Chatham Central School District Lik to Staff Resources area

Dr. Cheryl Nuciforo, Superintendent


2010-2011 News

Class of 2011 Commencement

student receives diploma from principal John ThorsenIn front of a packed house of relatives and friends, 101 proud graduates walked across the auditorium stage to receive their diplomas. Chatham’s Class of 2011 boasts forty seniors who graduated with honors. Twenty-five Regents diplomas with advanced designation and 21 Regents diplomas with advanced designation with honors were awarded, as well as forty-nine college scholarships and grants. The commencement ceremony was held the evening of June 24. View more photos...



CHS Class of 2011 Honor Students

Mr. John Thorsen, Principal, and Mrs. Karen Bechdol, Assistant Principal, of Chatham High School are pleased to release the names of the Honor Students for the Graduating Class of 2011.  The Honor Students were announced at the annual Arbor Day Banquet given by the Junior, Sophomore, and Freshmen Classes in honor of the Senior Class.  The banquet was held at Winding Brook Country Club on Thursday, May 26, 2011. View Honor Students for Class of 2011...

Class of 2011 Valedictorian & Salutatorian

James CollierValedictorian – Chatham High School Class of 2011

James Collier is the son of Sarah Collier of Ghent and Michael Collier of Chatham. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has been selected for numerous Highest Average Awards, Student of the Quarter Awards, Most Effort Awards and Good Character Awards. At the Senior Awards Ceremony, James received the Excellence in Art, Excellence in English, and Excellence is Science Departmental Honors. He has participated in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, Drama Club, Film Club, Model UN, and the Art & Literary Magazine. Also involved in sports, he was a member of the Soccer, Outdoor Track, Indoor Track and Cross Country teams.
James plans to attend the School of Visual Arts in NYC and major in Fine Art.  

Jacqueline SheerinSalutatorian- Chatham High School Class of 2011

Jacqueline Sheerin is the daughter of John and Jean Sheerin of Ghent. Throughout high school, she participated in various activities such as Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention, SADD, CHS Orchestra, Model Congress, and the first annual student debate. Outside of school she is active in 4H activities such as Hippology and Horsebowl, where she has competed at the county, regional, and state levels. Jacqueline has also gone on multiple mission trips to Maine and Haiti.
In the fall, Jacqueline will be attending the University of Albany for Business Administration.


CMS Merit and Hay Awards

Chatham Middle School held its annual Moving Up Ceremony for the eighth grade class.  The event was held in the high school auditorium on June 17th and was well attended by parents and community members. As is the tradition, merit awards and the Hay Award were given to outstanding students in different categories. Special thanks to the Chatham Alumni Association and the private contributors who made the awards possible. View awards...


Assemblyman McLaughlin Celebrates Flag Day with Students

McLaughlin with StudentsNYS Assemblyman Steven F. McLaughlin joined M.E.D. students for a Flag Day celebration held in the school’s gym. The state lawmaker visited the school to talk to the children about the history behind the first Flag of the United States, how the modern flag has developed and the freedoms it represents.
It has become a bit of a tradition that a lawmaker joins M.E.D. students on Flag Day. It is celebrated nationally every June 14 to commemorate the official adoption of the United States flag on that day in 1777. This was Assemblyman McLaughlin’s first visit to M.E.D; in previous years, Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro has visited the school on Flag Day.


CHS Inducts 34 into National Honor Society

ceremonyThirty-four Chatham High School juniors were inducted into the National Honor Society in recognition of their excellence in academics, service, character and leadership. Please join CHS in congratulating our National Honor Society Class of 2012. The following Chatham students were officially inducted during a ceremony held the evening of June 2nd at Chatham High School: View list of NHS inductees...



M.E.D. Bookmark Contest

bookmark contest winnersWho loves books? The children of Mary E. Dardess Elementary School. Students showed their love for reading and books by participating in the school's first annual M.E.D. Bookmark Contest, sponsored by the school's Parent/Teacher Association. Children designed their own bookmarks with personal drawings and words to show their love for books.

First place winners of each grade received a $10 gift certificate provided by the Chatham Bookstore and had their bookmark designs professionally printed and distributed to all students of their respective grades. Read more and view winning bookmarks...  


Chatham High School Receives Project Lead the Way Certification

Students at Chatham High School now have more opportunities for higher learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) thanks to our school recently receiving national certification for its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program. The national certification recognizes our school for successfully meeting PLTW’s national standards and provides our students with the opportunity to apply for college credit when they complete PLTW courses. Students may also receive admissions preference, scholarships and other college-level recognition at PLTW’s more than 40 affiliated universities. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs and has been offered at CHS since 2007. Read more...


CMS Inducts Twenty Eight into National Junior Honor Society

NJHS ceremonyAt a special ceremony before an audience of parents, staff and the entire student body, Chatham Middle School inducted twenty-eight students into National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). To qualify for NJHS, a student must demonstrate outstanding qualities in scholarship, character, service, leadership, and citizenship. NJHS membership is for students in grades six through eight.

During the ceremony, current NJHS members lit candles representing the five qualities of the organization. Following the candle lighting, the inductees were called, one by one, on to the stage to accept their NJHS certificates and take their place among the membership. Read more...


Sixth Grade Scale Castles

Each year at CMS, sixth graders build medieval castles as part of a class project focused on problem-solving and creativity. The entire sixth grade participates in the project, with each homeroom class building their own castle. Everything from walls and towers right down to tiny doors and windows are built to scale, using a ratio of 1 centimeter = 1 foot. After the buildings are constructed, they are painted and affixed to a landscaped base. View 2011's castle projects...



lunch outsideOutdoor Lunches in June

When the weather cooperated this June, M.E.D. students went outdoors to enjoy lunch in the sun and fresh air. Cafeteria staff prepare bag lunches for students buying lunch. Here students enjoy a sunny day and lunch under a shade tree in the school's courtyard. View more photos...



Tree plantingCMS Arbor Day Tree Planting

Chatham Middle School held its annual Arbor Day celebration on June 14. Each year during the school-wide event, students and staff plant a tree in honor of the school’s retiring employees. This year, a flowering Magnolia was planted on the school grounds in recognition of retirees and former head custodian Patrick Curry. Read more...


Seventh Graders Take Trip Back In Time

students in front of old bankSeventh grade students visited Old Sturbridge Village on May 27. The social studies field trip gave student a look into early American life as it existed in the 1830’s. Old Sturbridge Village is located in Sturbridge, MA and is the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast. The museum is set up as a rural New England town with 40 original buildings, each carefully restored and brought to the site from towns throughout New England. Authentically costumed history interpreters carry out the daily activities of an early 19th-century community to aid visitors on their trip through history.


Assemblyman McLaughlin Celebrates Flag Day with Students

McLaughlin with StudentsNYS Assemblyman Steven F. McLaughlin joined M.E.D.  students for a Flag Day Celebration held in the school’s gym. The state lawmaker visited the school to talk to the children about the history behind the first Flag of the United States, how the modern flag has developed and the freedoms it represents.

It has become a bit of a tradition that a lawmaker joins M.E.D. students on Flag Day. It is celebrated nationally every June 14 to commemorate the official adoption of the United States flag on that day in 1777. This was Assemblyman McLaughlin’s first visit to M.E.D; in previous years, Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro visited the school on Flag Day.


“Loose Change” Buys Clocks for African School

kenyan students with clockM.E.D. students received a big “asanteni” (thank you) from the Kibarani School for the Deaf in Kenya. During the 2009-2010 school year, M.E.D. students collected money for a good cause, and once enough “loose change” filled their jar, it was donated to the African school. This May, M.E.D. received word from the Kibrarani School that the donation was used to buy clocks for each classroom, as none of the rooms had a clock. The Kenyan school sent along pictures of each grade with their new clocks and greetings from the students, which are now displayed on the bulletin board in the MED lobby.


