High school seniors who have distinguished themselves in the classroom and the athletic arena were honored on Thursday, June 2 at the annual Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Scholar Athlete Awards Breakfast held at Kuhl’s Highland House in Middletown. About 300 people, including honorees, their families, school district personnel, members of the OCIAA Executive Committee, sponsors and government officials, attended the event.
The keynote speaker for the morning was Suzanne Lendzian, the Director of Physical Education and Athletics and a former OCIAA Scholar Athlete at Warwick Valley High School. Ms. Lendzian was a standout soccer, basketball and softball player at Warwick.
Ms. Lendzian spoke about her journey from athlete to coach to administrator and said she built a team of coaches in her life, starting out with the family members who supported her. Ms. Lendzian then challenged the student-athletes to think about what kind of coaches they are and what kind of coaches they want to be.
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus also spoke at the breakfast, along with William J. Hecht, Orange-Ulster BOCES Chief Operating Officer, and Robert Zayas, Executive Director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA).
The master of ceremonies was Warwick Valley Athletic Director Greg Sirico. Nathan Dershem (Goshen HS) was the recipient of the Tyler Muise Award. Monroe-Woodbury was the OCIAA Community Service Challenge Award winner.
The OCIAA Scholar Athlete Awards Breakfast is coordinated by the Orange-Ulster BOCES Athletic Coordinator’s Office, which is part of a BOCES cooperative service offered to school districts. The office serves the needs of the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA), the Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) and Section IX Athletic Council. In addition to coordinating the breakfast, some of the office’s many functions include scheduling interscholastic athletics, scheduling and paying officials, providing in-service courses for coaches, conducting championship contests, maintaining a website for athletic scheduling, and mentoring athletic directors.
For more information, contact Chris Mayo, Athletic Coordinator, at 845-294-5799.