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WCS school board realigns with new leaders

Students line up to board buses on a fall day in 2011 in front of Warrensburg High School.

Students line up to board buses on a fall day in 2011 in front of Warrensburg High School. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The two top policy-making positions in the Warrensburg Central School District feature new faces as a reconstituted school board voted recently to install officers.

July 9, the Warrensburg school board held its organizational meeting for the 2012-2013 school year. Laura Danna took the helm the of President and Beth Callahan stepped into the role of Vice President.

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Laura Danna Newly elected president, WCS Board of Education

Douglas West and Paul Weick were sworn in as new board members by WCS District Clerk Cynthia Turcotte. They replaced long-term board members and fiscal conservatives Richelene Morey and Brian Lace.

At the board meeting, Superintendent of Schools Tim Lawson reported that the district was facing a 12 percent increase for employees’ health insurance in the 2012-13 school year over the present year. The increase represents an additional cost of $249,000 increase for local taxpayers. Teachers are now contributing 10 percent of the cost of insurance premiums.

Also, the board agreed to transfer $100,000 to a capital reserve fund to pay for replacement of the high school’s leaky, deteriorating roof. A roof replacement project is expected to cost about $1 million, Lawson said. District Business Administrator Cynthia Turcotte said July 17 that the roof replacement fund has about $1.1 million in it already.

Gail Lawson, wife of Tim Lawson, was appointed as Chief Information Officer. She is to be paid $3,396 for the 2012-2013 school year for her duties, which include report data to the state.

A la carte school lunches will increase by 10 cents to $1.60 for the upcoming school year. Tim Lawson reported that the school district faces a declining enrollment — he observed that 65 students graduated in 2012 and to date 50 are enrolled in the 2012-13 Kindergarten program. A total of 24 children are now enrolled in the preschool program and will divided into two sessions of 12 each.

The retirement of Mike Curtis, Security Monitor and Greeter for the High School, was announced. The position was eliminated in the current rounds of budget cuts. He has served either as Security Monitor or Teacher’s Assistant since 1998.

Two other personnel changes were announced: the resignation of Junior Varsity Volleyball Coach Jessica Ryan, and the resignation of Mark Abbattisti as Golf Coach. Abbattisti is remaining in the district as a Special Education teacher — he resigned as coach due to increased academic duties, officials said.

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