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What a year it’s been

To the editor:

As the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, it’s a perfect time to reflect on this school year, a year that took the students and faculty of the Lake Placid Central School District from fully remote to in-person instruction. In March of 2020, we entered surreal times, with the pandemic closing our schools. With little preparation time, the administrators, faculty and staff of the LPCSD efficiently and effectively began preparing for remote learning by handing out devices and with teachers having to alter their lesson plans to accommodate instructing students remotely. The cafeteria staff caringly began preparing breakfasts and lunches to be delivered to students at home to ensure they would have their daily meals, assisted by the loyal bus drivers who stopped transporting students and began delivering meals. The custodial staff became experts in the art of disinfection to protect our staff and students.

In planning for the 2020-21 school year, there was confusion as to how our students would receive educational instruction: remote, in person or hybrid. The LPCSD Board of Education was given regular updates on the plans for the coming year, with in-person education always in the plan. As a member of the Board of Education, I was skeptical that the district could succeed with this plan, as few, if any other districts were attempting such a model. At the beginning of this school year, students and faculty of the LPCSD moved to in-person and optional remote instruction. Under the leadership of Dr. Roger Catania, building administrators, faculty, staff, students and parents worked diligently, extinguishing any doubts I had. The year was not without its challenges, each handled timely and professionally, fluidly moving from in-person to remote, and then back. On several occasions I have heard how fortunate our district is in having such a dedicated administration, faculty and staff that assured the best possible education for our students.

Dr. Roger Catania will be retiring in a few days, but his legacy as a superintendent of our district over the last eight years, and his 35 years in education will live on. It is ironic that Dr. Catania’s career and the state of emergency brought on by COVID-19 have come to an end at nearly the same time.

Best wishes to Dr. Roger Catania on his retirement and a huge THANK YOU to the administrators, faculty, staff, students and families for all the district has accomplished this past year.

Richard Preston

Lake Placid