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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 25, 2007

Eberles honored with grant to preserve history and art

By Rachel Dutil

NEW SCOTLAND – Don and Ann Eberle hold a lot of history inside their 200-year-old farmhouse. They have model steamboats; historical paintings; antique furniture; and a beautiful mural, two stories tall that illustrates the Hudson River, with Hudson River Day Line steamboats carrying passengers, cattle, or hauling tugboats, the historic Catskill Mountain House, and a rushing waterfall that descends from the second floor to the downstairs hallway.

The couple’s love of history, along with their hard work and dedication, were causes for a recent recognition.

After 60 years in the workforce, Don Eberle, now 76, retired in October from Capital Financial Planning. "I never had a problem getting up and going to work," Eberle said.

Todd Slingerland is the principal managing partner for the company, and felt that Eberle had dedicated "a lot of time, treasure, and talent" in his 35 years as a financial advisor.

To recognize the Eberles’ work, Slingerland established two grant funds, honoring Eberle, and his wife, Ann. One grant will support the New Scotland Historical Society, and the other will fund a steamboat exhibit at the Albany Museum of History and Art in honor of the Eberles.

Willard Osterhout is the president of the New Scotland Historical Society, and said the group is pleased to receive the money. It will be used for "preservation, restoration, and education," he said.

The society is hoping to set up a $500 scholarship that could be awarded to any New Scotland student – home-schooled, private-schooled, or public-schooled – who has interest in history, Osterhout told The Enterprise.

Osterhout said the initial endowment is $2,000 with an additional $1,000 a year.

The group will publicly honor the Eberles, and announce the grant on Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. at the Wyman Osterhout Community Center in New Salem, he said.

Mr. Eberle said that the grants "came about as a surprise, rather, a shock."

"We just thought it was such a great idea," Mrs. Eberle said, adding, "It’s better than a gold watch."

"Todd always admired my work ethic and my accomplishments," Mr. Eberle said.

The Eberles, Slingerland told The Enterprise, "are just wonderful people."

Mr. Eberle was on the board of the New Scotland Historical Society for a number of years, he said. Mrs. Eberle was the president for a time, and, along with her brother, who is a designer, she helped to remodel the museum, located in the community center, she said.

Slingerland and his company set up a fund that will appear as a line item in the historical society’s budget, he said. It will get annual contributions to sustain it, he said.

If the society has a project it is interested in pursuing, the idea can be pitched to him, and Slingerland will decide if it is something that his company would be interested in underwriting.

"We couldn’t think of anything more fitting," Slingerland said of honoring Eberle through a grant supporting the historical society. "Their name will always be attached to this society, as well it should be," he said.

Slingerland said that the historical society is "near and dear to my heart, too." He grew up in Berne and graduated from Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School, he said.

A working man for 60 years

Mr. Eberle entered the workforce as a mail boy at the Albany Hardware and Iron Company when he was 16. He worked there for 20 years until the company closed, at which point, he was the corporate secretary, he said.

In the time between his work as a mail boy, and his retirement, Mr. Eberle said he has worked in various sales positions – hardware, dental materials, and educating consulting sales.

He then got involved with financial services. He worked as a financial advisor for 32 years with Waddell and Reed, he said. It is there that he first met Slingerland, about 10 years ago. Slingerland was hired as the division manager, and Eberle was a senior financial advisor.

In 2003, Slingerland broke off from Waddell and Reed, creating his own business – Capital Financial Planning. He took Eberle with him, Mr. Eberle said.

The two worked together really well, Mr. Eberle said. Slingerland is "a real people person," he said.

"I’ve always enjoyed what I do," Mr. Eberle said of all of his various jobs.

Mrs. Eberle has also worked in a variety of fields, she said. She started out as a writer for The Knickerbocker News, a Gannett daily which covered Albany, and then wrote for The Spotlight, which then was an independent weekly newspaper covering Bethlehem, she said. She went on to sell advertising for The Spotlight, she said, and later became a fashion consultant.

The Eberles celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June, and Mr. Eberle retired from work in October. They raised three children, and are proud grandparents of seven, Mr. Eberle said. With a modest smile, he said, "Things kind of came together this past year."

Mrs. Eberle grew up in New Salem and said that she has admired the house where they now live since she was 10 years old, when she and her mother were invited there for tea. She and her husband moved into the house in 1987, she said with a bright smile.

She said of Todd Slingerland, "I think it’s remarkable that he came up with this way to acknowledge Don’s achievements"and to support things that Don has a great interest in." "I was touched to be included."

"I’m very pleased, and very proud," Mr. Eberle said of Slingerland’s unique way of honoring his 35 years in the field.

He said that, when he hears people talking of retiring after 20 years with a company, he says, "Twenty years, my goodness, you’re just getting started!"

With 60 years of work experience behind him, Mr. Eberle said, he has contemplated building a model railroad, and he has plans to continue traveling with his wife.

They will take a cruise in the Mediterranean in the spring, he said.

The Eberles are "a gem in our society" and are well deserving of the recognition, Slingerland said.

Stumbaugh sets course to combat senioritis

By Rachel Dutil

VOORHEESVILLE – "Senioritis is a beast," said Brian Stumbaugh, the chairman of the English Department at Clayton A. Bouton High School.

