Dedicated Ellenville Community Members Honored as Champions of Education

Dedicated Ellenville Community Members Honored as Champions of Education
Posted on 06/01/2022
Dedicated Ellenville Community Members Honored as Champions of Education




Charles Dechon and the late Noreen Dechon, dedicated community members of the Ellenville Central School District (ECSD), were recently honored as “Distinguished Friends of Education.” The annual award, given by the Ulster County School Boards Association (UCSBA), recognizes residents from the county’s school districts and Ulster BOCES for their dedication and commitment to students and schools.

ECSD Board President Phil Mattracion and Superintendent Lisa Wiles presented the award to Charles at the UCSBA’s annual dinner on May 26 at the Best Western in Kingston.

The couple lived their lives in such a way that they will certainly be remembered for all of their acts of kindness, compassion, fairness, and benevolence. Together, their respect for people and for life in general went above what any of us could ever try to live up to. If only one word could be used to describe both Charlie and Noreen, it would be integrity. This word guided how they lived their lives together and how they expected friends and family to live theirs as well. 

Charlie and Noreen are respected and admired throughout the Ellenville community. All too often, we wait way too long in life to tell people our true feelings and express the impact that they have had on us. This is the case with Noreen, who is being honored posthumously. Both she and Charlie have improved the lives of all of the children and adults they came into contact with, both in and out of school. 

They have served as role models for their family and friends and have passed on the same virtues and integrity that they possess to all others that they have come in contact with. The impact they have had on so many lives will be felt for generations to come. It is appropriate  that they are being honored together.

Krista Barringer, president of the Ulster County School Boards Association, is full of  praise for this year’s honorees. “This annual event highlights the amazing people who go above and beyond for the students and families in Ulster County school districts,” she said. “This year is no different. Every year, the awardees leave inspired and amazed by each other. They are a tremendous group that deserves every bit of recognition.” 

        The Dechons’ fellow honorees are: Claire Van Valkenburgh, Highland Central School District; Nora C. Scherer, Kingston City School District; Faith Nannini, Marlboro Central School District; Jim Tinger, New Paltz Central School District; Rob Kurnit, Onteora Central School District; Felice DiGennaro, Rondout Valley Central School District; Mike LaTourette, Saugerties Central School District; Jamie Hoyt, Wallkill Central School District; and Margaret Short, Ulster BOCES.