M.E.D. Arbor Day a Community Celebration

Reno, FaxonStudents continued Chatham’s Arbor Day tradition with a new twist this year. Chatham Bookstore owner and community advocate Muriel Faxon was honored at this year’s M.E.D. Arbor Day celebration for her contributions to the school and to the Chatham Community.The ceremony was held in the District's Geologic Park on June 3rd and began with a history of Arbor Day in Chatham.The event included the traditional M.E.D. Maypole Dance and a tree planting honoring Mrs. Faxon and all retiring M.E.D. teachers.The Chatham Central School District has been celebrating Arbor Day since 1889 and a red oak that the Class of 1902 planted is the oldest living Arbor Day tree in NYS. Read more...


Annual M.E.D. Arbor Day Celebration will Honor Chatham Resident Muriel Faxon

FaxonLifelong Chatham community member and advocate Muriel Faxon will be honored at the M.E.D. Arbor Day Celebration, held June 3. This year’s celebration marks the first annual honoring of a community member, who the school will recognize as having a positive influence on the Chatham community. The public is encouraged to attend this special celebration, held on the M.E.D. lawn (HS auditorium if raining) at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 3. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling the M.E.D. main office at 392-1530, no later than June 1st. Read more...


Varsity Softball Team Patroon Conference Champs

varisty softball teamThe Chatham High School Varsity Softball team clinched the title of 2011 Patroon Conference Champions on May 20, with a 19-0 win over Hudson. Pictured from left: coach J.B. Brantley; players Haley Knight, Sarah Patzwahl, Brittany Lossow, Leah Layton, Karsyn Sawyer, Courtney Mesick, Caitlin Gilligan, Kayla Doty, Michaela Smith, Erica French, Karlee Shields; assistant coach Dan Doyle.



NYS Assemblymen McLaughlin and Molinaro Honor CMS

assemblymen present award to studnetsNYS Assemblymen Steven McLaughlin and Marcus Molinaro made a special visit to Chatham to present CMS students and staff with a proclamation applauding the school’s designation as a "2011 National School of Character", as well as "NYS School of Character for 2011-2014". The lawmakers also presented Principal Gordon Fitting and Assistant Principal Larry Burud with a proclamation recognizing both for earning the "School Administrator Leadership Award" from the Academy for Character Education at the Sage Colleges.

assemblymen present award to Fitting, BurudAccompanying Mr. Molinaro and Mr. McLaughlin were Judy Skype, Chief of Staff to the Assembly Minority Leader, and Marie West, Senior Executive Assistant to the Minority Leader.
Assemblyman Marcus J. Molinaro represents Assembly District 102 and Assemblyman Steven F. McLaughlin represents Assembly District 108, both of which fall within the Chatham Central School District. The assemblymen and representatives of the Assembly Minority Leader honored CMS at a school assembly held on May 12th.



Chatham Middle School Named “NATIONAL SCHOOL OF CHARACTER”

Chatham Middle School has been named a 2011 National School of Character; one of the highest awards a school can receive for achievement in character education. The award recognizes Chatham’s Character Education Program, its development of positive character traits in students and its overall school environment as being one of the best in the nation and a model for other schools to follow. Read more...


Children's Author Promotes Literacy at M.E.D.

Paratore writing workshopChildren’s Author Coleen Paratore visited M.E.D. on May 10th. During assemblies for all grades, she spoke with students about reading, her life as a writer and her books.  During her day long visit, she also held grade-wide writing workshops for students.  Using age appropriate writing exercises, Paratore gave second, third and fourth graders a real opportunity to participate, connect with words, and enjoy some writing.
Paratore’s visit coincided with the school’s Parents As Reading Partners program, a two week event designed to instill a lifelong love of reading in children through fun and positive reading activities, and promote reading with loved ones at home.  Mrs. Paratore’s visit was made possible with the support of the M.E.D. PTA.
Coleen Paratore is the author of the acclaimed The Wedding Planner's Daughter and its sequel The Cupid Chronicles, as well as How Prudence Proovit Proved the Truth About Fairy Tales, and more. She lives in Albany.


prom court2011 Prom

The 2011 Chatham Junior Prom was held Saturday, May 7th at the Pittsfield Country Club. To learn who was chosen for the prom court and to view photos please click here...



Two CMS Teachers Inducted Into Delta Kappa Gamma Society

Murray and MackowskiChatham Middle School is proud to congratulate Sara Murray, CMS Technology Integration Teacher and Kristine Mackowski, Sixth Grade Special Education Teacher for their induction into the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International by the Alpha Nu Chapter. The two were initiated into the society during an event held May 5th at the Quarry Steak House in Coxsackie. Delta Kappa Gamma promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education, and has approximately 100,000 members internationally. The Alpha Nu chapter is comprised of key women educators from Columbia, Greene and southern Albany counties.



High-Tech Parenting Program at CHS Featured on Local TV

Chatham High School students and staff were recently featured on the Capital District show “Parentology.” Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Maria Hayes and students Christine Ewasick and Thomas Minahan were interviewed about how Real Care Babies are being used in Mrs. Hayes' parenting class. A Real Care Baby is a realistic robot baby designed to help young adults learn about the responsibilities associated with having a child. The segment featuring CHS aired May 1st on WTEN. View Parentology segment...

Olympic Silver Medalist Trevor Marsicano Brings Anti-bullying Message to Chatham Students

Olympic speed skater and 2010 silver medalist Trevor Marsicano brought his inspirational story and anti-bullying message to Chatham Central School District students. Trevor made two visits to Chatham, speaking in front of Chatham High School students on April 25 and students at M.E.D. on April 26. Read more...


Mrs. Ranita's classKindergartners Raise Money for the Red Cross While Learning About Weather

In Mrs. Ranita’s kindergarten class, student teacher Ms. Hamilton taught a unit on weather.  Students learned about all the various types of weather and as part of Ms. Hamilton’s weather unit, they learned about the Red Cross. The class spent 2 weeks collecting coins for the Red Cross and used their money skills to count all the change.  They were very excited to learn they raised over $75.00!



Students Present MED Peacemakers Program to BOE

students at Board meetingMED Peacemakers made a presentation to the Board of Education on how they are developing student leadership in MED. The students talked about the character building activities they carry out at school and demonstrated team building exercises they use. The group also brought along MED’s therapy dog, CC, who showed off her hoop-jumping skills. The presentation was held during the April 12 BOE meeting.



Boehme with studentsFifth Graders Honor Chief Boehme

Fifth graders held a surprise party for Chatham Village Police Chief Kevin Boehme to acknowledge his years of dedication to the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program. Students made a t-shirt and posters for Chief Boehme to show him their appreciation, and administrators, fifth grade teachers and Mr. Boehme’s family all spoke on his behalf.



Sixth Graders Explore Natural History

students at jungle exhibitstudents with dinosaurSixth graders took a field trip to NYC on April 14th. Students spent the day at the American Museum of Natural History where they studied biomes to prepare for books they are writing in science class. When finished, the students will read their books to kindergartners at MED.




Chatham CSD Earns Safety Excellence Award

The Chatham Central School District has received the “2011 School Safety Excellence Award” from the Utica National Insurance Group. Utica National presented the award at its 31st annual school safety seminar held in April. As part of the recognition, Chatham received a certificate from the insurance company to commemorate the District’s safety efforts. Read more...

Gilbert Rivera Signs On to University at Albany

Rivera signingChatham High School football defensive back Gilbert Rivera signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the University at Albany, SUNY.  The school held a letter signing ceremony May 12, where Gilbert was joined by his family, friends and teammates, athletic department staff and school officials to celebrate his accomplishment. The event was held in the CHS lobby and was followed by a brief reception and refreshments.  

As a 2010 first team all-league defensive back, Gilbert caught UAlbany’s attention while attending summer training camp at the college with his Chatham teammates in 2010. By signing his National Letter of Intent, Gilbert made his commitment to play for the University at Albany official.


