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Angry parents grill NWCS board on school reorganization

CHESTERTOWN - North Warren Central School parents expressed anger and frustration Monday when they showed up in force at a school board meeting, grilling board members about the elimination of the elementary principal post, questioning the value of school reorganization plans, and airing concerns on why area citizens weren't notified of the plans which have been under way for months.

"A lot of us parents are outraged about how you've eliminated Elementary Principal Susan Bulmer's job," parent Lisa Singleton said.

North Warren Carrie Mundrick, PTA President, backed her up.

"This is a bad decision with negative after-effects on our children's education," Mundrick said. "Parent involvement is key to students' success, and Elementary Principal Susan Bulmer is a vital link between home and the school."

A half-dozen parents expressed similar views, and raised other questions about a school reorganization plan that includes morphing the junior high into a middle school, which would include 6th graders.

Superintendent Joe Murphy defended the extensive plan, saying it would improve education.

Board members except President Marion Eagan were silent except for a single remark. Eagan often interrupted the parents, insisting that concerns not be raised in person, but be submitted in written form, so board members could respond. The meeting continued, however, with concerns and frustrations of parents being aired for 90 minutes.

Eagan and Murphy set a meeting between the board and the parents - and the public at large - to review the concerns. The meeting was set for 6 p.m. Jan. 12 in the school library. Eagan stipulated that all concerns for this meeting be written and submitted to the school board by Jan. 1.

Monday, Margaret Terry presented the school board with a petition with more than 100 names on it. Her first petition, bearing nearly as many signatures, disappeared from its place in the Grand Union, she said. School authorities replied they knew nothing about its disappearance.

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