The shade tree will be donated by the school's Green Club. McDonald had a great love for nature, Choppy said, and this will serve as memorial that will be more accessible come next school year, when the school will be shuttered.
"We realize the school is closing, but we feel like the community as a whole will still be able to use it," Choppy said. "This will still give the community children some shade."
Painter echoed those thoughts, and added that it was a challenge to address the memorial under the circumstances.
"A big part of what Dorothy did is to bring so much life and vitality to the community, it's hard to separate her from the building," she said. "This is something that will live on for many years, and it doesn't matter if the building is used as a school or a community center."
McDonald was principal at Clarksville for eight years, and her death last September came as a surprise to many. Her career before coming to BC was also in education, and she taught special education at St. Catherine's Center in Albany before eventually becoming principal of the R. and R. May School in Albany.
Parents and community members are invited to the reception on Friday, May 13 (one day after McDonald's birthday), at 3 p.m. The memorial ceremony will be held at 2:30 and will also be open to parents, but seating is limited.
To donate to the memorial fund, makes checks out to "The Greater Capital Region Community Foundation" with "Dorothy McDonald Memorial Scholarship" in the memo line. Mail checks to Mike Klugman, c/o Bethlehem Central High School, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar 12054.
Donors will receive a receipt and donations can be claimed as tax deductions.""