Story by Shelley R. Clapper
A moment of silence was held for former school bus driver David Dzierzek at the beginning of the Florida Union Free School Board meeting on Thurs., Sept. 28 at the S.S. Seward Memorial Building.
After the moment of silence, several new staff members were introduced. S.S. Seward Institute Principal Michael Rheaume said he was delighted to introduce the new members of the high school faculty. He then introduced two new social studies teachers, John King for the ninth grade and Maura Ronen for the sixth and seventh grades. Also new to the District is the high school French teacher, Frances Wamsley.
“With three of our new teachers, not only did we hit a home run, we hit a grand slam times 100,” said Principal Rheaume.
Golden Hill Elementary School Principal Deborah Lisack introduced Kerry Boylan, the new special education teacher for the third, fourth and fifth grades. Lisack said that Boylan is a graduate of Dominican College and that she is doing a fantastic job.
The following teachers’ aides were also introduced: Janine Pagan, Lisa Renee Fogarty, Lindsey Dunn, Sandra Fuentes, Erin Fleury, and Sherry Wingler. New custodians present at the meeting were Jonathan Smit and Anthony DeMicco. Another new custodian, not present at the meeting, was Walter Ossentjuk.
Superintendent Jan Jehring welcomed the new staff saying, “Thank you for being here. We are trying to establish a sense of community in doing this.”
“It’s been a busy and exciting month. All our sports teams are up and running,” said Superintendent Jehring in her report to the Board.
She also said that efforts were being made to expand the use of technology where possible. Jehring commended the bus drivers and elementary school children for following safety procedures well at Golden Hill Elementary School on Fri., Sept. 22.
Board of Education/District Goals
During the meeting, a motion was passed to adopt the following Board of Education/District goals for the 2017-18 school year, which is: to support the District’s focus on personalized instruction for the entire student spectrum through continued emphasis on vertical and horizontal alignment of curriculum; the expanded use of technology; the applied use of professional development in instructional practices; the integration of pre-K through grade 12; to concentrate on college and career-ready skills through the integration of District and program goals; to continue positioning the district for long-term sustainability in program and facilities; and to keep the community informed and actively engaged in District plans and progress.
Superintendent Jehring said the goals were updated and adopted at the work session held in early September.
OU BOCES Liaison
In matters of correspondence, it was announced that a letter had been received from Orange Ulster BOCES President Dorothy Slattery informing the Board that David Eaton will be their liaison to the Florida Board of Education. It was acknowledged that David Eaton was present at the meeting. He is also a Warwick Valley School Board member and the OU BOCES liaison to the Goshen District.
The next School Board meeting will be held on Thurs., Oct. 19 at 7.30 p.m. after the work session at 7 pm. in the S.S. Seward Institute Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida.