Sunday, February 25, 2018

Berlin School District Board of Education

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Sports Issues Dominate The Evening

By Doug La Rocque
The Board’s annual organizational meeting on Thursday July 6 saw Board President Frank Zwack re-elected to that post, with Katie Snyder taking over as Vice President.[Private] The Board also re-appointed Jeff Paine as its Parliamentarian and Legislative Liaison.
The Board appointed Josh Weaver as the new Athletic Director, taking over from the retired Art Schmich. In a statement to The Eastwick Press, Weaver said “it has been a dream of mine to be an Athletic Director since high school.  I cannot thank the school board, parents, students, faculty and staff and community members enough for their support and belief. And especially Art Schmich, for all his support the last seven years in helping me get to where I am today.  Lastly of course, thank you to my family and friends for their support throughout this journey.”

Josh Weaver will be taking over as Athletic Director for the upcoming school year. Photo courtesy of Josh Weaver

Weaver said the coming year should be both interesting and exciting, particularly with the move to the larger Wasaren League.  He expects things may be difficult at first, but is confident the program will grow and develop through these challenges.
Weaver began his career at Berlin Central as a substitute teacher, until the 2016-17 school year, when he was named a part time physical education teacher and part time assistant to the high school principal in charge of discipline. He has also coached modified and varsity cross county, boys and girls’ JV basketball and is currently the Varsity Baseball coach.
There was also discussion as to whether or not to approve the list of coaches for the fall sports. Board member Jim Willis expressed concern that Weaver should have a chance to review these choices before the Board confirms them. The problem is that sports begin their practice schedule on August 15, the same day as the Board’s next meeting. After some discussion, the Board decided to grant tentative approval, to allow AD Weaver to recommend any changes they might legally be able to make, and vote on the matter again at its next meeting. Those coaches are Art Schmich, who is returning to coach Boys’ varsity soccer, Jen Burhans, as Boys JV soccer coach.  Fred Hutchinson will coach Boys modified soccer. Fleda Berschwinger returns to coach the girls’ varsity soccer team, while Trish Weber will coach the modified soccer squad.  Paul Slaver will again coach girls’ varsity volleyball, while Karen Day will handle the modified team.  John Santarcangelo is again the Cross Country coach.  His team is the defending Wasaren League champions.  Bob Gould is the modified Cross Country team coach.
The Board also voted to rename the athletic fields they own in Stephentown after one of the Town’s most famous residents, baseball pitcher Elroy Face. The young hurler saved three games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as they defeated the then mighty New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series. The fields will be renamed the Elroy Face Athletic Park, with a dedication ceremony to be held at a time Mr. Face can attend.  The 90-year-old former Major Leaguer now lives in Pittsburgh.
Another appointment that came under discussion was that of Academic Chair for English.  Ariel Gilbert is slated to be out on maternity leave from September to December, and Board member Katie Snyder wondered how that would impact the department. Superintendent Dr. Stephen Young said he was comfortable with her ability to handle the chores from home, but the Board agreed with Snyder’s recommendation that she be appointed, with the provision a temporary chair be named for the time she was out, if necessary.
Superintendent And Board President’s Reports
President Zwack described the recent graduation ceremonies as very warm but well attended, and had praise for the administration staff for the work they did in preparing the event.  He also expressed his praise for the graduating class of 2017, with the words, “wow, what a class.”
He said he has also had an update on the Outside Learning Pavilion.  He said he was informed it will need a high level of clearance from the State.  He said he has pointed out the simplicity of the project, and wondered what would happen if they don’t get the permit.
Zwack also initiated discussion on the recently approved student member of the school board.  The student selected would not have voting rights. There was talk as to whether this should be a year-long appointment, or perhaps broken down by quarters.  Some concern was expressed about a year-long appointment and the time it would require from the student.
Many Board members were concerned that students interested in the appointment, already have a full calendar of academic, athletic and other after school events.
Superintendent Young told the Board the preliminary results from NYS Board of Regents testing in June showed the school’s test scores were at or above average. He said they are waiting on one other set of test results, which he expected to be very positive.
Other discussion was centered around some teachers impacted by the new state guidelines for teacher reviews, and upcoming union negotiations.  The Board’s next meeting is on Tuesday, August 15.[/Private]


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