Back, L-R: Questar III’s Craig Hansen and Greenville CSD Superintendent Michael Bennett. Front, L-R: Questar III’s Gladys Cruz, Max Schachter, and Rockefeller Institute of Government’s Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut.

On May 30, 2024, Questar III BOCES held a regional school safety summit in Troy, NY called “Standing Together: Voices for School Safety.” The event was attended by over 150 people, representing 75+ organizations locally and across the state.

Max Schachter shares his powerful message with 150 people, representing 75 organizations.

The day’s speakers included: Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut, Executive Director of the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium at the Rockefeller Institute of Government; Max Schachter, a national school safety advocate whose son Alex was one of the 17 victims murdered at the Parkland school shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018; Greenville CSD Superintendent Michael Bennett, who was shot in 2004 at Columbia High School and would later become a founding member of the Principal Recovery Network; and Parkhill Mays, CEO of STOPit Solutions. Mr. Schachter served as our keynote speaker, sharing the lessons learned from Parkland and ways we can further promote safe schools.

Questar III BOCES District Superintendent Gladys Cruz first met Mr. Schachter last October when she toured the site of the Parkland school shooting with Questar III BOCES Chief Emergency Office Craig Hansen. They felt it was important to invite him to our region to share his story locally. We thank him for sharing his difficult story and keeping the memory of his son Alex alive. We also thank Mr. Mays for his company’s sponsorship, which allowed us to offer it to attendees at no charge.

The day prior to the event, we were able to help coordinate opportunities for Mr. Schachter to speak with our local legislature. We met at the State Capitol to discuss school safety with Senator Jake Ashby, Assemblyman John McDonald, Assemblyman Scott Bendett, and Amine Hechehouche, Governor Hochul’s regional representative. We also met with senior leadership at the New York State Education Department, including Commissioner Dr. Betty Rosa, Senior Deputy Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey Matteson, and Assistant Commissioner Gemma Rinefierd. Thank you to Mr. Schachter and Mr. Bennett for joining our conversations along with Craig Hansen and Jim Church.

Several media outlets covered the events, see their stories here:




Share This