Cheers (no jeers) | recordonline.com
Published: 2:00 AM - 06/14/10
•To some young people in Newburgh and those who are helping them turn a vacant lot on Chambers Street into what they are calling "La Vida Garden." In addition to learning what it takes to plant, tend and harvest vegetables, they will get the chance to understand something more important. As their adviser put it, growing her own "changed the way I look at food." If this pilot program is successful, it could spread to other neighborhoods with vacant land waiting to be put to productive use.
•To Jared Weiss, the youngest graduate on record at Monticello High School, who is off to college at the age of 14. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Weiss has had a full high school experience through two years of varsity tennis and lots of time playing guitar in a band. He could not have had such balanced success without the wise guidance offered by his parents, Jonathan and Beth Weiss, and the equally wise participation of so many in the school system who recognized his talents and helped him make the most of them.
•To the Port Jervis Middle School, for its recognition as a place that works hard to educate the "whole child." The honor, the Whole Child for the 21st Century Award, came from the New York Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, a professional organization principally made up of superintendents and senior teachers. Instead of teaching to the test, this approach operates under the assumption that a better educated student will do well in life, as well as on tests.
•To three Orange County students going to military service academies through nominations from Rep. John Hall. Katherine Mucke of Fort Montgomery will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Jillian Kelly of Highland Mills will attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., and Katelyn MacDonald of New Hampton will attend the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.
•To the team from Pine Bush whose moon expedition camper took first place in the Nature Trail'R problem at the world championships of the Odyssey of the Mind. On the team were seniors Joe Landolina, Dan Stack, Meghan Walter and Nic Vesely, junior James Orr, and freshmen Dylan DiGasso and Martin Perez. Meghan's mother, Bobbi Walter, was the team coach. More than 800 teams from around the world competed at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.
•To lawyer Howard Finkelstein who received the lifetime achievement award from the Orange County Bar Association. Finkelstein founded Finkelstein & Partners LLP in Newburgh in 1961. His pro-bono work includes representing several families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and assisting U.S. veterans.
•To performing arts students from Monticello High School who have spent the spring cleaning up the old 400-seat theater on St. John Street, part of the original Monticello High School. When word of their effort got out to the community, they found others willing to volunteer and help in such tasks as repairing the torn curtains. As one student put it, "Our goal is for the theater to be a part of the community again."