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About Minisink

The Minisink Valley Central School District encompasses 115 square miles and is one of the largest school districts in the southern tier of New York State. It is located between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, with New Jersey to the south and Pennsylvania to the west.


It is an area steeped in history with relatively unchanged landscapes of low mountains, hills, valleys, rolling uplands and long standing family farms. There are suburban housing clusters, single housing units and a few trailer parks. There is relatively little industry and manufacturing within the district, but there are local enterprises in each of the towns, hamlets and villages which comprise the district.

At this time there are approximately 3,800 students enrolled at the four schools at the Route 6 Campus and at the new Otisville Elementary School in the Town of Mount Hope. Our schools practice a child-centered philosophy designed to meet the individual needs of our students K-12. The district offers a strong academic program in its five school buildings: two elementary schools, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school. In keeping with our emphasis on individual needs and the development of the whole child, the educational program is supported by academic intervention services, the celebration of artistic and musical talents of children, an impressive athletic and extracurricular program, and a focus on developing children ethically and emotionally as well as intellectually.

Mission Statement

The Minisink Valley Central School District encourages all students to reach their full potential by providing equal opportunity for academic, social, physical and moral education in a safe, caring and challenging environment. In partnership with the community, we are committed to meeting and exceeding New York State Learning Standards while preparing our students to be productive, responsible citizens and life long learners.

History

The first schools located within what is now the Minisink Valley Central School District were small one and two room schoolhouses in local districts serving students in the immediate surrounding areas. When New York State moved to centralize many of these smaller districts it appeared that students in the Towns of Greenville, Minisink and much of Wawayanda would be annexed to Middletown, Goshen or Port Jervis. Area residents opposed to annexation worked on an alternate plan to save their local schools, even traveling to Albany for a two day centralization study with State Education Department officials.

It appeared that twenty-one districts within the Townships of Greenville, Minisink and Wawayanda would be involved with the vote on school centralization, but only twenty districts participated. The week before the vote Wawayanda's District Two consolidated with the City of Middletown. There was much to celebrate on June 30, 1955 when residents of those twenty districts approved the centralization plan by a nearly three to one margin. The vote was held at the Johnson Fire House. That very night voters present when results were counted elected the first Board of Education: Greenville - Harold Geiger, Francis Remey, Robert Runnalls; Minisink - Arthur Brown, Warren Ford, Richard Hansen; Wawayanda - Richard Hall, Josephine Horan, and J.J.Schmid.

Land on the Route 6 Haakmeester farm was selected for the site of the original school building which opened in September 1958. That first building was designed to accommodate 1000 students in Grades K-12. In the next few years additional districts from Mt. Hope, Howells, Pilgrim Corners and Mamakating joined the district.

With enrollment growth continuing, voters approved elementary, high school and middle school additions in 1965. Later a separate high school was built in 1974 on campus, and a middle school was completed in 1991. In 1972 the Otisville School became part of Minisink Valley through a merger vote by residents of both districts. Voters recently approved a middle school addition, and the district is seeking to acquire land for elementary school construction. The district encompasses an area of approximately 115 square miles and our school buses travel over one million miles per year. The Transportation Center was named for former Transportation Director, Thomas M. Monahan, in 1990.

Albert C. Truman was the first school superintendent, followed by Reginald Kierstead, Dr. Joseph Iraci, Richard Dillon, Harvey Hilburgh, Dr. Mary Bonen, Dr. Martha Murray, and Jack Latini.

Minisink Reseals 1958 Time Capsule

In 1955, residents of the surrounding communities voted to form the Minisink Valley Central School District. Construction of the original Minisink school building was completed in 1958. At that time, a time capsule was placed behind the cornerstone. Some of the contents included: photographs of the first board of education, the groundbreaking ceremony and the school under construction. It also included ballots from the vote to centralize, to purchase the land and to build the school. Some 1950s coins and a copy of the Middletown Record dated October 21, 1956 announcing the referendum vote to build a new school were also enclosed.

On October 21, 2005, Minisink Valley held a time capsule re-internment ceremony as part of its Golden Jubilee celebration. Prior to the resealing of the capsule, the following items were added: a copy of As Minisink Turns 50 history book, Golden Jubilee commemorative paperweight, some 2005 coins and Times-Herald Record and Gazette articles about the Golden Jubilee which were published in June. Other items included district newsletters and a copy of the June 3, 2005 New York Times.

The ceremony included a presentation of the colors by the high school JROTC color guard and speeches by Board of Education president John Lenane and historian Drew Beckel, author of As Minisink Turns 50. In addition, the high school chamber choir sang the national anthem and the Minisink alma mater. More than 100 elementary students were in attendance and they all hope to return for the reopening of the time capsule in 2055.