Alumni Association of the Rensselaer NY School District

Minutes for March 7, 2023

Attendees: Kathy Keenan, President; Denise Roberts Wright, Vice President; Liz Rooney, Treasurer; members: Phil Foust, Tracey Stock


Meeting called to order at 6:30 pm

NOTE: A quorum consists of six members with at least one being an officer. There were three officers, but only two members. With only five in attendance, no votes could be taken.


President - Brought some literature from the Class of 1946, which will be given to the Pat Schroeder, Historian to include in the scrapbook.

Audit completed by Barbara Matrese of East Greenbush. Her report was presented and on file with the minutes from December, accounts are satisfactory.

Letters will be written to the inductees and their families. Letters to nominators will also be written to the nominators. Information about what is expected by all will be sent, along with a reservation form for the dinner.

Kathy noted the lack of volunteers not only makes it more difficult to have events for the students, it also makes those few who do volunteer burn out faster. Discussion about how to let members know how badly they are needed to help followed.

Minutes from the December meeting were filed. It will be necessary to ask for an e-vote to have them accepted into the record. Note: email vote and the minutes and reports were accepted into the record.

Vice President - Looking at how much the cost of flowers have risen combined with the fact that flowers quickly die, Kathy and Denise felt if would be better to change from giving inductees a corsage or boutonnière to something else. Ribbons and pins will be presented this year. Denise noted that she was able to order pins custom ribbons for slightly more than flowers cost in the past, but there will be enough of the pins and ribbons to last for more than a decade, thereby bringing the cost down considerably over the long term. It was also noted that the pins, will last for a long time and can be worn on a lapel any time, not just at the banquet.

The cost of cakes have also risen considerably, and there is also the question of paying to have case cut and plated, so Denise and Kathy agreed cupcakes would be nice, especially as many people have eaten a large dinner and May like to bring their dessert home. The banquet hall is going to put out pastries and Denise ordered a quantity of cupcakes so people have a choice of dessert as well as the opportunity to bring their dessert home.

Nothing has been done between the lawyers regarding the sign. school district created a leasing agreement and sent it to the city attorney. According to the planning board president, we are awaiting word from the attorney before we can move forward.

The craft fair is moving along. Denise would like some people to sign up to help.

Denise has asked Tessa Kent, the high school art teacher to ask her students to create drawings of rams doing different things so we can use those drawings on our social media pages. It’s not really a contest since the only ‘prize’ will be that the drawings will appear online. Mrs. Kent has a number of drawings for Denise to look at and use. Denise also put an appeal out for alumni to submit their drawings.

Denise and Tracy will work on creating a poster that can be put in the Guidance Office telling about some of the things Hall of Fame recipients have done to inspire todays’s students not only to strive moving forward, but to join the Association after graduation.

Treasurer - Liz submitted her financial report and notes that donations are still coming in, so she doesn’t have the total donations from the December mailing yet. She is sending the information to Tom so he can put the new information on the website. She the. Sends the information to Kathy so she can send thank you notes to contributors. At the moment, there are 89 active members, which has brought in $11,167 in donations. This is significantly short of the amount of money we need to continue the programs for the students we have supported in the past.

Liz will be getting a QR code to give to Tom so moving forward we will be able accept credit card donations/payments online. Previously, it was approved that we would look into Venmo or Square to accomplish this, but Venmo doesn’t work with non-profits, so we will be using Square. Square has another advantage that they don’t require as much personal information in order to send money through them. Liz hopes to have this up and running very soon.

Old Business:

Community Spirit Award - Denise and Liz presented a potential scholarship in honor of Deb Reinmann. the process and requirements were reviewed but no dollar amount or finalization could be completed. The Kiwanis have also talked of creating a scholarship in Deb’s name. Denise will contact someone in the Kiwanis to see if there is any interest in combining the two to make one scholarship and report at the April meeting.

New Business:

Senior Breakfast - During the pandemic, this was changed to a bag meal, but with things opening up, Dominic Pitianello, Principal, would like to see it return to a full sit-down the day of the prom, (May 12). With the general lack of volunteers, it may be difficult, but Denise will contact Jim Cochran, Fran Pilato and Ginny Lazzaro to see what would be needed for the breakfast.

Centennial Award - Denise will review the application and get it to the senior English teachers. The deadline will be by May 15. Denise will find out about a presenter at graduation and Kathy will contact Paul to see how much lead time he’ll need to have the medals made.

Pat Lewis Award - Liz will contact Scott Lewis to see if he will still be sponsoring the award.

Spring Picnic - Discussion about where to hold the event. Tabled until April.

Summer Activities - Doris Roberts and Gerry Mullaney would like to hold a Valley Cats game in July (on Star Wars night) and a day at the races in August. they will give more information when they get back in town in May. tabled until then.

Association Banner - Denise brought up the fact that the Association does not have a banner that just shows our logo. There are banners for the golf tournament and the hall of fame, but nothing for other events, like when we have a table at the homecoming game, or the table at the summer concerts. Tabled until April.

Next meeting: Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 pm in the Large Group Room at the high school.

Adjourn: 7:45 pm