By Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent
On Monday, June 9, The Board of Education held its final regular meeting of the 2007-08 school year. The meeting featured several discussions and announcements that will affect Pomperaug High School and the region as a whole.
Two annual CAPSS/WCSA Superintendent’s Awards were given to Daniel Camacho and Katie Whitney, both seniors at PHS. Several Pomperaug students were also recognized for their citizenship with People’s Choice Mobil Good Citizen Awards. Recipients included seniors Casey Tun, Layla Longo, Sara Doble, and Geoff Rose. Several underclassmen were also given awards, including Anthony Moffa, who also received the Mobil Good Citizen scholarship.
Regarding the recent heat wave, Dr. Sippy spoke of a possible change in procedures for future incidents. If buses and scheduling allow, Pomperaug students may be kept in school for the entire day the next time the area experiences a heat wave; not having air conditioning, middle and elementary school students will be dismissed early.
The Board also announced that it would not be meeting the suggested Connecticut nutrition standards in the 2008-09 school year. Although all school cafeteria food does conform to these standards, other foods sold during and after school (e.g., baked goods for fundraisers or at a football game) do not. Keith McLiverty, Director of Finance, stated that he believed the $40,000 grant that Region 15 would receive from the state for meeting those standards would fall short of the money that the region takes in through the sale of non-cafeteria foods. An assessment of annual food-based fundraiser earnings is currently in progress.
In personnel news, Mrs. Nancy Carney, longtime AP U.S. and AP European History teacher at Pomperaug, will be retiring at the end of this year. Mrs. Carney’s position as History Department Chair will be taken over by Mrs. Luby, currently the chairperson of the English Department; the two departments will be merged into a Humanities Department. Mr. Joel Doyon, an educator with most of his experience in the private sector – including a pending multiple-stack fuel cell assembly patent to his name – will be taking over the duties of Ms. Jacqueline Bultitude, a current chemistry teacher at PHS. Finally, Ms. Rima Zelvis will be leaving Rochambeau Middle School to become a principal in Kent. Ms. Zelvis will become the third Region 15 faculty member this year to leave the district for a high administrative position.
Before the Board adjourned, there was much talk about the Region 15 budget. Mrs. Eileen Strange, a Board member, read a detailed statement of encouragement for those who voted, reprimand for those who were rude to parents holding reminder signs in Southbury, and frustration at the stringent regulations on absentee ballots, which she said “disenfranchised” many voters who are out of town. Dr. Paddyfote, another Board member, spoke against the current, state-mandated method of financing school budgets through property taxes. “We cannot continue financing education on property tax. It is flawed; we have outlived that; we need to make a change,” he said. Finally, Dr. Sippy noted that the impact of several proposed budget cuts would be softer than had been threatened (see Issue 19): the eighth grade will most likely still conduct a “moving-on ceremony”; overnight field trips will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; and the Youth and Family Services crisis counselor will remain at Pomperaug.
The Region 15 Board of Education will reconvene for its first meeting of the 2008-09 school year on Monday, September 8, at 7:30 in the All-Purpose Room at Pomperaug High School.