Sam Engel with award

CMS Student Wins Youth Leadership Award

Eighth grader Sam Engel was awarded the Pierro Youth Leadership Award.  Sam, along with eighth grader Nikki Favre, was nominated for the award based on his overall academic and extracurricular excellence, combined with his demonstrated citizenship. As nominees, Sam and Nikki were invited to attend the 15th Annual Louis A. Pierro Youth Leadership Awards Ceremony, held April 21st at the Elks Lodge in Hudson. Sam was chosen for the award from students representing  each middle school in Columbia County.


BOE Honors Cole Gleason

At its May 10th meeting, the Chatham Board of Education honored CHS Junior Cole Gleason for his accomplishments as a student, athlete and community advocate. Gleason's accomplishments were recently featured in Channel 13 report. View WNYT video...


NCBI Student Leaders Receive Award Certificates

award ceremonyChatham Middle School recently received awards for it’s National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) program. Chatham NCBI student leaders and their advisors received certificates from the National Coalition Building Institute’s School Leadership Certificate Program at Hudson Valley Community College. The awards ceremony was held in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium at Hudson Valley Community College, Thursday evening, May 12th. Read more...


Patzwahl, Sweet Nominated for Columbia County Youth Bureau Award

PatzwahlSweetSarah Patzwahl and Melyssa Sweet were both nominated by CHS for youth leadership awards. Each was nominated based on their overall academic and extracurricular excellence, combined with their demonstrated citizenship and respect toward others. As nominees, Sarah and Melyssa were invited to attend the 15th Annual Louis A. Pierro Youth Leadership Awards Ceremony, held April 21st at the Elks Lodge in Hudson. The ceremony recognized the positive accomplishments of Columbia County youth. Each nominee received a certificate, which Sarah and Melyssa are holding.




6th Annual Battle of the Belts

battle of beltsWith prom season on the way, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) hosted the annual Battle of the Belts competition at CHS to encourage students to make safe decisions like wearing seatbelts.

Teams of four competed against each other in the timed event, buckling into and out of car seats in the fastest time possible. The competition was officiated by local law enforcement.

This year's winners were the BA Bucklers, clocking in at 33.63 They moved on to compete against other schools in the “World Championship Battle of the Belts” held at Sean’s Run on Sunday, May 1.


CMS Battle of the Belts

Chatham Middle School students held their annual Battle of the Belts competition on April 27th. The middle school event awarded prizes for the fastest time, most creative team name and loudest cheering section. The fastest 5th and 6th grade team and the fastest 7th and 8th grade team went on to compete in the “World Championship Battle of the Belts” held during Sean's Run on May 1st. The CSM event was sponsored by a grant from Sean's Run. High schools, middle schools and youth groups from throughout the region competed in this fun-filled seat belt contest. View pictures and read more.


Ryan Behrens, Samantha O’Dell Recognized as Outstanding Business Students

Behrens and O'DellChatham Senior Ryan Behrens was recognized as the 2010-2011 outstanding business education students for Chatham High School. The Capital Region Business and Marketing Education Association awarded Ryan this honor not only for his academic achievement but also for his outstanding citizenship and positive attitude. Ryan, his parents, and CHS Business Teacher Mr. Francis DeCrescenzo attended an awards dinner held May 5 at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Colonie. Ryan was among 27 other students who received awards recognizing their hard work, including Samantha O’Dell, a Chatham student who also attends the Business Information Systems program at Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center in Hudson. Samantha was in attendance representing the BIS program. For their accomplishments, both Ryan and Sam were honored by the Board of Education at its May 24 meeting.


solar panels Solar Panels Installed at M.E.D.

Photovoltaic panels are now installed on the roof of the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School and on the front of the school's gymnasium.The panels will produce electricity for the building and provide students with a learning tool. Installation began in late March and was completed in April. The project is funded entirely through grant money. To learn more about this and our other building improvement projects, check out the District's Capital Building Project webpage.



Chatham Public Art Project

students with sculptorCHS senior art students Taylor Wenk, Will Gauthier, Jillon McGreal, Caley Van Brunt and Josh Keyes are enjoying the opportunity to work with Bill Thompson, sculptor and owner of the Thompson Giroux Gallery in West Stockbridge. MA. Mr. Thompson is donating his time and expertise every Wednesday to work with the students, who are developing proposals to be submitted for judging to be included in Chatham’s Public Art Display on Hudson Avenue in 2012. Mr. Thompson’s work with the students is in support of a CHS arts program initiated by teacher Judy Harrigan and made possible through a grant provided by the Chatham Education Foundation. 


students2nd Graders Learn, Teach About Space

Second grade students from Mrs. Piaggione’s class visited kindergarten and first grade classes to share their knowledge of the solar system with the younger students. Each second grader researched a particular area of space and created a postcard with interesting facts and information about it. Students also created a corresponding piece of artwork using watercolor paints. Pictured are students presenting their solar system to Ms. Wheeler’s first grade class on April 6.



CHS Announces Students of the 3rd Quarter

group photo

Students of the Quarter are selected by Chatham High School faculty based on their
fine work and contribution to the class. See who made the list...


student with sticker

SADD Teams Up with Catholic Charities to Tell Adults:  Don’t Buy Alcohol for Minors!

When adults buy beer in stores around Chatham over the next few days, they will be confronted with a sticker on their purchase reminding them that providing alcohol to minors is against the law. Chatham High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Chapter teamed up with the Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties Prevention Program, which is sponsoring a “Sticker Shock” campaign again this year. The purpose of this initiative is to remind adults of their responsibility to prevent the tragedies that too often occur when young people drink. Read more...


students at white houseWashington D.C. Trip


In March, juniors and seniors traveled to Washington D.C. for a weekend of learning in our nation’s Capitol. Stops on the trip included the White House, veteran’s memorials, museums and Arlington National Cemetery. The trip was offered as an elective and afforded many students their first glimpse of the District of Columbia's most important sites; a nice supplement to the history lessons juniors at CHS are currently taking.


students at Board meetingStudents Present MED Peacemakers Program to BOE

MED Peacemakers made a presentation to the Board of Education on how they are developing student leadership in MED. The students talked about the character building activities they carry out at school and demonstrated team building exercises they use. The group also brought along MED’s therapy dog, CC, who showed off her hoop-jumping skills. The presentation was held during the April 12 BOE meeting.



Learning Yoga Techniques

During physical education classes, Chatham High School students learned yoga techniques from guest instructor Cleo Post. A former CHS student, Post is a certified yoga instructor at Kripalu in Lenox, MA and has been a Yoga practitioner for over five years. 

students in yoga classWanting to give back to her former school, Post contacted physical education teacher Scott Steltzs and volunteered to give free yoga instruction. Yoga is a low impact way of improving flexibility, strength, posture, stress levels and mood, and can be practiced for a lifetime.

 “I thought it was a great idea and a way to get the students to step outside their comfort zone,” said physical education teacher Scott Steltz, who was happy to have Post instruct his students. “The kids were very responsive and enjoyed every minute.”


Board of Education Adopts 2011-2012 School Budget

The Chatham CSD Board of Education adopted a budget for the 2011-2012 school year at its April 12th Board meeting. The budget totals $27,138,001 and represents a projected 1.98 percent increase in the tax levy. Spending is up 1.97 percent from the current year’s budget, largely due to increases in energy prices, and increases in insurance and pension costs. Chatham CSD is faced with a $326,701 reduction is NYS aid for 2011-12. In building the budget, school officials carefully examined every budget line item to find savings wherever possible and preserve the educational program.  The District also applied reserve balances to reduce the tax levy.


