish anything or direct us anywhere?
9 Dec 10: Draft Agenda  see
Times corrected, 7 Dec
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that a public hearing will be held by the Town Board of the Town of Schodack, Rensselaer County, State of New York, at the Schodack Town Hall, 265 Schuurman Rd., Castleton, NY 12033, on Thursday, December 9, 2010, at 7:15 p.m. to seek input on proposed Local Law #2 of 2010 (P2-2010), to amend Chapter 109, entitled "Dogs", relative to dog licensing procedures and control.
FURTHER, a copy of the proposed local law will be available at least five (5) business days in advance of the public hearing in the office of the Town Clerk between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
FURTHER, at the above time and place, all interested parties will be given an opportunity to be heard.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Town Board of the Town of Schodack, Rensselaer County, NY, as lead agency, will hold a public hearing on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. at the Schodack Town Hall, 265 Schuurman Rd., Castleton, NY 12033 to seek public input relative to the Town of Schodack Comprehensive Plan.FURTHER, the document is available for review in the Schodack Town Clerk's Office, 265 Schuurman Rd., Castleton, NY 12033, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is available here: Comprehensive Plan (.pdf document, 7.9MB)
FURTHER, at the above time and place, all interested parties will be given an opportunity to be heard.
Schodack Town Board
Donna L. Conlin
Schodack Town Clerk
13 Dec: Special Meeting re Water District Capital Charges. Public Hearings were held on Nov 30; this document (.pdf, 800 KB) explains how the proposed charges were derived.


Times Union
Sunday, November 28, 2010

 By JAMES ALLEN Staff Writer

Published: 12:16 a.m., Sunday, November 7, 2010

COLONIE -- A one-year title hiatus was way too long for the Maple Hill boys' soccer team. The young Wildcats, featuring a roster of 12 juniors, five seniors and two sophomores before JV call-ups for sectionals, held off a determined Johnstown squad Saturday to record a 1-0 victory for the Section II Class B title.
The Wildcats (19-1) went without a title in 2009 for the first time since dropping the 1999 Class C final.
The Patroon Conference champions beat No. 10 seed Johnstown (10-9-1) for the second time this season to win the school's first Class B championship, 10th Section II title in 11 years and 12th in 14 years.
"Our school has been very fortunate," said Maple Hill coach Dan Gillespie, a member of the New York State Soccer Hall of Fame.
"We knew stepping up to (Class) B would be an even tougher challenge, but our whole team thought we would get to this day and win," Maple Hill junior midfielder Paul Ancin said.
Ancin helped assure the victory by scoring his fourth goal of the season with 34:08 left when he took a long feed from teammate Jake Yager and worked a shot around hard-charging Johnstown goalie Alex Simon.
The Sir Bills put pressure on Maple Hill's defense looking to force overtime, but defenders Pat Curtin (senior), Matt Palmer (senior), Wil Monty (junior) and Drew Bourdeau (junior) did exceptional work in front of junior goalie Derek Van Alstyne as the Wildcats secured another title.
"We have a really strong defense back there. Pat, Matt, Willie and Drew did a great job," Ancin said.
"We are young, and I don't know if people really understood that," Gillespie said.

Town of Schodack Pedestrian Bridge Dedication and 
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Schodack Supervisor Dennis Dowds was on hand to dedicate the Town of Schodack  Pedestrian Bridge at a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the Town Park, located on Poyneer Road on Thursday, November 18.

See here, Councilman Frank Curtis, Supervisor Dennis Dowds, Councilwomen Debra Young, Park Manager Stewart Mc Knight.  Center, Lou Spada (cutting the ribbon with a sheet rock knife.  On the Right Councilman Jim Bult. Foreground, Lou Spada’s grandson. Photo by Dawne Kelly

Additionally, on behalf of the Town of Schodack, Supervisor Dowds extends a special thank you to Lou Spada and the numerous volunteers who helped with the Pedestrian Bridge Project.


HVCC to Offer Night Courses at Schodack Schools 
from the Schodack School District's website

Starting in January, residents interested in taking an introductory college computer class or a mathematics class at night will be able to do so at Maple Hill High School.

District officials recently finalized an agreement with Hudson Valley Community College to start offering some college courses at Schodack schools. HVCC has similar agreements with other area school districts.

Superintendent Robert Horan explained the collaboration allows local residents to take a college credit course at night without traveling to the college’s Troy campus. The initiative will start with Personal Computer Concepts and Applications and College Algebra and a Trigonometry courses but may expand to include offerings such as English, Social Studies, Sciences courses or certification programs.

“We would like to hear from the community about what type of courses they would be interested in,” said Mr. Horan. Mr. Horan asked anyone interest to e-mail him or call him at 732-2297.

Mr. Horan said his hope is to grow the relationship with HVCC to allow Maple Hill students to take classes and get a jump on college by earning college credits. He also hopes Maple Hill teachers will be able to teach some of the HVCC courses as adjunct professors.

For information about the courses or to register, please visit the HVCC website.

1 comment:

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