Scholarship program announced for non-resident Tuxedo students wanting to attend Baker STEM Academy

Application deadline is this Monday, July 6


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By Nancy Kriz

— Students who are non- residents of the Tuxedo School District and interested in attending the STEM Academy at George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo can apply for a scholarship to attend the school through a new fund established by the Rockland Community Foundation.

The newly created Tuxedo STEM Fund Scholarship will be funded through a $450,000 donation from the Sonne Family's Vincent Mulford Foundation, which will be exhausted by year-end.

The Sonne Family are long-time Tuxedo residents.

Applicants must demonstrate interest and achievement in STEM related program/activities, according to a statement announcing the scholarship's formation and will be for students in grades 9 to 12 for the 2015/16 school year and subsequent years.

"We have the ability to include tuition students while maintaining our intimate class size and individualized attention, and we welcome them," said Tuxedo School District Superintendent Carol Lomascolo in a statement, adding the smallness of the school creates "a supportive environment that is ideal for a STEM focus that can be tailored to the individual strengths of students."

Now that Greenwood Lake students will no longer be attending Baker this fall, high school student enrollment is projected to be in the range of a total of 125 students. The school has the capacity for more than 400 students.

Tuxedo resident Chris Sonne said he hoped the scholarship would move the Baker STEM program forward, calling it an important program for the school, the community and its students.

Sally Sonne echoed his comments, adding: "Small schools can be at such a disadvantage, and yet they offer opportunities for greatness. We hope that this will make a difference."

In addition to the scholarship fund, $150,000 was donated from the Vincent Mulford Foundation to the school district for the purchase of technology hand-held devices for K-12 students in support of the STEM program.

The scholarships will range from $4,000 to $6,000 for the school year. The application deadline is Monday, July 6, and forms are available on the Tuxedo School District web site (www.tuxedoufsd.org) and the Rockland Community Foundation website (www.rocklandgives.org).

Officials said the number of scholarships awarded is contingent upon the applicant pool and availability of funds.

To learn more, contact the Tuxedo School District at 351-4799.

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