Toensing named town’s volunteer of year
BY RUTH EPSTEIN
FALLS VILLAGE — Gale C. Toensing was an outspoken member of the Region 1 Board of Education for five years and often took heat for expressing her views, but her fellow townspeople supported her throughout her tenure and defended her when she was scolded by other board members and school administrators.
On Monday the town showed its appreciation to Toensing by presenting her with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Selectman Charles Lewis told the crowd that each year selectmen choose a citizen who has worked to better the town. He said this year the unanimous choice was Toensing, who served tirelessly, making the children’s educational needs her top priority.
Lewis said Toensing is not one to go along with others when she senses an issue needs close examination. She would point out that just because things were done one way for a long doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
“Needless to say, her propensity for carefully examining and educating herself on the issues caused her problems with those interested in preserving the status quo and protecting their own agendas.
Gale had the audacity to examine weaknesses at the administration level and demand that contracts reflect actual performance … When others abrogated their responsibilities to be well informed and prepared, Gale always carefully did her research and was well-prepared to discuss and vote on issues.”
But, Lewis said, instead of receiving board and administrative approval, she was the victim of vicious attacks. She continued to fight for the best educational goals of the children, he said, and now thanks to her, “much of what has gone on in the dark for years, has now been brought into the light …”
Thanks back at you, Marshall, and the countless others in every town in the Region who reached out to me in phone calls and emails and snail mails and in person — especially at Stop & Shop, the control center of the region — and who sustained me through some of the most awful experiences of my life. Thanks most of all to Falls Village people or their unflagging support–they are the best