Meeting of 2/16/17: ‘New BOCES School’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
February 16, 2017

Members Attending (16): Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Becky Raymond, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Ray Hannan, Ron Annis, Monika Annis, Carol Orvis.

Guests (2): Matt Sloane, Davell Banks.

PROGRAM : “The new Questar III BOCES school”

Matt Sloane describes the evolution of the classroom.

Carol Orvis introduced Matt Sloane, deputy superintendent of the Questar III BOCES educational organization that serves 23 school districts in Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties.

Matt, a native of Long Island where he was in a BOCES  music program as a high school student, spoke on the intent and details of the new 60,000-square-foot Questar school being built off Route 150 in Schodack to replace two outdated facilities in Troy and Hudson. It is targeted for a September 2018 opening.

The school, and indeed the curricula and philosophy of BOCES, has evolved over the years to become an entity educating and training students for the current job market as well as a place to educate students with special needs.

Students are exposed to both theoretical and practical applications of the skills needed in such fields as HVAC, automotive, hospitality industry, certified nursing assistant roles, emerging technologies and so on. In addition, they are trained in the management of businesses to complement the hands-on training.

Matt cited numerous examples of local professionals helping design the new school and some of the educational programs. He said Questar is welcoming to local professionals who may feel they have something to offer, and invited us to participate.


MEMBERSHIP — President Debbie Rodriguez announced that we have two new members in line — Jennifer Felts, sponsored by Pat Bailey, and Bob DeBennedetti, sponsored by Murray Forth. Under our new membership process, each must attend one breakfast meeting and one dinner meeting before their applications and fees are processed for formal membership.

dinerMARKETING INFORMATION — Davell Banks of Advertising In Motion, a marketing company currently dealing with the East Greenbush Diner, spoke briefly about marketing business and organizational methods. He showed a sample size (seen here) of a laminated restaurant tabletop displaying ads for local businesses. He explained that non-profit organizations can sometimes get free advertising in conjunction with business paying the way. As an example, our club will be getting a 30-month free ad on displays at the East Greenbush Diner.

ROTARY HOME COOKING — The second event of the winter series of member-hosted home events, “A French Bistro Dinner” hosted by Debbie and Peter Brown, raised $315 for the club treasury. Next up is “A Rotary Cocktail Party,”  a social  mixer to be hosted by the Brewers on Saturday, March 25. It will be open to all members and their guests. Then, on Saturday, April 8, the Dowds will host “An Agave Experience,” a guided tasting of Mexican-inspired tapas and high-end tequilas and mezcals, some of which are not sold in this country. That event is limited to 12 guests, and only 8 seats remain. Contact the hosts ASAP.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-12-13-38-pmSIMULATOR GOLF — Our next indoor simulator golf event at Burden Lake Country Club is scheduled for Saturday, March 11. The deadline for signing up (by email to or is March 8. Registration is $240 per four-person team. We also will conduct two raffles — one to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, the other to support our club treasury.

SWEDISH CONNECTION — Our club is establishing a sister-club  connection with the Rotary Club of Gefle, Sweden. Go here for the details.

DISTRICT CONVENTION — The District 7190 Convention is scheduled for Friday-Sunday, May 5-7. Go here for details and a link to the reservation site.

RI BIRTHDAY PARTY — This year marks the 112th anniversary of Rotary International and the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation. Those milestones will be celebrated with a birthday party from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, February 24, at the Brookside Museum, 6 Charlton Street, Ballston  Spa. Admission is $20 per person. Details are available by clicking here.

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-8-52-44-pmGIFT OF LIFE UPDATE — Jim Leyhane reported that two children whose cardiac surgery at a medical center in Portland, ME, was sponsored by the District 7190 Gift of Life are returning home to Panama this week after successful treatment. He said the cost of each surgery was $6,000. Albany Medical Center, where most of our GOL kids are treated, continues to impose a very high cost on such medical care. It has agreed to operate on a child this spring for $20,000. Jim will keep us updated on fund raising for that effort.

COMMUNITY AWARDS CELEBRATION — A recognition dinner, created by John Sawchuk to honor the accomplishments of people in many endeavors throughout the community, is set for Tuesday, February 28, at Moscatiello’s Restaurant in North Greenbush. John and Murray Forth are soliciting $100 sponsorships from individuals and organizations. Reservations for the dinner are $35 each.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, February 23, at Quigley’s. The speaker will be club member Andy Leyhane, Ph.D, on “The Role of Process Chemistry On Drug Development, or, A Little Bit About What I Do At Work.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s