The Skaneateles Central School District started a new chapter Monday, July 2, with the first day of work for two new district administrators and two new board of education members. It was also the reorganizational meeting for the school board, during which policies and personnel were set in place for the 2012-13 school year.
Judy Pastel officially began her one-year tenure as interim district superintendent while the BOE searches for a permanent successor for former superintendent Phil D’Angelo, who left the district June 30. Pastel chaired the opening of the meeting before a new board president was elected for the year.
“I’m energized,” Pastel said at the end of her first full day in the district. “I know summer just started but I’m really looking forward to having everybody come back [in the fall].”
Pastel said she spent the day meeting with school board members, administrators, teachers, local union leadership and the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce. She also is eager to soon meet face-to-face with members of community groups such as the Skaneateles Music Guild and the Skaneateles Education Foundation. “It’s going to be a busy two months and I want to get through that learning curve quickly,” she said.
The other new administrative face at the BOE meeting July 2 was new Waterman Elementary School Principal Gary Gerst, who also was finishing up his first official day in the district. Gerst, who graduated from Skaneateles High School and taught in the district at the beginning of his education career, received an enthusiastic welcome – and many welcome backs – at the meeting from those he already knew or previously had worked with in Skaneateles.
“It was awesome,” Gerst said of his first day at Waterman.
The board of education also welcomed and swore in two new members to its table: Susan Benjamin and Susan Greenfield Murphy, who were both elected in May. Evan Dreyfuss, who was reelected to his BOE seat in May, was also sworn in and then unanimously reelected to serve as the BOE president for the upcoming year.
“One more year for me as president and that’s it — we’ll rotate,” Dreyfuss said of his intention to limit his presidential spot to two years. “I really believe that when you rotate the presidency it makes a better, deeper, stronger board.”
BOE member Kathryn Carlson was unanimously elected as BOE vice president.
During its annual reorganizational meeting, the school board appointed or reappointed individuals to serve in various district roles, such as the clerk of the board, district treasurer, tax collector, purchasing agent, school physicians, school counselors and school psychologists. The board designated its official banks and legal counsel, and it named the Skaneateles Press as its official district newspaper.
During the school board’s regular meeting on July 2, the BOE set school lunch prices for the upcoming school year at $2.55 for elementary and $2.75 for secondary. This is a 10-cent raise for elementary lunches and a 15-cent raise for secondary lunches.
The board also readopted all its policies in effect during the 2011-12 school year to continue in effect during the 2012-13 school year, including the School Code of Conduct and Discipline.
For a full list of reorganizational appointments, visit skanschools.org and click on “BOE minutes and agendas” for the July 2 meeting.
During the board’s regular meeting on July 2, which occurred once the reorganizational meeting was completed, the BOE set school lunch prices for the upcoming school year at $2.55 for elementary schools and $2.75 for secondary schools. This is a 10-cent raise for elementary lunches and a 15-cent raise for secondary lunches. The board also appointed coaches for fall, winter and spring sports and approved a bond
resolution, which was approved by voters in May, to spend up to $265,000 for two new school busses.
New BOE member Benjamin said she “really enjoyed” her first official meeting on the board. “You know, as a teacher meetings like this used to be real drudgery, but this was most interesting. I’m really excited to be on the board,” she said with a smile.
The next regular school board meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.