Story by Kathleen Wilson
School is in full swing at the Florida Union Free School District (FUFSD) schools and the Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on Thurs., Sept. 20. Included in the numerous agenda items was the introduction of new faculty and staff.
Among the new faculty and staff members are: Christine Lopes, Varsity Cheerleading Coach; Allyson Secord, ENL (English as a New Language) teacher; Amy Gargiulo, Library Media Specialist; and John Allen, maintenance staff.
The principals of Golden Hill Elementary School and S.S. Seward Institute reported on the first days of the new school year.
Golden Hill Principal Debbi Lisack said, “We rolled out a red carpet for the first day of school to welcome the students. We had music playing too. It was a great first day!”
Lisack said reading is a focus this year as they are reading a book a month to the entire student body. “It’s challenging, but we can do it,” cited Principal Lisack.
S.S. Institute Principal Michael Rheaume said, “We didn’t have a red carpet, but we had music playing and hosted a school-wide assembly. I asked all the teachers to make a line in the center of the floor and asked every student to choose a teacher. No need to tell anyone who you choose, but I want each of you to know we are here for you. We will listen to you and talk with you. Know that an adult is here to support you at all times,” said Rheaume.
The Principal also reported that he read an age appropriate book to the sixth graders entitled, “Make Your Mark.” The goal of both schools is to deliver messages of social and emotional support as well as knowing and understanding diversity, and, of course, a love of reading.
District Superintendent Jan Jehring then provided an update on safety and security in the District. “We have two police officers, one at each school, and they have been well received and have been helpful.”
Jehring also provided a positive update on the new security system whereby all visitors, once approved, can be buzzed in at the door. Discussion then turned to the Golden Hill Elementary School and after school activities. The school intends to hire two part-time school monitors daily. The school monitors will ensure safety in and around the school during the hours of 4 to 8:30 p.m. when the after- school activities take place.
S.S. Seward Student Seeks Board Approval for Eagle Scout Project
Lifelong Florida resident, S.S. Seward student, and Boy Scout, Aydin Sarki, is on the cross country team at Seward and, together with his teammates, they often run on the Ralph Pomponio Trail. Sarki said he and others have noticed the decline of conditions along the trail and he sought approval from the Board of Education to pursue a project to repair the trail as part of the requirement to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
Aydin described the ditches and potholes along the trail and the overhanging branches one needs to duck under to avoid injury. His goal is to seek donations of mulch and wood chips and to then enlist the help of his fellow scouts from Troop 45 in Warwick. The goal is to fill the holes and divots to reduce the risk of injury and to cut back the thorn bushes.
“Restoring the trail will create a safer and better looking trail for everyone,” remarked Aydin.
When asked how he intended to do this, he responded that it will all be volunteer troop members and would take until about mid-October to complete, at no cost to the District. Sarki received unanimous Board approval which now allows him to seek approval from his scout group.
Annual Building Tour
The FUFSD Board of Education Members will tour both S.S. Seward Institute and Golden Hill Elementary School on Thurs., Oct. 4 and Thurs., Oct. 18, respectively.
A motion was made and seconded to approve substitute teacher Anudra Cutler. A motion was made and seconded to approve more than 20 occasional drivers for the 2018-19 school year. Athletic security appointments approved included Jennifer Buckley, Andrew Layton, and William Couture. Coaching/Athletic appointments were approved as follows: Christine Lopes, varsity cheerleading coach; Joe O’Connor, girls’ junior varsity basketball coach; Gia Gravelle, varsity and junior varsity boys’ basketball scorekeeper; Lisa Tencza, varsity and junior varsity girls’ basketball scorekeeper; Erik Brillon, varsity and junior varsity boys’ basketball timer; John King, varsity and junior varsity girls’ basketball timer; and BLT (Building Leadership Team).
A motion was made and seconded to accept the recommendation of the Superintendent and approve Marlene Lysack, NY Kids Grow Food Coordinator for the 2018-19 school year.
The Board also approved Heather Beneat, Sandra Correa, and Dori McBride for the Junior Great Books Programs. These appointments are for the 2018-19 school year.
Next School Board Meeting
The next regular Board meeting will be held on Thurs., Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The location is to be determined since the school has a Tricky Tray event planned for the same date. To access the meeting location visit www.floridaufsd.org.