Briarcliff’s Declan Fullerton Honored as a BOCES Student of Distinction


Pictured Above: PNW BOCES Student of Distinction Declan Fullerton stands with family and BOCES representatives at Briarcliff Board of Education meeting on June 5. (From L to R): Lisa Hammel, who oversees local school building programs for BOCES; Olivia Fullerton; BOCES English Teacher Margo Schepart; Elissa Fullerton; Declan Fullerton; John Fullerton; Linda Gerstman; Stephen Gerstman; and BOCES Board member Frank Schnecker.

“Inquisitive, fun and generous” Those were some of the words used to describe Declan Fullerton, a freshman in the Oasis Program run by Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES at Walter Panas High School.

A Briarcliff School District resident, Fullerton was honored as a Student of Distinction at the Briarcliff Board of Education meeting on June 5. He was joined at the meeting by family members and BOCES’ representatives including his teacher, Margot Schepart, who said he was chosen for the award for his kindness and character.

“He is a wonderful member of our learning community. Declan is a very inquisitive, generous and interested member of our classroom. He is always a breath of fresh air when he comes into Oasis,” Schepart said. “He is a fun and sincere student who contributes to every class discussion, every presentation and every brainstorming session that we do. He is vital to the success of our class and I’m happy he is there.”

The admiration was mutual as Fullerton praised his teacher and the program.

“I like how flexible [Oasis] is,” he said. “[I’m looking forward to] another year of being with Ms. Schephart.”

“We appreciate each other,” Schepart added with a smile.

Fullerton’s family members expressed their happiness with their son, as well as with Ms. Schepart and the Oasis program.

“Declan has never clicked so much with an English teacher in his life. This is huge,” said Fullerton’s mother, Elissa Fullerton.

John Fullerton, the student’s father, also noted the special bond his son and teacher have formed and credited the relationship with contributing to his son’s success in the classroom.

“Declan needs teachers he trusts and respects, and there is just a mutual respect here that I think has helped him be successful as a student,” Mr. Fullerton said.

Fullerton said it felt “good” to be honored as a BOCES Student of Distinction.