Rhinebeck BOE Recognizes Joseph L. Phelan for Service to the School District As Superintendent of Schools Since August 1998; Dedicates District Auditorium in His Name at Ceremony on Feb 21, 2020

At their January 28, 2020 meeting, the Rhinebeck Board of Education recognized retiring Superintendent of Schools Joseph L. Phelan for his service to the school district as Superintendent since August 1998 by approving the resolution below. Phelan's retirement from the Rhinebeck school district caps a 46-year career in public school education, as a junior-senior high school English teacher (1974-1986) and as a junior-senior high school principal (1986-1992) in two school districts in Central New York, and as a School Superintendent in the Adirondacks (1992-1998), before beginning the final chapter of his career in Rhinebeck in 1998.  


WHEREAS, Joseph L. Phelan has served the Rhinebeck Central School District, the Rhinebeck community, and above all, Rhinebeck’s students since August 1998; and

WHEREAS, The Rhinebeck Central School District and Rhinebeck students have benefitted greatly from his tireless leadership and sage guidance during his many years of service,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Rhinebeck Central School District Board of Education records in the minutes of this Meeting its deepest heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Joseph L. Phelan for his decades of faithful and distinguished service to the Rhinebeck Central School District, Rhinebeck’s students, and the Rhinebeck community, and expresses its collective appreciation and admiration for his leadership and for his long and devoted service, and extends to him this statement of appreciation; and

ALSO, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Rhinebeck Central School District Board of Education hereby dedicates the school district auditorium, and names said instructional and public space the “Joseph L. Phelan Auditorium” in recognition therefor.


That recognition also includes the dedication of the Rhinebeck school district's auditorium in Superintendent Phelan's name. Phelan provided leadership to the team of Rhinebeck school district staff, a Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee, and Rhinebeck-area community members who developed and supported a capital project referendum proposal that was approved by the voters in 2004, after the defeat of a similar project in 2000.

One of the cornerstones of the approved capital project proposal was the design and construction of a 500-seat auditorium for use by all students and staff, as well as for community use. At the time, the school district did not have an auditorium in either of its school buildings with which to provide an adequate performance space for the school district's performing arts programs, assemblies, lectures, and community events.

A ceremony for the dedication of the Rhinebeck school district auditorium in Phelan's name has been scheduled in the auditorium on Friday, February 21, 2020, at 6:30 pm (with a "snow date" of the following Friday, February 28, 2020, if needed.)  All staff, students, families, and community members are welcome and invited to attend. Cake and coffee will be served following the ceremony.  




845.871.5520 - District
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845.871.5570 ext. 6551 - Special Education
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Mailing: P.O. Box 351, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Physical: 45 N. Park Rd., Rhinebeck, NY 12572


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