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Career Fair 2012: A Resounding Success!

With over 60 Careers and Trades, 20 Regional Colleges, and numerous community organizations presenting, it was a high-impact  and well-attended event.  Over 500 community members, including more than 360 students, as well as a number of parents, attended this event.  Originally conceived in an effort to provide Red Hook students with a much needed opportunity to explore various career options in a hands-on manner, the Career Fair has achieved a momentum of its own.

The parking lot was full; walking up to the school one could hear and feel the vibe of engaged youth, enhanced by some great music, including an impromptu performance in the front hallway by a great local student violinist.  Delicious, healthy food was provided by one of our local food gurus, Joe Baldwin of Earth to Table.  It was great this year to see many students from the Middle School participate in the Career Fair.  It’s never too early to begin the long and important process of career exploration and choice.  A panel discussion regarding “Owning Your Own Business” was also offered.  A number of local business owners shared their perspectives on the rewards and challenges of starting a business.  County Executive Marc Molinaro also participated in this panel.

Another great dimension of this career fair is the multitude of parents who generously offered their time to share their passion for their chosen professions with students.  One presenter whose booth generated a lot of student interest was Helena Hobson, a physical therapist with a practice in Rhinebeck.  What a rich resource this community has in its parents and other adults who show their commitment to our students by offering their time and presence.   One freshman commented on the fair, “It was a great opportunity to learn more about things we are interested in, and see what careers paths we could take to fulfill our interests.”

A huge thank you goes to Tara Sullivan, who spearheaded this event, as well as all the volunteers who created a seamless experience for the attendees.

Sponsors of this event included the following:

TD Bank
Professional Computer Associates
The Palombo Group
Williams Lumber
Ruge’s Subaru
Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation Red Hook Chamber of Commerce
Bard College
Northern Dutchess Hospital
Ulster Savings Bank

Red Hook Education Foundation
Bard College

Red Hook Central School District
Red Hook Parent Teacher Student Association


RHEF looks forward to seeing you next year!  Meanwhile, if you have feedback about how we could improve this venue, we would welcome your ideas and input.  Please contact us at info@redhookeducationfoundation.org.

2nd Annual Bard 5K for Red Hook Schools

The 2nd annual Bard 5K Run To Support Our Schools was a success!

On Sunday, April 22nd, in spite of the chilly Spring weather, over 75 folks came out of their warm homes to help the RHEF in its mission to support Red Hook Schools.  There were runners of all ages and speeds, as well as a number of walkers this year.  The course, which winds through the Bard campus, was well-marked and showed off the campus in Springtime.  It was nice to see a number of entire families walking or running the course together!  After the run, there were winners in many categories, and participants were happy to receive their prizes of tickets to Bard Summerscape.  What a great way for a community to join together, with an invigorating walk/run while supporting Red Hook Schools!  Thanks to all who helped organize this annual event, and to all who participated.  RHEF is donating half the profits from the race to the Red Hook Sports Boosters Club.

Top 5 winners are as follows:
Jim McNulty 23:32; Sally Dwyer McNulty 24:18; Christina Beal 24:29; Jenny Carpenter 24:35; Aiden Hackmeyer 25:20.

Our First National Grant! (It’s for the School Garden)

On March 15, 2012, Red Hook Central Schools received word that they had been selected to receive a $500.00 grant to support the Garden at Mill Road; the first grant written by the Red Hook Education Foundation Team!   This particular grant was offered by Annie’s, Inc., as part of their “Grants for Gardens” initiative to fund small grants for community or school gardens that connect children directly to real food.  A small group of committed community members who happen to be skilled at grant-writing have been collaborating for just a few months, and have another grant currently under review as well.

This particular grant will facilitate the second phase of the garden; specifically the creation of cold frames to protect hardy greens and herbs into the late Fall, and then again in early Spring in order to extend the growing (and learning!) season of the garden.

As Tricia Paffendorf, horticulturist and coordinator of the Garden at Mill Road aptly put it, “Thanks so much … for all of your contributions in landing our very first grant.  You all took action after one meeting not too long ago, rocked on a couple grants, and now…Yippee!”

Our 1st Mini-Grant Recipients

All recipients in this first round are Red Hook Central School District teachers. The mini-grant program is designed to support innovative educational programming that enriches student learning.

  • $1,000 awarded to Kim Goldhirsch, at Linden Avenue Middle School for the Mid-Level Leadership Conference.
  • $1,000 awarded to Lydia Cordier for the Garden at Mill Road.
  • $275 awarded to Eleanor Lydon-Clements at Linden Avenue Middle School to help support the Medieval Times field trip.
  • $665 awarded to Steven Hughes at Linden Avenue Middle School to help support the First Lego League Robotics Competition.
  • $1,000 awarded to William Decker at the Red Hook High School to support the Model United Nations.

We encourage students, faculty, and staff members of the district to submit an application to the next round of mini-grants for future funding consideration. Perhaps you have a good idea. Think outside the box. The possibilities for innovation are endless!