Stumbaugh, along with two other teachers – Thomas Gladd and Patrick Corrigan – hopes that a new course they are proposing will help in their battle against senioritis – the decreased motivation in students at the end of high school.

The course, which is being called "senior studies" will combine three senior-level subjects – economics, government, and English.

The idea, Stumbaugh said, is "to stimulate engagement," and, in doing so, provide an "antidote to senioritis."

The course would be team taught in a two-period time block, Stumbaugh said. The teachers plan to emphasize project-based learning, and incorporate an internship at the end of the year that relates to what the student’s plans are, he said.

The internship could be a variety of things, Stumbaugh said. For example, the students could work with a school administrator or teacher, if their interests are in education; or they could spend time with the supervisor in town hall, if they had an interest in government, he said.

The internship will give students the opportunity "to explore the world outside of the school," said Stumbaugh. It’s a chance for seniors "to do some real-world project-based learning," he said.

The class would focus on contemporary issues, he said, citing advertising as an example. Looking at advertising from different perspectives, students will use the three subject areas, Stumbaugh said.

The students would design an advertising campaign, and pitch their product to the class. They would need to look at the economics of advertising, create a budget, and keep their spending within it, he said. They would explore laws that regulate advertising, and the overall influence of the media, he said.

The course would be writing-intensive, he said, and all three courses would be incorporated. "It will be intellectually challenging," he said.

"We are going to pilot it next year, with board approval," he said.

Team teaching

Team teaching, Stumbaugh said, is not a technique that is new to the district.

High School Principal Mark Diefendorf, who taught social studies before becoming an administrator, team-taught a course with Stumbaugh for three years. The course was an Advanced Placement United States history and English honors class, Stumbaugh said. "We found a lot of success; it was a very positive course for students and for teachers," he said.

When Diefendorf left his teaching post for the principal’s office, Gladd replaced him in the social studies department, Stumbaugh said. He said that he and Gladd work well together.

Corrigan, who chairs the social studies department, shares an office with Stumbaugh. Though the two have opposing views on who is the best baseball team – Stumbaugh is a Red Sox fan, and Corrigan is a Yankees fan – they get along well, Stumbaugh said.

The three men are excited about the possibilities with the new course, Stumbaugh said. "I think it will be fun," he said.

Because next year will be a trial, Stumbaugh said, "There will be growing pains and bugs that we need to work out."

Stumbaugh says that team-teaching "could really work with seniors," he told The Enterprise. The team-teaching tactic would keep the students’ skills up, and keep them motivated, he said.

"The idea of having seniors engaged would be very beneficial," Superintendent Linda Langevin said.

Stumbaugh said the three courses – all requirements for seniors – "seemed like a natural fit."

Senior studies "will increase rigor, it will be relevant to what they will do in the real world, and will be different than other electives," Stumbaugh concluded.

The teachers will present their proposal in more depth before the school board at its February meeting on Feb. 12.

Other business

In other business at recent school board meetings, the board:

– Denied the request of the Voorheesville Teachers Association, on behalf of Robert Crandall, that Crandall be reimbursed for health insurance costs incurred during his 60-day suspension. Crandall, a long-time gym teacher and coach was suspended without pay for 60 days, after being found guilty of four charges of misconduct and inappropriate behavior. The VTA said that the district violated its collective bargaining agreement when it made Crandall responsible for covering his health insurance costs during his suspension;

– Heard a presentation from Michael Fanning regarding the status of the $5.8 million capital project, largely to upgrade the elementary school. Fanning announced that the project is in the process of getting approval from the State Education Department, and construction is set to begin this summer. Fanning said the district needs to hire someone to conduct air sampling and monitoring for the asbestos abatement portion of the project.

Fanning recommended Michael Sawyer for the job, and the board approved the recommendation, and Sawyer, a senior industrial hygienist with C.T. Male, Incorporated, will assist with the asbestos abatement, lead remediation, and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) remediation portions of the project;

– Heard a report from Theresa Kennedy, middle-school administrator, and a group of middle-school teachers on the status of the middle school. Kennedy said that she is trying to create an "autonomous environment" so the middle school, which is physically in the same building as the high school, may be capable of functioning as a school on its own. She said, "We are a really good middle school"I just have a phenomenal staff";

– Approved a seventh-grade out-of-town field trip to Boston, to the New England Aquarium, Quincy Market, and the Boston Museum of Science at a cost of $54 per student;

– Heard proposals for three additional new courses, besides the senior studies course: Food Sciences, Marketing, and Business Law II;

– Approved the second reading of a policy on Information Security Breach and Notification;

– Approved the amendments to the sliding-scale tax exemptions for elderly and disabled people on limited incomes for a four-year period ending at the close of the 2009 fiscal year;

– Accepted an option agreement between the Voorheesville Central School District and the Voorheesville Public Library, maintaining a link between the district and the land recently acquired by the library, in the event it is not used for library purposes;

– Approved the corrective action plan for the audit of July 1, 2002 through Aug. 15, 2005. The plan will be submitted to the Office of the New York State Comptroller in response to recommendations made by that office;

– Approved an agreement that provides $2,000 to Dr. William Daggett, the president of the International Center for Leadership in Education, for his participation in the staff development day on education in the 21st Century which will be held on March 16; and

– Entered into executive session to discuss current litigation and the employment history of particular individuals. No motions were made following the session.

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