The New Paltz Board of Education President Patrick Rausch has been awarded the Board Excellence Award from the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) and Trustee Ruth Quinn has received the Board Achievement Award.
The Association offers four levels that members can qualify for by participating in the organization’s developmental activities. These activities include New Member Academy, Board Officers Academy, the annual convention, legal conferences, regional workshops or district-level custom improvement groups.
New Paltz superintendent of schools Maria Rice said she feels lucky to have high quality board members benefiting the students of the New Paltz school district.
“We are privileged to have this caliber of board member working on behalf of our district,” Rice said. “As educational leaders, it is crucial that board members continually strive to enhance their knowledge and skills of school board governance. Programs such as this provide that opportunity.”
Quinn did not expect to receive the award and said she took on a greater role in the New York State School Boards Association because schools are going through difficult times.
“I was surprised to receive this award. The reason I was motivated to attend the conferences and to become active in the New York State School Boards Association is because now, more than ever, schools are faced with incredible challenges,” Quinn said. “To be blunt, the education system in New York is in crisis fiscally and educationally.”
Rausch was given his award for the numerous hours he put into the board training, he said. The award is given for completing 150 hours of training through special courses or participating in the annual NYSSBA convention, where various subjects and “best practices” are discussed, he said.
“These are one of the few places where a board member can be trained at reasonable costs and interact with other board members, state education officials and experts in education fields,” Rausch said.
Quinn said she believes attending statewide conferences helps them “gain the tools” to increase the board’s involvement in advocacy and better inform stakeholders and policymakers about what is going on in the district.
Rausch said he believes the activities he participated in have improved his knowledge and understanding of the New York educational system.
“I have been able to hone my general board knowledge and understanding of the New York educational system and have benefited from both audit and facilities sessions in support of my board roles on these two committees,” he said.