CMS is NYS School of Character for 2011-2014

award ceremonyChatham Middle School was officially presented with its award for being named New York State School of Character for 2011-2014 and for being a finalist for the National School of Character Award. The award was presented by The Academy for Character Education at the Sage Colleges during its “Champions of Character” Awards Dinner, held April 6th at the Franklin Plaza Ballroom in Troy. Chatham Middle School was chosen for this award for the second year in a row by a panel of independent reviewers involved in character education and student development. Chatham Middle School Principal Gordon Fitting and Assistant Principal Larry Burud were also each officially awarded the School Administrator Leadership Award the same evening. Read more...


Model U.N.

Group photoStudents in Model U.N. traveled to Hanover, NH to participate in the Dartmouth College Model United Nations Conference, a three-day academic event that simulated the activities of the United Nations. The April event hosted high school teams from around the region. Students assumed the roles of delegates representing some of the 192 countries that make up the United Nations. Students gained a "real world" understanding of the work of the U.N., developed skills in diplomacy and compromise, and gained public speaking experience while negotiating solutions to various global issues that ranged from disarmament and security to the World Trade Organization. Model U.N. at CHS is supported through a grant from the Chatham Education Foundation.


Baking Fresh, Nutritious Bread

students with doughThe King Arthur Flour Company visited CMS to teach fifth, sixth and seventh graders how to bake bread from scratch at an assembly held in the auditorium March 8th. The King Arthur Flour Life Skills Bread Baking Program visits schools across the country, incorporating whole grains into the demonstration, teaching students what whole grains are, why they’re important in a healthy diet, and how to use them in everyday baking. Each CMS student involved received bags of both King Arthur All-Purpose Flour and King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour to help them bake healthy breads at home. Chatham students took their newfound baking skills home to bake and bring a loaf back to school to be donated to the Chatham Food Pantry and the Ghent Food Pantry.


reaper with victimGrim Reaper Brings Important Warning to CHS

Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) hosted Grim Reaper Day at Chatham High School on Thursday, March 31. With Prom and graduation season around the corner, the day long event was designed to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. Every 33 minutes, a SADD member rang a gong over the school’s PA system, symbolizing the one person who is killed in an alcohol related incident nearly every half-hour in this country. With each gong, a SADD member dressed as the Grim Reaper floated down the hallway and plucked a student out of class. For the rest of the day, the student would be a walking reminder of the casualties of drinking and driving.



group on assembly floorChatham Middle School Honored by NYS Assembly

A group of students and staff representing Chatham Middle School traveled to Albany on March 28th to receive honors from the New York State Assembly. For being named NYS School of Character for 2011-2014 and a finalist for the National School of Character designation, CMS was recognized on the Assembly floor by Assemblymen Marcus Molinaro and Steven McLaughlin. Principal Gordon Fitting and Assistant Principal Larry Burud were also recognized for being named “Champions of Character” team administrators. Later, New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb presented CMS with a citation prepared and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Read more...


students read to NuciforoThird Graders Read Poetry to Superintendent

Third grade students stopped in at the superintendent's office to show off their poetry to Superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo.

As part of the third grade’s study of China, the students created traditional four-line Chinese poems depicting how they see, hear and feel about nature. Reading their poems to the superintendent gave the third graders the chance to practice presenting their poetry to an audience, which they will did at a special school assembly celebrating the third grade’s study of Chinese culture, held on March 25 at M.E.D.



BOE Recognizes CMS for Character Education Achievements

staff, students with awardAt the March 22nd meeting of the Chatham Board of Education, the Board recognized Chatham Middle School for its many achievements in character education. For 2011, CMS has been named New York State School of Character Education through 2014 by the Sage Colleges Academy for Character Education. The Middle School has also been selected as a finalist for the National School of Character Education.

The Board recognized these achievements and others with a plaque presented to students and staff representing the Middle School. The Board also presented Principal Gordon Fitting and Assistant Principal Larry Burud each with a Character Education Leadership plaque. Read more...



Amanda and James holding artworkStudents Display Work at C-GCC Art Show

Chatham High School art students Amanda Cuerbo and James Collier hold their art work that was entered in the 15th Annual Juried Art Show held at Columbia-Greene Community College. Cuerbo won an Honorable Mention with a cash award for her art piece. It was an honor for both students to have their work submitted to this student show.

Fifteen years ago, former Chatham High art student Rebecca Loyche won first prize for her piece in the first juried student at C-GCC. She is now an internationally acclaimed artist whose work is currently part of the International Video Festival in China



Students and Staff Shave Heads to Help Fight Cancer

students with shaved headsChatham students helped organize and participated in an annual head shaving event to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and to show support for 11-year-old Chatham resident Roman Palleschi, who is currently living with acute lynphoblastic leukemia. St. Baldrick's raises funds for childhood cancer research, largely through shaved-head events. Participants, including many student/athletes and their coaches, were sponsored by friends and family to shed their hair and show solidarity with children who typically lose their hair during cancer treatment. The event was held March 12 at Lagonia’s Pizza Cafe in Chatham, where more than 100 participants raised over $15,000. Newspaper cameras were there to catch the action. View Register Star article…


students decorate boxRecycling Renewed at M.E.D.

Mary E. Dardess Elementary School has renewed its recycling efforts through a weekly school-wide waste paper recycling program. With help from parent volunteers, the school first gathered and decorated cardboard boxes to be used as recycling bins. Once properly adorned by students, the bins were placed in each school room for teachers, students and staff to fill with waste paper generated during the school day. At recess time every Friday, fourth grade student volunteers go door to door to collect the paper for recycling. The new program kicked off this March.


Middle Schoolers Learn Watercolor from a Pro

Jackie Rogers teaching a classChildren’s book illustrator/author Jacqueline Rogers is sharing her expertise in illustration and watercolor painting with students at Chatham Middle School. Along with discussing her career as an artist, Ms. Rogers is conducting a series of watercolor workshops that give art students in grades 5-8 the opportunity to explore, learn and apply watercolor techniques. The workshops provide students with valuable experience as they create their own landscape paintings and make the connection between the arts and potential careers in graphic design. 

Ms. Rogers has been working with CMS art classes throughout the school year and her watercolor painting workshops are designed to align with and add enrichment to the Middle School’s art curriculum. This project is supported by a grant from the Alexander M. White Fund of the Chatham Education Foundation. 


books March Book Fair

Reading helps build literacy skills, and the M.E.D. PTA helps promote reading with book fairs held each year in our school.

During the first week in March, the PTA held a book fair where hundreds of great books were on display and available for purchase by students and parents.



Three CHS Students Perform with Capital Region Wind Ensemble

Kristien, Ian and Ryan

Every year, a dozen students from the capital region are chosen to perform along with the professional musicians of the Capital Region Wind Ensemble (CRWE). This year, Ryan Behrens, Kristen Bervy, and Ian Tucksmith were selected to join the ensemble. The selection process was based upon NYSSMA solo festival scores, musical involvement outside of the school day (All-County, All-State, ESYO, etc), and letters of recommendation.

The concert took place on March 27, 2011, at 3:00pm in the Taylor Auditorium (SCCC campus). James Patrick Miller, Director of Wind Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst joins the CRWE as guest conductor for a concert of Smetana, Husa, Holst and more. CRWE music director Brett Wery stepped into the soloist role to perform Claude T. Smith's Suite for Solo Flute, Clarinet and Alto Saxophone. Tickets: $8-general admission, $6-students and SCCC students free. Please call (518) 381-1231 for tickets. For more info on CRWE or SCCC visit

NYS Releases School Report Cards

The New York State Department of Education recently released report card data on local schools for the 2009-10 school year. The report cards include information on schools' standardized test scores and graduation rates, district and individual school profile data, expenditures per pupil and more. View Chatham CSD's School Report Card...


CHS Announces Students of the Second Quarter

students photo

The Students of the Second Quarter were selected by the Chatham High School faculty based
on their fine work and contribution to the class. See who made the list...


