The next Pearl River School District Board of Education meeting takes place Feb. 20, but enough members of the board and the administration came to Orangetown Town Hall Tuesday for an impromptu session.
They attended the Orangetown Town Council meeting to see Pearl River High School Principal William Furdon receive an award for his contributions to the Orangetown Substance Abuse Committee.
Furdon joined Orangetown Councilman Denis Troy and Orangetown Police Captain Donald Butterworth in accepting awards from the substance abuse committee Tuesday.
Troy serves as the liaison between the town board and the substance abuse committee.
"Denis asked me to come on the committee and I was reluctant. Every year I say I’m going to leave, but I don’t because Denis is still here," said Eddie O'Dea of the substance abuse committee. "It makes it easier to work with what we have. If kids get in trouble, (he is) the first phone call we make to try to help the kids out. Recommendations and referrals. Denis is always there for kids, always there for the committee. Always there for the Town of Orangetown. When I grow up, I want to be just like Denis Troy."
Troy also recognized the work that O'Dea and Ann Marie Hahr do as members for the committee.
"The two best decisions I made were to bring Ed O'Dea and Ann Marie Hahr on board. “They have boundless energy. They are so connected to the community. They know how to twist people's arms to get them to volunteer."
Troy stressed the importance of working with the schools. In addition to Furdon, Tappan Zee High School Principal Jennifer Amos also serves on the substance abuse committee.
"It's been a great relationship between the substance abuse committee and the high school," O'Dea said as he spoke about Furdon. "The man's passion is kids. He does a wonderful job."
O'Dea focused on Furdon's decision to move Pearl River High Schools Senior Prom and Junior prom to school nights starting in 2009-10 due to concerns regarding what students were doing after those events, especially underage drinking.
"Bill changed that and got a lot of flak for it," O'Dea said. "I respect him dearly for it."
O'Dea credited Butterworth with helping the committee to become more effective.
"When I first came on the substance abuse committee, it was very difficult getting anything done. Everything took a lot of time," O'Dea said. "Finally Captain Butterworth, then a lieutenant, was assigned to the substance abuse committee and the partnership has been great, a partnership way beyond my expectations."