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Celebrating our retirees

retirees with faculty and staff at the breakfast, standing and at tables

If you add up their years on the job, a half-dozen Fort Plain faculty and staff have served the children and community of the district for more than two centuries. With a combined 216 years of service, FPCSD’s latest retirees and retirees-to-be will surely be missed. Yet as they embark on new life journeys, they are wished only the best.

Celebrated and honored at a March 17 retirement breakfast at the high school were Andrea Bouck, Patti Jarabek, Jay Jarabek, Charlie Karker, Sue Summerfield and Paul Van Avery. Here are a few highlights and remembrances from their time at Fort Plain.

Andrea Bouck, guidance secretary, retired on February 28. She joined the Fort Plain staff as a clerk typist on Sept. 1, 1986, and also served as a cheerleader coach from 1992-1997 and 2005-2021.

“Andrea Bouck graduated from Fort Plain High School . . . and she never left,” said FPHS Principal Dr. Deborah Larrabee. “She stayed here for 37 years working in the guidance office. Her skills and knowledge are renowned. Whether working on the schedule, talking with teachers or working with the cheer team, Andrea gives 110 percent. Hard work, loyalty and diligence are the cornerstones of her character. Andrea Bouck is truly one of a kind. We thank her for all she has contributed to Fort Plain over the years.”

“A huge part of Andrea’s career at Fort Plain was spent building a phenomenal cheerleading program,” said a former cheerleader who is now a district employee. “For 17 years, she committed to coaching hundreds of girls in the sport that she loved. She established a program full of respect, talent and Topper Pride.

“Because of her, FP cheer is still known for its talent, dedication and precision. Andrea was not only a coach, but a mentor to countless young women as they navigated their high school years. Her legacy will always live on through FP cheer!”

Andrea’s lifelong friend, Kim, said, “Andrea Bouck has been a constant, familiar face at FPHS for the past 37 years. Her passion has always been the kids. She has touched so many lives as a cheer coach, schedule manager, database guru, problem solver, colleague, confidante, mentor and friend. Whether she was creating and choreographing dance routines that delighted and amazed basketball game attendees, helping with prom or listening as students worked through figuring out who they are and what their next steps will be, she has always given her all.

“Andrea has left an indelible mark on FPHS and all of those who have walked its halls. We are grateful for her time, experience, energy and her propensity to leave things better than she found them.”

Emily Marsh, a former cheerleader of Andrea’s who is now on the cheer team at Syracuse University, sent the following well wishes. “Andrea, congratulations on your retirement! I don’t know anyone more deserving of this new stage of your life than you. You have tirelessly worked for years to ensure students succeed and they have those resources to succeed.

“On a more personal note, you have changed my life far more than you know. Starting cheerleading in 9th grade, I wasn’t sure if this was the right sport for me or if I was even any good at it. I remember coming to your office the following year in tears, telling you I wanted to quit. You did talk me out of it, and I could not be more grateful. I wouldn’t have this beautiful life and some of my very best friends if it weren’t for you.

“I felt so lost my first year at Syracuse, and then you told me about cheerleading tryouts. I thought, “Yeah, right.” I would never make the team and it would be embarrassing. But with your encouragement I tried out, and I made the team. Having you present at almost every basketball and football game and Nationals at Disney gave me that confidence and support that I needed to succeed. I got to experience so many new places and things and made friends that turned into family because you were the one who believed in me.

“You have always believed in me, and that made me believe in me, too. Becoming a cheerleader was one of the best decisions of my life, and I want to thank you so sincerely for giving me that gift. I don’t know a lot of people who are so willing to go above and beyond for their students, current and former. Thank you so much for your support and love over the years, I will never be able to repay you. I’m so excited for you and I hope you enjoy your retirement! Love, Emily.”

Spanish teacher Patti Jarabek will retire in June of this year. She’s taught Spanish at the high school since being hired by Fort Plain during the 1991-1992 school year. In addition to teaching, Patti has led various extracurricular activities, serving as class advisor from 1994-1998, 2004-2006 and 2012-2013, cheerleading coach from 1992-1994, and Spanish department coordinator from 2005-2023.

“Twenty years ago, when I came to Fort Plain, I was fortunate to have Patti Jarabek as my mentor,” said fellow Spanish teacher Dr. Melanie Pombrio. “Patti provided me with a safe space to ask questions, try new projects, develop curriculum which allowed for creativity and personal expression, and so much more.

“Furthermore, Patti afforded me the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally. I have been very blessed and grateful to call Patti my colleague, but more importantly my friend. Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement, Patti. Wishing you nothing but the best in the next chapter of your adventure!”

Science teacher Jay Jarabek will retire in June 2023 after 31 years leading his FPHS classrooms and labs. In addition to his years of teaching courses including living environment, chemistry and AP biology, Jay has held various coaching positions since 1993, including volleyball from 1993-2009 and track & field from 1993-2007, and he served as science department coordinator from 2017-2022.

Colleague Lance Elliott said, “When I started teaching here in Fort Plain, Jay’s biology classroom was in room 102 (where Carol Connelly is now). That might give the younger teachers a clue as to how long we’ve been working together! In the early days, I was assigned to teach a section of biology and Jay was the go-to guy. Whether it was a lab, lab supplies, notes, or quizzes, he was always there to help.

“If it’s not already obvious, Jay is probably the most organized teacher in Fort Plain history,” Lance added. “Seriously, his student handouts and labs for the next nine months are photocopied before the school year even starts! Additionally, his entire room is systematically labeled, and his collection of three-ring binders is legendary! Some say that once Jay learned Microsoft Excel, data ran the other way!”

Lance noted Jay’s dedication to all of the high school’s students. “For many years Jay has volunteered his time to create, print and hand out achievement awards each quarter during lunch. He understands that it is often these small acknowledgements that fuel students’ desire towards continued improvement.

“It’s not surprising that when Jay’s AP bio kids graduate, he still tracks their progress! A number of his former students work in either medical research or healthcare, and it is my belief that it was his influence that made the difference in their career choice. Way to go Jay!”

Charlie Karker served Fort Plain as a physical education and health teacher, coach, sports coordinator and athletic director for five decades. Hired during the 1972-73 school year, Charlie taught PE and health until retiring from the instructional team in 2004. He continued to support FPHS students and faculty as a coach and athletic director from 1977-2022, when he retired.

FPHS Principal Deborah Larrabee said, “Charlie Karker started his career in Fort Plain in 1972. While many things have changed in those 50 years, one thing has not. Mr. Karker was a steadfast force and friendly face at Fort Plain. He shows the same enthusiasm, dedication and compassion to all our Toppers athletes. Charlie Karker will forever be remembered as an outstanding athletic director, coach, mentor and friend who will always be cheering for Fort Plain.

“It’s an honor to celebrate the retirement of people who have been with Fort Plain for many, many years,” added Dr. Larrabee. “It has been a true honor to work with them. I wish them all the best with good things yet to come.”

Sue Summerfield has taught math at Fort Plain High School since joining the district’s staff for the 2003-04 school year. She’s also served students and faculty as treasurer of extra-classroom funds in 2006 and through various extracurricular positions since 2008.

Sue, who will retire this June, was praised by fellow math teacher Debbie Waner. “Sue taught the 8th grade since she started here in Fort Plain (God bless her). In addition to teaching, she has been an extracurricular advisor for many different classes. She has organized many activities, proms and senior trips.

“Sue has been in charge of all extracurricular funds. That is a job in itself. She was recently in charge of the mentor program for the district and mentored several of her colleagues, including the student teacher who took her place in the 8th grade classroom this year,” Debbie added.

“Sue belongs to several organizations outside of school and has presented at numerous math conferences. She also enjoys a good meal, which was evident when we co-advised a senior trip.”

Paul Van Avery is retiring on April 28 after serving Fort Plain for more than 46 years. He has been part of the school community from kindergarten throughout his entire career, beginning as a cleaner and advancing to director of facilities III.

Humble, hardworking and dedicated, Paul will be dearly missed, and often thought of, as he embarks upon his life’s next chapter.  Read more about Paul and his retirement.

View a photo album from the retirement breakfast on our Facebook page.

