ELDRED, NY — Friends and the school community gathered to thank wish Dr. John Morgano and wish him all good things on his retirement. True to form, Morgano told the assembled crowd of teachers, …
ELDRED, NY — Friends and the school community gathered to thank wish Dr. John Morgano and wish him all good things on his retirement. True to form, Morgano told the assembled crowd of teachers, board of education members, parents and school staff that he would be present at board meetings and staying on to oversee the administration of a $12 million dollar bond for building improvements, which includes a new roof for the elementary school, that will go before the voters in December.
The recognition ceremony was held at the June 9 meeting of the Eldred Central School Board of Education. Coffee and cake were served at the meeting’s end.
Morgano will close out his five-year tenure as superintendent of schools on June 30. Traci Ferreira, ECS’ current junior/senior high school (JSHS) principal, will take over then. Michael Conklin will be joining the administration team as JSHS principal. In thanking the board, Conklin recalled starting his career as a teacher at a small district, and said that he “felt he is coming home.” Conklin’s contract for the 2022-23 school year includes an annual salary of $138,000. Conklin is eligible for tenure following three years of effective or highly effective ratings.
From elementary school principal Michael Carpentieri to student representative Owen Anderson, Morgano’s leadership in taking a financially strapped and fractured district to one that is financially stable and unified was attested to by all. The underlying theme was “You made hard decisions, working through tough times with hard work, dedication and the ability to bring the community together.” Many testified to Morgano’s good work. Teachers were appreciative of his willingness to “take the teachers into consideration before making decisions.”
In other business, Carpentieri, who is finishing up his first year at George Ross Mackenzie (GRM) Elementary School, made a presentation advocating for a trimester schedule of evaluations based on the New York State Next Generation learning standards. This change would mean that rather than use a numeric grading system, students would be evaluated on how they have mastered the learning standards. Evaluation includes a measure of whether a student is below grade-level standards, approaching grade-level standards, at grade-level standards or exceeding grade-level standards. These measurements, along with teacher comments, will give parents a better understanding of how their children are mastering the skills necessary, he said. This system is more labor-intensive for teachers and Carpentieri is recommending the reorganization of the school year into a trimester system, with assessments issued in December, March and June.
In the treasurer’s report, business administrator Caleb Russell reported that the school will have a fund balance of $4 million at the end of the school year. He reported that the school had qualified for the Community Eligibility Program and that free lunches would be available at the high school and the elementary school next year. Many equipment needs will be taken care of this year, so less spending is required next year, but he announced that fuel oil and diesel oil will potentially cost the district an additional $110,000 next year. Next year’s bid is $4.41 for fuel oil compared to this year’s bid of $1.93; the price of diesel has risen to $4.48. Russell announced that all three 10,000-gallon fuel tanks have been filled and, if possible, he will top them off before the end of the school year at the $1.93 price
In accepting the bid, the board opted for a variable rate rather than locking in a price of $4.50 per gallon, based on information from Russell that energy markets are anticipating a drop in price come January, when the fuel tanks would need to be refilled.
Additionally, the board approved the appointment of district-wide substitutes Kasey Wyss and Alicia Swinford, as well as JSHS lead replacement teacher Ryan Ward, into the tenured track for teachers. Wyss and Swinford will be at the elementary school, while Ward will serve as a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher as well as a coach.
Morgano recommended that the district engage a consultant to discuss school safety. Board member Amador Laput announced that senior Owen Anderson had received the Port Jervis Rotary Service Above Self Award. Anderson, who is graduating this year, asked that more focus be given to the music department and that an additional teacher be hired.
The board recognized Joshua Babcock, Keegan Blaut, Lucas Ryman and Janet Kramer as student standouts, and acknowledged the good work of school resource officer deputy Tyler Ter Bush.
The board meets on the second Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at the JSHS in Eldred. Recordings of all meetings are available on the school’s YouTube channel.
For more information about the New York State Learning Standards, visit nysed.gov/next-generation-learning-standards.
[Note: This article was corrected on June 21. Changes include the spelling of newly hired teachers, Kasey Wyss and Ryan Ward. Additionally, the fund balance was updated to $4 million.]
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