WCSD recognized for safety efforts, BOE member honored for leadership

In recent weeks, Watervliet City School District officials have received two separate safety accolades — and a school board member was recognized for leadership by a state-wide association.

WPD Award of Merit for Partnership

On Friday, May 17, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donald Stevens accepted a Merit Award for Partnership from the Watervliet Police Department that acknowledges the collaborative efforts between the school district and local law enforcement to foster a safe, secure and supportive learning environment. The Merit Award recognizes the positive aspects of the partnership in making a meaningful difference in the safety and well-being of students, staff and the community.

In his nomination of the district, Officer Tito Negron wrote:

“The positive impact of this partnership is evident in the proactive measures taken to enhance school safety. Their commitment to teamwork and open communication has allowed us to work seamlessly addressing potential challenges and ensuring the well-being of everyone within the school community.

The effectiveness of joint initiatives, including educational programs and community outreach, have strengthened the bond between law enforcement and the school district. These initiatives not only promote safety but also cultivate a positive relationship between students and the police, fostering trust and understanding.”

Highest Level School Safety Award from Utica National

In April, Watervliet City Schools was one of 160 districts and Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in New York State to receive the Utica National Insurance Group’s “School Safety Excellence Award” for 2024 at the Titanium with Honors level. The award is presented annually and recognizes the safety efforts of school districts as they work to keep students, staff and visitors safe. The district received a commemorative certificate and a check for $500 to use toward school safety programs.

Board member accepts leadership award from superintendent of schoolsBoard Member Honored for Leadership

At the May 7 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Stevens presented a Board Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) to school board member Heather Soroka. This award recognizes the ongoing efforts of board members, like Ms. Soroka, who continue to expand their knowledge and skills for better board governance through participation in leadership development experiences offered through NYSSBA. Congratulations!