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EPTA Wants to Name Playground for Tarrytown Woman

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – The new playground at Washington Irving Intermediate School has been finished and now the group behind it wants to honor a Tarrytown resident who was dedicated to the school district.

The Elementary Parent Teacher Association of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns has asked the Board of Education to consider naming the new fitness playground at the school after Michele Boylan-Chebetar. Boylan-Chebetar died unexpectedly in May. She worked at Washington Irving and was very active in the EPTA, especially on its playground building committee.

“Her loss is a huge blow to all the lives she touched: countless WI students who she interacted with on a daily basis,” EPTA President David Neilsen wrote to the school board. “We feel that naming the playground Michele Chebetar Park will honor her memory and be a fitting tribute to a woman who gave her all to the children of our school district.”

Naming rules require that school board members consider the issue three times over the course of public meetings held two weeks apart, Board of Education Vice President Vincent Nadile said Thursday night.

Trustees said they favored naming the park after Boylan-Chebetar. Trustee Mimi Godwin said she felt the playground wouldn't exist without the efforts of the EPTA. Since it did all the work and put in all the effort, she said she feels “they have every right to make the suggestion.”

Several parents who knew Boylan-Chebetar also expressed their support during Thursday's meeting.

“She was an extreme asset to our community, to the girls in our Girl Scout troop and all the kids at WI,” Fatima deCarvalho-Gianni said, later adding “She was a wonderful woman and a wonderful role model.”

Danielle Chung said Boylan-Chebetar was “very committed to the students and the kids.”

“I think that this would be a wonderful tribute for her.”

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