At the June 10 Board of Education meeting, end-of-year congratulations dominated the agenda.
By Sarah Varney
At the June 10 Board of Education meeting, end-of-year congratulations dominated the agenda. The Board announced the award of tenure for 12 teachers and two administrators, Rye High School Principal Patty Taylor and Assistant Principal Ellen McDonnell. In addition, Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez and Board vice president Katy Keohane Glassberg publicly thanked five school moms — Dawn Yardis, Leigh Geller, Kim Abate, Jamie Jensen and Raquelle Frenchman — who have given countless hours to the schools’ PTO organizations over the years.
Tenure was awarded to teachers Kristina Anderson, Simon Berk, Harold Brosowsky, Marisa Galvin, Margaret Heinze, Sheau-Yuann Huang, Lisa Irvine, Leanne Janos, Mark McWilliams, Thomas Snowden, Matthew Teitsch, and Kerry Tolan.
In addition, Dr. Alvarez congratulated the Rye High baseball team, which had an exciting run to the state finals.
Facilities maintenance chief Sam Carter’s end-of-year report on the renovations, repairs, and replacements needed at the district’s six campuses wasn’t exactly exciting but it was sobering.
The 2014-2015 school budget allots $775,000 for capital projects. What gets done first goes in order of safety, meeting code requirements, and finally “glaring needs,” Carter explained. The current “wish” list of to-do projects totals $12.5 million and paying to maintain school buildings and systems is getting harder, he added.
Going forward, floating a series of small bonds to work off chunks of that To-Do list is going to be necessary, opined board member and facilities committee member Chris Repetto. Capital costs, included debt service, are exempt from the two per cent tax cap, which could make a bonding strategy easier to implement.
“We would like to see a ten-year plan to assess needs and plan a bond initiative,” he said. “We will need to have a series of bonds over the next ten to 15 years.”
Carter echoed the call for a long-term plan. “I don’t think a five-year plan cuts it anymore,” he said.
Former Board member and longtime facilities guru Jim Culyer lauded Carter’s efforts to plug the holes in the dyke over the past year. Culyer listed window and roof replacements as two very expensive items that need seeing to soon. “You need to have a timetable [of repairs and bond initiatives] that is in synch with the tax cap,” he added. “I would encourage the Board to come up with a long-term plan to do that.”