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Athletes Soar at Rondout Valley’s Third Annual Special Olympics Event

The Rondout Valley Central School District (RVCSD) came together on June 13 to host its third annual Special Olympics event. The celebration saw 96 students from the District's five schools participating, highlighting the values of perseverance and sportsmanship, as well as the power of community and the human spirit. 

To kick off the event, local representatives of the New York State Police, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad, and the Kerhonkson, Stone Ridge, and High Falls Fire Departments welcomed the student-athletes for their opening ceremony parade. Rondout Valley Intermediate and Junior High School students lined the track to cheer on the participating athletes. 

Competitive games of the day included track and field events, ranging from foot races to long jumps to ball tosses. The student-athletes were assisted and encouraged by volunteers from the Rondout Valley Special Education Committee, as well as members from the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society.

The competition was organized by Rondout Valley’s Special Olympics Organizing Committee. “The event on our main campus is hands down my favorite day of our school year,” shared Occupational Therapist Paul Scarpati, who is part of the committee. “It brings the community together to celebrate students who might not otherwise get the chance to compete. The impact of the day goes beyond the event, deeply affecting our athletes and inspiring our staff to organize it each year."

Rondout Valley Special Education Coordinator Carlos Perez is proud of the day’s success. “For the third consecutive year, the community has united to celebrate and support our student-athletes, creating an unforgettable experience for everyone involved,” said Perez. “I am deeply grateful to the committee, student volunteers, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators who yet again made this event a resounding success.” 

Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services Meg Braren was in awe of the school community’s hard work, which made the special day such a rousing success. “The event showcased the incredible determination and talent of our athletes, as well as inspiring spirit from everyone involved,” she said. “Year after year, the event showcases the importance of inclusion in our community. We are incredibly proud of every participant and grateful to all the volunteers, coaches, and supporters who made this day what it was for our students.” 

Infinite Care (Ten Broeck Center and Golden Hill Center for Rehabilitation), the Rondout Valley Federation of Teachers and School-Related Professionals, and Hudson Valley Impressions showed their support for the event through their generous donations to the District.