'Baker is the best choice for GWL students'

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TUXEDO — The student body at George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo is comprised of 80 percent of its students living in nearby Greenwood Lake and true to form, the 10 top students identically mirror that ratio.

As soon-to-be graduates, they’re keenly aware of the public discord which eventually led the Greenwood Lake Board of Education to rescind its vote authorizing school officials to negotiate a five year contract with the Tuxedo School District and which would have kept its students attending George F. Baker High School.

And they have definite thoughts about what the new outcome should be now that Greenwood Lake officials have indicated they’re starting fresh in their due diligence process of where to send students. The last year of the five year contract with Tuxedo begins this fall.

Relationships with teachers
“It’s one community, one school,” said Valedictorian Andrew Ehlers, who lives in Greenwood Lake. “It’s a good environment. We should be coming here.”

Marie Meore agreed, adding: “Greenwood Lake students should absolutely stay in Tuxedo. It’s good for students, and there’s easy access to everything because we’re so small.”

Softball and volleyball player Kelly Ross felt students had more chances to be part of sports teams.

“There are better opportunities to get into sports and other activities here,” she said. “Since there are many less students here, you can have better relationships with your teachers and can go to them for anything.”

While Nicholas Korkosz spoke of the merits of a small school, he equally noted his neutrality stance as he made mention of how school loyalty develops almost immediately one walks onto campus during freshman year.

“If I had gone to Warwick, I think I would have liked it just as much, as that’s all I would have known,” he added, “so I’m kind of neutral. It’s just a difference perspective.”

‘The best choice’
But Salutatorian Sara Neyman had her own outlook.

“Friends, family, siblings, we know how the feel of this place has affected us in a good way,” she said. “It’s what we’ve grown up with.”

Ehlers, perhaps revealing some of the content of his forthcoming valedictory speech, reminded a visitor that dedication to what one wants to do in life and what one believes is right is important.

“Tuxedo would be the best choice,” he added. “Tuxedo is a family and we’re pretty functional … sometimes. I love Tuxedo. This is the best option for Greenwood Lake.”

- Nancy Kriz

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