Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy honored at first Proud to Serve Mount Vernon Street UnGala
As the sun set, community leaders gathered for the first annual Proud to Serve Mount Vernon Street UnGala on the steps of city hall in Mount Vernon on September 27, 2022. The Wellness and Community Affairs division of the Mount Vernon Police Department celebrated and honored changemakers in the community who have inspired innovative pathways for better police-community engagement.
Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy, superintendent of schools, was among those honored for her work on building and bettering the relationship between the Mount Vernon City School District and the Mount Vernon Police Department in support of the community.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this award,” said Dr. Bennett-Conroy. “Having been an educator for over 42 years, of which 21 years have been right here in Mount Vernon, I understand it takes an entire village to raise a child.”
Dr. Bennett-Conroy went on to thank her cabinet members, administration, principals, teachers, parents, parent liaisons and scholars for their untiring support and hard work.
Additionally, she spoke on how wonderful it has been to work with Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Lackard and Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, referring to them as her “twin sisters”.
“I was delighted to see Dr. Bennett-Conroy get the position of superintendent because in order to make change you need people who understand but are not afraid to make those decisions,” said Lackard. “She has invited us into the school system. We are now doing things in the short couple of weeks and months that have not been done before. So, for us to be at this space where we are moving together for the safety of our children, I wanted to highlight this woman in her new role as superintendent of the Mount Vernon City School District.”
This event focused on supporting the overall mental health and wellness of the residents. By combining resources from the police department, city council, schools, churches, libraries, etc., the community can receive the support and aid it needs.
Others who were honored were:
Dr. Kimberly Johnson, assistant professor, clinical mental health counseling program at Touro University, for her work with officer wellness programs for the police department.
Nicholas DeCicco, senior assistant county attorney of Westchester County, for his work with the Peer Youth Court students who also volunteered at the event.
“When you say community, if you really break it down, it talks about having a common unity,” said Patterson-Howard. “Our common unity is safety, it is our children, it is our elders, it is about quality of life in our neighborhood, it is about having thriving businesses, and a strong community.”
Thanksgiving celebrations occurred throughout the Mount Vernon City School District during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Students and staff throughout the district participated in fun, educational activities and ate a wide variety of Thanksgiving foods.
Pre-kindergarten students were dressed to impress at Friendship for Tots, and their parents came out in suits and gowns as well. The Small and Tall Ball in the Fall took place on Thursday, November 17, 2022. The D.J. had his mix playing from the start of the ball to the end, and the dance floor was always packed with little children and their parents.
The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council met with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy and cabinet members Dr. Beverley Jones and Ms. Marci Tiggs to review academic progress and share their learning and reading experiences this past month. The group of scholars from multiple schools and grade levels also attended an Infinite Campus workshop at the Education Center on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
On Wednesday, November 9, 2022, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy celebrated each of the 75 students in the Smart Scholars program. Early College High School Program students were also presented with a pin and certificate of excellence at the board of education meeting.
The Knights Boutique has officially opened for its first full year after opening last May. Students and staff have been working hard to make adjustments to make this boutique even more successful.
An empty classroom and a vision are all it took a couple of students and staff to create the Knights Boutique. The Knights Boutique is a 100 percent volunteer run store that allows students at Mount Vernon High School to “shop” for free clothes, school supplies, toiletries and more.
Stephanie Tirado is a prekindergarten teacher at Cecil H. Parker School and has been with the district for five years. She builds her classroom on the importance of relationships and stresses the importance of getting to know her students and their families. She takes an interest in what her students like.
This evening, the Board of Education appointed Cerini & Associates, LLP to conduct an independent comprehensive audit of the School District’s grant program. Cerini & Associates is a regional accounting firm based on Long Island. It counts internal and external auditing as well as forensic accounting among its many capabilities.
Spooky outfits and masks couldn’t hide the smiles of children as they celebrated the Fall spirit in Mount Vernon schools. Students across the Mount Vernon City School District came to school in costume for various celebrations across the district and were rewarded with buckets full of candy.