Story by Kathleen Wilson
Nearly 100 parents, siblings, teachers, students, and members of the community gathered for an eventful and exciting Florida Union Free School District Board meeting on Thurs., May 17 at S.S. Seward Institute. While the business of running a District is hard work every day, attendees were clearly present for a special presentation of music, song, and student recognition.
‘Music in Our Schools’ Presentation
The Select Choir of fifth graders from Golden Hill Elementary School, led by Mrs. Risedorph, entertained the audience with a special song from Japan accompanied by multiple xylophones played with soft felt mallots; truly a beautiful performance by the choir.
The choir’s special performance was followed by another select group, The Select, who together with the band’s leader, Mr. Couture, delivered their own rendition of Neil Diamond’s, “I’m a Believer,” and based on the resonating applause, indeed everyone was a believer!
School Board Election Results
During the budget and School Board vote on Tues., May 15, John T. Redman II was re-elected to the Florida School Board. This is Redman’s seventh term on the Board, where he is also serves as the President and has received Board Mastery designations several times from the NYS School Boards Associations.
Voters also elected a new member to the Board, Robert J. Scheuermann for a three-year. Scheuermann is passionate about serving his community and has continually volunteered his time and services for the betterment of the school. As a newly elected Board Member, Scheuermann hopes to help build on the District’s past successes and become a valuable member to the School Board.
Outstanding Students Honored For Achievements
S.S. Seward Institute Principal, Michael Rheaume, recognized several senior scholars who received awards in humanities, arts, and athletics. Theresa Bailey received the 2017-18 Orange-Ulster Senior Scholars in the Arts and Humanities award from William J. Hecht, the OU-BOCES District Superintendent, while attending the Senior Scholar Humanities Breakfast earlier in May. Theresa also entered a watercolor painting of a contemporary ballerina entitled, “Grace” in a national competition, the 2018 Congressional Art Competition, and her work won the grand prize and a trip to Washington, D.C.
Theresa’s winning work of art will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol building for one year. In addition, she received the Orange County Arts Council Award. One of Theresa’s original pieces will be on display at Stewart International Airport.
Christian Deas, not present, also received the Arts and Humanities Award. Nikki De los Santos received the Scholar Athlete Award in volley ball and basketball. This fall Nikki will attend SUNY Binghamton where she will study Neuro-Science with a pre-med track.
Liam Quattrociocchi, the 2018 valedictorian, and John Shaughnessy, salutatorian, were both recognized by their high school principal for their numerous academic and athletic accomplishments. Liam will study mathematics and John was recruited by Scranton’s ROTC program. In addition to being scholars, all the awardees are members of the National Honor Society, serve as peer tutors, and are extensively involved in school clubs, programs, and activities.
Congratulations to these outstanding students and to the teachers, mentors, counselors, friends and family members, and all those who guided them along the way.
Thomas Andryshak was appointed as Coordinator of Cleaning and Maintenance for the 2018-2019 school year and seasonal cleaning and maintenance workers recommendations were accepted.
A motion was seconded for Pamela Mythen to serve as the Sophomore Class Advisor for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year, replacing Mr. Rodman who is no longer with the District.
Instructional substitutes, as recommended by the Superintendent for the 2017-2018 school year include Michael Cox and Cassandra Martin. Lauren Bullock was appointed as a non-instructional substitute whose appointment is contingent on civil service approval.
Rena Marr was appointed to the Committee on Preschool Special Education and the Committee on Special Education for the 2017-2018 school year.
In a prior work session, the School Board discussed the possibility of seeking an external auditor, which was a recommendation made by the School Business Administrator. The Board accepted the recommendation, citing it is prudent to do so. Quotes for the current school year through 2020 will be taken into consideration.
Soccer Trip & Donation Accepted
In addition, numerous other agenda items were discussed including an overnight trip for members of the boys’ varsity soccer team to Sidney, NY on Fri., Sept. 7 and Sat., Sept. 8. The trip proposal was read to the Board and audience by two members of the varsity soccer team.
The Board accepted a $100 donation from Palanquin Corp. that will be used by the Garden Project at S.S. Seward Institute.
Student Bus Service & Head Start
Other business included student bus service whereas the Florida Union Free School District will participate in the cooperative student transportation services for the 2018-2019 school year.
Also included was the approval of the agreement with Agri-Business Child Development Head Start (ABCD) effective April 2018 through April 2020, establishing the responsibilities of the Board and ABCD relative to services for preschool children with disabilities and a Contract for Health and Welfare Services with Monroe-Woodbury Central School District. The contract covers five students who are Florida residents attending a non-public school in the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District.
Next Board Meeting
The next School Board meeting will be held on Wed., Jun. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Building, located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida.