Q&A: Debi Tarowsky, Director of Auxiliary Operations
Actions is an editorial feature from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. Each month we will spotlight the dedicated faculty and staff across the PK-12 campus who make a difference in the lives of OKS students and the life of the school. This month, we feature:
Director of Auxiliary Operations
Q: Summer is just around the corner and although “school is out for the summer” there are still many fun, engaging and educational opportunities happening here at Oak Knoll School for children. Tell us what summer programs will be happening here on campus this summer and who can take part in them?
A: We continue to expand our summer opportunities for the entire community. The Oak Knoll School summer 2021 programs include: Sports and Mini Camps, Summer Adventures Day Camp, Summer Scholars and Kindergarten Ready. Each program is suitable for specific age groups but there is something for everyone from age three through the rising senior!
Q: Are there any summer programs happening here on campus that are brand new to the program? If so, what are they and will COVID-19 precautions still be in place?
A: Our summer programs all follow appropriate CDC and local health department guidelines, as safety is always our number one concern. Our soccer and field hockey sports camps will be held at the Chatham fields sports complex this summer, which is a new location for these camps. Our popular June Mini Camps will be back on campus for summer 2021, including Mrs. Cepparulo’s Theater Workshop. Also new this summer is that all our summer programs have online registration, making it easy and convenient for parents to register their children for different programs all in the same place.
Q: Throughout the summer, what do you do to ensure that all the summer camps on-campus run smoothly?
A: There is a lot of planning and coordinating that goes into the development and execution of the summer programs. We hire experienced and certified summer staff to ensure that the programs are all high quality with the highest standards. Our policies and procedures are communicated with the participating families so there are no surprises, and everyone knows where to be and at what time. It sounds very simple, but this takes a tremendous amount of effort. We are very proud to have well-run programs each summer with many families returning each year.
Q: How do summer camps help students transition to the academic school year in the fall?
A:Our summer programs are a great way to help transition students to school life in the fall. They give students a chance to meet new friends, challenge themselves academically or simply preview a class they will be taking in the fall, further develop skills in a particular sport, and have fun! For our Kindergarten friends, our Kindergarten Ready class specially prepares participants for the start of their academic journey. Although it is technically not an academic program, our Summer Adventures Day Camp prepares all ages for school in the fall, especially the younger campers, as we foster socialization skills, critical thinking and problem-solving.
Q: What is signature about Oak Knoll’s summer programs?
A: Oak Knoll School’s summer day camp program dates back to 1976. Year after year, families continue to return “home” for our summer camp to have fun in the sun and to take advantage of our academic summer classes. Many young adults who have attended our summer programs as children return each summer as counselors to engage the next generation of young explorers and learners. Oak Knoll’s head counselors are certified teachers who are supported by assistant counselors all of whom are college students. We are very proud to have such qualified and well-trained staff!
Oak Knoll’s Summer Adventures program is also accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). This proves that we are committed to undergo a thorough review of our operation to maintain accreditation. ACA camps must meet up to 300 standards for health, safety, and program quality. Accreditation is voluntary – and Oak Knoll School’s continued accreditation reflects our commitment to maintaining industry standards.
In this most unusual pandemic, Oak Knoll’s Summer Adventures and the entire campus is committed to following the local COVID-19 rules and regulations set forth by the local and state health department.
Debi Tarowsky has been working at Oak Knoll School for the past 12 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance with a minor in Psychology from SUNY at Albany and an MBA in Finance from Fordham University Graduate School of Business. Prior to working at Oak Knoll, Debi began her career in banking and was a Vice President of a major bank where she worked to lend funds to middle-market companies. Debi stepped away from this role to raise her children and be with her family before arriving at Oak Knoll School. During this time, she remained active with volunteer work and chaired events at her children’s school and at other community events. Debi draws upon her experience in business management as she manages the auxiliary operations for Oak Knoll School.