When the Borden family arrived in the nineteenth century, educational opportunities in Ulster County were limited; classes rarely extended beyond the eighth grade. This changed when the philanthropic Bordens established their Borden Condensed Milk Company and gave Wallkill the means to construct one of the area’s first high schools.
That history is presented in detail in A History of the Wallkill Central Schools (2013, History Press) by A.J Schenkman and Elizabeth Werlau.
In 1938, Central School District No. 1—incorporating the towns of Shawangunk, Plattekill, Gardiner, Marlborough, Newburgh and Montgomery—was formed after residents voted to consolidate the John G. Borden High School with surrounding one- and two-room schoolhouses.
Although those early schoolhouses are now long gone, the proud tradition of education and service carries on in the Leptondale, Clare F. Ostrander and Plattekill Elementary Schools; the John G. Borden Middle School; and the Wallkill Senior High School. Local educators A.J. Schenkman and Elizabeth Werlau explore Wallkill Central School District’s seventy-five years of educational excellence.
A meet the authors event will be held January 18, 2014 at the Plattekill Historical Society at 2 p.m.
A.J. Schenkman is a social studies teacher in Ulster County, a freelance writer, and regular contributor to The New York History Blog. He is the author of the popular Wicked Ulster County: Tales of Desperadoes, Gangs and More (The History Press), as well as two earlier publications: Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh (Arcadia Publishing) and Washington’s Headquarters: Home to a Revolution (The History Press).
Elizabeth Werlau is an English teacher in New York State’s Hudson Valley region. She is the author of Images of America: Plattekill and Hallowed Grounds: Historic Cemeteries of the Town of Plattekill, NY (coauthored with Shirley Anson). In addition, she has published numerous articles on her website, Ulster County History Journal.
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