Paula Spector of Chester has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Orange County Land Trust.
Paula currently teaches parenting classes for Pine Bush Central Schools and the Dispute Resolution Center of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster County. As a childbirth educator and lactation specialist, Paula and her business partner, provide courses to families on childbirth, infant care, CPR, and lactation.
Previously, Paula was a maternity nurse at Arden Hill, Horton Hospital, and Orange Regional Medical Center. She also worked as a student assistance counselor and substance abuse prevention educator in the Pine Bush Central School District from 1990 to 2010. In 1970, Paula and her late husband Jerome Spector, opened the Corner Candle Store in Washingtonville. Together, they also ran Big Dipper Candles, a retail and wholesale candle making business that operated for 37 years.
Paula earned her Bachelor’s degree from Queens College, where she studied English Literature and Education. She also holds an associate’s degree in Nursing from SUNY Orange and a Master’s degree in Health Education from CUNY Lehman College. She has NYS certification as a school nurse, and K-12 health educator. She spent over 25 years as a board member of her synagogue, Congregation Eitz Chaim in Monroe where she currently serves as Corresponding Secretary. She was also a founding member of Family Central in Warwick, a board member of Community2Gether representing Family Central, a member of Indivisible Hudson Valley, and a volunteer mediator and educator with the Dispute Resolution Center for over 15 years. In addition, Paula also serves as a member of the Orange County Land Trust’s Land Protection and Stewardship, Communications and Marketing, and Fund Development Committees.
“We are so excited to have Paula join our board of directors,” said OCLT board president Arlene Nolan. “Her spirit and energy to enrich our communities, both as a professional and volunteer, will continue to be a source of inspiration for us all at the land trust.”
Paula credits her deep appreciation for nature to her childhood; dating back as a 6-year old camper at Camp Yorkville in Harriman State Park. Her bond with the woods, lakes, and the Hudson Valley region continued to grow with each passing summer, as she graduated from camper to camp counselor.
“One of the reasons I feel land conservation is important is because of the positive role that nature plays in childhood development,” Spector said. “I would love for future generations of children to have a similar experience, whether it’s at camp, a park, or in their backyard; to build their own relationships with the land and create lifelong memories. These early experiences are important for developing an understanding of the natural world.”