During the month of January our BOCES region lost four longtime supporters of public education – Peter Rupp, Jann Leonard, Ann Holstein and Michael Anson.

Peter Rupp was a teaching assistant and crisis intervention worker at Questar III’s Columbia-Greene Educational Center in Hudson. Along with his wife JoAnn, he volunteered his time at numerous events such as the Scholarship Cruise-In and Spirit Day. Peter touched the lives of thousands of high school students – something that was evident from their reaction on social media, where hundreds commented on his impact.

Jann Leonard was an occupational therapist assistant for Questar III’s special education classes at Red Mill for more than 20 years. She made a tremendous impact on students, helping them learn the day-to-day skills they’ll use throughout their lives. Her loss is particularly difficult for her students, who are younger, used to the routines of the classroom and may be dealing with death for the first time.

Ann Holstein was the president of the Greenville CSD Board of Education. She was a wonderful advocate who volunteered her time and cared deeply for her community. I had the pleasure of meeting with her to discuss Greenville’s superintendent search several years ago – and hosting her at our Saturday board workshops. Her 12 years of board service set an example for her peers.

Michael Anson, a 31-year veteran of the New York State Police, was the school resource officer in Averill Park CSD and Brunswick CSD from 2003 to 2010. Here, he served as a community liaison and resource – forming relationships with students and staff alike. He died from an illness that stemmed from his work at the World Trade Center site in 2001.

The first month of 2018 was a difficult time for many people in our BOCES region. May Peter, Jann, Ann and Michael rest in peace knowing that their full impact lives on – and that they turned many singular moments into many more collective memories. Thank you for your service to our students, staff, schools and region. You will be missed.

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