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Dr. Allain with students

On June 30, with severe storm warnings up in Rensselaer County, the sun broke through at 6:00 p.m., and the skies cleared above the Berlin Middle-High School parking lot, shining on the lawn signs with names and years of service of this year’s twelve remarkable Berlin CSD’s retirees.

They are, listed alphabetically:

  • Gloria Adams, Senior Typist (33 years of service)
  • Cathie Allain, Middle-High School Principal (24 years of service)
  • Bill Fisher, Middle-High School Social Studies Teacher and Dean of Students (30 years of service)
  • Colleen Foody, Elementary RTI Reading and Writing Specialist (20 years of service)
  • Delinda Goyer, Teaching Assistant (28 years of service)
  • Angela Hartshorn, Teaching Assistant (25 years of service)
  • Ann Hayes, Middle-High School Librarian (16 years of service)
  • Bill Lawrence, Middle-High School Science Teacher (30 years of service)
  • Fran Mason, Elementary Teacher (21 years of service)
  • Tammy Osterhout, Monitor (19 years of service)
  • Pat Shuhart, Dispatcher (18 years of service)
  • Cindy Smith, Bus Driver (28 years of service)

The evening’s ceremonies began with Berlin CSD Superintendent Dr. Stephen Young introducing special guest, Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin. Mr. McLaughlin presented Dr. Allain with a proclamation for her dedication and service to the Berlin school district and the community. It was one of the evening’s surprises for Dr. Allain, who was also moved half way through Dr. Young’s touching tribute when a boisterous parade of honks and sirens from the area’s fire departments and community members arrived at the school, escorted by New York State Police. Family, friends, colleagues and students decorated their vehicles to show their appreciation for Dr. Allain and wish her well in retirement.

Berlin Middle-High School staff, district administrators and Board of Education members watched Dr. Allain’s “passing of the torch” to incoming Berlin Middle-High School Principal Jodi Sullivan. Mrs. Sullivan was the former Assistant Principal of Maple Hill Junior/Senior High School at Schodack Central School District since 2017. She worked nine years prior to that as a teacher and teacher leader in the Chatham Central School District.

In her address, Dr. Allain took time to recognize three retirees for their years of service and dedication to the district, Gloria Adams, Bill Fisher and Bill Lawrence, who have all served the district for 30 or more years, and were celebrated by their colleagues, families and friends. The staff and administrators also gave these three dedicated retirees parting gifts, shared memories, smiles, and goodbyes, and shed a few tears.

Berlin CSD will feel the loss of this year’s retirees. Although it was not the typical retirement event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parking lot at the Middle-High School was alive with celebration, gratitude and well wishes for these twelve exemplary colleagues and friends.

Special thanks to Steve McLaughlin, Ariel Gilbert, Fred Hutchinson, the Berlin Middle-High School staff and the Berlin CSD administrative team for pulling off this surprise event.