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Herkimer BOCES kicks off new school year with pride

Sept. 3, 2019



BOCES employees giving a standing ovation to Diana Cassidy and Mary Kline for 40 years at BOCES


Herkimer BOCES employees give a standing ovation to Diana Cassidy and Mary Kline (bottom, right corner), who were honored on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for 40 years of service at Herkimer BOCES.




Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES welcomed back teachers and other 10-month employees for a new school year on Tuesday, Sept. 3, and honored staff who have reached milestones in their service at BOCES.

Herkimer BOCES Board of Education Vice President Daniel Voce encouraged staff to remember the excited feeling of the first day throughout the school year, wished everyone good luck and said thank you on behalf of the board.

“Without the people in this room, we’re not going to be successful, right?” Voce said, before listing some of the various roles at Herkimer BOCES. “Whatever it is, whatever you do on a day-to-day basis, thank you. What you do is astonishing.”

The welcoming activities took place at the William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer – including introductions of new staff and staff who have changed positions, honoring staff who have reached milestones, a presentation by District Superintendent Sandra Sherwood and a presentation by Kristen Rasmussen and Jeremy Butler of the nonprofit Integrated Community Alternatives Network, or ICAN. The afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 3, and the whole day of Wednesday, Sept. 4, are divided among mandatory training, faculty meetings and instructional planning.

Employees who received Service Awards for the following number of years at Herkimer BOCES are listed below and were recognized during the morning:

  • 10 years: Cathy Eysaman, Roxanne Gillen, Greg Jaros, Timothy Johnson, Ellen Maury, Ruth Neff and Jennifer Rowe-Murphy.

  • 20 years: Roberta Matthews, Shawn Maxson, Jessica Murphy-Armstrong and Janet Vickers.

  • 25 years: Lisa Brouillette and Jean Rogers.

  • 30 years: Laurie Waterbury.

  • 40 years: Diana Cassidy and Mary Kline.

During the introductions, Herkimer BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services James Picolla said then when he first took a principal job at Herkimer BOCES about 15 years ago, he thought it was going to be a short-term stop, but it has become a home. He still loves working at Herkimer BOCES and the reward of knowing that BOCES is helping students, he said.

“Once you find this to be your home, it’s a wonderful place to be,” he said.

Sherwood’s presentation focused on taking pride in Herkimer BOCES, setting goals for moving forward and thanking employees for their various contributions.

“Everybody in the organization has an important role to play in creating opportunities,” Sherwood said. “It all works together to make BOCES what it is. Keep making Herkimer BOCES amazing.”

Sherwood shared photos of and discussed various areas of Herkimer BOCES to take pride in.

Goals Sherwood discussed included recruiting and retention, promoting excellent instructional practices and implementing outcomes from a regional board forum, which are:

  • Embed transferable skills and communication skills in speaking and writing.

  • Expand school-to-careers opportunities for internships and job shadowing.

  • Promote mental health literacy and provide resources.

  • Enhance school safety.

Later, the presentation by Rasmussen and Butler of ICAN, was about trauma-informed care in schools. They talked about programs they have at Herkimer BOCES and about what trauma-sensitive school environments look like.

Part of trauma-informed care is appreciating that many problem behaviors began as understandable attempts to cope, Butler said.

“Trauma-informed care takes the conversation from, “What’s wrong with this person?” to, “What happened to this person?” he said.

Trauma-informed instruction will also be the focus of a Superintendent’s Conference Day on Friday, Oct. 25.



Diana Cassidy and Mary Kline with 40 years of service awards


Herkimer BOCES employees Diana Cassidy (left) and Mary Kline (right) were honored on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for 40 years of service at Herkimer BOCES.




Laurie Waterbury with 30 years of service award


Herkimer BOCES employee Laurie Waterbury was honored on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for 30 years of service at Herkimer BOCES.




Lisa Brouillette and Jean Rogers with 25 years of service awards


Herkimer BOCES employees Lisa Brouillette (left) and Jean Rogers (right) were honored on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for 25 years of service at Herkimer BOCES.




Matthews, Maxson, Vickers and Murphy-Armstrong with 20 years of service awards


From left, Herkimer BOCES employees Roberta Matthews, Shawn Maxson, Janet Vickers and Jessica Murphy-Armstrong were honored on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for 20 years of service at Herkimer BOCES.




Seven BOCES employees posing who honored for 10 years of service


Herkimer BOCES employees were honored on Tuesday, Sept. 3, for 10 years of service. From left, front row: Ellen Maury, Jennifer Rowe-Murphy, Janet Dodson, Cathy Eysaman and Roxanne Gillen. Back row: Greg Jaros and Timothy Johnson. Ruth Neff, not pictured, also received a 10-year Service Award.




Sandra Sherwood speaking at the podium


Herkimer BOCES District Superintendent Sandra Sherwood talks to employees on Tuesday, Sept. 3, during the first day for teachers and other 10-month employees for the 2019-20 school year.




Board Vice President Daniel Voce speaking in front of employees


Herkimer BOCES Vice President Daniel Voce talks to employees on Tuesday, Sept. 3, during the first day for teachers and other 10-month employees for the 2019-20 school year.




representatives from ICAN speak in front of Herkimer BOCES employees


Kristen Rasmussen and Jeremy Butler of the nonprofit Integrated Community Alternatives Network, or ICAN, speak to Herkimer BOCES employees on Tuesday, Sept. 3, during the first day for teachers and other 10-month employees for the 2019-20 school year.