Fort Plain seeks to fill positions for next fall

Fort Plain Central School District anticipates the following vacancies for next fall:

  • Spanish Teacher
  • Biology Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher(s)
  • Jr./Sr. High School Mathematics Teacher
  • Part-time Aide(s)

Those who are interested may contact the district office at (518) 993-4000. More information will be posted on our employment webpage at a later date.

Don’t miss Drama Club’s “Mamma Mia!” March 24-26

[Posted March 3, reposted March 22]

group of students in the cast and crew standing and sitting in front of stage

The Fort Plain-Canajoharie Drama Club will present their spring musical, “Mamma Mia!” on March 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. and March 26 at 2 p.m. at Canajoharie High School’s Arkell Auditorium. Tickets will be available at the door and are $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students.

“Mamma Mia!” tells the story of Sophie, in the week before her wedding, who seeks to find her long-lost dad and form a relationship with him in time for the wedding. Fort Plain High School’s Caleigh Bartholomew plays Sophie, and Canajoharie senior Chiarra Morris plays her mother Donna.

Prospective dads are portrayed by Dawson Sweet, Richard Catarino and Adam Leduc. Mom’s friends, “The Dynamos,” are played by Alexandria Gyurik, Aliza Hopkins and Avery Merchant. The fiancé, Sky, is performed by John Hopkins. Rounding out the principal characters are Sophie’s friends, played by Jasmine Fonda, Faith Clark, and Ava Fatta, as well as employees/”dudes” played by Anthony Paradiso, Isaac Clark, and Lawrence Daley.

They are joined by Ethan Hubbard, Lavy Hodge, Autumn Scalia, Chloee St. Louis, Jayden Bentz, Willow Burke, Joey Barr, Thomas Kee, Brooke Jones, Aileen Germond, Lila Clarke and Kiera St. Louis.

Will Ryan and Lauri Broady direct the show. Lauri Broady is the choreographer and Norma Bowley is the musical director. Vicente Nunez assists with rehearsals and Michael Hoffman serves as backstage coordinator. Mike Broady is the technical director and is assisted by students Noah Ehle and Josephine Carcasole.

Questions may be directed to

In the media

Our Fort Plain-Canajoharie Drama Club rocks: See why one member says, “it’s a nice place,” and why her sister encourages others to try performing in a musical in this WNYT-TV News feature.

Board of Education adopts proposed 2023-24 budget

The Fort Plain Board of Education adopted a proposed $23,320,000 budget for the 2023-24 school year at their March 15, 2023 meeting.

The proposed budget shows an increase of $800,000, or 3.55%, over the current-year budget, with a 1.20% tax levy increase. The proposed budget would maintain the district’s academic programming and services designed to support all student needs.

Fort Plain residents will vote on the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 16, from 1-9 p.m. in the Harry Hoag gym. When residents vote on the proposed budget, they will also consider approving or disapproving a referendum authorizing the district to acquire three school vehicles at a maximum cost of $450,000 with the funds to be drawn from the Bus Purchase/Capital Reserve Fund. The purchase would have no impact on the tax levy. Purchase approval will allow the district to replace aging buses and minimize maintenance costs.

On May 16, voters will also elect three members of the Board of Education to fill vacancies for three-year terms running from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2026.

2-hour delay on Wednesday, March 15

FPCSD is on a 2-hour delay Wednesday, March 15. School breakfast will be available upon arrival as usual. No morning BOCES. Adirondack Academy students will leave near 10:30 a.m.

Posted on Categories Archive

Anthony Paradiso inducted into National Football Foundation Hall of Fame

Anthoony holding his plaque

Anthony Paradiso, an FPHS senior and member of the Canajoharie-Fort Plain football team, has been inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Capital District Chapter, a first for Fort Plain.

Anthony received his Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award at the Hall of Fame’s 34th Annual Awards Dinner at the Polish Community Center in Albany on Sunday, March 12.

The following is inscribed on Anthony’s award plaque: “The Capital District Chapter of the National Football Foundation grants Anthony Paradiso of Canajoharie-Fort Plain High Schools this certificate in recognition of being voted as outstanding in Academic Achievement, School & Community Leadership, and football performance, in the territory of this chapter.”

