PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. -- A Putnam Valley eighth-grader’s hard work and dedication and another student's "resilience" have both been recognized by local educators.
Dean Fejes, a student at Fox Meadow Middle/High School at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, was named a “Student of Distinction."
Also honored as a "Student of Distinction" was Jonell Rios Losado, a student in the Walden School at P/NW BOCES in Yorktown.
Both were awarded with medals and certificates.
Ceremonies were held last month at a meeting of the Putnam Valley Board of Education.
“The teachers at the middle school all agree that Dean is a student every teacher would want to have in class,” said Fox Meadow Principal Nicole Murphy.
Murphy, who presented the medal, added that Dean’s classmates would describe him “as a friend due to his sweet and helpful manner.”
According to Murphy, Dean’s teachers have said it was “a pleasure” to have witnessed his “growth both physically and emotionally over the past two years.”
Dean embodies, Murphy said, Fox Meadow’s core values: “respect for oneself as well as others, hard work and dedication and a willingness to be the best version of yourself.”
Murphy also praised Dean for his generosity and sense of humor.
“I think BOCES does a wonderful job,” said Dean’s mother, Jane. “It was such a great surprise (to have Dean receive this award) and we are so proud of him.”
Also attending the ceremony were Dean's father, Joseph; his brother, Thomas; and teachers and staff members.
Walden Principal Mike Sowul praised Jonell for the “tremendous gains” he had made in school.
Jonell, Sowul added, “is the epitome of resilience.”
Jonell was accompanied to the ceremony by his guardian, Sara Padilla; school social worker Heather Maenza and teacher Michelle Gonzalez-Delgado.