by Dr. Gladys I. Cruz
Questar III BOCES
In recognition of National Gratitude Month and the approaching holiday season, I want to express my appreciation to our partners in public education. Thanksgiving is an opportune time to reflect and articulate our gratitude and share time with those for whom we are most thankful: our family and friends. Research by the Harvard Medical School highlights the association of gratitude with greater happiness and stronger relationships.
As District Superintendent of Questar III BOCES, I oversee a dynamic organization that directly educates 1,600 pre-K to grade 12 and adult students and provides more than 275 programs and services in Columbia, Greene, and Rensselaer counties (and across the state). I am thankful for our organization’s mission to change lives, realize dreams, and do together what can’t be done alone. Hundreds of districts choose our student programs and services, and for that I am grateful. Together, we have become a regional, statewide, and national leader in public education by unleashing the true power of the regional cooperative.
Our success begins with our staff. Whether it’s a teacher, an administrator, or support staff, BOCES staff are central to the success of our educational programs and services. I value their personality, perspective, commitment, and expertise. A dedicated, expert staff allows us to fulfill our mission of delivering top-quality educational programs and services.
It continues with our districts as we are an extension of our school districts expanding opportunities for students and offering services to enhance what districts already do. Thank you to our region’s 22 superintendents and 177 school board members as well as our 1,600 students and our students’ families. The opportunity to work closely with you truly enriches our regional community.
I am also thankful for our partners in business, higher education, industry, and labor as they offer our students and educators the opportunity to enrich learning through real world applications. Whether a business has supported a teacher in the Summer STEM Research Institute, hosted Career & Technical Education student internships or apprenticeships, or served as a work-based learning site for students with special needs, these partnerships are vital to our success. They embody the true meaning of collaboration, which at its core, is the essence of BOCES. This also includes community-based organizations and colleges such as Columbia-Greene Community College. Thank you for your commitment to helping our students succeed in their journey because their success is our shared success.
Last week, I was reminded of the influence and importance of our partners during a ribbon-cutting event at our Donald R. Kline Technical School in Hudson. We were joined by local politicians, state education leaders, regional business leaders, and others to celebrate the legacy of the late Don Kline. Kline, who served as a BOCES board member for 38 years, was a champion of our hands-on CTE programs. Thank you to the Kline family for traveling from across the country to join us. I also want to thank NYSED Senior Deputy Commissioner James Baldwin, Columbia County Chamber President/CEO William Gerlach, Columbia Economic Development Corporation President/CEO F. Michael Tucker, and Town of Ghent Highway Supervisor Ben Perry (a graduate of our school) for providing remarks.
Questar III BOCES is the sum of many relationships. We provide students with life-changing learning experiences and school districts with the service, leadership, and expertise to help them become more efficient, effective, and responsive. I believe you cannot say thank you enough – and the names of those who make our work and success possible could fill these pages.
As we reflect on the many things we are thankful for during Gratitude Month and this holiday season, I want to thank these countless individuals, past and present. As John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” Let’s show gratitude to each other during this month and the holiday season. Let us also live by our words through modeling the behaviors we want see. Thank you! Gracias! 謝謝你 ধন্যবাদ