Fallsburg honors a decades-long tradition of scholarship

Fallsburg Central School District has been awarding Community Scholarships to worthy members of the senior class every year for more than 65 years. The tradition continued on Sunday, May 7, 2017, with the honoring of 11 students and their families with scholarships at the annual Blossom Cohen Luncheon at Bernie’s Holiday Restaurant in Rock Hill.

FCSD’s annual Blossom Cohen Luncheon has been honoring community scholarship recipients for more than 65 years. Picture are: (seated left to right) Rebecca Budrock, Grace Strauss, Mary Elizabeth Kellerman, Brittany Mackiel; (standing left to right) Sam Zheng, Merime Cenovic, Brittany Leventoff, Alexandria Porter, Megan Langeland, Abigail Langeland, and Olav Peterson Langeland.

Winners of Samuel Beytin Community Scholarships were Rebecca Budrock, Merime Cenovic, Mary Elizabeth Kellerman, Megan Langeland, Olav Peterson Langeland, and Pu (Samuel) Zheng.  Brittany Mackiel earned two awards, the Candy Gold Bolton Memorial and Nancy Solomon Memorial Scholarships. The Edward Bryan Memorial Scholarship went to Abigail Langeland. Brittany Leventoff received the Milton Brizel Memorial Scholarship, and Alexandria Porter earned the Blossom Cohen Memorial Scholarship. Grace Strauss received the Esther Mintz Flanagan Scholarship in memory of her parents Sarah and Isidor Mintz. Two students won honor awards for highest academic averages—Olav Peterson Langeland and Pu (Samuel) Zheng.

Each recipient spoke eloquently in thanking the families who were responsible for providing the monetary awards that will help support them in their continuing education at various colleges and universities. Guidance Counselor Joe Levner was especially moved by the stories of the challenges in immigrating to America faced by the parents of Merime Cenovic (Albania) and Pu Zheng (China).

Chairperson of the Luncheon Committee was Renee Kates, who emceed the festivities. Superintendent Dr. Ivan Katz welcomed the guests, thanked the committee for their selfless work in keeping the scholarship program alive and vital for more than 60 years, and acknowledged the scholarship winners, their families, and the school staff for supporting these special students over their years in Fallsburg.

At the end of the ceremony, in a tradition that honors the longevity and origins of this Scholarship Awards event, retired teacher Jay Kasofsky extended the regards of Mrs. Florence Beytin, widow of Samuel Beytin, who celebrated her 101st birthday this past year.