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Board looks at reflection garden proposal

The Niskayuna Board of Education listened to Assistant Principal Mark Treanor of Niskayuna High School present the idea of a reflection garden at the district's high school to remember those who died as students in the school on Dec. 7 at the high school media center.

\I've been here for 25 years and I've seen many kids die in our care and we need to celebrate their lives and contributions even if their lives were cut short, said Treanor on the project that was presented to the board. The project, which would help to build upon and centralize the memorial plantings across the campus,was presented by Treanor as a way to remember those who died under the care of the care of the district as students in the high school.

While the garden will allow for a central space for people to reflect on those who have died during their schooling, it also raised many questions by members of the board, who stated that they would like to have the specifics of the project, including who to remember in the garden and how to measure the impact on the community.

"We're trying to develop a single approach on how to handle these memorials before going forward," said Jeanne Sosnow, president of the Niskayuna Board of Education. "We want to honor them and take into account the impact on the community."

"We want to look at the impact of everyone in the school community and we want that impact to be positive," said school board of education member Barbara Mauro. "We want to send a positive message that you are important...so when a student dies we want them to be remembered."

The board of education has asked Treanor to come back to the board with a design of the garden so that the board of education can work on the specifics of the policy of who will be remembered in the garden. The board has also set up a committee to help set the policy in place, with local religious leaders and clinical staff looking into the new policy to be set into place.

"They're giving us great direction on how not only how to deal with the issue of suicide but other tragedies," said Treanor. The committee is made up of students, staff,and board of education members and will meet in January, according to Treanor.

"I appreciate the feedback of the board," said Treanor. "There are many people that would like to see this idea become a reality. This could be an important contribution to the school community." ""

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