Submitted by Eileen Druckenmiller
Stephanie Merwin, a senior at Hoosick Falls Junior/Senior High School and Corie Rushman, the high school’s school psychologist, were honored by The Academy for Character Education at the Sage Colleges. The event was their Fifteenth Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 26, at the Franklin Plaza in Troy, N.Y.
Merwin was recognized as one of four area students who received the Student Leadership Champion of Character Award. Merwin is a driven and determined advocate for her peers and community, as well as being one of the kindest people you will ever meet. She is academically in the top ten of her graduating class and has served leadership roles in the Junior National Honor Society, the National Honor Society, and as captain of the school’s varsity softball team. Merwin also writes for the school newspaper and is usually one of the first to help fellow students. In the community, Merwin volunteers at her church and serves as an advocate for community issues such as the recent Hoosick Falls water crisis and promoting school safety.
“It was really an honor to be at the banquet, surrounded by all of these respectable people who also believe in working hard to make their communities better,” said Merwin. “It also gives greater meaning to the work I have done. It’s a good feeling to be recognized by others who have accomplished so much themselves.”
Rushman was recognized with the School Psychologist Champion of Character Award. She has been with HFCS as a school psychologist for 11 years and works with at-risk students in grades 7-12. She has been crucial to the development of the school’s social-emotional programs, including Restorative Homeroom and Equine Connections. Rushman also helps to administer evaluations and then analyze the data for these therapeutic interventions.
This helps the HFCS district design its social-emotional programs and offers other school districts across the country information that can help them develop their own social-emotional interventions.
Said Rushman, “It is truly an honor to be nominated and receive this award and to be recognized in front of these amazing people who are doing great things for their students and communities.
“I also love that this is a way to recognize Hoosick Falls Central School for its great sense of community and how much the district cares about our students. We work together more like family than co-workers to bring our ideas to reality.
“Our administration has made it easy to be innovative; they’re always willing to support the opportunities we promote to better the lives of the children in our district.”