Submitted by Kristin LaPlante
New Lebanon Jr/Sr High School Band Director Scott Thompson and PTA President Val Ozga have been selected to receive the “Friends of Education Award” from Capital Area School Development Albany ( Casda). Friends of Education recipients impact their schools in various ways but are united in their commitment to enriching the lives of students.
In her nomination letter, Superintendent Leslie Whitcomb wrote:
Scott’s charisma and musical skill has made New Lebanon home to award winning ensembles.
His musicianship is evident in many ways, but is especially impressive in his ability to create arrangements to fit our sometimes-eccentric instrumental makeup.
No sax in the jazz band? No problem. Ten percussionists in a 40-student ensemble? Scott can handle it. And he packs in the community at concerts – our concerts are local hot tickets, and not just for parents.
The final result – is a music program that is the pride of not only our school but our community.
Few districts can boast that over 60 percent of its high school students are in the performance music program. Scott’s musical legacy is a gift to the district and to our community, and I can’t thank him enough.
In his nomination letter, Principal Andrew Kourt wrote:
Val has been an amazing leader to our PTA. Her dedication and hard work is paramount to the PTA organization and our school community.
She volunteers hours of her own precious time with the goal of bringing our school community together. I cannot think of a worthier recipient of this award. Val is a true “Friend of Education” here at New Lebanon.