HARRISON, N.Y. – The Harrison Board of Education met one last time before the beginning of the school year to approve the appointments of faculty and staff. But first, longtime Harrison teacher Mildred Lemos, who died Aug. 19 at age 105, was honored with a moment of silence at the beginning of the brisk 20-minute meeting Thursday.
“We’re obviously sad that she has passed, but living to 105, she had a nice life and a terrific impact on the Harrison community,” said board member David Singer who was Lemos' student in the second grade at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School. Lemos was also the 2007 Harrison Citizen of the Year.
After the remembrance of Lemos, superintendent Louis Wool turned to official business.
“We have certainly had a busy summer,” said Wool. “Tonight, the board has in their possession a very comprehensive overview of all the folks that we hired throughout the summer.”
In addition to appointing more than 70 staff and faculty members, the district also held a summer writing program for more than 40 students and made improvements to many school buildings.
“We do a great deal with very limited resources primarily because we skilled craftsman on staff,” said Wool.
A new state-of-the-art fitness center will serve the entire Harrison High School student body, Wool said, adding that it came in under budget. The Parsons Elementary library is now fully air conditioned and has a technology lab for students. The district also broke ground on an air-conditioned cafeteria space at Harrison High School that can hold 220 students during regents exams or other activities. Three science labs were added to the high school as well, bringing the total to seven in a three-year period, he said.
Board president Dennis DiLorenzo is looking forward to the new school year, which starts for all students Sept. 4.
“We’re excited to continue with the International Baccalaureate program, which is entering its second year," DiLorenzo said. "We’ve been fortunate in that as much as the past budget cycle was a struggle, we’ve been able to maintain all of our programs, and clearly been able to continue improving the infrastructure within the buildings and the environment.”