Thursday, September 1, 2011
I'd like to start off this year's Blog with a post acknowledging the fantastic community-wide effort undertaken by countless volunteers last Sunday afternoon/evening to defend the school building from the flood waters of the Hudson River that runs along the school property. It's a tribute to the dedicated residents of all ages who combined to produce a protective barrier that prevented damage to the school.
If you looked up the term “sandbagging” in Wikipedia you will find numerous definitions, all of which are negative in connotation.
Sandbagging may refer to:
· Deceiving someone by pretending to be weak.
· Sandbagging (racing) a driver deliberately drag races or qualifies slower than what the car can actually perform
· Sandbagging (budgeting), a manager deliberately overstates financial requirements with the intent of coming in under-budget, thus being praised.
· Sandbagging (golfing), a player deliberately plays poorly until establishing a handicap and then raises his money bets, using the established handicap to unfairly win
However, I can assure you that the sandbagging efforts of the many volunteers that assembled at a moment’s notice in the rear of our school building on Sunday afternoon and evening were valiant and productive. Upwards of 75 people formed a spontaneous work group that shoveled sand, bagged it, tied the bags, and placed the bags over tarps located at strategic points in an effort to ward off the very real threat of the raging flood waters of the Hudson River. The volunteers worked with members of the local Department of Public Works and our custodial staff to defend the school from potential floodwaters. There were people of all ages joined together in support of the community and school. At one point, as I filled another bag of sand, I noticed it was being held by our newest student, Chiara Fedeli, a foreign exchange student who had just arrived from Italy two days before the flood.
Everything happened so quickly and with such urgency that I did not make a list of all of the volunteers. For that, I apologize because all of my fellow sandbaggers deserve a great thank you well beyond the 100 slices of pizza that was consumed once we finished the project.
Despite the parking lot being covered by over a foot of water on Monday, the only entry of water into the school was limited to seepage beneath rear doors and exterior vents. That was subsequently cleaned up by our hard working custodians - Anthony Lazzaro, Joe Simpson, Jason Sedgwick and Dan Brannigan. They put in long hours both Sunday and Monday battling the prospects of a flooded building. We are now ready for the opening of school.
I would like to thank Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan, Sean Ward, Mike McNulty, and the DPW crew for coordinating the response as well as their significant contributions of information, time and energy. Finally, I want to especially thank Bill DeCianni, who not only generously provided his time as a volunteer but also personally brought materials and supplies that were essential to the prevention efforts.
This is an important reminder of the impact that can be generated by a group of dedicated individuals acting as a team. It is also a tremendous reflection of commitment and support that is genuinely appreciated by members of our school community.
Dr. Michael Mugits, Superintendent