GUFS PTA and Children’s Education Fund Abuzz With New Leaders, Ideas

Several new initiatives already implemented

The new Garrison School PTA officers welcomed students on the first day of school. Pictured, left to right are: Carol O’Reilly, Karen Drotar, Angela Smith, Lydia McMahon and Kym August. Photo courtesy of GUFS PTA

The Garrison School District has announced new leadership for the Garrison School PTA and the Garrison Children’s Education Fund (GCEF).

The District’s new PTA officers include President Angela Smith; Vice President of Fundraising Lydia McMahon; Vice President of Programming Kym August; Secretary Carol O’Reilly; and Treasurer Karen Drotar. GCEF’s officers include President Liz Schulman; Vice President Nicole Klein Jandrucko; Correspondence Secretary Gina Alvarez; Treasurer Panni Gergely; and Communications Director Rebecca Del Monte.

The new school year just began, but the Garrison School’s PTA has already implemented several new programs for the district’s 2012-2013 school year. Meeting and emailing several times during the summer break, the PTA officers brainstormed dozens of new initiatives and events in the areas of education, community service, physical fitness, school spirit, and “Just for Fun.”

“Our goal is to create programs and events that promote creativity and enhance the quality of education for the Garrison School community,” said PTA President Smith. “The theme for the school year is ‘Aim for Excellence: Accelerate, Imagine and Master,’ and we believe that the Garrison School PTA initiatives we have planned will complement the district’s objectives.”

Smith also discussed the importance of “appreciation” this year and shared her hope that by the end of the school year, teachers, staff, administrators, community volunteers, and students will feel that their hard work is appreciated.

Garrison School Principal Stephanie Impellittiere expressed her own appreciation for the hard work and dedication all of the past and present PTA and GCEF representatives have shown for the District.

“The Garrison School District is lucky to have such a high caliber of parent volunteers leading our educational enrichment programs this year and in the years past,” said Impellittiere. “The events lined up for this school year are inspirational and exciting, and I know the entire school community will benefit from and enjoy them.”

One of the first events on the calendar from the Garrison School PTA was a special “Ladies Night Out – Zumbathon with Juan” fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 21. The Zumba class with fitness expert Juan Manuel Muñoz at the Garrison School gym was followed by an exclusive after party held at the Garrison Café on Route 9D. All proceeds benefitted the Garrison PTA.

On Oct. 4, the Garrison School will hold the first of three old-fashioned pep rallies (one for each sport season) designed to build school spirit and to cheer on the Garrison School’s fall sport athletes.

In what is sure to be another favorite throwback, all community members are welcome to enjoy the Garrison School’s First Annual Fall Festival on Oct. 21. There are plenty of activities planned for all ages, including face painting, football competitions, carnival games, a chili cook-off, and a cake walk.

Additional PTA events on the school calendar included a Kindergarten Class Pot Luck on Sept 20; the first PTA Meeting/Welcome Brunch on Sept. 21, Parents as Reading Partners Week and Scholastic Book Fair the week of Oct. 22-26; and Giving Thanks activities the week of Nov. 13-16.

The Garrison School PTA has also partnered with the Haldane School PTA to develop Philipstownopoly, a board game based on the classic Monopoly game that represents local Philipstown businesses and organizations and is sure to become a family favorite. Proceeds from the sale of this game will support PTA activities and programs for Garrison and Haldane School students.

GCEF is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization dedicated to funding programs related to enriching education and the arts for Garrison School students. For the 2012-2013 school year, GCEF is focusing on three primary goals. The first is to monitor the implementation of the programs developed by grant contest winners chosen last year. Students in grades 4-7 were invited to brainstorm, research and write grant applications for programs they would like to implement in their school.

Of the many great ideas that were submitted, three grants were chosen including a combined school garden/greenhouse program that will support the science curriculum and the school lunch program; and an art fair that will highlight the work done in the GUFS art program. Based on the success of this year’s winners, the GCEF will offer this contest again in the 2013-2014.

The second goal is to provide funds for Garrison Middle School elective programs. GCEF is providing funds to support ongoing middle-school electives that have been staples of the school, as well as to create and fund one or two new programs.

The last initiative is to host the fundraisers that make all the ongoing programs the GCEF funds possible. This year GCEF will host one gathering and two fundraisers designed to provide education about and support to the GCEF and its mission. On Oct. 10, GCEF will host a Back-to-School/New Parent mixer at Hudson Hil’s. This is a chance for new families and returning families to become familiar with GCEF and the GCEF mission over dessert and wine.

The first fundraiser will be a dance party on Jan. 26, 2013, and the second fundraiser will be their annual Spring Thaw party and silent auction on April 27, 2013.

“We, as a board, work hard every year to fund the additional programs that our school children enjoy and benefit from so much,” said GCEF President Schulman. “In these economic times it is as important as ever, if not more important, to step up and make sure that the educational experience of our children is as excellent as always. We hope all our community members can enjoy the events we create and step up with us to help make this possible.”

“The Garrison Children’s Education Fund and the Garrison School PTA provide invaluable support and education enrichment to all of the students in our district,” said Garrison School Superintendent Gloria Colucci. “We are grateful for the dedication and hard work this outstanding group of parents gives to the school.”

For more information on any of these programs and events, visit the Garrison School PTA’s new website at and the Garrison Children’s Education Fund at

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