South Orangetown Central School District

Each year, the New York State School Boards Association promotes School Board Recognition Week in October to honor school board members for their commitment to New York public schools. The 2020 campaign kicks off today!

These volunteers are publicly elected by our community to provide governance and strategic oversight of school district operations and have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that taxpayer resources are being used efficiently and equitably to support the District’s strategic plan. They spend countless hours throughout each year engaged in this work.

“Our Board has adopted a collaborative, workshop model to engage in strategic planning and oversight,” explains Superintendent Robert Pritchard, Ed.D. “As an administrative team, we look for ways to put Board guidance developed through these workshops into action.”

The Board of Education begins each school year with goal-setting; over the course of the year, there are presentations and informal check-ins to monitor progress and accountability. “We look at ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) metrics at mid-year and key performance indicators in May to make sure that we’re holding true to our Strategic Plan,” Pritchard continues. “Agenda-setting is tied to our cycle of continuous improvement and the framework is the same, COVID or no COVID. Our commitment to our students doesn’t change because there’s a pandemic.”

In addition to regular meetings and workshops, our Board members serve on a number of District committees, including Curriculum & Instruction, Communications, Professional Development, Wellness and the Equity Coalition, to ensure that programs, services and facilities are responsive to the unique and changing needs of our community. Our Board is also represented on the Rockland County School Boards Association and communicates regularly with other boards locally and statewide on topics pertaining to public education.

On behalf of our entire SOCSD community, we thank Board of Education President Leon Jacobs, Vice President Dan Lamadrid and members Tom Henry, Christine Lee and Cara Stepanian, Ph.D for their service!

2019 Board of Education members
(File photo: October 2019)