In 2003, a woman came to Baldwinsville and took a seat at the B'ville Diner. She told her waitress that she was thinking about moving to Baldwinsville with her kids and was trying to find them a good school district. The woman asked the waitress to tell her about the Baldwinsville schools.
She liked what she heard. The woman, Jeanne Dangle, was in the process of applying for the Baldwinsville school district superintendent position. Soon after, she was hired her.
Three years later, Dangle has her own insights into the district.
"We have three goals," Dangle said. "One is to continue to increase student achievement. The second goal is to maintain our facilities so they don't deteriorate because they're some of our largest assets and we need to protect them. And the third one is to be really fiscally responsive to our taxpayers."
The Baldwinsville school district, the third largest in Onondaga County, has some of the highest academic rankings in the area. The district offers many activities and services for its students; it even houses the only scholastic FM radio station in the county.
But with all this comes a comparatively high tax rate. Only the residents of the Solvay, Fayetteville-Manlius, Jordan-Elbridge and Westhill districts pay a higher rate.
Baldwinsville residents pay approximately $24.12 per every $1,000 of their assessed home values. Administrators, board members and parents, however, argue that the students receive a well-rounded and competitive education as a result.
Making the most
Kevin Bernstein, whose daughter graduated from Baker High School last year, is president of the Baldwinsville school board. He argues the school district makes the most of the taxes it levies.
"I think the best use of my tax dollars is to go to the school district," Bernstein said. "I think it's well worth it and I think everybody's satisfied with the education their children are getting."