News & Events

Chatham Education Foundation

Funded $23,708

For Special School Programs

The Alumni Association plays an active role in the allocation of money to support the special projects funded by the CEF. The association donates $500 annually to the fund.  Interest earned during the year becomes available to be awarded for special projects that would not be included in the school budget but were considered of educational value.  We are represented on the Board of Directors by Henry Binzer, treasurer.

Each year the projects cover a wide range of creative ideas that provide experiences that would not otherwise be provided.  For 2018 – 2019, a total of 17 projects were funded in amounts that ranged from $200 to $2,500.

Some of the projects funded for this school year included:

  • An American Revolution
  • Art in the Library – An After School Program
  • Artemis Robotics
  • Author Visit – Gordon Koman, creator of numerous series such as The Mastermind Series and The Swindle Series
  • Children’s Summer Garden
  • Saving a Species – Wolf Project
  • My Side of the Mountain
  • Homespun Dance Residency
  • Longhouse Phase II



IT’S TIME TO GET STARTED FOR 1999, 1994 1979, AND 1969.


Check out how the Class of 1978 did a pot luck, no fuss event and had a great time in Spencertown.

The Class of 1972 met in 2017 at the Polish American Citizens Club for $20 each and tagged along with the Vietnam Era Veterans and had so much fun they did it again in 2018.

On the other side of easy no-frills reunion was the event planned by the Class of 1952 for their 60th reunion in 2012!  My Class!  We planned months in advance to contact every one of our original 65 classmates we could find.  Thanks greatly to Betty Nutting Powell, keeper of info about our classmates.  We then had everyone complete an information sheet updating interesting facts about their lives. We combined their responses with information we had from 2010 and our yearbook including the photos.  The result was “a yearbook” with information about all of our class given to all who attended and mailed to those who could not join us.

Yes it was a lot of work but well worth the effort.  We are all in our mid-eighties now.  Our revised yearbook in a real treasure!  Some of our classmates are no longer living but their lives are still fond memories to us through the efforts of our 60th reunion.

NOTE:  This special edition is still resident in my computer!  If you or a family member or friend would like a copy I can email it to you or if that is a hardship for you, I can make a paper copy and mail it to you.

Email:   or
Patricia McKern Binzer
100 White Pine Drive, Apt. 124,
Albany, NY  12203.

Hank Binzer wearing red Alumni association polo shirt with black letter/logo on left breast



Modeled by Hank Binzer (’52 )

Order yours now from Jeanne Westover
$25 – includes postage

Contact Jeanne Westover
Alumni Association President


A few years ago the Association was asked if it could provide some funding to supplement funds for a field trip.  Another request came in for some assistance for a child in need.  Each request was for a nominal amount of money but made a big difference in the life of a child.  After some discussion with the administration regarding how we could be most helpful, the Association decided to create an on-going scholarship fund that could be used by the faculty for special purposes to anonymously help students.  Each September the fund is brought up to $1,500 with money raised through dues and additional donations to the Association.   So far this year, we have been able to provide a saxophone rental for a very talented student.


We have been made aware that some commercial companies are trying to make it look like our alumni association uses Facebook.  NOT SO.  We use the school district website and our mailed newsletter to keep our members informed.  Some individuals have posted some photos, etc. and mentioned the alumni.  That’s fine, but we do not post anything on behalf of the Alumni Association.

William Shakespeare’s

“The Tempest”

Performed as this year’s school production

Lauren Wriggly and Kenneth Fay hold a crystal ball

The Two Sides of Prospero (Lauren Wriggly and Kenneth Fay) conjure up a shipwreck

“Shakespeare & Company’s Fall Festival has been a tradition in the Berkshires Ten Schools mounting full productions of Shakespeare.  The festival includes schools across Berkshire county, Springfield and Columbia County.  Each year the festival celebrates the commitment and collaboration of over 500 students, their parents and teachers, the school liaisons and custodians, the businesses and funders that join together to make this outrageous adventure possible….”

The audience, comprised of students, parents, relatives of all ages and even alumni who graduated 60+ years ago, were invited to appreciate the many achievements that have happened behind the scenes including production crews, stage managers, researchers and so many others who worked tirelessly to provide this opportunity for the Chatham students.  The list of supporters and helpers was long and showed the enormous amount of teamwork it took to bring about this professional production.  The Full Company List included 44 students.  What an accomplishment!

Unlike many theatrical production programs, everyone who participated was listed in alphabetical order in the program; there were no stars; all participants were equally important.  At the end, the bows were taken as a group; applause was given to everyone.  Each student felt proud about his or her contribution. What an achievement!  We gave the standing ovation to everyone, adults and students, who took part.

 Side note:  A capital district high school said they put on Romeo and Juliet last year and it was a disaster.  They found it too hard. The students had difficulty with the language and the production.  I think Chatham should invite some of the neighboring non-participating schools to come to see how well our kids handle this difficult material so well!


CHS 40th reunion attendees pose for picture outsideGennifer Rommel Westover and Jeff Westover reported on the Class of 1978 40th reunion at the Spencertown Firehouse held on Sunday September 2, 2018. They offered special thanks to the Spencertown Fire Department commenting it was a perfect venue.

Luke Nelson later posted, “It was a blast.”

Thanks to the amazing organizers: Lynne Verenazi Michaels, Lori Wadsworth Wood, Cindy Skinner Crellin, Donna Whiteman Starron, Sue Kittle Madsen, Sue Silvernale, and help from Joan Krohn, Mark Frederick, Dan Crellin, Matt Verenazi, Alan Silvernail and others. (Apologies for any omissions.)

The committee provided the flowers, beverages and food. Attendees brought assorted appetizers. So there was plenty of good food.

Classmates made their way in from far flung locations: California and Missouri, just to mention a couple. We got to see people we haven’t seen in 40 years. It’s amazing how none of us had aged in the least.  Right!  Many classmates were unable to attend due to prior commitments or family obligations. We’d like them to know they were missed.

The good news, if you are on FaceBook, check out the group. “CHS Class of 1978: 40 Year Reunion.” Lori Wood posted a lot of good pictures and you will get to read the comments and see all the smiles for yourselves.

Hope to see everyone next time around.

– Gennifer Rommel Westover and Jeff Westover




As you read through the short articles that follow,  you can be proud that you are a member of the Chatham Alumni Association.

For such a small group, we really accomplish a great deal. We have about 275 dues-paying alumni.  Think what we could do if there were more.  You can send your fellow alumni to the district website to find a membership form.  Tell them that the benefits include the satisfaction that comes from knowing they helped improve the lives of the Chatham students.

To keep things running, we have about nine hardy souls who attend the meetings a few times a year and provide ideas to promote the association for the good of the student body. They show up when needed to help with our public events.

We would sure like more folks to join us.  There’s no “heavy lifting”, just add camaraderie and support to the already loyal team.

Email Joan Sherman Simard, Association Secretary, if you think you want to be part of the leadership group.  We even have beautiful tee shirts for sale to add to the team spirit.  (


Class of 1972 to meet again on August 12th, 2018
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
at the Polish American Citizens Club (PACC)

Last year’s reunion was so much fun that folks have decided to meet again on August 12, 2018 to continue the friendships renewed in 2017.  This event is sponsored by the Vietnam Era Veterans (China Beach Event).

The entry fee is $20.00 per person and benefits veterans.  The fee includes food, drink and music.  We share the venue with these great veterans but have a separate area for all of us to visit and catch up.

We had a fabulous time last August. Pass this invitation on to people we haven’t seen in years.  Everyone is welcome so brings friends from other classes to join us.

Text Bob Goo (518-221-7635) or Jeanne Westover (518-755-0751) with your intentions to allow us to get an estimated head count.  We must thank Bob for organizing this for us again.

I hope to see everyone there and those that couldn’t come last year.  Everyone is welcome

Jeanne Westover


Four Graduating Seniors selected for School Spirit Awards by the Chatham Alumni Association

For several years the Chatham Alumni Association has honored four seniors with a School Spirit Award.  The award signifies that the students selected demonstrated the human qualities that make our school a great place for kids to be educated. Our thanks to the high school guidance department for assisting in the selection and description of this year’s honorees.  Each of the students was presented with a letter of congratulations, a framed certificate and a check for One Hundred Dollars.

Haleigh McKay can be seen at a variety of school events.  She is a three season athlete, participating as a valuable member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams, as well as the cheerleading squad.  She is also a kind and warm person who is happy to cheer others on.  I have noticed that she takes younger students under her wing, and supports them in the school and athletic environment.

Kayla Ruff has grown into a tremendously generous leader in our school.  She has been actively involved in student government, and was instrumental in bringing new microwaves, coffee makers, and a mini-fridge to the student cafeteria, for the purpose of collecting unwanted food that others are welcome to take.  Recently, she was a key coordinator for our high school faculty appreciation day.  She helped to provide faculty with breakfast and lunch, and offered her thanks on behalf of the student body.

Tom Cozzolino has what it takes to succeed.  He is independent, goal-oriented, and a great communicator.  He knows what needs to be done, and is willing and able to take the necessary steps to complete a task.  He is the kind of person CHS strives to send out into the world, and he will undoubtedly represent Chatham well.

Aidan Jackson is a friendly face to everyone.  He demonstrates Panther Pride every day, through the respect and warmth he displays toward others.  Aidan was selected for this award based on his good character, strong work ethic and participation in extracurricular activities.  This year, he impressively rose to the top of our most challenging class, Advanced Placement Calculus, where he has consistently worked hard to master difficult material.


Impact of the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund

A few years ago the Association was asked if it could provide some funding to supplement funds for a field trip.  Another request came in for some assistance for a child in need.  Each request was for a nominal amount of money but made a big difference in the life of a child.  After some discussion with the administration regarding how we could be most helpful, the Association decided to create an on-going scholarship fund that could be used by the faculty for special purposes to anonymously help students.  Each September the fund is brought up to $1,500 with money raised through dues and additional donations to the Association.


A letter of gratitude from Lucas Christensen, Administrator of Educational Services for the district.

“I am writing to express our sincere thanks and gratitude for you extremely generous support of our students.  This year we were able to help 37 individual students through the use of your financial gifts.  You helped us provide a variety of field trips, educational opportunities, and rites of passage to youngsters who would not otherwise have been able to participate due to financial constraints.  These trips, proms, awards, and experiences help to make up a well-rounded and experience-rich school year for all of our Chatham kids.  I know that I speak for the entire administrative team when I say that we would not do this without you.  Thank you so much. 


Moving Up Day at the Middle School

The Alumni Association donates $600 each year for Moving Up Day at the Middle School.  Mike Burns, Principal, expressed his appreciation to the alumni for their continued support. This year the gift was used to purchase $25.00 checks for 8th grade students that have demonstrated strength in academic, character, and leadership traits.  Each year the 8th grade team issues 24 of these awards that are presented to the students at the moving up ceremony.


 A thank you from one of the recipients:

“I was fortunate to be selected for the 8th grade Girls Faculty Award.  Thank you for donating the money for my award.

At CMS I am an NCBI member, key communicator, and NJHS member.  I also take accelerated classes and have been on the high honor roll 6th grade through 8th grade, I will continue to work hard at CHS.

Thank you again!


Anna Carroll, Class of 2022


Village of Chatham will be celebrating 150 years in 2019 – We plan to join the celebration

Chatham Alumni Connections will be putting together a special edition next spring to join the Chatham School District in the celebration of the history of the Village of Chatham.

  • We are looking for some interesting stories about some of our families who have many generations of Chatham graduates. Are there some teachers out there who would like to share their stories from a different era.
  • Are there athletes who starred on some of the teams that excelled back in the day who would like to retell some of their exciting moments.
  • How about choir members or band members who want to share some memorable concerts. (Remember the concerts we used to have on Thanksgiving with alumni?)
  • Don’t forget to reminisce about all the preparations for Arbor Day or Proms that were decorated and held in the gym.
  • What were some of the great after school activities or hangouts?
  • We can arrange for interviews and amateur photos to help you develop your good ideas. Help us make this special issue really special!

Send your ideas to Patricia Binzer (Class of ’52), Chatham Alumni Connections newsletter editor.


The BackPack Program Feeds Hungry Kids

The Alumni Association heard about the BackPack Program this spring and decided to contribute $300 to this program for Chatham families for the 2018-2019 school year.

The BackPack Program, sponsored by the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, especially on the weekends.  The program provides backpacks filled with food that the child-friendly shelf-stable, and easily consumed.  Bags are packed each week by school staff and discreetly distributed to participating children every Friday afternoon. The cost to sponsor a child for a full school year is estimated at $167.00.

The BackPack Program started in 2007 with one partner school.  Since then, the program has expanded to 25 schools throughout 8 counties, serving over 525 children each week. Each bag includes:  2 breakfast items, 3 entrees, a loaf of bread, 2 shelf-stable milks, 2 juice boxes, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, 2 snacks (cookies, popcorn, pudding, etc.)

The MED Elementary School and the Middle School participated in the BackPack Program in 2017-2018 school year in collaboration with the Regional Food Bank of NENY.  The program is now in its third year in Chatham.  In 2016-17 30 backpacks to 27 families at MED and 14 families at the middle school were sent home each week.  In 2017-2018 at MED they sent 30 backs to 25 families (1 family got 3 backpacks for 6 children; 3 families got 2 backpacks.  In 2017-2018 the middle school had an increase from 10 to 18 bags going home each week.

The food was provided by the Regional Food Bank in conjunction with the Ghent Food Pantry. (Ghent helps defray the cost of the program.)  The program starts in early October and runs through the second week in June.  The food arrived on Thursday morning.  Staff stayed after school to pack the backpacks and added any supplemental food that staff brought in (fresh fruit and vegetables, milk cards, etc.)  The food was sent home at the end of the day on Friday and the backpacks were returned early in the next week by the students.

Kevin Botsford (teacher) is currently in charge of the BackPack Program for MED.  Originally the program was initiated by Michael Stead (teacher). Diane Hammon (administrative assistant) and Jackie Hoffman (School Counselor) will be coordinating it in the middle school.  Students are recommended by staff, the school nurse, or at a parent request.

A letter goes home to all recommended students letting parents know about the program and, that unless we hear from them, their child will be enrolled.  Students enrolled in the backpack program are kept confidential, just staff members know.