02/27/14 8:00am
PETER BOODY PHOTO | Chris Lewis at home on South Ferry Road.

PETER BOODY PHOTO | Chris Lewis at home on South Ferry Road.

As a Town Board member for the past 12 years, Chris Lewis’s supporters say she has a knack for the perfect slam-dunk comment, the kind that takes a complex issue, applies common sense, and makes the solution seem obvious to everyone. (more…)

11/17/11 9:00am

PETER BOODY PHOTO | Making a pitch to the Shelter Island School Board Monday were, at left, Hampton Collegiate Baseball’s Director Brett Mauser, marketing director Henry Bramwell ,center, and Sag Harbor Whalers General Manager Tom Gleeson, right.

Shelter Island might have its own college-level baseball team as part of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League.

As a unique location bridging the North and South forks, “Shelter Island is where we want to be,” General Manager of the Sag Harbor Whalers Tom Gleeson said during a presentation to the School Board on Monday night.

The Sag Harbor Whalers is one of the HCBL’s five East End teams along with the Westhampton Aviators, Southampton Breakers, North Fork Ospreys, Sag Harbor Whalers and the Riverhead Tomcats.

The program would require 25 Shelter Island families to host 25 “rising sophomore to rising senior” college baseball players from the beginning of June through the first week in August, according to League President Brett Mauser.

Last year, the league had about 125 student athletes from 80 universities including Stanford, Duke and Notre Dame, according to Mr. Mauser. They take part to keep their baseball skills sharp over the summer and, they hope, catch the attention of minor league scouts.

The program would require use of the varsity baseball field for 20 to 25 home games that will be free to spectators. It’s “not only good for college players to improve their game, it’s free low-cost entertainment for families to see elite college baseball in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere,” said Mr. Mauser. The team’s presence here would also prove a “boon for local restaurants and local businesses,” he said. Mike Dunning and Dave Gurney, co-presidents of Shelter Island’s Little League, attended the meeting.

Mr. Dunning said he wanted to see the program incorporated on the Island because the league gives “clinics to kids and helps fix up the fields.”

Former School Board President Rebecca Mundy asked from the audience whether field repairs would be covered by the organization.

The organization’s representatives said their goal was to raise money and put it back into the fields.
They said Riverhead’s pitching mound was recently rebuilt and a scoreboard installed on the North Fork team’s field in Peconic. Sag Harbor’s infield was sodded for the league at a fraction of its expected cost, according to Mr. Gleeson, thanks to volunteers and discounts.

“It’s all about community,” said Henry Bramwell, general manager of the Westhampton Aviators.

Mr. Bramwell said that he required his players to do community service for the town during their stay.

The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League is a division of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. It is modeled after the Cape Cod Baseball League and plays a 40-game regular season.


Also at the meeting, sailing coach Peter Needham got board approval for Shelter Island School sailing team members Drew Garrison, Matt Murphy and Macklin Lang to attend an invitation-only regatta this weekend in New Orleans. Some $2,100 was raised for the trip, fully funding it aside from the $60 entrance fee and Mr. Needham’s mileage driving to and from the airport. The group leaves Friday at noon to fly to New Orleans for two days of racing and will miss school on Monday.

The sophomores will tour Tulane University while in New Orleans.

The third presentation at the meeting was made by guidance counselor Mark Palios  on a senior class trip to Virginia April 25-29. It would include an educational trip to Colonial Williamsburg. The board voted to approve the first of two travel options presented to the board by Mr. Palios, Brianna Hallman and student liaison to the School Board, Megan Mundy. The approved option estimated a $681.75 per person cost for each share of housing rental, food and van and SUV rental as opposed to a $1,069 per person cost with flight and car rental. Three school chaperones will travel with the group.

07/13/11 6:19pm

CARRIE ANN SALVI PHOTOS | Newly elected School Board President Dr. Stephen Gessner swears in Vice President Thomas Graffagnino at the board’s reorganizational meeting last Thursday, July 7. Elizabeth Melichar, below, is sworn in as a board member.

A new president, two new board members, a new superintendent and new school business leader were all there at Thursday evening’s annual Board of Education re-organizational meeting.
The board members unanimously chose Dr. Stephen Gessner as the new president, replacing Rebecca Mundy, who did not seek reelection to the board thjis year. Also taking the oath of office were new board members Elizabeth Melichar and Alfred Brigham, who join members Tom Graffagnino, who was re-elected vice president, and members Mark Kanarvogel, Kathleen Reilly and Linda Eklund. who was re-elected to the board in May. Also on hand were District Clerk Deborah Vecchio, who was reappointed for the school year. New Superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes and new School Business Leader Jessica Mack also joined the board at the meeting.
Dr. Gessner, who has served on the board for two years, said he was “delighted to be taking on this new responsibility and to be working with our remarkable new superintendent.”
Dr. Gessner said he was proud of what the board had accomplished. He credited Ms. Mundy for her “terrific leadership.” He said of Ms. Mundy, “To be succeeding her gives me great pause but I will be inspired by her strength, balance and sensitivity.”
Dr. Gessner said that, for him, “Student achievement must always be foremost in our minds and we must be working hard to be sure we are preparing our students for success.”
Dr. Gessner is a clinical psychologist who has worked in a number of private and public settings, specializing in children and adolescents. He also is the president of the Council for American Culture and Education, a non-profit, international educational organization.
Vice President Thomas Graffagnino begins his fourth year in that position and fifth year on the board. He said he was looking forward to working with the new superintendent and business leader as well as the newly elected board members. Mr. Graffagnino has two years left on his second term. He said that once negotiations are settled with teachers and staff, he would work with the new administration to achieve greater academic performance, “not just for college-bound high school students but for all students k-12.”
The newly formed board made appointments and approved many agenda items for the 2011-2012 school year. All votes were unanimous.
District Clerk Deborah Vecchio noted the holidays and vacations that fall on Mondays in order to finalize the calendar for the school year’s monthly Board of Education meetings, the dates of which were approved.
School personnel appointments were made for coaches, co-curricular positions, after-school detention, home instruction and athletic chaperoning. 
Coaching appointments
Appointments were approved with discussion and notation that the salaries approved were based on the current contract.
Coaching appointments were as follows:
Rick Osmer as both the athletic director at $5,122 and the junior high boys basketball coach at $2,563; Michael Mundy as the varsity boys basketball coach at $5,549; Peter Miedema as both the varsity girls basketball coach at $5,549 and the junior varsity baseball coach at $4,269; Susan Warner as the junior varsity girls tennis coach at $3,275; Karen Gibbs as both the junior varsity girls volleyball coach at $4,269 and junior high boys volleyball coach at $2,347; Brian Doelger as the junior varsity girls basketball coach at $4,697; and Phyllis Power as intramural golf coach at $1,091.67.
As part of the final stage of consolidating and updating the school’s policy manual, the board approved the deletion of superseded policies. The board now has only one manual which will be put on the school website for public viewing as the next step.
Superintendent Dr. Hynes said that he was eager to work with the new board and announced that he was working on the first draft of a 100-day plan, which will be complete by the end of August. He invited board members and school staff members to attend one of two gatherings he has slated for the community to meet him. Both in the school library, the first meet-and-greet took place on Monday at 6:30 p.m., and the next will be on Monday, July 18 at 9 a.m.

06/15/11 10:58pm

CARRIE ANN SALVI PHOTO | Tuesday night’s School Board meeting was the last for resigning Business Leader Sam Schneider, left, and Interim Superintendant Bob Parry, right; it was the first for incoming Superintendant Dr. Michael Hynes, center, who starts July 1.

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.