FALLSBURG — Fallsburg High School held its annual Blossom Cohen Dinner on May 3 to honor the Samuel Beytin Fallsburg Central School Community Scholarship Fund with most of the awards named for outstanding former teachers. The first scholarship recipients were honored 68 years ago.
When Superintendent Dr. Ivan Katz welcomed everyone, he acknowledged the great tradition of the dinner. He especially noted the words spoken by the honorees.
Each recipient told a special story. One young woman thanked her mother for persevering as a 17-year-old making an arduous journey from Central America and then raising four children. Another student shared being born deaf and having the support of his family and special-needs teachers through a cochlear implant, learning sign language and eventually learning how to speak. A third recipient thanked his mother for raising him to value his education.
Fallsburg Teacher’s Association President Penny Esposito introduced each of the recipients. The Community Scholarship winners are Jahaira Cordero, John Lerario, Kayle Parisi, Dawn Ruhren, and Hayley Weiner. Jahaira and Hayley were acknowledged for Honor Awards for maintaining averages above 95.
The Edward Bryan Memorial Scholarship went to Jasmine Johnson. Jennifer Chavez earned the Milton Brizel Memorial Scholarship. Shawn Leszczynski received the Candy Gold Bolton Memorial Scholarship. The Blossom Cohen Memorial Scholarship went to Mickenna Meyer. Tywaun White Fields earned the Esther Mintz Flanagan Scholarship in memory of her parents, Sarah and Isidor Mintz.
Renee Kates, Board of Education member and chair of the Dinner Committee, thanked her 12-person group of retired teachers, present staff and graduates for their work in selecting the recipients and putting the dinner together. Former teacher and committee member Jay Kasofsky acknowledged congratulations from former Principal Pat Naso, teacher Jack Leshner and 103-year-old Florence Beytin, widow of Samuel.