Red Hook Students Compete in Debate Tournament at Bard

On March 9, Red Hook students competed in the Bard Debate Union’s (pictured above) first annual Debate Tournament, featuring 2 rounds of debate competition, luncheon, and an awards ceremony. Linden Avenue Middle School sent 5 teams, which competed against each other, and Red Hook high school sent 2 teams, which competed against 2 teams from Rhinebeck, and 4 teams fielded from the Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) schools in Queens, Manhattan, and Newark, NJ. The RHEF was a sponsor of this event, hosted by the Bard Center for Civic Engagement.

Team and individual awards were given to the following participants: in the high school division BHSEC A took 1st place, with Rhinebeck A in 2nd place, Red Hook A in 3rd place, and BHSEC B in 4th place. Individual high school debate awards: Hannah Frishberg (BHSEC A) 1st; Callie Goldstone (Rhinebeck A) 2nd; Joe Bryant (Red Hook A) 3rd; Gabe Haddad (BHSEC D) 4th  and “Mo” Tyler (BHSEC C) in 5th place. Individual middle school debate awards: Caleb Wootan, 1st; Elenore Zellneck, 2nd; Joseph Becker, 3rd; Abby Foster, 4th, and Aidan Murtha in 5th place.

Working in partnership with Bard Debate Union and the Bard Trustee Leader Scholar program, the RHEF has helped to start up the LAMS and Red Hook High School debate clubs over the last year. Many thanks to Red Hook faculty Ronald Dombrowski, Tom O’Connor, and James Armstrong, Bard Debate coaches Ruth Zisman and Jennifer Rankin, and especially to the Bard Debate Union students, for supporting the growth of debate in our community and beyond.

Rosanne Cash Concert Benefit Is a Big Success

Thank you to all who supported the Rosanne Cash Concert Benefit for the Red Hook Education Foundation. We reached and surpassed our fundraising goal of $30,000, and donations are still coming in. Over 230 people turned out for a wonderful evening at the Bard Spiegeltent. Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal gave a lovely, memorable performance, and could not have been more generous with their kind words of support.

Tremendous thanks to Julia Crowley and Tricia Reed for creating such an ideal event to toast the completion of our first year of operations!

Photo of Lorelei Smith, singer, Red Hook Class of 2015, and Rosanne Cash, singer/songwriter/author, at the Bard Spiegeltent, June 30, 2011 — by Andy Wainwright

First Career & College Fair a Big Success!

Over 200 students and their families attended this successful community event held on Friday April 29th.

The event featured over 40 career presentations, regional colleges and trade schools.

Iron workers, advanced technology, educators, doctors and lawyers, insurance, high finance and accounting, pro-sports, chefs and local farmers, musicians and artists, social workers and physical therapists were all engaging and inspiring the students who took notes and asked questions with keen interest.  One student remarked: “This is awesome!  Why hasn’t this happened before?”

Photo by Andy Wainwright


Bard College 5K Benefits RHEF

Bard College organized a 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Red Hook Education Foundation on Sunday, May 1st.  Entry fees were $10 for students;  and $25 for adults. There was also an optional sponsorship form with which runners/walks could raise additional money.

In addition to the general fund, participants could obtain sponsorships and direct their donations to the following:

  • Martha Strever Scholarship for Achievement in Mathematics
  • Garden Classroom at Mill Road
  • The Red Hook Schools Debate Program
  • Fund for Science Equipment for the High School

Prizes were awarded to individuals/groups that raised over $100.00 for our causes.  Anyone who raised over $1,000.00 received two tickets to the Red Hook Education Foundation June 30th Spiegeltent event, “An Evening with Roseanne Cash.”

Registration packets were downloaded here, and they were also available at the sign in desk on the day of the race. Registration began at 8:30 outside of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

Registration and Sponsor Form

Schedule of Events
8:30 a.m. – Day of race registration and Packet pick-up, outside of the Bard College Fisher Center
9:00 a.m. – Registration closes
9:30 a.m. – Start of 5K race
9:35 a.m. – Start of 5k run/walk
11:00 a.m. – Awards Ceremony, outside of the Bard College Fisher Center

Course Description: The course was flat and fast with a couple of small hills.  The course began near the Fisher Center and ended near the same location.  Participants were asked to please arrive at least 45 minutes early to check in. Late-comers had to park much further away.

Facilities: Packet pick-up and registration were located in front of the Fisher Center.  Restrooms were located in gymnasium and student center.  Parking was next to the Fisher Center as well; participants were asked to please follow the signs to the designated parking area.

Awards: Overall Male/Female 58 and up, Overall Male/Female 48-57, Overall Male/Female 38-47, Overall Male/Female 28-37, Overall Male/Female 18-27, Junior 12-17, and 11 and under.

This event mobilized the students as well as the local community in a grass roots effort to support our local schools in their time of need. The 5K took place rain or shine. Walk or run to support local schools!

Registration and Sponsor Form