Freshmen Transition Day Focuses on Bullying

Chatham High School 9th graders received a very important message about bullying during thier Freshmen Transition Day, an event put on by the school social worker in February. Students watched a documentary about a young man who took a stand against the bullying he was subjected to in school. The program was designed to create empathy for victims of bullying and to encourage others to step forward and stand up to bullying. Read more...


Model Congress

Model Congress clubStudents in Chatham High School’s Model Congress club traveled to American International College in Springfield, MA to compete in the 71st Annual Model Congress, a three-day academic competition that simulated the activities of the United States Congress. The January event hosted student teams from schools throughout New England and New York

Chatham students assumed the roles of senators or representatives to debate the merits of bill proposals they created. Following parliamentary procedure in committee rooms and in general assemblies, they proposed domestic policy and debated real world issues, successfully passing one of the two bills the club introduced at the competition. This is Chatham's fourth year attending the event.


Students Pay Tribute to Patrick Curry

musical mayhemChatham Middle School paid tribute to the memory of their beloved head custodian, Patrick Curry, with a special musical performance held in the school’s auditorium on February 11.

Mr. Curry loved music and many students from the middle school as well as the high school expressed a desire to honor his memory with a school-wide musical presentation. Choir students, the 8th grade orchestra, and bands from the high school and middle school performed some of Mr. Curry’s favorite songs, alongside students who performed solo instrumental or vocal arrangements. Read more...


Four CHS Teams Recognized as Scholar Athlete Teams

Four Chatham High School athletic teams were named Scholar Athlete teams by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA). At the end of each sport season, the NYSPHSAA honors teams that excel in the classroom. Chatham’s boys varsity basketball, girls varsity basketball, boys varsity volleyball and girls Indoor track all recently received this recognition. Read more...


Team photoVolleyball Team Wins Hudson Tournament

The Chatham High School boys varsity volleyball team won the gold trophy at the Hudson Booster Tournament, held at Hudson High School on February 5th.

Pictured Rear: Coach Matt Torrey, Mac Kilmer, Ryan Behrens, Chris Otto, Connor Ryan, Nick Faxon, Andrew Willet, Tom Minehan, Brandon Howard, Willy McEachern,  Front: Cody Clifford, Kevin Flanagan and Chase Smith.



TrainingYellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Training

Chatham High School’s Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Team put on a school-wide training for the entire student body in February. The Suicide Prevention Team is comprised of students who work to educate their peers on how to help people who are feeling suicidal, whether it be a classmate, a family member or a stranger. The theory behind the Yellow Ribbon Program is to give potential suicide victims a “voice” and teach them how to ask for help. The Yellow Ribbon team presented the facts, warning signs, and risk factors of suicide, along with the story of Mike Emme, whose suicide led to the creation of the Yellow Ribbon Program. Read more...


Keyes Named Player Of The Year

Chatham Football standout Josh Keyes was named the New York State Class C Player of the Year by the New York State High School Football Coaches Association. Josh received this recognition at an awards banquet held February 4th. This award follows his being named Co-player of the Year by the NYSHSFCA in 2009-2010. 


P.E.A.C.E. Club Promotes Black History Month

In recognition of Black History Month, students learned about the challenges African American students faced during the desegregation of their schools in the 1950's. Also, the P.E.A.C.E. Club hosted a Mix It Up at Lunch. Mix it Up at Lunch is an activity used nation wide, in which random seating during lunch allows students to step outside their usual comfort zones and meet someone new. Read more...


Chatham Middle School Students of the Month

Chatham Middle School announces its 'Students of the Month' for December and January.  Students are recognized for their improved academic performance and admirable character traits.  Students selected as 'Students of the Month" enjoy lunch and conversation with Principal Gordon Fitting and Assistant Principal Larry Burud. All pizzas for the luncheons are donated by Brian Kellogg, owner of the Pizza Den in Chatham, in support of these recognitions.

December Students of the Month:

  • Savanah Clark-Koloski, Team 5
  • Winter Croke, Team 6
  • Serena Thorne, Team 7
  • Jacob Avens, Grade 5, Encore Team

January Students of the Month:

  • Mackenzie Campbell, Team 5
  • Andrew Lawson, Team 6
  • Rebecca Gardella, Team 7


Young, Patzwahl Receive Leadership Award

Evan and Sarah with awards Evan Young and Sarah Patzwahl both received the Physical Education Leadership Award for Chatham High School at the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NYS AHPERD) Capital Zone Physical Education Student Leadership Awards. The two were presented with their awards at a banquet held February 6th in Latham.

"Both are proven leaders who have been recognized numerous times with awards for their character, hustle, and leadership, as well as their athletic abilities." said Chatham athletic director Scott Steltz.

Sarah and Evan also volunteer their time with various committees and organizations both at school and in their community.


studets with performersP.E.A.C.E. Club Hosts Martin Luther King, Jr. Assembly

Members of the Chatham Middle School P.E.A.C.E. Club (Promoters, Educators and Advocates for Character Education) hosted the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Assembly in the auditorium, January 14th.  The P.E.A.C.E. Club members were excited to present the musical talents of Kim and Reggie Harris to the staff and students. Their performance included songs of the Underground Railroad and the times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Kim and Reggie engaged the students and staff to sing along and use sign language. Read more...




Niki Favre and teachersNikki Favre Wins CMS Spelling Bee

Chatham Middle School held its annual Spelling Bee on January 4th, when thirty-two students competed for special prizes and the opportunity to participate in the Capital Region Spelling Bee this February. This year's winner was 8th grade student Nikki Favre, who received a $25 gift certificate from the Chatham Book Store, and a free powerspeak12 online world language course in her choice of language, offered by the Capital Region Spelling Bee and its sponsors.Read more... 



The School Day Goes On, Despite Sewer Issues at Middle School

The school day went on for middle school students Monday, February 1st, despite their having to relocate to the High School or MED after a sewer issue at the MS. Staff worked hard to minimize the interruption to their studies.

sevent graders
Seventh graders studying in the high school library

Eighth Graders get a taste of High School
8th graders get a taste of high school by shadowing 9th grade students

sixth graders work with thier kindergarten reading buddies
6th graders work with their kindergarten reading buddies

Fifth Graders ust eh MED Cafeteria as a temporary Classroom
5th Graders use the MED Cafeteria as a temporary classroom


Keyes Signs National Letter of Intent to Attend BC

Josh signing letterChatham High School senior Josh Keyes signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Boston College on February 3rd. A letter signing ceremony attended by the media, his family, teammates, athletic department staff and school officials was held for Josh in the Chatham High School lobby. The event was followed by a reception and refreshments.

As one of the top players in Section 2 Football, Josh had been actively pursued by several colleges and universities. After visiting both Temple University in Philadelphia and Boston College, Josh decided to attend BC, giving his verbal commitment on December 20, 2010. By signing his National Letter of Intent, Josh made his commitment to Boston College official.


thirds graders skiing Skiing at MED

Third graders take advantage of the snow and warmer weather to enjoy some cross country skiing around the school grounds.

MED offers cross country skiing to third and fourth grade students as part of their regular physical education classes. Younger grades are offered snowshoeing.



Students Trade Stories and Goods along the Silk Road

As the culmination of their study of China, sixth grade students partook in a journey along Asia's historically important trade route, the Silk Road. Sixth grade classes listened to storyteller Tom Lee tell stories from India, Macedonia, China and Tibet. These stories were then passed on in the oral tradition, along with goods the students had to trade, in a simulation of traveling on the Silk wathcing slide showRoad. Students traveled jouneystory tellingthe route through the sixth grade floor trading their goods and hearing stories from distant lands. There was a story of silkworms, a story of Alexander the Great, a story
of Buddha, and an epic story from India. Students traded tea, gems, silk and wool on their journey. The event took place January 28th.


Students Attend S.T.O.P. Conference at Siena College

CHS students attended the S.T.O.P. (Students Together Opposing Prejudice) Conference, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and Siena College as part of The Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture Series on Race and Non-violent Social Change, held on Friday, January 14h. The conference empowered students to lead the fight against bigotry, intolerance and all forms of hatred in their schools and communities. Read more...


