Budget, taxes, kudos, tenures, maple syrup and more 

Sullivan West’s April BOE meeting

By TED WADDELL
Posted 4/28/21

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The Sullivan West Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting of April 20, which took place via Zoom, kicked off with a 15-minute video presentation …

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Budget, taxes, kudos, tenures, maple syrup and more 

Sullivan West’s April BOE meeting

Posted

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The Sullivan West Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting of April 20, which took place via Zoom, kicked off with a 15-minute video presentation by the superintendent of schools Stephen A. Walker on the proposed district budget for the 2021-22 school year, the third in a series of such informational presentations.

According to Walker, the new budget “reflects our continued vision to educate the whole child” and is based upon financial planning to meet the goals, while balancing those needs with available funding.

In a nutshell, the proposed budget for 2021-22 is $39,407,166, which represents a 1.45 percent increase in the tax levy over last year. 

For a resident living in the Town of Delaware with a property accessed at $100,000, they would pay an estimated $38 more in school taxes, and for properties accessed at $200,000, it would be an estimated increase of $76.

The Sullivan West Central School District election and vote on the 2021-2022 budget will be held Tuesday, May 18 from 12 noon to 9 p.m. at three locations: Election District #1 (polling place at the Delaware Youth Center for people residing within the boundaries of the former Delaware Valley Central School District);  Election District #2 (polling place at the Sullivan West Elementary School for those who live within the boundaries of the former Jeffersonville-Youngsville Central School District); Election District #3 (polling place at the Tusten-Cochecton Library for people living within the boundaries of the former Narrowsburg Central School District).

Absentee ballot applications can be obtained from the district clerk and must be received by the district clerk no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.

According to District Clerk Christina Kautz, if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Sullivan West 2021-22 budget, email them to budget@swcsd.org.

To follow the ongoing budget process, contact the district at www.swcsd.org (business & finance).

Jessica Donnelly, an 11-year-old fifth-grader received the Elementary School Student Recognition for the month of April.

“She works hard in all of her classes and particularly enjoys science,” said Walker. “She’s really into storms and meteorology and is a talented artist.” 

Elementary School teaching assistant Liz Cormier was honored as the Sullivan West Standout during the superintendent’s report.

“She has been part of the school district for over 20 years, starting as a [teacher’s] aid,” said Walker, describing Cormier’s approach to educating youngsters as “the light bulb effect,” in that when a student finally grasps a concept, the light goes on. “It’s just not paper and pencils, it’s real-world problem-solving... Seven months into hybrid learning, and she’s done a phenomenal job.”

Later in the meeting, Walker recommended the board approve granting tenure to two elementary school teachers, Melonie Cruz and Danielle Meyer, who were subsequently tenured by unanimous vote.

“For an educator to be granted tenure—is one of the greatest milestones of their career and represents years of hard work. It serves not as an end-point but a springboard for future growth over the course of an entire career. They are truly excellent educators,” he said, paving the way to elementary school principal Rod McLaughlin’s comments.

“Since joining our Sullivan West team four years ago, Ms. Cruz has shown herself to be an excellent collaborator, colleague and outstanding member of our exceptional second-grade team,” said McLaughlin of Melonie Cruz.

And of pre-K teacher Danielle Meyer, the elementary school principal said, “I’ve seen Danielle grow in leaps and bounds as a teacher and colleague. She has a very teachable spirit and is eager to grow and improve. She takes a sincere interest in the betterment of her students, the school and community.”

During the winter months, the high school’s newly established agriculture club worked on a field project gathering sap from maple trees on the campus. Sixteen students tapped 25 trees, harvested 103 gallons of maple sap, put in 95 hours and walked a total of 13 miles.

In other business, Walker announced potential extracurricular offerings for the 2021-22 school year including Spanish language classes for the elementary school, drone piloting, English 9 Honors, English 10 Honors, agricultural science, podcasting, music production, FFA (Future Farmers of America) program, competitive archery and a “diverse voice” book club. Also discussed was that the cast of the musical “Shrek” “has been working tirelessly,” the upcoming high school student council blood drive is only open for faculty and students, protocols for outdoor sports events are being formulated and the district is progressing with the stated goal of providing a laptop device for all students by 2025.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Sullivan West Central School District BOE will be on Wednesday, May 19, with the public session starting at 7 p.m.

At this time, it has yet to be determined if the meeting will be held in person or via Zoom. For more information, call the district office at 845/482-4619.

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