Pine Bush Superintendent Tim Mains welcomed staff members back to the district on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the day before school opened for students. Included were 33 new teachers to the district.
Looking to the upcoming school year, Mains discussed the recently completed Strategic Plan entitled “Tomorrow Begins Today,“ a document culled from the input of more than 200 volunteers looking to recreate our district for the future. The final printed version is expected to be completed by the end of September.
Mains also discussed the work of the Central Design Committee, which has spent the past year reviewing the condition of each school in the district. The committee, headed by Assistant Superintendent for Business Michael Pacella, has recommended a $76.7 million capital project. Details of the project will be finalized when the board of education gives its approval to move forward with a public vote.
Mains outlined the achievements from the previous school year, including academic milestones, sports successes and other extra-curricular feats.
He gave a shout out to the jazz band, which opened the annual convocation with a tremendous rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” He acknowledged all the music teachers in the district, from elementary through high school, who have contributed to the talents of these musicians.
Mains mentioned that last year there were 1,365 athletes who participated on 63 teams, from modified up to varsity. Four of Pine Bush’s varsity athletes were named Scholar-Athlete of the Month by the Times-Herald Record readers – Bryan Powell was one of them. Bryan was also named the Varsity 845 Basketball Player of the Year in 2018.
The district’s summer academies were well attended again this year with about 275 students choosing to spend their summer immersed in a subject of particular interest, including medicine, law & leadership, aviation, environmental science, STEAM, human rights and fine arts.
Mains said the summer academies are one of the reasons that Pine Bush High School was named a Best High School in America by US News and World Report. PBHS was also only the second in the state of New York and 46th in the nation to be named as a PRIME school by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Safety is a priority in the district. A new emergency notification system has been installed in each of the district’s seven buildings. There will be a uniformed police officer in each building along with increased security staff in our middle schools.
“We continue to encourage staff, students and parents to alert us to potential problems through the SpeakUp app,” said Mains. “You can call the SpeakUp voicemail line at (845) 658-0918 or email your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Mains also cited other points of pride for the district. Pine Bush now has more than 6,500 Chrome Books deployed throughout the district. Our Odyssey of the Mind program, a very successful district priority, had six of our 10 teams earn a first-place win regionally, and Pine Bush Elementary School’s team went on to secure a first-place win at the state level, representing New York at the world competition this past summer. Ken Marshall, our new secondary STEAM Instructional Coach, was named Tech Teacher of the Year last spring by the Hudson Valley Council of Industry. Kim White received an excellence in teaching award from the Mid-Hudson School Study Council, and two Pine Bush professionals will be honored by the Mid-Hudson School Study Council this fall – Brian Miros for excellence as an administrator and Diane Petit for excellence as support staff.
So many good things are happening here at the Pine Bush Central School District!