South Orangetown Central School District

SEPTA officers, administrators and BOE

Last night, more than 70 parents, teachers and administrators convened in the South Orangetown Middle School Library to charter the District’s new Special Education Parent Teacher Association!

New York State PTA Central Hudson Region President Shauna Wold led the brief meeting, during which members voted to accept bylaws, the slate of officers proposed by the Nominating Committee and the formation of the SEPTA. Like other PTA units, SEPTAs are nonprofit organizations which partner with school districts but are separate entities managed independently by volunteers.

Victoria Howe and Desirae Zagaroli were elected as co-presidents, Sara Kerley as secretary and Sherin John as treasurer. Officers will serve a two-year term. Instrumental to the launch of the unit was the work of volunteers who served on the Bylaws and Nominating Committees: Emily McKay, Nancee Pearl, Melissa Olshow, Kate Megdanis, Jessica Leeds and Caitlin Nordstrom.

The initiative to form a SEPTA began in November, with a “Learn About Special Education” workshop hosted by the District’s Pupil Personnel Services department in collaboration with Central Hudson Region PTA to identify parent needs with regard to special education.

“We are so excited and grateful to our parents for showing their support and desire to partner with us on behalf of our students,” said Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services Karen Tesik, Ed.D. “SEPTA will provide another avenue for parents to receive support and access to resources. Best of luck to the new officers and thank you to the Bylaws and Nominating Committees–we couldn’t have done it without you.”

Superintendent of School Brian Culot Ed.D., joined by Board of Education Vice President David Sansone and members Katie Gravino and Diana Korabel, congratulated officers and members of the new chapter. “It is great to have a SEPTA back in South Orangetown and to see such a strong turnout here tonight. We look forward to partnering with you in support of our District’s mission to provide exceptional educational experiences that ensure all students achieve their fullest potential,” he remarked.

To date, SEPTA has 95 paid charter members. Information regarding how to join, as well as upcoming meetings and events, will be included in the Wednesday Update e-blast.