2020 Founders’ Day Award Winners

The Parent Teacher Student Associations at each school are proud to present the 2020 winners of the Founders’ Day Awards! Each day during Founders’ Week (Feb. 3—7, 2020), we’ll reveal another committed parent volunteer and/or staff member from each school.

Each honoree has been selected to recognize his or her service and dedication to go above and beyond for the students of Glens Falls City Schools.

Middle School: Katie MacDougall

woman smiling in school cafeteriaThe Glens Falls Middle School PTSA has chosen Katie MacDougall as this year’s Founders Day award recipient.

Ms. MacDougall demonstrates kindness and compassion everyday as she works with the students in our school. Students know that no matter their struggle, they can go to her classroom and leave feeling better. Ms. MacDougall helps all students develop positive coping strategies and recognize that they have the power to overcome the day’s obstacles to succeed. Whether it be before school for breakfast, during a small group lesson, or after school in a mindfulness club, Katie is always thinking of our students and will do whatever it takes to see that they have what they need to feel safe, secure, and successful.

The Glens Falls Middle School is lucky to have many parents and staff deserving of this year’s award, and we are excited to celebrate the wonderful addition Katie has made to our tribe!

Big Cross: Melissa Ives + Jessica McTague

The Big Cross Street School PTA would like to congratulate parent volunteers Melissa Ives and Jessica McTague as recipients of this year’s Founders’ Day PTA Award. 

woman smiling in school library“Melissa has been an active member of the PTA for over 7 years.  She is currently our vice-president and has also served as secretary.  Melissa is a true go-getter that is always seeking ways to further support the Big Cross community.  She is also the chair of the food for our Spring Fair and Harvest Dance.

“Melissa has put together events for students at Skyzone and volunteers to help at the many events the PTA has throughout the year.  This year,  Melissa spear-headed giving each of our students and staff members a Big Cross t-shirt. Thank you Melissa for all that you and for always going above and beyond in support of the Big Cross community! ” said Principal Debbie Hall.

woman smiling in school library“Jessica has been a valued member of the PTA for the past 6 years.  She has led the Big Cross PTA as both the vice president and currently as the president.  Jessica has been involved in a variety of events and activities over her years with the PTA (too many to list and count).  She has run our Original Works, Scholastic Book Fair, Fundraisers, Holiday Shopping, and Spring Fair to mention a few.

“Jessica is always willing to volunteer her time and energy in support of the school community.  She has also volunteered to put together the amazing Teacher/Staff Appreciation week events.  Each year, Jessica develops a theme and daily throughout the week creatively surprises staff members to show her and the PTA’s appreciation for all that they do!  Thank you to Jessica, we appreciate you for all that YOU do!” said Principal Debbie Hall.

Kensington: Rhianna Cerro

woman smiling wearing silver shirtThe Kensington Road School PTA would like to congratulate parent volunteer Rhianna Cerro as the recipient of this year’s Founders’ Day award. 

“Rhianna Cerro is fairly new to our school, but since she has joined our KRS community, Rhianna has become an active and valued member of Kensington Road School. Rhianna has volunteered her time for many activities, including but not limited to organizing last year’s celebration for the 4th grade Moving-Up Ceremony, single-handedly planning the 4th grade finale for this year’s KRS Talent Show, and serving at the Scholastic Book Fair. She volunteers for our Back-Pack Program, for Field Day and for other special school events; she is a dedicated homeroom parent, and she regularly attends PTA meetings. Rhianna is currently spearheading our new Yearbook and designing a format and layout for future Yearbook Committee members to use with ease. Her legacy will endure.”

“Rhianna is humble in her efforts. Actually, we may not know of all of Rhianna’s contributions to our school because of her humility and kindness. Further, everything Rhianna does is done with integrity, with patience, and with a smile. She always shares a friendly, “Hello!” and she is always willing to lend a helping hand. We recognize the humble yet generous Rhianna Cerro, and we appreciate how much she means to our school. Her time in our KRS community may have been brief, but it has been quite meaningful!”

Jackson Heights: Mindy Ryzuk

woman smiling wearing black and shite shirtThe Jackson Heights PTA is pleased to honor parent volunteer Mindy Ryzuk with the 2020 Founders Day award.

Mindy is the Jackson Heights PTA president and has been an active JH Family member for the last 8 years.

“She is so positive and has an attitude and helping hand approach that anything!” says Principal Carrie Mauro. “She gets it done with a smile on her face and a wonderful easy-going attitude! Mindy is very dedicated to Jackson Heights, our students, staff, administration, and parents too! She does it all.”

“What doesn’t she do for Jackson Heights?” notes one nominator. “Mindy has organized the Fall Fun Fair, the Book Fair, the Moving Up Ceremony, Movie Night and the Fundraiser to name a few. Jackson Heights is very fortunate and thankful for Mindy Ryzuk and all she has done for us!”

High School: Sue Botch

person smiling with art on wallsThe High School PTSA is pleased to honor art teacher Sue Botch as this year’s Founders’ Day honoree.

“It is difficult to summarize what Sue Botch means to Glens Falls High School,” says Principal Tammy Silvernell. “Her mark on this school is evident when you walk into the building and see the permanent art collection on display. It is also evident when you pass her room during her planning time and her lunch and it is full of students. It is also evident in the community in places that she has worked with her students to create and generously give to the community at large.”

“Mrs. Botch is a student advocate, a mentor, a devoted colleague. Her love for her students and for Glens Falls High School is remarkable. She is the first one to offer help and her passion for her craft is unparalleled.”

One nominator said, “Mrs. Botch is a wonderful role model and is a great art teacher. She helps and cares for her students and the community. All the effort she puts into art club and the mural make it so that we have plenty of good experiences with art.”

“Sue Botch goes above and beyond to give students an outlet to express themselves,” says another nominator. “She also involves their art in our community outside of our school. Furthermore, she is often asked to contribute her skills to help communicate ideas/projects to students (ex. flyer for 9th grade 101 events, Opening day t-shirts).”