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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label Schoharie Leader. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schoharie Leader. Show all posts

2014 Schoharie Leader Runner Up: Matthew Avitabile

Written By Editor on 12/28/14 | 12/28/14

With almost twice as many votes as the next nominee, Schoharie News readers chose Middleburgh Mayor Matthew Avitabile as the 2014 Schoharie Leader Runner Up. He was nominated several times for the recovery Middleburgh has undertaken during his administration.

Avitabile cut his teeth taking on the mayor's responsibilities before he was elected in 2012. In 2011 he set up and ran the first volunteer efforts in the village, including setting up a relief fund that was able to send every flood victim a check from the village government.

After being elected in 2012, he started an ambitious program to rebuild flood damaged buildings, shore up existing businesses, and attract new ones. He utilized grants, low interest loans, and flood relief funds to get almost $200,000 to businesses that went through the flood. He assisted with organizing more volunteers and filling out NY Rising flood grant applications for businesses that suffered from Irene.

His work with the Middleburgh Village Board in saving almost $1 million in grant programs also helped establish two new parks in town, including two new pavilions. This funding and the ideas of Trustee Bill Morton created the wildflower project that has brought in visitors over the last two years.

Middleburgh's budgets are also helpful to taxpayers. For two consecutive years, the Village budget actually went down and for three straight years there have been no tax increases-- the only municipality in the County able to do so.

This year was a year of major expansion for the community, with the opening of a pet store, pharmacy, grocery, and brewery. Altogether, over a dozen new businesses have opened in the last three years and almost all flood damage is now repaired.

"I'm honored by this award," Mayor Avitabile told the Schoharie News, "Thank you very much and I hope for another solid year in 2015."

Schoharie Leader 2014: Steve Hoard and the SCS Community

Written By Editor on 12/19/14 | 12/19/14

There have been few parts of Schoharie County that have weathered the last several years like Schoharie. The Schoharie Central School District has had more challenges than any other local organization since 2011.

Flooding damaged most of the school district. The school served as a major community center while Schoharie got back on its feet. The Schoharie Village offices were placed in the Elementary School as needed.

In 2013, beloved Elementary school teacher Rebecca Coughtry died unexpectedly at the age of 60. The school united around her contributions to the district and to her students. It seemed like more than any school district should ever have to bear.

This year was another set of challenges. A series of retirements began to change the long running administration of the school. However, the community has been resilient and knew that it had a base of teachers and staff that continued to serve the community with distinction.

Few, if any, of SCS's teachers was more distinguished than Steve Hoard. Mr. Hoard was at the district for 13 years and quickly became one of the most popular and well respected members of the faculty. His love of Star Wars, history, and of making sure that every student got a fair shot were just several of his positive attributes. For one year, he even served as the Assistant Principal when needed. He was always there to coach and advise, whether for Key Club, track, wrestling, or Student Government. His smiling face and sense of humor were second to none.

You will not find many teachers like Steve Hoard, and the school's loss will be a desperate one to fill. However, the resolve of the community and the SCS campus has shown that Steve Hoard was one of many that made Schoharie the strongest school in the County.

Please make a contribution to the Steven Hoard Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Schoharie CSD PO BOX 430 Schoharie, NY 12157.

Schoharie Leader Nominees

Written By Editor on 12/17/14 | 12/17/14

The following have been nominated for the Schoharie Leader award, which we will decide in the coming days:

- Steve Hoard, SCS Social Studies Teacher
- Matthew Avitabile, Mayor of Middleburgh
- The Schoharie County Quilt Barn Trail, with sites across the County
- Nancy Brumaghim, essential part of many Cobleskill community projects
- Domenic Saldamarco, Irene volunteer
- Alicia Terry, County Planning Department
- Janet Mayer, who retired after 41 years as Middleburgh's Village Clerk
- The Beekman Boys of Sharon
- Norine Hodges, SCAASA
- James Landauer, for community service
- Matt and Michelle Strobeck, FIT Coalition in Cobleskill
- Josh DeBartolo, Irene volunteer, founder of Schoharie Recovery

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