Board of Education OKs committees, personnel changes

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With concerns over the flood damage at Staley Elementary School as well as lingering roof repairs at Rome Free Academy, Paul Hagerty, the longest tenured member of the Rome City School District’s Board of Education and chair of the Education Facilities Committee, urged his fellow board members during Thursday’s meeting to temporarily scrap those committee meetings and instead have items related to buildings and grounds be presented to the entire board.

Hagerty, who was elected to a seventh three-year term in 2019, said the issues surrounding facilities be “pooled in advance” and “work on areas of interest, such as Staley.” Hagerty noted ongoing issues with RFA and Staley and offered that the Board should concentrate going forward on opening the schools and preparing to be updated on the status of the seven elementary schools – particularly Staley – and RFA – going forward, as well closely monitoring work on redistricting. 

Hagerty proposed, for the time being, not having separate facilities meetings but, instead, “concentrate on areas of interest to the Board.” When asked if this meant he wanted Alex Rodriguez, the district’s Director of Facilities, to attend all regular Board of Education meetings, Hagerty replied, “I want the Board to hear what’s going on...The Board as a whole should be privy to the some of the details regarding the populations of some of our elementary buildings,” said Hagerty, “and what do we have to do to accommodate busing.”

Following Hagerty’s comments, the board approved the following committee assignments for the 2021-22 school year:

Finance: Chair: John Nash, Members: Karen Fontana and Paul Hagerty;

Audit: Rome Board of Education Finance Committee; Community Member: Cindy Yager;

People operations: Chair: Joe Mellace; Members: Lisa Herbowy, John Nash and Elena Reddick;

Policy: Chair: Tanya Davis; Members: Elena Reddick, One more member needed

Facilities: Chair: Paul Hagerty; Members: Craig Ferretti, Anna Megerell, Joe Mellace;

Educational programs: Chair: Karen Fontana; Members: Tanya Davis, Craig Ferretti, Anna Megerell.

Education programs

During the Work Study portion of the agenda, Superintendent Peter C. Blake highlighted the District Comprehensive Improvement Plan and School Comprehensive Education Plan.

He noted that the district would work to establish priorities, explain the strategies that would be pursued, how they will be addressed and how the district will know whether those strategies are working. The importance was also stressed to know what resources would be needed to be able to carry out some of those goals.

Davis noted that she looked forward to following the district’s progress in this regard.

The Board then considered a resolution to approve the two plans for the current school year, as well as to re-approve the Professional Learning Plan, established last school year, to extend through the 2022-2023 school year. 

The School Comprehensive Education Plan will focus on Bellamy, Denti, Ganesvoort and John Joy elementary schools (Staley had been included prior to its closure), while the District Comprehensive Improvement Plan is – per its name – focusing district-wide.

Blake said that more detailed information on the plans can be found on the district website.

The resolution to approve or re-approve the plans carried.

Other Business

All resolutions on the Board agenda carried, most unanimously, including the following regarding People Operations:

A resolution to approve the resignations of the following district personnel passed unanimously: Kimberly Bottini (Teacher Asst./Staley); Tessa Zmudosky (Teacher Asst./Joy); Timothy Quattrociocchi (Teacher Asst./Strough); Valerie Cadrette (Monitor/ECP); Debra Linzy (1:1 Aide/Denti); Ryan Clark (Teacher Asst./Ridge); Rachel Peck (Teacher Asst./Staley); Brandon Hensley (Monitor/Joy); Noah Howard (Teacher Asst./Strough); Scott Malorzo (Teacher Asst./RFA); Mark Ripley (Monitor/Joy); and Erin Medlin (Teacher Asst./Staley).

The Board congratulated two district teachers for being granted tenure, Heidi Malloy, an ENL teacher at Bellamy and Tammy Fanning, a Special Education teacher at RFA.

Resolutions carried to appoint 13 substitute teachers and eight staff transfers. The hiring of three Teacher’s Assistants, one each at ECP, Denti and Staley were approved, all at a salary of $18,604. The hiring of a Staff Clerk, Teacher’s Aide, Monitor and two school registered nurses were also approved, while two roles were eliminated as duties were restructured. The Board approved the creating of two custodial positions and two Special Education faculty positions. Members also wished well Laura Bloom, a TA at Strough, who will be retiring on November 21 of this school year.

In RFA athletics, Kelly Gordon was approved as the new assistant varsity football coach and a motion appointing 18 fall sporting personnel and their per-event pay rates carried.

The following instructional positions and salaries for same were approved by the Board: Brittany Arnold – Staley - $47,639; Emily Elliott – Denti - $46,639; Alana Riolo – Staley - Reading - $53,910; Joshua Costello – Bellamy - $50,440; Cooper Klares – Strough – Music - $53,440; and Meghan Longo – District School Social Worker - $58,910.

The Board noted that they would retire to the previously referenced executive session and would not return to any further business, and – with that – the regular meeting was adjourned.

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