BOE ratifies election results, makes appointments and dedicates books

PINE PLAINS — Once the results of this year’s district vote and school board election had been officially ratified, the Pine Plains Board of Education (BOE) moved forward with its agenda at its virtual BOE meeting on Wednesday, June 17.

Superintendent of Schools Martin Handler brought the annual book dedication tradition for the district’s retirees to the board’s attention. Each year, the BOE, administration, faculty and staff express their gratitude and appreciation to those employees who have reached retirement by purchasing books and donating them to the district’s libraries in honor of the retirees. A list of the retirees and their donations was read and entered into the record.

Moving forward with the district budget vote and BOE results that were tallied on Tuesday, June 16, the BOE unanimously approved a motion to ratify the results. As was discussed by the board at the meeting, BOE President Chip Couse remarked on a later date that while more than 2,100 people voted by mail this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage by which the district vote and election passed remained “generally the same as when we had smaller turnouts.”

Going off of that observation, Couse said fewer than 400 voters voted in-person in the last district budget vote and school board election last spring. In spite of this year’s changes, he said “the percentage of yes-no votes” remained the same, at a ratio of 2:1. Couse said one of the BOE’s goals this year was to increase voter participation.

Under the agenda’s new personnel business, the BOE approved the non-represented employees’ salary schedule and agreement for the 2020-21 school year, as recommended by the district’s Compensation Committee. Included in the list of non-represented employees, the BOE approved Secretary to the Superintendent Patricia Audenino’s new salary of $58,896.04, followed by Account Clerk Mary Fetzko’s new salary of $48,438 and Microcomputer System Director Richard Harlin’s new salary of $104,952.64. As typist and secretary to the district assistant superintendent, Maria Hutman, was appointed a salary of $38,750.40 while Microcomputer Network Specialist Jed Nye was appointed a salary of $81,458 and District Treasurer Laura Rafferty was appointed a salary of $78,738.66. The BOE approved a $53,265.50 salary for Personnel Assistant Julia Tomaine; a $40,903.20 salary for Payroll Clerk Aileen Waltke; and a $44,679.44 salary for Typist Linda Westpfal.

Renee Rundall was granted tenure in the special education area, which will come into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Director of Pupil Personnel Services Janine Babcock was appointed as the summer school remote learning supervisor at a rate of $100 per day up to 30 days. Tonya Sauca, Emily Elsasser, Catherine Sellick and Alana Garnica were appointed to this year’s summer school staff at a rate of $100 per day. This year’s summer school program will be held remotely, the program began Monday, July 6, and runs through Friday, Aug. 14.

Francis Karalak was appointed as a microcomputer/network support specialist for a 10-week probationary period at a $58,000 salary, effective Wednesday, July 1. Peggy Bonneville was appointed as a mentor for the coming school year with a $500 stipend.

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