Williston honors dedicated community members

Four Williston teachers are honored as this year’s July 4th parade grand marshals. Clockwise from top left: Liz Demas, Lynn McClintock, Cathy Kohlasch and Sally Dattilio.

Local teachers receive parade grand marshal recognition

By Erin Zubarik 

Special to the Observer

Independence Day is right around the corner, and the Williston Recreation and Parks Department has announced that Liz Demas, Sally Dattilio, Lynn McClintock and Cathy Kohlasch will be this year’s parade grand marshals. The honorees will lead the parade in commemoration of their service to the town.  

The director of the recreation department, Todd Goodwin, said this year’s nominees were chosen because they are all teachers that have also worked with the recreation department in the past. The town wanted to recognize the hard work of teachers, especially considering the challenges that educators have faced through the Covid pandemic. 

All four of the grand marshals have taught at Williston Central School. McClintock and Kohlasch both work in physical education, Dattilio is a paraeducator, and Demas taught art. This year, Dattilio and Demas are both retiring after acting as mentors to many generations of students. 

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to work at such a dynamic and inspirational school for all these years,” Demas said.

Besides working at the school, the grand marshals have gone above and beyond in the education field by leading camps through the recreation department. They have used both their professional skills and individual passions to develop these camps. 

Their passion is exemplified by Dattilio’s cake decorating camp. When Dattilio was a child, her grandmother gave her cake decorating tools, and after that moment she became enchanted with baking. Dattilio brought her knowledge of pastry design to the community with her camp and is proud to have inspired many young bakers.  

Similar to Dattilio, Demas’ love for art led her to start the Williston Summer Art Camp. Demas enjoys teaching art in the summer because there is less of a time constraint than during the school year; kids are free to pour as much time as they want into their projects. Some of the activities that Demas leads include pottery making, book arts, and mosaic mirror design. 

While Dattilio and Demas have started their own niche camps, McClintock has embraced her passion for the outdoors and physical activity, coaching skiing, soccer, basketball and little league.

McClintock strongly encourages free play, always taking the last slot for basketball practice to allow people to play in the gym after practice. Ever since Covid, she has not been able to do this, but she hopes she can allow free play in the gym again soon. 

The educators have all used their passions and talents for the community’s benefit, and many of their pupils will go on to remember how Demas, Dattilio, McClintock and Kohlasch have supported and inspired them. The town recognizes the teachers’ positive impacts by granting them the grand marshal title — a well-deserved honor.

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