BOE reorganizes for ’21-22 academic year

MILLBROOK — The  reorganization meeting of the Millbrook Central School District (MCSD) Board of Education (BOE) for the 2021-22 school year was held via Zoom on Tuesday, July 6. The meeting was opened at 7 p.m. by District Clerk Cheryl Sprague. 

The first action was the swearing in of two new BOE members, the sole candidate who campaigned, David LaVarnway, and write-in candidate Chris LaBelle. Following that action, elections were held for board president and vice-president. Former BOE President Perry Hartswick was re-elected, as was former Vice-President Howard Shapiro. The other members of the board are Paul Tobin, Jennifer Carnecchia and Chris Rosenbergen.

The board then appointed chairs and members to all relevant committees and discussed charges for each. These include committees on facilities, technology, audits, legislative and PTO liaisons, as well as its district leadership team, safety committee and wellness committee.

A chairperson and members were appointed to the Committee on Pre-School Special Education. Assistant Superintendent for Business, Finance and Operations Brian Fried was appointed trustee and Superintendent of Schools Laura Mitchell was appointed alternate trustee to the Dutchess County Workers Compensation Consortium.

A motion passed to designate Mitchell to certify the district payroll for the upcoming school year at no additional salary, and Fried as the alternate person to certify the payroll in Mitchell’s absence at no additional salary.

Other appointments were passed, including:

Eric Seipp, principal of Millbrook High School; Steven Cabello, principal of Millbrook Middle School; Thomas Libka, principal of Alden Place Elementary School; Michael Setaro, principal of Elm Drive Elementary School. 

Mike Ragusa was named facilities director and chemical hygiene officer; Holly Peters-Headley was named district wellness coordinator; Cheryl Sprague was named administrative assistant to Mitchell and district records manager.

Lunch prices were set at: high school, $3.25; middle school, $3; Alden Place and Elm Drive, $2.85 (no change from the previous year).

Breakfast prices were set at: high school, $2; all others, $1.75. 

Summer school support teachers for the 2021-22 school year are not to exceed 64 hours unless otherwise stated.

Samantha Holsborg will be the coordinator for the English as a New Language (ENL) program, not to exceed 132 hours. Giselle Aldarondo will also work in the ENL program, which is in both elementary schools. Karen Outwater and Adam Peek will work in the Secondary Summer Program. Samantha Hale, Alessandra Suriano and Amy Quinn will work in the Elementary Summer Program.  

Other teachers appointed include: Kristen Skovan, music; Jessica Gilmour, health; Samantha Hale, pre-k.

Appointed teacher’s aides include: Fatmire Lamaj, Janice Murray and Ann Thiebolt. Jeanine Secor was appointed as a monitor. Brian Avery was appointed as a maintenance helper for a 26-week probationary period.

A donation was accepted from Ruge’s Chevrolet for $918.69, which cleared all lunch debt in the district. 

Mitchell praised all of the efforts made to make Graduation Day so successful, and said it was “almost a return to normal.” 

Other discussions included which courses are still pertinent for students and which ones may not be, as enrollment in some classes and clubs are extremely low, yet still important to the few students who are interested in them.

Presentation from athletic director

A presentation was made by Athletic Director Al Hammell, who spoke of student participation. He spoke also of low enrollment, and of parents who still want a football program despite few students expressing interest in recent years. Football teams in the MCSD were minimized and often beaten due to a loss of players due injuries or the academic restrictions for athletes, he said. Merging teams among different school districts is one option that’s been considered, and Hammell said he’s looking at merging with Dover High School, but Millbrook only has two players interested in doing so. 

Dover would be the host team, so football games would be played at the Dover fields. Also, transportation could present a problem, as Dover ends its school day earlier than Millbrook does. It then begins its practice time while Millbrook students are still in class. More research about merging athletic teams, including the varsity football team, is being done, said Hammell. 

The athletic director also said there is less interest today in sports like football and lacrosse, while other sports have become more popular, such as soccer and cross-country track. BOE members agreed that some extra-curricular programs, academic courses and athletics as well as intern programs might need to be revisited and reassessed before being continued and refunded.

For more information on past and future meetings, go to Also check out past articles on

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