After 14 years of serving the Liverpool Central School District, board member Paul Paventi has decided he will not complete his term. Paventi notified the board and the public that he would be resigning on July 11.
Fourteen years is a long time, Paventi said. Eventually, you need to start doing things for yourself.
Paventi cited his involvement with a professional board as well as the board for Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES and professional and personal obligations, as his motivations for leaving the school board.
It just got too tough, he said. I can only divide my time up in so many ways.
Paventi’s term was set to expire in June of 2007. At election time this year, though he knew he would not be running for reelection, he intended to fulfill the existing term. However, the long hours began to take their toll.
I thought about leaving for the last month or so, Paventi said. During the month of June, I would be at meetings or events or things like that three or four nights a week. It just got to be too much.
Paventi sees an advantage for the appointee who will take over his seat for the rest of his term. He hopes that person will gain necessary experience that will help them to better serve the board. The new board member will be eligible to take the seat over come next year’s elections.
This way the appointee can get six months’ experience under their belt before the next elections, Paventi said. They can get to know what it’s all about.
Though he is ready to leave, Paventi has nothing but praise for the district and the board that serves it.
I had a good time, he said of his nearly decade-and-a-half-tenure on the board. These are great people, and this is a good district. I put both my kids through it. I wish them well.
Paventi leaves a void in the district he has served for so long. Superintendent Jan Matousek expressed regret that he decided to step down.
Paul has consistently been committed to putting the needs of our students first, Matousek said. He has a history with us. He will certainly be missed. It’s always hard to replace someone with that kind of experience.
Matousek said that she was pleased that Paventi would remain involved in education through the BOCES board.
[An open seat]
The school board is now faced with the task of filling some very big shoes. Board President J. Mark Lawson noted that the board, which establishes the application process, will follow the precedent set by earlier, similar situations.
We have some leeway here, Lawson said. We’re inviting people to apply by sending a letter of interest and a resume to the district office. After we review them, depending on the response we get, we’ll set up interviews.
According to state law, the board has 90 days to fill the vacancy, giving them until the middle of October to replace Paventi. The only legal requirement for applicants is that they be residents of the Liverpool school district. The appointment will run from Sept. 11 of this year until midnight on the night of the annual spring meeting in 2007. The board meets twice a month. District residents interested in applying for the position should send a letter of interest and resume to district clerk Susan Grier at 195 Blackberry Road, Liverpool, 13090 by 5 p.m. Aug. 1.
My hope is that we’ll find someone who really cares about public education, cares about children and is willing to put in the time to do the job well, Lawson said.
Paventi agreed. I hope they can get some new blood, he said. They need to keep focusing on what’s best for the kids, the staff, the people and the community.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.