Before reflecting on how much we’ve achieved since September 2017, I would like to thank our district voters for approving our 2018-19 school budget. We are grateful for your support of our academic, art and athletic programs. Additionally, we are excited to extend new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) opportunities to our students in the elementary grades.

It seems like only yesterday that we welcomed staff back to school while on the grounds of the beautiful Bluehawk Sports Complex. It was a day of celebration and a new beginning for the Hudson Bluehawks as we kicked off the school year with an acrostic poem to help define what it truly means to be a HUDSON Bluehawk:

H (Heroic), U (United), D (Diverse), S (Scholarship), O (Optimistic), N (Nurturing)

Here we are 10 months later and the words used to define Hudson ring truer than ever as evidenced by what we have accomplished since opening day. As we close another school year, I’d like to highlight some of the numerous achievements of our Bluehawk students and staff.

This spring marked the Hudson Bluehawks’ first home track meet in decades, thanks to the voter-approved Bluehawk Sports Complex. Furthermore, the new state-of-the-art facility allowed Hudson to host the Patroon Conference Track & Field Championship for the first time since 1974. The event was a momentous occasion filled with Bluehawk Pride, not just for student athletes but for the entire Hudson community.

Also, three Bluehawk sports teams won 2017-18 Patroon Conference Championships —baseball, golf, and boys volleyball. There were so many individual athletic accomplishments worth noting that could not be listed here, but we are very proud of all our Bluehawk athletes.

Since college and career readiness are important aspects of the HCSD mission, we commend our soon-to-be graduates who worked hard to earn college credits during high school. Through our various college partnerships, the Class of 2018 earned more than 800 college credits before high school graduation. The Class of 2018 also earned an incredible $220,935 in scholarship funds, including a $40,000 scholarship awarded to Mykal Walters from Mentor Foundation USA.

The Youth Employment Services (YES) program at Hudson Junior/Senior High School graduated 16 students on June 6th. We sincerely thank our mentors and community partners for providing our students with meaningful work experiences to prepare them for future employment.

For the second year in a row, an HHS teacher was named a WNYT NewsChannel 13 Top Teacher. Nominated by student council members, Mrs. Laura Bender is a shining example of the impact our dedicated teachers have on their students.

There were several extracurricular accomplishments as well, including two student awards won by the Model UN team, which is new to Hudson High School this year. Students Pierre Jeune and Devon Sweatt were awarded certificates for Best Delegate and Outstanding Delegate, respectively, when the team participated in its first Model UN summit this spring.

Three Bluehawks won prizes in the 2018 Spencertown Academy Young Writers’ Contest, making Hudson strongly represented in the top submissions. Congratulations to Shimran Alam and Tahrima Siha for winning 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in the Nonfiction/Essay category, as well as Piper Nayowith for winning 2nd place in the Fiction/Short Story category.

Additionally, the HHS Envirothon team regained its title as Columbia County champions and advanced to the New York State Envirothon to compete against other county winners. Under the guidance of Mr. McDarby, HHS has a history of success at Envirothon events, having gone to the statewide event five times in the last nine years.

We are extremely proud of the 29 Bluehawks who were recently inducted into the National Honor Society. They join the prestigious ranks with the 64 fellow Bluehawks inducted over the past two years.

Next week, students at John L. Edwards School and the M.C. Smith School will be recognized during their own awards and Moving Up ceremonies as they continue along their educational journey. We are looking forward to the new opportunities that lie ahead for our youngest students when they join together to form a single elementary community at the M.C. Smith School this September.

Be sure to view the eighth edition of the Hudson is a Summer Festival booklet, which is linked at our website, to find out how your children can continue to be involved during the summer months.

In closing, I extend congratulations and well wishes to this year’s valedictorian, Maya Alvarez, and salutatorian, Kayleigh McCagg, as well as all the Bluehawks receiving their high school diplomas on June 22nd. The road to Destination Graduation…to Occupation is full of challenges and triumphs, and we are proud of each and every one of our graduates.