Valhalla students, staff give thanks for one another

Valhalla Center marks Thanksgiving with feast, words of thanks

Turkey, stuffing and cranberry could be on the menu on any given day at the Valhalla Center because the students here are always thankful to be able to go to school here.

But two days before Thanksgiving, they were especially so. Some three dozen students, along with faculty and staff of the Center for Special Services program at Southern Westchester BOCES’ Valhalla campus, feasted on a spread worthy of the holiday.

Much of the menu, including roast turkey, corn bread, collard greens, three kinds of stuffing and sweet potatoes with marshmallows, was prepared either with the help of students in the Culinary facilities here or by faculty or staff who contributed. Pumpkin and apple pies and cupcakes were among the desserts that awaited any appetites that survived the feast.

“I am thankful for my teachers and my friends,” said Robert Young, a student from Yonkers. “I’m thankful for everyone around me, and I’m thankful for my life.”

Robert also added that he is grateful for his video games as well.

D'Shawn Daniels, also from Yonkers, expressed similar sentiments.

“I’m thankful for my family, my friends and just for being here,” D-Shawn said.  

Teacher Doreen Sheldon helped serve students and co-workers at the buffet between making sure everyone had enough to eat and drink.

“I’m thankful for being here as a faculty member of the Valhalla Center,” Ms. Sheldon said.  

“And we’re thankful she’s here,” added Principal Leslie Handler as she passed nearby. 

 Ms. Handler said the Thanksgiving luncheon is three-year tradition. All the students have the chance to stand up and tell the room for which they are thankful. “We do it because we have so much to be thankful for,” she said.