HFCS Budget Passes Easily
by Alex Brooks
The Hoosick Falls Central School Budget passed with 459 votes in favor and 193 votes against. The proposition for purchase of buses and vehicles passed with 464 votes in favor and 184 votes against. Greg Laurin and Laurie Gormley were re-elected to the School Board. Each will have a new 3 year term from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015. Laurin received 463 votes and Gormley received 487 votes.
[private]Superintendent Ken Facin said, “We thank the community for their overwhelming support in these times of great financial difficulties.”
School Board Member Dave Sutton said the District is on an upward trajectory because of a great deal of teamwork among everybody involved – the students, the teachers, the parents, the administration, the School Board – and the base of the whole thing is a community that is supportive of quality education. Several other Board members joined in expressing gratitude for the community’s commitment to quality education.
Earlier in the evening the Board held ceremonies saluting seven retirees for their service to the District and congratulating five teachers who were granted tenure at this meeting, culminating in a reception featuring strawberry shortcake.
Superintendent Ken Facin spoke glowing words of praise about each of the retirees. History teacher James Prendergast he called an extraordinary teacher, who in 25 years at the school has inspired a great many students to be better citizens and scholars. Colleen Doyle, who taught speech at the school for 33 years, he described as a very dedicated teacher who was great at establishing rapport with her students and helping them to gain confidence. Teaching Assistant Peggy Pine he praised for her warm personality and the remarkable relationships she developed with the kids. He spoke of Charlie Weeden with great affection, the 24 years that Weeden served the District and the grace with which he handled the difficulties of keeping the buses going in all weather and through whatever difficulties might arise as well as his legendary career coaching softball.
Facin saluted Michael Bornt’s 28 years and Jonathan Miller’s 22 years driving buses for the District, delivering the kids reliably, safely and on time, with a smile on their faces. He spoke of each, about their love for the kids and the ways they made their buses a welcoming place for students. And lastly he saluted Mike Shea’s 30 years as the District’s Treasurer. He described Shea as old-school, doing math in his head and eschewing computers and calculators in many instances. Not only is Shea gifted with handling numbers, but he had the temperament to avoid mistakes – delivering 30 years of impeccable, flawless bookkeeping.
The Board approved tenure for Elementary School teacher Sara Bushey, who Facin said creates an extraordinary learning environment for her students. They approved tenure for School Guidance Counselor Jessica Balch, who works with the students on their college applications. They approved tenure for AIS Math teacher Laura Edick, who Facin described as very dedicated, advocating for her students and pushing them until they get a good result. The Board approved tenure for John MacDonald in teaching English to speakers of other languages. And lastly the Board approved tenure for High School Principal Stacy Vadney. Facin said Vadney is “deeply committed to realizing every student’s potential,” her high expectations of both students and teachers and her expertise in knowing what to do when they fall short driving ever-improving student results.
Trip To China
The meeting began with a presentation and picture show about the Spring trip to China, presented by Jen McDonald and student Luis Weierbach. Seventeen people went on the trip, which was greatly assisted by the presence of Mr. Chan, a Chinese native who now teaches special education at HFCS. Weierbach read from his diary, describing one very busy day in which they visited the Great Wall of China, had a home cooked dinner in the home of a Hu-Tan family and went on a rickshaw tour.
The Board hired Clark Patterson Lee architects to assist the District with developing its next capital project, which will focus on driving down its energy costs. Clark Patterson Lee’s proposal offered a fee of 7.75% of construction costs, which was the lowest of the three who submitted proposals.
The PTA donated $250 for elementary school yearbooks, $250 for Field Days T-shirts, $150 for Wellness Day activities and $100 for art supplies.
The next School Board Meeting will be June 14 at 7 pm in the High School Library. The organization meeting for the upcoming school year was scheduled for July 12 at 7 pm in the High School Cafeteria.