By DAVE GYMBURCH Staff writer

The retirement of Rome Free Academy’s longest-term guidance counselor, commendation for an RFA show choir’s first-place performance, and recognition for employees of the month are on the Board of Education’s agenda Wednesday night.

The board meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Staley Upper Elementary School, 620 E. Bloomfield St. Among the agenda items:

¿ The retirement of RFA guidance counselor John Davis would take effect June 30. He has "been there a long time," noted board President Patricia Riedel.

Davis has been at RFA for about 20 years, and is one of six counselors listed at the school which has about 1,522 students in grades 9-12. He has worked in education for more than 40 years overall, with prior experience including five years as a Camden administrator, eight years as a Clinton guidance counselor, and nine years as a Whitesboro elementary teacher.

A decision on whether to fill the position has not been made yet, said school district Superintendent Jeffrey P. Simons, adding that every position which becomes vacant through attrition will be evaluated before the new school year takes effect July 1.

Among factors to be considered, he said, are the ratio of counselors to students compared to other schools; potential impacts on programs such as newer services to assist freshmen in the high school transition; and ability to meet students’ overall needs. If the job is filled, a savings would be anticipated from hiring a less experienced replacement, Simons said, estimating a salary in the $50,000 range compared to Davis’ salary which he said is in the mid-$80,000 range.

¿ A resolution for commendation names RFA’s "Rhapsody," a 35-member show choir, for finishing first among show choirs at the recent World Series Heritage Performance Music Festival in Orlando, Fla. The two-year-old choir, overseen by RFA band director Jake Meiss and vocal director Michelle Rushford, has "brought credit to" themselves, their teachers and the school district, says the resolution, citing their "outstanding musical achievement."

¿ Employees of the month for May, recognized for outstanding service to the district and community, are Bellamy Elementary teacher Brigid Russell in the instructional category and Gansevoort Elementary teacher assistant Laurie Malik in the non-instructional category, said Riedel.