Anthony is an accomplished student-athlete who’s involved in many activities at school. His football days go back to his younger years. “I started playing football in 4th grade with Canajoharie Youth Football with Coach Kevin Suits and Brian Congdon,” Anthony said.

“In school I also play baseball. On my own, I do a lot of bowling in Junior Leagues/Tournaments, and I have played travel baseball in the past. I have also joined my sister in volleyball leagues/events during the summer.” [Anthony’s sister, Sarah, is a Class of 2021 alumna and who signed with Keuka College.]

As for academics, Anthony’s favorite subjects are math and science. At FPHS, he serves as Class Vice President and is involved in SADD, Student Council, Drama Club, National Honor Society and Yearbook Committee.

After graduation, Anthony plans to attend Lasell University in Newton, MA, to study Athletic Training/Exercise Science.

While the college gridiron is not in his future plans, Anthony will always enjoy football and other sports. “Unfortunately, due to the course load and sports offered by the school, furthering my athletic career in football is not possible, however, I do plan to stay around the sport of football with the help of my career and love for the game.

“As for other sports, right now, I am not committed to furthering my athletic career, however, I will still continue to stay active in the sports I love as best possible and even try other sports through intramurals and clubs, like volleyball.”

Anthony’s mom, Stephanie Paradiso, co-teaches second grade at Harry Hoag School. “Each school in Section II is given the opportunity to nominate one student for the National Football Hall of Fame honor, based not only on their work on the football field over the years, but also their achievements in and out of the classroom,” she said.

“Not only did Anthony receive this honor, but it is extra special because he is the first student from Fort Plain to ever receive it! Anthony received a beautiful plaque and a shirt. His name will also be put on the wall in the College Hall of Fame in Georgia for the next year!”

In addition to being honored for football, Anthony was recently named a Bowling First Team All-Star by the Western Athletic Conference.

Congratulations Anthony!

close-up view of plaque

program cover  program inside page with Anthony's name circled

2-hour delay on 3/14; any closure determination will be made no later than 7 a.m.

March 13, 2023

Dear Fort Plain Students, Parents and Caregivers,

I trust everyone is doing well! We are hopeful spring will arrive soon, however, it is forecasted that more snow is expected to cover the region beginning this evening.

In anticipation of the expected significant snowfall, FPCSD will begin with a two-hour delay tomorrow, Tuesday, March 14th. A final determination regarding a school closure will be made tomorrow morning no later than 7:00 a.m.

If we have to close school tomorrow, that action will require us to use our last emergency closure allotted for in this year’s school calendar. The District planned for four emergency closures, we have used three thus far.

If further emergency closures (beyond the fourth one) are required, the District will shift to provide a virtual learning day. A virtual learning day is when students can access the curriculum outside of the traditional class. The virtual learning days are designed to avoid interruptions in instruction that occur when school cannot be held in person.

Below are the details for virtual learning for each age level:

Students in Pre-Kindergarten-Grade 4, Mr. McDuffee’s homeroom and Ms. Hoos’ homeroom will be sent home with a virtual learning packet. The packet will be labeled as Emergency Day 5 Learning Packet. This packet contains several assignments that should be completed and returned to school the next day. For students to be considered in attendance on the virtual learning day, they will need to turn in completed assignments as evidence of participation. If students are unable to complete the assignments independently or with remote support, accommodations will be made to assist them in making up the missed work upon return to school.

Students in Grades 5-6 will be able to access assignments from any device in their Google Classrooms. Again, for the student to be considered in attendance, the assigned work must be completed and turned in. These students may also be asked to log onto a Google Meet with their teachers at a specified time.

All elementary teachers will be available to check-in and assist students via ParentSquare or by using email from the hours of 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. during the virtual learning days.

For students in Grades 7-12, virtual learning days will operate on a 2-hour delay schedule. Students may be directed to attend a Google Meet or they may be assigned work to complete independently via Google Classroom. It is important that students check each Google Classroom Stream at the appropriate class time (listed below) to receive teacher expectations and assignments. If a class is not meeting via Google Meet, the teacher will be available to answer questions and provide support during posted office hours in their Google Classroom.

