Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner - September/October 2017

Lee Cutler


We are off to a smooth start at the Intermediate School.   Each month of school will have a different theme, and throughout each month there will be activities and lessons around that theme.  September’s has been “Safety” and the highlight of the month so far has been the art and writing that students created about where they feel safest.  Many of those will be displayed in hallways and some have been read over our morning announcements.


October’s theme will be “Respect,” which is a personal quality that has to be modeled and taught.  In keeping with this theme, let me start by announcing a special event that will kick off our October Respect Month.   A group of parents and teachers have been working hard since July in creating and planning the “Intermediate School Fall Fun Festival” to be held during school on Thursday, October 5.  (Rain date: October 6).    While the day will be outdoors and filled with fun Fall activities, the basic purpose of our Fall Festival is for students to form stronger community bonds within their own class.   To that end, students will travel to eight stations where they will face group challenges, learn some movement through Karate, watch a demo from our Special Olympic Athletes and then try out an event, and participate in a drumming session.   The group challenges will require teamwork and respect and the communication and cooperation skills learned on October 5 will be reinforced for the remainder of the year.


As part of the Fall Festival, each grade will at one point spend time outside in front of the building, where many activities will be set up for students to wander to at their leisure. So far, we will have two miniature horses, a therapeutic dog, knot tying, pumpkin painting, fall tastes, and a corn haul.    Right now we are looking for more members of the community who have something to share during this part of the Fall Festival.  If you know of someone, or would like to volunteer yourself, please contact Deb Marinucci, our fourth and fifth grade guidance counselor at 687-2400, Extension 4704.   This is a great opportunity to share your skills or talent with our students, grades 4 through 6.


Curriculum night is Wednesday, September 27 from 6 to 8 P.M.  I look forward to speaking with you that night.   Until then, please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions, concerns or just want to say hello at extension 4601.

Welcome back Intermediate School Students!

 Let’s face it. The end of summer and the return to school is a strange time for everyone! For some of us, it is exciting after a summer that got way too boring. For others, it is a sad time as the warm days of freedom went way too fast. And for many of us, we are mixed. We feel nervous to start something new, yet hopeful about all the great things that can happen during a new school year.

 Well, let me tell you that ALL feelings about returning to school are welcome here at our Intermediate School. Each of us sees things from his or he own perspective and each of us reacts to moments of change differently. In OUR Rondout Valley Intermediate School, we celebrate the unique ways that each of us sees the world around us and what we like and don’t particularly like. The Rondout Valley Intermediate School equally welcomes back each and every student!

 For those of you who don’t know me, I am Lee Cutler, the brand new principal of the Intermediate School. Last year was my first year here in Rondout when I was Assistant Principal of both the Intermediate and Junior High School. Now in my second year, I am thrilled to be here in what I consider to be one of the best school districts around. Before working here, I was the Secretary-Treasurer of the New York State United Teachers and before that I was a middle school ELA teacher in the Nanuet and Marlboro School Districts for years. Deep down I think and act like a teacher as teaching has been my core for most of my life.  

 And let me tell you about our staff! Our teachers, teaching assistants, secretaries, guidance counselors, school psychologist, custodians, cafeteria workers, crisis counselors, nurse, and bus drivers have been preparing all summer for your return. They care deeply about their students and are some of the finest professionals that you will find anywhere. I am so proud of our staff and I know that students and parents will be as impressed as I am with the quality of our staff and will notice their deep caring for all the children in our school. 

 Our Intermediate School is a community and it is our goal to create and nurture a caring community where every student feels appreciated, valued, and welcome. We believe that learning should be fun and engaging and our teachers and teaching assistants are the finest around. We also believe that kids learn best in a positive and loving environment, surrounded by people who respect them.  

 How we begin a school year matters and sets the tone for an entire year.  For that reason, we are proud to announce the first annual Intermediate School Fall Fun Festival, to be held during the school day on Thursday, October 5 (rain date, Friday, October 6). The IFFF is being planned by a group of parents, teachers, and one student who are currently putting together a fun outdoor community building day of activity for all students. Group challenge games, fall activities, fall food, music and other exciting community sponsored booths will make this day a day to remember. Much more detail will follow once you get back to school.

 A school year is a journey that we take together and I know I speak on behalf of my entire staff when I tell you that we are so looking forward to this journey with each and every one of you. There is a lot to be learned this year and if you put your best effort into all your classes, ask a lot of questions and show respect to all your peers and yourself, you will get the most out of what we have to offer.

 Our curriculum night is Wednesday, September 27 where parents will get to meet their child’s teachers and hear from me, your new principal. Throughout the year, do not hesitate to call me with concerns, questions, suggestions, or even kind words. Your feedback is always important and I very much want to hear from you.

 Please enjoy the last few days of summer.  I will see you on Wednesday, September 6.

Lee Cutler