By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO After 20 years as the director of the Village of Monticello Parks and Recreation Department, Betsy Conaty is moving on to a new career.
This week, Conaty begins her new job as an Assistant Professor of Sports Management and Physical Education at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC). In that role, Conaty, who helped the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team win three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I national championships in the 1980s, will teach sports including soccer, volleyball and racquetball.
Last Wednesday evening, dozens of family members, colleagues, friends and community members gathered at Bernie’s Holiday Restaurant in Rock Hill to honor Conaty for her 20 years of dedicated service to the Village of Monticello.
The event was organized by Sherri Bisland, who is the Village of Monticello Deputy Treasurer, and Bonnie Carnell, Assistant Clerk for the Village of Monticello Highway and Sanitation Department.
After everyone enjoyed some hors d‘oeuvres, Carnell stepped up to the podium and welcomed everyone.
Village of Monticello Trustees Victor Marinello, Carmen Rue and Scott Schoonmaker then walked to the podium. They presented Conaty with a citation from New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and a certificate of merit from New York State Senator John Bonacic.
In addition, Marinello, Rue and Schoonmaker presented a certificate from the village board to Conaty.
Former Monticello Mayor Jim Barnicle gave Conaty a plaque of appreciation from the village.
“Betsy has done so much for the children of the village,” Rue said. “My kids enjoyed participating in her recreation programs.”
Village Manager John Barbarite thanked Conaty for her numerous contributions to the village. Among them Barbarite mentioned were Conaty’s hard work to help the village earn a Sullivan Renaissance grant for a beautification program at DeHoyos Park.
Schoonmaker said he and his fellow trustees wish Conaty “the best of luck” in her new position at SCCC.
Sullivan County Legislator Ron Hiatt said that he has known Conaty for about 20 years.
“She has always been very concerned about the kids in the community and wanted to have good programs for them,” Hiatt said. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Betsy.”
On behalf of the Town of Thompson, Councilwoman Sharon Jankiewicz thanked Conaty for all of her work.
When she stepped up to the podium, Conaty thanked everyone for attending the event and expressed gratitude to Bisland and Carnell for planning it.
Conaty then thanked a number of people who assisted her with village recreation programs and events during the past two decades. Among them were Ray Davis, Bob Friedland, Ray Nargizian, Urvashi “Tutu” Gupta, Bill James and the members of the Monticello Police Benevolent Association.
“It’s been a great experience,” Conaty said of her time as Monticello Parks and Recreation Department Director.
As the celebration wrapped up, Marinello noted that the village would really miss Conaty.
“When Betsy began working for the village, the only recreation program offered was arts and crafts,” he said. “She started so many programs for the village, like youth basketball and skateboarding. She did a great job for the village and its residents.”.