2020 Graduation - Superintendent's Speech
Hello parents, families, Board members, Millbrook staff, community members, and most importantly our 2020 graduates. My name is Laura and I am the VERY PROUD superintendent of the Millbrook Central School District.
These have been some crazy times!! Who knew we would be combating a pandemic, experiencing such hardships, wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart, buying hand sanitizer in bulk, stashing toilet paper, and to top it all off closing our schools? We are repeatedly told this is unprecedented, uncharted, unheard of, and yet here we are. You - our 2020 graduates - may feel you have missed out on many high school milestones and rightfully so - no prom, or plays, sports games, class trips, awards dinners, or performances. Our new normal is seeing each other virtually as we wait for the slow release of Executive Orders and given permission to ease back into a world that is somewhat familiar to us.
Even though this wasn’t the send-off you were working for and dreaming of, please know your graduation and your many accomplishments are no less important, in fact, they are more important because you - the class of 2020 - is the class being called upon to fully step into an uncertain world and immediately put what you learned in school to use and action. You are the class being asked to bring hope, vision, and purpose into an unknown and uncomfortable future. You are the class we are hoping will help put the pieces back in an order that is just, kind, inclusive, loving, visionary, embracing. You are the class the world is watching and rooting for.
And because of all of this and more we all wanted to give you a send-off that you would never forget and I believe the Millbrook Central School District, specifically Principal Seipp and his team, has done just that with car parades, lawn signs, adopt a senior, shout outs, senior spotlights, Drive-Thru BBQ, an amazing senior rock!! and to top it all off a Drive-In style graduation that started with a parade through Millbrook, past the Village Green where there were portraits of you, celebrating you! And all along the way people - friends, family, police department, Board of Education, Fire department, Millbrook Educational Foundation, PTO, teachers, staff, the mayor and town supervisor! - cheering you on. I hope you will look upon this time, not with a sense of loss, but see this time as many exciting firsts, a time where a community came together for its graduates, where graduates came together for each other, where in the face of extraordinary challenges we as a community prevailed because we are MillbrookStrong!!
It has truly been an honor and a pleasure to be a small part of your journey towards graduation and beyond! As you leave this campus for the final time this evening, leave knowing that we are all proud of you, impressed by you, care for you, and believe in you. We know you will positively impact the world in so many exciting, innovative, and thoughtful ways. We are counting on you to apply the best of what you have learned in your head and heart, to build your own lives, to help your families, your neighbors, and your communities and to use your power and voice to help create a new and better normal for all. We will miss your good energy, positive outlook, contagious smiles and the lively conversations often heard in hallways and classrooms.
As you move forward in your journey please remember that you always have a home here at the Millbrook Central School District. We will always have a high five and a handshake ready for you.
Congratulations to each of you
Congratulations to the Class of 2020
I wish you all the very best!!
NOW, GO! LEAD! AND OF COURSE, HAVE FUN!
Superintendent of Schools Appointed
The Millbrook Central School District Board of Education is delighted to announce the hiring of Laura Mitchell as our permanent Superintendent of Schools, effective 07/01/2020.
For the past 4+ months, Laura has served as our interim superintendent while we searched for a permanent replacement. During that period of time, Ms. Mitchell has led our district through some of the greatest challenges any district has faced in recorded history (including the impacts from CoVid-19). Her leadership, positive attitude and experience have made it clear that our permanent superintendent has been here all along.
Laura has over twenty years of experience in education. Fifteen of these years have been in building and district leadership. Previous to coming to Millbrook, she served as Superintendent of Schools in Garrison, New York. Some accomplishments during her time in Garrison include the development and implementation of a K-8 literacy program, a 1:1 Chromebook initiative in grades 3-8, and an approved 9.9 million dollar capital project.
Before Garrison, she had the rare opportunity to be the founder and leader of an all girls public school in Astoria, Queens for grades 6-12. This school had a 98% graduation rate and many of the students were the first in their families to attend college.
Laura stated, “I enjoy and am inspired by collaborative work with all constituents. I believe we are stronger together and that the collective mind is far more innovative, creative, and productive than one. I look forward to working with the Millbrook community in continuing to grow an already successful School District that is innovative, engaging, relevant, equitable, and exciting for all.”
Please join us in welcoming Laura Mitchell to the MCSD family.