Character Education Youth Leadership Summit

Chatham Middle School and High School students participated in the Character Education Youth Leadership Summit at the Sage Colleges this December. They attended a series of leadership development workshops with other student leaders from across New York State. The Chatham Middle School NCBI (National Coalition Building Institute) leaders presented a workshop on their NBCI program for the students, staff and administrators who attended the conference. Read more..


Taylor at State of StateTaylor Wenk Represents Students, Columbia County at Governor's State of the State Address

Chatham High School senior Taylor Wenk was selected to attend Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address in Albany on January 5. She and other students representing the 62 counties of New York State were given special seating on stage to hear Governor Cuomo’s remarks.

Mr. Cuomo’s office asked Chatham Central School District to provide a student to represent Columbia County at the address. Taylor was chosen because of her high level of involvement in student government and as the District’s Student Representative on the Board of Education. Taylor was accompanied by her father at the event.

The State of the State Address ceremony was televised live on network television Wednesday, January 5th. Taylor can be seen above Gov. Cuomo, wearing a purple scarf.




students with dog biscuitsCMS Students Bake Dog Biscuits for Animal Shelter

Students in Chatham Middle School’s Cooking and Sewing Club baked dog biscuits for the Columbia-Greene Humane Society. The biscuits were delivered to the humane society on December 24th for the dogs to enjoy while spending their holiday in the shelter. The Cooking and Sewing Club is for students grades five through eight and is advised by Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Mrs. Teresa Zema. Mrs. Zema applied for and received a grant from the Capital Region Service Learning Institute Learn and Serve America Fund to support this project.




serving the turkeyMentor Program Holiday Luncheon

Adults participating in the Chatham Middle School Mentor Program provided the students they mentor with a holiday luncheon held at the Chatham Firehouse on Tuesday, December 21st.  A total of sixty adults and students worked together to prepare the food and set up the tables. CMS principal Gordon Fitting continued the tradition of serving the turkey, prepared by the Middle School cafeteria staff under the direction of Barbara Murray. Read more...




Workshops Help Staff Meet Student Needs

teachers learningWhile students had the day off Tuesday, December 7th, the teaching staff of CCSD attended a variety of workshops designed to help staff meet the learning and developmental needs of Chatham's students.

Staff discussed ways to identify different learning styles in children, how to create flexible and inclusive lesson plans that meet students’ individual needs, and instructional strategies that help motivate children and increase achievement.

The day's activities reflected the goals of the District’s Professional Development Plan, which focuses of the development of district-wide differentiated learning practices.


students carolingSeventh Graders Carol at Payn Home, Go Bowling  

Team 7 brought holiday cheer to seniors at the Payn Foundation Retirement Residence in Chatham when they stopped by to do some caroling on Monday, December 20. Later, the class took a trip to the Chatham Bowling Alley for some fun. Class activities like the bowling trip act as an incentive for students to maintain good grades and behavior.





CHS Chorus in WMHT's "Music for the Holidays"


The CHS chorus recently traveled to the WMHT studios in East Greenbush to record “Music for the Holidays.”  This televised concert includes choirs from around the capital region singing holiday selections.  The one-hour program was televised s on WMHT in December..


santa with seniorsNJHS Hosts Holiday Luncheon for Seniors

Chatham Middle School's National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) hosted a Holiday Senior Citizen Luncheon at the school on December 8th. Seventy seniors from the Chatham area enjoyed a formal sit-down luncheon prepared by cafeteria staff and served by NJHS students, as well as a concert performed by band, orchestra and choir students. NJHS students also donated a number of prizes seniors could win in a bingo game called by Chatham Middle School Principal Gordon Fitting and Assistant Principal Larry Burud. Read more...




Girls Varsity Soccer Team, Coach Take Home Awards

Five Chatham girls varsity soccer players received awards at this years NYS High School Girls’ Soccer Coaches’ Association All Stars banquet, held December 4th. Regina Behn, Brittany Lossow, Cailey Nieto, Jenelle Wallace and Abigail Wheeler were recognized along with their coach, David Chrapowitzky, who received the Section 2 Class B Coach of the Year award.

The Varsity Girls’ Soccer Team finished up 2010 as the Section 2 Class B Champions. The girls scored 75 goals and had only 25 scored against them this season. They wrapped up the year ranked 6th in the state.

Read Register Star Article...
Read Times Union Article...


M.E.D. Mitten Tree a Huge Success

mitten tree

M.E.D. would like to give a big thanks to the Chatham Central School District community. In early December, the school’s Sunshine Committee and Mr. Botsford’s class sent out a request for donations of mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, and socks. These items were collected daily and hung on the M.E.D. Mitten Tree, located in the school’s lobby. Each day a steady stream of warm winter wear, including many high quality handmade items, was brought to school by children, parents and staff. As of late December, well over two hundred items had been donated.

The clothing collected will be donated to local families in need. A large number of these items have already been given to the Marion Stegmann Fund for distribution.

Again, thank you. Your donations exceeded our expectations.         


'Winter Coaches Meeting

coaches meetingOn November 2, the athletic department held a meeting for all Winter-season coaches to discuss coaching responsibilities.

These now mandatory preseason meetings cover topics including selection/classification guidelines, tryout guidelines, safety, and good communication practices between coaches, parents and students. The meetings ensure all coaches understand what is expected of themselves and their athletes, are aware of District policies, and practice cohesive decision making that benefits the greater good of our athletic programs.


Comparing Fairy Tales from Different Cultures

students enjoy storytelling

Fourth grade students participating in the newly launched Young Explorers library program were treated to storyteller Tom Lee's captivating rendition of "Iron Hans", a German fairy tale found in the collections of the Brothers Grim. The students have been exploring variations of the "Cinderella" story from around the world, including China, Korea, Poland, India, Ireland and Appalachia.  "Iron Hans" provided the Young Explorers with much food for thought when comparing aspects of the two tales.  All agreed that Mr. Lee was a wonderful storyteller! 



Character Education Youth Leadership Summit

Chatham Middle School and High School students participated in the Character Education Youth Leadership Summit at the Sage Colleges this December. They attended a series of leadership development workshops with other student leaders from across New York State. Read more..


Students Take In Broadway Show

students outside American IdiotChatham High students recently traveled to NYC to see the musical American Idiot on Broadway. Ten Chatham students, chaperoned by CHS English teachers Mrs. Sullivan and Mrs. Diskin, attended the show and had the opportunity to stay after and talk with the cast.

American Idiot is based on an album of the same name by the popular band Green Day. This award winning rock opera has garnered wide appeal among young people and critics alike, and has helped to introduce many to the world of musical theatre.

The trip included students from across Columbia County and was facilitated by the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, with the support of American Idiot writer/producer/director Michael Mayer. Chatham students attended this trip free of cost, thanks to the generosity of the Chatham Education Foundation.


Girls Varsity Soccer Team, Coach Take Home Awards

Five Chatham girls varsity soccer players received awards at this years NYS High School Girls’ Soccer Coaches’ Association All Stars banquet, held December 4th. Regina Behn, Brittany Lossow, Cailey Nieto, Jenelle Wallace and Abigail Wheeler were recognized along with their coach, David Chrapowitzky, who received the Section 2 Class B Coach of the Year award.

The Varsity Girls’ Soccer Team finished up 2010 as the Section 2 Class B Champions and wrapped up the year ranked 6th in the state.

Read Register Star Article...
Read Times Union Article...


Ryan Behrens Recognized by Board of Education

Ryan Behrens

Senior Ryan Behrens was busy this fall, balancing his academics with playing on the soccer and football teams simultaneously. He is involved in student government, S.A.D.D. and is president of the band. In October Ryan was featured in a News Channel 13 "Player of the Week" report on how he put his soccer skills to good use as the football team's kicker. For his efforts both on and off the field, Ryan received special recognition from the Board of Education during its November 30th meeting. View Channel 13 report...



