PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community: 

You may have heard about an initiative at our high school called Rachel’s Challenge sponsored by the student’s Make A Difference Club.  Rachel Scott was one of the first students killed at Columbine High School in 1999.  Her parents found in her room a diary that reflected her vision of kindness and “compassion,” which she believed “is the greatest form of love humans have to offer.”  High school students throughout our nation have had an opportunity to learn about Rachel Scott and have pledged to honor her memory and legacy by performing acts of kindness in their own schools and communities.  This week, our Putnam Valley students, who are advised by teacher Linda Cefaloni, sent individually composed and handwritten messages of kindness and appreciation to every member of our staff. Each one of us was moved deeply on Valentine’s Day to read these personal messages. The message below was included with the handwritten note:

Dear Employee of the Putnam Valley School District,

Believe it or not, every day you touch the lives of children in the district. Whether you greet and drive us each day, keep our schools clean and safe, feed our hungry appetites, pick us up when we are down, help us overcome challenges, teach us to think and solve problems, encourage us when we fail or are hurting, protect us so that we stay healthy in mind and body, provide assistance to callers and visitors, pay district expenses and employees, fix our laptops, or do something else to keep our school running smoothly, we thank you. Everything you do for us may not be visible, but it matters, and it is greatly appreciated. 

This year we thought it important to say thank you personally. We know it takes everyone working together to educate us. Whatever you do, wherever you work, your words and actions affect us in a positive way. Rachel Scott had a theory that if one person were to go out of their way to show some form of kindness, it would start a chain reaction. We wanted to share Rachel’s message and challenge you to share it with another. 

Enclosed please find a Kindness Note and Rachel’s essay. Compassion, she believed, is the greatest form of love humans have to offer. We don’t have much to show or give you, but please except our words as a thank you for all you do each day for us, the children of the PVCSD. 

The Students of the PVHS Make a Difference Club
“Someday, these hands will touch millions of people’s hearts” ~ Rachel Scott

We are inspired to share this kindness and the generous spirit of our students with our community. 


Dr. Frances Wills

Superintendent of Schools