All Dutchess BOCES employees met in the Salt Point Center (SPC) gymnasium for this year’s Convocation on September 5.
The District Superintendent Jason Schetelick opened the event with some supportive messages, stressing the sense of community that we need to have in order to succeed in our mission.
“As we move forward, our focus is going to be amplifying our voices,” said Schetelick. “That’s trying to understand a neighbor, utilizing more surveys, and also the idea of creating a circle of understanding each others’ culture and personal perspectives.”

Schetelick then introduced the President of the BOCES Board of Trustees Ralph Chiumento, who spoke about the previous school years and difficulties with COVID and the capital project. He mentioned how nice it would be to return to a normal routine, while also praising the faculty and staff for their flexibility during this period of turmoil.

“It doesn’t matter what you really do, it’s profound,” said Deputy Superintendent Jodi DeLucia, “You touch the lives of students.” She then went on to talk about some of the new changes that had already taken place, including the purchasing new furniture and the new Alternative High School administration.

She then turned it over to School Business Official Matthew Metzger, who welcomed everyone. He acknowledged the hard work of Facilities and Operations in preparing the schools for opening. “I want everyone to have a great year,” he said. 
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Norah Merritt spoke on the vast amount of new hires. “There are about seventy new hires that make up the 2023-2024 program,” said Merritt. “We have many new receptionists out there, and we have an evening administrator, clerical worker, and maintenance mechanic for the first time, just to name a few.”
DeLucia closed out the Convocation with a list of new initiatives that Dutchess BOCES will be working on this year. This included performance-based assessments, a rollout of the SchoolTool student management system, and the continuation of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as a primary focus. DEI efforts resulted in a new Code of Conduct being developed for 2023-24.