The School Board met Monday night for the last formal session with President Rebecca Mundy presiding. The board’s Vice President Thomas Graffagnino commented, “Rebecca, I would like to thank you. You will be sorely missed.”
Ms. Mundy responded, “I am a resource, I’m a phone call away, and I will be here in the room.” She added, “Thank you all, I will wish you luck, I’m going to miss you.”
Ms. Mundy, who declined to seek another term this year, added some hopeful words about the incoming superintendant and principal, Dr. Michael Hynes, “I am extremely excited and pleased to have Michael here. Just listening to you speak is a breath of fresh air.”
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board accepted the resignation of School Business Leader Sam Schneider, effective June 30, who will be taking a post in the Riverhead School District as assistant superintendent for finance and operations.
Ms. Mundy commented, “Sam, we’re going to miss you, but you’ll be close by in Riverhead.” She announced that the school had advertised and collected applications for the business leader position, which Mr. Schneider and Dr. Hynes have looked at, and that interviews will commence on Friday. “It is my mission to hire someone before I leave,” Ms. Mundy said. Her term officially ends June 30.
Interim Superintendent and Principal Robert Parry congratulated Dr. Hynes on his new post, and of his own departure said, “I say thank you to the board and the community … It was supposed to be a few months, and I started to get tired, but I am renewed in my energy with my enthusiasm for Dr. Hynes.” He added, “My wife is retiring so we are going to try to live together.”
Mr. Parry reported to the board that the 7th grade schooner trip returned safely on Friday. He thanked Ian Kanarvogel and Meghan Lang for supervising the trip, and Brian Becker who helped to arrange it. “They had a wonderful time,” he said.
He also said the seniors had returned safely from Orlando.
Dr. Hynes thanked Mr. Parry, and announced that he met with all of the seniors, and was grateful to have been set up with the Shelter Island tour that included meeting the supervisor, assessor, librarian and police chief. “It really gives me a firm connection,” he said, “I know there’s a lot of work to do. Just watching the way the board interacts with each other, I want to be here a long time. I have a 100-day plan and I will report to the board when it’s done.”
The School Board voted unanimously to approve the 8th grade’s class trip to Disneyworld after four members of the class reported that they had been working hard fundraising for the trip, which will be the 16th annual journey. The plan is to depart on November 7 on a flight to Florida out of Islip Airport, go to Epcot Center on the 8th, attend the World of Physics Seminar and Magic Kingdom on the 9th, see the Animal Kindgom and Hollywood Studios on the 10th and return that day.
Fundraising efforts have included a raffle, car wash and an upcoming pasta dinner. The money raised has all gone into the students’ individual accounts for the trip. “Whatever we do, we earn the money for,” explained student Kelly Colligan.
Mr. Parry later urged the board to reconsider the practice of setting up individual accounts for each student. He said he’d been uncomfortable writing checks when refunds were necessary. He also said it might not be clear to those who donate to a class trip that they are actually sponsoring an individual child. The board agreed to discuss the issue at the reorganization meeting in July.
The board voted to accept a design for a new gymnasium floor as part of the school renovation program but must clarify the details with Jay Card, whose design the board chose.
The board authorized bonds approved last month by voters for renovations and refurbishments of the school building, generator and lighting systems, with totals not to exceed $2,837,000.
Also on Tuesday, the board:
• Heard nurse Mary Kanarvogel discuss a New York State Public High School Athletic Association policy change dealing with concussion management. If a student athlete is removed from play for a head injury, the athlete cannot return to play until he or she is evaluated by a school physician.
Nurse Mary said typically there were three to five concussions a year at the school.
• The board voted to finalize a long process of updating the school’s policy manuals. Ms. Mundy said the policies and regulations are currently in large binders and that she will be glad to see the policies digitized, which she called “another step toward transparence.”
• Stephanie Vecchio, student liaison for the Student Council, announced the results of recent council elections: Megan Mundy, president; Kelsey McGayhey, vice president; Jillian Calabro, treasurer, and Katy Binder secretary.