Chatham Middle School Trains Peer Mediators

peer mediatorsOn November 15th and 16th, sixteen Chatham Middle School students and two middle school staff members were trained in Peer Mediation skills. These newly trained mediators will assist fellow students in peacefully working through differences and conflicts.

Chatham Middle School established the first Middle School Peer Mediation Program in New York State and has offered students a way to resolve their conflicts with help from their peers since 2001.

The PTSA provided breakfast, snacks and lunch for those participating in the training sessions, which were held at the Tracy Memorial Village Hall in Chatham.  Read more...


Chatham Middle School Awarded Service Learning Grant

Chatham Middle School is the recipient of a $4,000 State Farm® grant that will support the school’s Service Learning Program. CMS is one of only two schools in NY State to receive this competitive grant.

check presentationChatham Middle School won the grant largely on the merits of its work with veterans groups, including an oral history program where eighth grade students actively collect and preserve the experiences of local veterans. The work with veterans is part of a larger, school-wide service learning initiative begun in 2009, where students integrate service to their community with academics to foster a connection to their studies and community.

State Farm presented CMS with a check during the school’s November 10th Veterans Day Celebration, a community event that honors local veterans for their service and sacrifice. Read more...


Venice in Miniature

venice model


During the third grade’s study of Venetian culture, students were exposed to the architecture and landmarks of Venice, Italy.  Under the guidance of MED art teacher Susan Grybus, students created their own buildings and bridges, recreating the city of Venice in miniature. Parents and family members were then invited to take a tour of the tiny city, with students pointing out the true-to-life features of Venice the model represented.



CHS Announces Students of the 1st Quarter

Students of the Quarter were selected by the Chatham High School faculty based on their fine work and contribution to the class. See who made the list...


Learning About the Psychological Effects of Lyme Disease

Dr. Patterson speaks to classDr. Carlene Patterson, a practicing veterinarian for 20 plus years, recently spoke to psychology students at CHS on the psychological effects of Lyme disease. 

 During her lecture, Dr. Patterson warned students that Lyme disease may cause personality changes if not treated.  Since its discovery in 1975, Lyme disease has reached epidemic proportion in the United States and has alarmingly high incidences in Columbia County. Read more... 


Rugen Sisters Open Devils Hockey Games at TU Center

Rugen SistersSophomores Olivia and Grace Rugen and their sixth grade sister Maisie sang the national anthem during the opening of Albany Devils hockey games at the Times Union Center this November. The three have been regular singers at Chatham CSD sporting events and have also sung at Alive at Five in Albany.




CMS Staff Bake Pies for Ghent Food Pantry

making piesChatham Middle School staff baked apple and pumpkin pies as a Thanksgiving donation to the Ghent Food Pantry. In just two hours the volunteers turned out 32 fresh pies, which were delivered to the Ghent Food pantry in time for Thanksgiving distribution.

The Ghent Food pantry is located in the Ghent Town Hall on Route 66 and serves families who live within the Chatham School District. The pantry is open Mon. - Thurs. from 9:00 until noon and serves an average 60 families a month. Recently, the need for services at the pantry has been increasing. 


CHS Music Students Perform in Area All-State Festival

orchestraFive music students from Chatham High School were selected to perform at the Area All-State Festival in Beacon, NY. Chosen were chorus members Ed Knight, Lance Gerber and Mariah Sherman; band member Ryan Behrens; and orchestra student Samantha Oakes. The students traveled to Beacon High School for rehearsal and to perform a concert on Saturday, November 20.

Each fall, the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) sponsors Area All-State Festivals throughout the state. In our area, outstanding music students from Columbia, Dutchess and Putnam counties are selected to participate in the festival based on their high level of achievement and a teacher recommendation.


First Graders Earn PJ Party

pj dayBy working well together as a class, Miss Mullens’ first graders earned themselves a pajama party at school and were accompanied by their favorite stuffed animals throughout their day.

A pretend ice cream cone keeps track of how often the class works well together, with each time earning an "ice cream scoop”. When the class ice cream cone is stacked high with “scoops”, students get to vote on a party to celebrate working together, being great listeners and being kind friends.




The Fall Festival of Shakespeare

image of playChatham High School presented Henry V on November 12th and 13th in the Chatham High School Auditorium. Students from CHS worked with professional actors, directors, and theatre technicians from Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts for 10 weeks as part of the Fall Festival of Shakespeare. The students also brought their play to the Founders’ Theatre in Lenox on Nov 18th.

The project was supported through grants from the Chatham Education Foundation, T. Backer Fund, City Child Fund, and a generous donation from the Atlantic Philanthropies Director/Employee Designated Gift Fund.



Veterans Honored

mums with students

On November 10th, Mrs. Rossi’s fourth grade class held a celebration in honor of Veteran’s Day.  Prior to the celebration, each student interviewed a veteran and wrote an essay about that person.  With Mrs. Rossi’s help, the children created a power point presentation that included pictures of the veterans and a special thank you to all who have served or are currently serving in the military.

Mrs. Stockunas, “Mums” as she is known by her family and friends, made a special visit to the class, and shared her experiences as a World War II nurse.  Students asked this spunky 90 year old many questions to which she had wonderful answers! 

In addition, Edward Clark – United States Marines, and Oliver Glass – United States Navy, spoke to the class about their experiences in the military. 


Veterans Honored at Middle School Assembly


Chatham Middle School honored local veterans and their families at our annual Veterans Day Assembly, held November 10th. 

During the ceremony, the Ghent VFW Color Guard presented the flags of each branch of the military and performed a flag folding ceremony.  As a thank you, students presented the members of the Color Guard with red, white and blue bracelets they had woven. Read more...




Quartetto Vivaldi

The music of Antonio Vivaldi filled the MED music room on Monday, October 25th when “Quartetto Vivaldi” (four musicians from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra) performed for the third graders.  With support from Spencertown Academy’s ArtsVoyage program, MED’s third graders have been learning about Venice in their social studies, music, library, and art classes.

musicians playing for students

In music, the students have been studying Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s most famous concerto for violin: “Le Quattro Stagioni” (The Four Seasons).  ArtsVoyage sponsored the performance of the string quartet to enhance the experience of the young musicians.  During the hour-long assembly, the quartet played a familiar movement from each of the four seasons and responded to comments and questions from the students.  The students had many interesting reactions to the music and were thrilled to hear “their” songs being performed by professional musicians.


Mentoring Program Fall Festival

On October 27th, students involved in the CMS mentoring program and their volunteer adult mentors hosted a Fall Festival for Chatham Head Start preschoolers. Under the guidance of their mentors, students connected with their Head Start buddies through games, crafts, face painting and more.

This event continued Chatham Middle School's commitment to building relationships in our community and practicing our values of Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. The Middle School’s Mentor Program and events are facilitated through the CMS Guidance Office.

students with train parachute game drawing


Sixth Grade Goes to Kindergarten

Reported by sixth grade students Maisy Noble-Buono and Ryan Kohanski

The CMS sixth graders went down to the M.E.D. Elementary School and read to the new kindergartners for their service learning project. The service learning project is the power of literacy, therefore the CMS sixth graders went down to the elementary school to help teach the kindergartners how to read and write.

students readingThey each got a kindergarten partner that they read to. “They were all adorable,” one of the sixth graders wrote in their reflections. Some sixth graders partnered up with other sixth graders and the kindergartners because there weren’t enough kindergartners. When they were done reading to them the sixth graders asked them questions like “What are your favorite animals?” and “What do you like about reading?” After that they would have them draw pictures and read them a book of theirs. Some of them wrote really well. Most were shy but others were talkative.

The experience going there was very fun and intriguing. It was cool to talk to the kindergartners. The kindergartners were very sweet and good listeners. It was impressive that they knew some letters and picked up on letters they didn’t know quickly. The experience of going was really nice and the sixth graders can’t wait to go back.


Author, Top Spitzer Aide and Anti-Trust Lawyer SpeaksAbout Finding Happiness Through Work

Lloyd Constantine

Lloyd Constantine, published author, lead counsel on the anti-trust case that brought down the Visa/Master Card bank cartel, and one of former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer's trusted advisors spoke to CHS seniors about choosing a fulfilling profession.  Mr. Constantine stressed the importance of finding a career that is a good personal fit.  “A successful career is not just about money,” he told the seniors.  “It is about what you like to do and who you are.” Read more...




Third Graders Receive the Gift of Knowledge from Rotary

image of dictionaries being donated

In October, the Northern Columbia County Rotary visited MED to donate dictionaries to the third grade. The dictionaries were a gift to each third grade student for use at school and at home.

“This is one of my favorite projects our club does.” said Rotarian Carol Simmons, who along with fellow Rotarian Ed Zaik, presented the books to the third graders. “Literacy is very important to Rotary Clubs here, and around the world.”

The goal of the program is to help students become active readers, good writers and creative thinkers. In third grade, students transition from learning the mechanics of reading to utilizing reading to learn. Dictionaries give students the benefit of a large vocabulary and a wealth of information.

“Our students were very excited to receive these books,” said MED Principal Kristen Reno. “It is a wonderful opportunity for our third graders, and I would like to thank the Rotary Club for their continued generosity.”


Challenger Football

challenger football gameCHS athletes traveled to East Greenbush to play football with the nation’s first Challenger Football team.  The Challenger league gives children with special needs the opportunity to play football through the Pop Warner program.  Chatham athletes helped Challenger athletes conduct warm-ups, assisted the players on the field and hosted a tailgate party.

Gilbert Rivera, Peter Palleshi, Mary Dame, Allison Verenazi, Brandon Howard, Corey Lonergan, Tom Davis, and Eric Coons all volunteered their time and skill to help others enjoy a great game of football. 



Soccer Team Members Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity

On Saturday, October 23, members of the soccer team were caught on camera by the Register Star as they helped build a Habitat for Humanity duplex on Columbia St. in Hudson. Team members Justin Tamez, Ryan Mackerer, Phil Curran, Cody Clifford, Gabe Piazza, Fe Tine, Vince Oram, Austin Patzwahl, Nick Faxon, Will Gauthier and Ewan Duff-Sanchez all volunteered their time to support this worthy cause. View article...


Character Counts Week

Chatham Middle School celebrated National Character Counts Week October 18th through 22nd. Students and staff observed the values of the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. These values were adopted by the Middle School in 2004 and have become a way of life in the Middle School. To celebrate these values the P.E.A.C.E. Club (Promoters, Educators and Advocates for Character Education) hosted several days of activities and projects. Read more...


Substance Abuse Prevention Lecturer Michael Nerney Speaks to Students, Community about Underage Drinking

On October 6, internationally recognized substance abuse prevention expert Michael Nerney visited Chatham High students during class time and spoke on the effects alcohol and substance use have on the developing teenage brain. Mr. Nerney’s knowledge on brain development and the physical and neurological impact of adolescent alcohol usage is unparalleled.

That evening, a separate forum was held for parents and community members in the high school auditorium, where Mr. Nerney discussed social hosting, teenage behavior, and underage drinking. Read more...


Scott Murphy, Chris Gibson Campaigns Talk Politics with Chatham High Seniors

group photo

Democratic and Republican campaign staffers from the 20th Congressional District race visited Chatham High on October 4th to talk with students about what goes into running a heated and nationally important campaign. Read more...



Fire Safety Days at MS and MED

Local fire departments visited Chatham Middle School and MED Elementary in October to teach children about fire safety, show students fire-fighting equipment, and explain what fire departments do everyday to keep us all safe.

fire truckfireman with studentsfireman with student


The Fiction of Edith Wharton

picture of The Mount

AP English Literature and Composition students recently completed a study on famed author Edith Wharton, which included a biographical inquiry and reading and discussion of three of her works- Summer, Roman Fever, and Xingu. The class’ study of Wharton culminated in a visit to the author’s home in Massachusetts. Read more...



Spirit Week

To view photos from "Twin Day" taken during Spirit Week in September, click here...


Three Class of 2010 Graduates Earn AP Scholar Awards

The College Board has announced that three 2010 Chatham High School graduates have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their high performance on AP Exams, which students took this past May.

Wade Okawa-Scannell (Valedictorian, 2010) qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all exams taken, and scores of three or higher on five or more of these exams. Kayla Clark and Ashley Lillie qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of three or higher on four or more of these exams. Read more...


MS Students Join Fight Against Bullying

picture of NCBI training

Twenty seven Chatham Middle School students participated in National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) training on September 30th and October 1st. This training prepares students to become leaders in building a caring environment in their school. Learn More...




Lauren Kneller Crowned Schoolgirl Queen

Congratulations to Chatham High student Lauren Kneller, who was crowned 2010 Schoolgirl Queen at the Columbia County Fair. In this school spirit filled event, Lauren was judged on her personality, poise, and appearance against contestants from all-six public schools in the county. This year marked the 78th Schoolgirl Queen coronation. Lauren was recognized by the Board of Education for her accomplishment.


Open Houses Showcase Character Accomplishments

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If you visited the Middle School September 15th for the Fifth Grade Potluck Supper and Open House or September 16th for the Sixth through Eighth Grade Back to School Night, you had the honor of visiting the "Number One School of Character in New York State". 

Parents and community members visiting the school had the opportunity to meet the staff and become familiar with their children's classrooms, work schedules, and year long curriculum expectations. They also became aware of how character education is integrated throughout the school through curriculum, programs, activities, community services and school-wide service learning projects.

Outside the Middle School you can't miss the new sign announcing the Middle School's outstanding honor as the #1 School of Character, awarded by New York State for the 2010-11 school year. In 2009 Chatham Middle School was recognized by the state as a “School Committed to Character”. Through the front doors another banner acknowledges the Middle School's 2008 award as a “NYS School of Character”, one of only five schools recognized for this honor.

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Middle School Principal Gordon Fitting, Assistant Principal Larry Burud, and the entire Middle School staff were proud to host these two open houses which showcased these accumulative acclamations and spoke volumes about the Middle School’s commitment to students. 


Healthy Living Boosts Athletic Performance

athletes healthy program

When it comes to sports, nothing beats healthy living to put you at your best.

On August 25, the athletic department invited fall athletes to attend a program on healthy habits. Athletic trainer Amanda Cary talked about how proper nutrition, sleep and exercise can help boost an athlete’s performance, while risky alternatives like energy drinks and supplements should be avoided. 

The athletic department plans on holding more health-conscious programs for its student athletes at the beginning of each season.



Fall Coaches Meeting

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On August 25, the athletic department held a meeting for all fall-season coaches to discuss coaching responsibilities and updated extracurricular policies.

Among the topics covered were selection/classification guidelines, changes to tryout procedures, safety, and good communication practices between coaches, parents and students. Read more



Chatham Welcomes New Assistant Principal

Karen Bechdol

Please welcome Mrs. Karen Bechdol, who was appointed High School/Middle School Assistant Principal by the Board of Education in August. She will serve as the assistant principal at Chatham High School for the 2010-11 school year, and following retirements next year at the Middle School, she will assume assistant principal duties for both buildings. Read more



Board of Ed Approves Reduction to 2010-2011 Tax Levy Increase

During a special meeting held Wednesday, August 11, the CCSD Board of Education approved a 2.01% tax levy increase for the 2010-2011 school year. Aware of the tough economic times facing community taxpayers, the Board allocated $100,000 from the 2008-2009 unappropriated fund balance to be used to reduce this year’s tax levy increase. The new rate is a .53 % reduction from the 2.54 % increase approved by voters in May.

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