Mourning The Passing Of Tricia Carlton
by Thaddeus Flint
There was a somber note to last Tuesday’s Berlin School Board meeting with the announcement of the death of Tricia Carlton, who had previously been the District’s Elementary School Principal.[private]Carlton passed away February 21, after an eight-month struggle with cancer.
After leaving Berlin Elementary in 2014, Carlton continued her career as Principal of A.W. Becker Elementary School in the Ravena, Coeymans, Selkirk School District.
In June 2014, when the Berlin District began its search for her replacement, District Superintendent Dr. Stephen Young noted that Carlton had “done a tremendous job of turning around not only the Academic programs at the Elementary School, but the morale of the Elementary School as well.”
The Superintendent of the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district, Robert Libby, wrote in a letter to the community there, that Carlton was known for her “vibrancy and enthusiasm for her work”, adding that “she touched many lives throughout the Becker community” even though she was only with the District for a short time. Carlton had been on leave from A.W. Becker since the end of the last school year.
“She taught me a lot here,” said Berlin Board President Frank Zwack, who asked that Carlton be remembered for the “great things she did.”
“She was a colleague, a friend to many of us,” added Dr. Young.
A group of Berlin students will be off to Chicago this April to participate in the National Academic Quiz Tournament for small high schools. The Berlin MasterMinds team of Ryan Mears, Alex Flowers, Vincent Scott, Andrew Shoemaker and Ioann Popov was chosen as one of 96 best quiz bowl teams from a small school in the United States.
“This is an honor for our students,” said Dr. Young. To make that trip a reality, the Superintendent has proposed a quiz bowl fundraiser for the tentative date of March 31. Teams will be made up of teachers, staff, and possibly even some members of the School Board itself.
“I’m not going to twist your arms,” said Dr. Young to the Board, “but it’s a great opportunity to show how smart you are.”
Certainly, there are residents out there who would like to see just how smart their elected officials could possibly be. While Dr. Young was hoping to raise around $800 to go towards the Chicago trip, Board Member Sherry Bowman-Kluck said she believed that by inviting the public and asking for donations the amount of funds raised would be significantly more.
Another fund raiser, this one an all-you-can-eat breakfast to help fund the wrestling team, will be held at the High School on April 1. Dr. Young noted that the wrestling team had gone from “nothing to getting kids into sectionals in three short years,” which he said “is a tribute not only to the coaching but to the community as well.”
Both fundraisers were agreed to with all Board members present (Board member Kellie Kaschak was absent) voting in favor.
As the Spring arrives, so too does budget season. While much of the 2017-2018 budget still need to be detailed and discussed, Business Manager Karen Capozzi did point out that the amount to be spent on sports programs could be around $40,000 higher next year. Much of that would be contractual, but some of it could be attributed to the Berlin District joining the Wasaren League in January.
Capozzi noted that the Wasaren League was a little more organized and the District would be expected to have paid book keepers and time keepers. Capozzi said it was part of the “professionalism expected by joining this league.” There would also be more games.
Bowman-Kluck voiced her concern that the more competitive Wasaren league could have an impact on some students being cut or not allowed to play on teams. “I don’t want these kids to fall through the cracks,” she said.
The next Board meeting will be March 21, at the High/Middle School. [/private]