Questar III BOCES recognized its late school board member Paul Puccio today at a ribbon-cutting event at the school named in his honor. The Paul Puccio School at Maple Hill honors the legacy of the late Paul Puccio, who dedicated much of his life to public education and students in Schodack and Questar III. More than 65 people attended the event, including Puccio’s family, his former school board colleagues, superintendents, local and state officials, and students and staff from the Paul Puccio School at Maple Hill.
Questar III District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz said it was only fitting to name the school for Puccio, who served simultaneously on three school boards: Schodack Central School District, Questar III, and Tech Valley High School.
“Paul was an extraordinary public servant who gave so much and who gave life to many initiatives and ideas through his leadership. He was a champion and advocate for students with special needs. This building is a reminder of his time and talents – and how his work always put students first. Paul’s impact continues to live on with his family, friends, and colleagues – and I am happy to see so many here today. It also lives on in our work at the BOCES and here in Schodack,” said Cruz.
Puccio dedicated his life to public service and community involvement. He was first elected to the Schodack CSD Board of Education in 1981 and Questar III Board of Education in 1999 and served in both capacities until his death in February 2019.
“The district is touched that Questar III has decided to name its program the Paul Puccio School at Maple Hill. Paul dedicated his life to making our schools and community one of the best places to raise a family. His leadership, dedication to education, and consistent presence have helped make our school district and Questar III BOCES programs some of the best in the Capital Region. Paul would be proud of this partnership, and we are so honored to continue our important work together in his memory,” Schodack CSD Superintendent Jason Chevrier said.
Puccio helped expand and restructure many Questar III programs and services to better serve students and school districts. He chaired the board’s audit committee, meeting regularly with business officials. He also served as an instructor and curriculum developer for required board trainings. In 2017, he developed an online training program for new and veteran board members.
Puccio was also a founding member of the Tech Valley High School Operating Board, serving as its first president from 2006 to 2018. As president, Puccio and his colleagues helped Tech Valley High School grow into a nationally recognized school. Today, it continues to lead public education into the future, fostering new relationships with business, higher education, and the community.
The Paul Puccio School at Maple Hill serves special education students attending two Questar III programs, a middle school therapeutic program (TYP) and a middle school New York State Alternative Assessment (NYSSA) program. The TYP classes are designed for students with a mental health diagnosis that interferes with success in school, which may include school phobia and anxiety. The NYSSA classes are designed for students with significant cognitive difficulties as well as social and behavioral disabilities.