Friday, July 12, 2013

Grace Pfiefer’s Statement to the Board of Education 07/11/13

July 11th, 2013

I wonder if Dr. Henkel remembers me?  I remember her.
My name is Grace and I am a sophomore nursing major at Utica College.  I am also a cheerleader and member of the Student Nursing Association and Drama Club.  I am now a counselor of 6 graders at the Halfmoon Recreation day camp program.
I am speaking tonight because I don’t want another child to experience what I did at my school under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Henkel.
It took me years of counseling to restore my self-esteem and self-confidence.  I still have flash-backs of how I was made to feel about myself at Boght Hills School.  No 6 or 7 year old special education student should be humiliated, physically and emotionally harmed, at the direction of their elementary school principal.
My IEP which promised an inclusion classroom was ignored by Dr. Henkel who felt she was above any special education program designed for a student.  It was her school and things would be done her way. The teachers that tried to help me were reprimanded and remained silent at my CSE meetings fearing retribution. 
I still have flash-backs of the numerous times I ran away from that school building. The adults called it bolting.
Their “bolting” - I called “escape”.
Escape from constant emotional and physical abuse I experienced while a student at Boght Hills while Lisa Henkel was principal.
My last day attending Boght Hills was in May of second grade 2002.  By then my mother was in a hearing process due to numerous IEP violations.  Dr. Henkel instructed my teachers to engage me in a behavior in a locked room and video tape it.  This film Dr. Henkel would “use” as evidence that I did not belong in her school.  As my teachers incited my behavior Dr. Henkel called the Colonie Police to respond to school with two armed police officers.  I was seven years old and weighed 60 pounds.  My mother rescued me that day and I never had to go back to that school and see Lisa Henkel again.
I urge you to listen to the parents and teachers who tell you something is not right.  Something was very wrong in 2002 and the only way it got better was for me to leave.  No child, parent or teacher should endure the pain I did under Lisa Henkel.  It’s time to take a stand and get back your school as you know and love it.  Thank you.
"Grace Pfeifer who was a student at Boght Hills School while Dr. Lisa Henkel was principal there was asked to stop speaking during the Wynantskill Union Free School District BOE meeting. Teachers Union President Matt Lutz invited Grace to speak."

07/11/13 Media Coverage. Little District. Big Problems.

Grace Pfeifer who was a student at Boght Hills School while Dr. Lisa Henkel was principal there is asked to stop speaking during the Wynantskill Union Free School District. With her is Teachers Union President Matt Lutz who invited Grace to speak. (Mike McMahon / The Troy Record)
The Troy Record: Parents, teachers continue to raise concerns over Henkel's 'good intentions' 

WNYT, 11:00pm (Ch. 13) Bullying. Intimidation. Morale at an all time low.  


WTEN, 5:30PM and 11:00pm (Ch. 10) Parents demand removal of Wynantskill superintendent at school board meeting (Two Videos: left video (1) 11pm, right video (2) 530pm)