Period 1 – 10:00 -10:29 a.m.
Period 2 – 10:31 – 11:00 a.m.
Period 3 – 11:02 – 11:31 a.m.
Period 4 – 11:33 a.m. – 12:02 p.m.
Period 5- 12:04 – 12:33 p.m.
Lunch Break – 12:36 – 1:05 p.m.
Period 6 – 1:07 -1:36 p.m.
Period 7 – 1:38 – 2:07 p.m.
Period 8 – 2:09 – 2:38 p.m.

To join a Google Meet for any given class, students should sign in to Google Classroom and click the green “Join” button on the left-side menu.

graphic of Google Meet join button

Students in Grades 7-12 should make sure their chromebooks are charged and they are ready to begin classes at 10:00 a.m. For any technical issues please contact

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this letter, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Mrs. Crisman
Superintendent of Schools

Posted on Categories Archive

FPHS alumna author Allyson Dahlin shares experiences

Allyson talking to students in a library classroom

By Tariyka Chaulk, Jr./Sr. High School librarian

Early Tuesday morning, March 7, Lisa Trembley’s 12th grade English classes gathered at the back of the Jr./Sr. High School Library to meet an author who once sat in those same seats. Published author and Fort Plain Class of 2008 alum, Allyson Dahlin, visited Mrs. Trembley’s college English and 12th grade classes, as well as Emma DiDonna’s 10th grade Honors English class.

Dahlin’s young adult book “Cake Eater” is a futuristic retelling of the story of Marie Antoinette. Students viewed a short presentation about Dahlin and her first published work, then spent the rest of the time asking questions about Dahlin’s process, how the publishing world works, and what stories Dahlin has in store for us in the future.

“Allyson did an excellent job interacting with our students today. It was truly a pleasure to hear her present part of her novel and to see the way she interacted with our students as she handled their many questions. She truly is a role model, and I am very proud of her. I cannot wait to read her next novel!” Mrs. Trembley commented on the visit.

Allyson reading from a bookDahlin currently works in digital marketing but uses her spare time to write. The novel “Cake Eater” was written as part of the National Novel Writing Month challenge. During November, writers around the world set a goal and devote the month of November to writing a novel. Dahlin was able to do just that, with a literary agent and a publishing contract to follow. Her debut novel is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard book. During its debut month, it was listed as an Amazon Best Book and was recently added to the Hal Clement Notable Young Adult Book List, which lists the best science fiction books for young adults published throughout the year.

The visit was organized by Jr./Sr. High School Librarian, Tariyka Chaulk, for what she hopes will become a regular thing.

“I think these visits have such an impact because it makes a writer more real. Instead of a name on a cover, students see a real person in front of them. While the author is presenting, they might find commonalities between the author and themselves. Students might think, ‘That person’s just like me. They read books and wrote a novel. Maybe that’s something I can do.’”

Research suggests that students who participate in regular author visits are more likely to have high reading scores, and more likely to read and write for pleasure.

Allyson standing in front of a video screen with her book in front of her

Congratulations All-Stars!

5 cheerleaders in a group

The Western Athletic Conference has honored several FPHS student-athletes as All-Stars.

Congratulations to:

  • Amelia Gallagher for being named to the Western Athletic Conference Cheerleading All-Star Team
  • Marissa Wilder for being named a Western Athletic Conference Basketball Second Team All-Star
  • Stephen Gray for being named a Western Athletic Conference Basketball First Team All-Star
  • Anthony Paradiso for being named a Western Athletic Conference Bowling First Team All-Star
  • Alex Smith for being named a Western Athletic Conference Wrestling All-Star
  • Austin Van Gorder for being awarded a Western Athletic Conference Basketball All-Star Honorable Mention
  • Kaedence David for being named a Western Athletic Conference First Team All-Star
  • Brianna Krutz for being named a Western Athletic Conference Second Team All-Star

photo of Marissa with basketball

photo of Stephen with basketball

photo of Anthony holding award

photo of Alex wrestling

photo of Austin

photo of Kaedence bowling

photo of Brianna bowling

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