Forestville school board honors citizens

FORESTVILLE – Each community has that special something that makes it unique; for Forestville it is their desire to promote citizenship as a team effort.

At the Forestville School Board meeting, President Sylvester Cleary opened with recognizing citizens for their kindness.

“One of the greatest parts of being president is being able to recognize people for being outstanding,” he said. “This is to recognize the culture of citizenship.”

Bus driver Paul Duck received the Years of Service Award for his 12 years of service to the Forestville School District.

“I tried to make it a pleasure,” he said in accepting the award.

“Every part and every person of this organization is important,” Cleary said. “That is what makes a district.”

Cleary said Forestville is trying to recognize people in the community as a whole who stand up for the community.

“It is beautiful; it educates the idea of citizenship,” he said. “The idea of sharing and caring continues to make this a beautiful place to live in.”

Cleary said he wanted to recognize that when you can’t take care of yourself other people will step in.

“This whole feeling makes it nice to live in Forestville,” he said. “It is important to recognize people for positive things.”

Several were recognized for helping modified girls volleyball coach Jim Bunge through his hard times.

The Outstanding Citizen Awards were presented to Mark and Becky Ostrye, eighth-grader Caroline Kaicher, Assistant Modified Girls Volleyball Coach Kendra Silleman, plus Brooke Ostrye and Mike and Becky Weaver.

The group was recognized for their kindness in helping Bunge when he experienced a health problem during a volleyball match last year.

“It was game night and I couldn’t feel my right leg or arm,” Bunge said. “I didn’t want to say anything to anyone, but my daughter took me to the hospital; it was there I found out I had a herniated disc in my neck and a mini stroke.”

Bunge said the group came over and helped him build a shelter for the wild cats he cares for every winter and they took out some furniture to the garage.

“I was out for three days and Kendra did a wonderful job running things for awhile,” he said. “She is terrific.”

Silleman said she is honored by receiving the award.

“I appreciate it and am honored by it,” she said.

Becky Ostrye said they are all lucky to have Coach Bunge.

“We would’ve done this for anyone,” she said. “We really respect the coach and we knew the situation he was in with the bad weather and he needed help.”

Bunge said it is an honor to know such nice people.

“This is what a community should be about,” Cleary said. “We recognize these people today (Thursday) for the culture of helping each other.”

The certificate handed to each of them said for their efforts in aiding Coach Bunge, “you make this a wonderful place to raise a family and sharing with others.”

Board members Bruce Ellis and Patricia Dugan were presented with the New York State School Board Association Excellence Award for all their hard work.

Superintendent Chuck Leichner said it is time to recognize board members who are committed.

“It is tough work,” he said. “Ellis and Dugan spent a lot of training in the NYSSBA.”

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