Clarkstown Education Foundation Awards Scholarships And Mini-Grants (VIDEO)

Foundation’s fifth year of making presentations


Four graduating seniors received $1,000 scholarships from the at Thursday night’s school board meeting.  Seventeen mini-awards went to teachers for SmartBoards, Chromebooks, novels and other items.

Foundation President Mike Aglialoro said the organization’s members share a common dedication. 

“I think that commitment comes from a shared vision of wanting to enhance the classroom experience for our students,” he said.

He then asked Superintendent Dr. Margaret Keller-Cogan, Secretary of the Foundation and Board of Directors Member Dr. Steven Klein to make the presentations.

In announcing the scholarships, Dr. Keller-Cogan noted they had a huge number of applicants this year, a significant increase over past years. 

The winners were:

  • Nicole Cember of Clarkstown North High School
  • Lindsay Smith of Clarkstown South High School
  • Michael Levy of Clarkstown South High School
  • Ariela Nazar-Rosen of Clarkstown South High School

The min-grants bestowed by the Foundation were originally designed to enhance the quality of instruction in the classroom but have branched out to other initiatives. Dr. Keller-Cogan said the winners were selected based on the substance of their application.

This year’s recipients were:   

  • Ann Marie Sevastian, 9th grade teacher at Clarkstown North, will receive funds for an Elizabethan Dance Workshop. She said the workshop would be held while the students are reading “Romeo and Juliet” and will be put on by the Children’s Shakespeare Theater.
  • Mark Gorman, a sixth grade teacher at Felix Festa Middle School, will receive four Chromebooks and Election software. He said the software will help the students learns about the 2012 elections.
  • Liz Van Wurmb, based in the District Office, will receive assistance for creation and production of music on CD.
  • Jason Andert, a music teacher at North, will have buses provided to transport the school’s instrumental music students to perform at the district’s elementary schools.
  • Brooke O’Neill, an art teacher at Woodglen Elementary School, will get art supplies.
  • Debbi D’Addio, a kindergarten through fifth grade special education teacher, will receive six ball chairs for her classroom. She said the ball chairs encourage “active sitting” by the students.
  • Sara Posnick and Tim Ferraro, sixth grade English teachers at Felix Festa, will receive novels to expand the classroom library.
  • Susan Wolper and Cynthia Alejandro-Garcia, fourth grade teachers at New City Elementary, will share and Christine Lafferty, a fifth grade teacher at Lakewood Elementary School, will get ELMOs, smart document cameras.
  • David Landres, a fourth grade teacher at New City Elementary, will receive Flashmaster, an electronic flash card system.
  • Jill Blau, a special education teacher, Tamar Furst, a third grade teacher, and Principal Francine Cuccia at Link Elementary School will each receive a SmartBoard.
  • Mary Eileen Dinet, a seventh grade teacher, and Nicole Buchanan, an eighth grade teacher at Felix Festa, will each receive a SmartBoard.
  • Alice O’Hara and Bernadette Gizzi, fifth grader teachers at Bardonia Elementary School, will share a SmartBoard.

After the presentations, the superintendent praised the group’s creative approach to fundraising and thanked all the members of the board of trustees and Aglialoro and Dorie McMaster, the vice president, for their leadership.

“I want to thank you for everything you have done and given,” she said.

Aglialoro has been elected to the school board and will be stepping down as president of the Foundation. 


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