KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane Board of Education passed a motion at the July 12 board meeting to grant a high school diploma to veteran Michael Buono as part of the state Education Department’s Operation Recognition. The program allows eligible veterans to earn high school diplomas if they left school without graduating.
High School Principal Craig Shull presented information about Mr. Buono to the board at the start of the meeting. Mr. Buono, who died in May of 2021 at the age of 37 from multiple illnesses incurred as a result of his combat service, was born in the Town of Stuyvesant and attended Ichabod from 1988 to 2001. He received his GED. He was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd. Marines, Fox Company, Weapons Platoon and had served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Shull said that Mr. Buono served in the Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010 and earned the rank of Lance Corporal, winning several service medals and honors.
Mr. Shull also pointed out that Mr. Buono was involved in this community. Mr. Buono’s obituary said he was “a member of Valatie Rescue EMS- EMT, a Niverville Fire Fighter for 16 years and earlier an intermittent member of the Stuyvesant Fire Department.”
Mr. Buono’s widow, Tiffany, was awarded the diploma at the meeting held in the High School auditorium. Board President Matthew Nelson thanked everyone who came out for the presentation.
Mr. Buono is one of several veterans who, over the past couple of years, has received a high school diploma from the district as part of the state program. He was also recognized on the district’s Wall of Fame as a “Distinguished Alumni.”
The wall of fame is located in the Ichabod Crane High School.
At the July 12 meeting, the board also recognized the girls’ softball team for winning the Class B state championship. Several members of the team and their coaches were also at the meeting.
Superintendent Suzanne Guntlow pointed out that the team was undefeated this season and that the team scored 407 runs and only let in 13.
“Just think about that for a minute,” she told the board.
She also acknowledged that coach Tracy Nytransky was named Class B Coach of the Year and Claire Knapp was named Class B Player of the Year. The 2022 NYSSCOGS New York State Class B High School Softball All-Stars also included: 1st Team Clare Knapp, Emma Scheitinger and Makayla Walsh; 2nd Team Kari Graziano; and 3rd Team Ava Heffner
“Nice job girls. Thank you for representing Ichabod Crane so well,” said Ms. Guntlow and presented the team with a plaque.
President Nelson pointed out that there are two state championships in the district this year with the boys basketball team also winning one. “Really fantastic,” Mr. Nelson said.
Also at the meeting:
• Ms. Guntlow reported that the district’s June graduation rate was at 97% with 136 students graduating in June
• Assistant Superintendent Lucas Christensen presented on the summer program, which includes summer school and an enrichment program. There were some questions from the board about the barriers to getting students to the summer programs, though Mr. Christensen pointed out that the numbers were about 70% for the younger children who have been invited to the program attending and almost 100% for the high school. The administrators also said that the summer school academic programs are built into the budget but the enrichment programs are totally grant funded
• Business Director Michael Brennan reported that the district is taking out a short term loan from the Bank of Greene County to help with “cash flow.” Mr. Brennan said that the cash flow is tight for most districts in the summer. And that though Ichabod hasn’t had to deal this before, this summer, due to a state aid payment they thought was coming in June but not coming until September, he said, “It’s basically a temporary loan to get us through.”
• Mr. Brennan also announced that lockers in the 300 wing of the high school have been replaced. He said the old lockers were from about 1969
• Before the regular meeting, the board held its annual organizational meeting for the 2022-23 school year. Mr. Nelson was reelected by the board as president and Elizabeth Phillips was reelected to vice-president. The board also swore in new board member Meghan Lafferty-Brown, who was elected in May’s annual vote.
Board meetings are still being recorded and posted online on the district’s YouTube channel. There is a link to meetings and agendas online at www.ichabodcrane.org The next board meeting is on August 16 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.