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Thankful for more than turkey and pie

November 24, 2015 | Filed in Archive
Students enjoy the special Thanksgiving dinner at Jansen Ave. School on Nov. 24.

Students enjoy the special Thanksgiving dinner at Jansen Ave. School on Nov. 24.

Jansen Avenue School Thanksgiving dinner serves up good food and great community

NOV. 24, 2015 – A hall full of students, teachers, parents and friends enjoyed a full Thanksgiving meal at Jansen Ave. School on Tuesday, Nov. 24. It was a time to give thanks for opportunities, a word often heard when speaking about the educational programs at the school.

Families and supporters of HFM BOCES classes at Jansen Ave. and PTECH students pitched in to provide delicious side dishes to accompany traditional turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, then rolled up their sleeves to help serve the meal to nearly 200 people.

Joy Haggart’s daughter, Amiah Valdez, is a ninth grade student in PTECH. As Joy served up steaming slices of turkey breast, she explained that she was thankful to be there to help.

Joy Haggert, mother of PTECH student Aliah Valdez, and Aliah's grandmother, Kathy Walsh, pitch in to serve meals at the special Thanksgiving dinner at Jansen Ave. School on Nov. 24

Joy Haggert, mother of PTECH student Aliah Valdez, and Aliah’s grandmother, Kathy Walsh, pitch in to serve meals at the special Thanksgiving dinner at Jansen Ave. School on Nov. 24

“We almost didn’t make it here today. Our car broke down, and I asked my mother if she could bring us down to PTECH,” Joy said. “Not only did she drive us here, but she was excited to jump in and help too.”

Joy’s mother, Kathy Walsh, stood right next to her, smiling and dishing out mashed potatoes.

Joy and Kathy are excited for the opportunities for Amiah at PTECH, and wanted to be part of the day.

PTECH Principal Mike Dardaris told the group that he was thankful to be able to come to work every day with the teachers, helpers, students and families at PTECH.

PTECH ninth graders Isaiha Ponte, Alexis Carmona, Matthew Mack and Daniel Patterson joined Amiah to talk about their favorite parts of the dinner and their favorite parts of PTECH.

“We work in groups, with lots of hands-on experimenting and projects,” Amiah said. “We are learning what we will need to succeed in our future.”
According to Alexis, PTECH is simply an awesome place to learn. “We can express ourselves and our talents here,” she said.

“You can be yourself,” Daniel Patterson added. “And there is more useful social interaction here.”

“It’s more chill,” Isaiha said, clarifying that meant a relaxed learning place for a much older reporter.

The students enjoyed the special dinner, and had words of encouragement for eighth graders considering PTECH.

“Make time to visit PTECH to see what it is all about,” Dan said. “Sit in an active classroom and see what opportunities are here.”

There’s that word again.

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