Saturday night’s Hicksville School Foundation was a real spirit-lifter for me. It was a real reminder to me, and everyone else in attendance, of all that is good and right with our school district, our students, our staff, and the wonderful community that supports us. I don’t know that anyone could walk away from Saturday’s event and not feel good about your kids, all dressed up and doing a wonderful job of providing serving duties for the crowd. And the Crystal Apple Awards—what a fitting tribute to some of our finest. I’d like to overview our nominations over the next few weeks, giving due recognition to those organizations, businesses, and staff members who were honored by being named finalists and award recipients in their respective categories. Our first category was Outstanding Community Partner, now officially named the Keith McDonald Outstanding Community Partner Award in honor of a man who has meant quite a bit to the success of the Foundation since its formation.
The Hicksville Village School District enjoys tremendous support from many individuals, families, organizations, and businesses in the Hicksville area. This means that the selection of this year’s finalists for the Keith McDonald Outstanding Community Partner Award have definitely set themselves apart as distinguished partners with our school system. This award goes to an individual, organization, or business which has made a positive impact on Hicksville Schools through the sharing of time, talent, and treasure. Certainly, all of our finalists have done so, for many years. Here are the three finalists chosen by the Hicksville School Foundation Board of Directors.
Our first finalist, Community Memorial Hospital, epitomizes what an outstanding community partner is for a school district. The examples of their generosity to the school range from providing physicals for the district to helping the district with a wellness program through providing Healthfit memberships for staff members. As CEO of the hospital, Mel Fahs models the spirit of giving back to the community as he is always ready, willing, and able to give his time for the district. He and other hospital staff members volunteer as part of the district’s mentoring program, spending time each week with students in need to provide them with the support of a positive role model. Sometimes the hardest thing of all to give is one’s time, but the staff of CMH have freely given of their time and their efforts—from providing medical care at athletic events to serving on school committees. Community Memorial Hospital is a point of pride for the Hicksville Community, and their partnership with the school is a point of pride for Hicksville Village Schools.
As one looks through our new school, one can see the impact of The Hicksville Bank, our second finalist. From the funding of the courtyard landscaping to the underwriting of the clock on Main Street, the inclusion of the bank’s name is testimony to the commitment the bank has made to share generously with the school district. Recently, the school board began a long-term strategic planning process and needed a representative of the business community to serve on the Core Team. The first name that came to mind was Larry Coburn of The Hicksville Bank. Without hesitation, Larry agreed to serve on the Core Team. His response is indicative of what the Hicksville Bank has done through the years. The people of The Hicksville Bank have always been ready and willing to partner with the school district to offer excellence for the students of our school. And what’s more, their generosity to the entire Hicksville Community is just as impressive. The Hicksville Bank is a perfect example of the great things that happen when a business and the school partner together.
Our third finalist was The Hicksville Rotary Club. When one walks in the Main Event Entrance of the new school, one sees a plaque that reads “Main Street, Presented by the Hicksville Rotary Foundation.” It is a fitting reminder of the strong partnership between The Rotary Club and our school. Rotary funds a variety of activities in our school and also provides a variety of scholarships for graduating Seniors. The Rotary also sponsors exchange students each year, giving our students the opportunity to experience cultures from around the world. In addition, Rotarians volunteer in the school in a variety of areas: from Project M.O.R.E., a reading program, to our mentoring program. We would not be the community or school that we are if it weren’t for the Hicksville Rotary Club. The financial involvement of our town’s Rotary is significant, but even more so, the influence and involvement of the Rotary’s members in all facets of our village’s life, and our school’s life, has been powerful through the years.
Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Hicksville, named the first recipient of the Keith McDonald Outstanding Community Partner Award. I extend heartfelt thanks to the Rotarians and the people of The Hicksville Bank and Community Memorial Hospital for their ongoing partnerships with our school system. They are, indeed, integral parts of our success.