TRR photo by Susan Wade

A crowd of over 100 gathered at the last school board meeting seeking information on the recent lawsuit and subsequent personnel changes.

Few details disclosed at Eldred School Board meeting

ELDRED, NY — Acknowledging a crowd of well over 100 community members, board president Carol Bliefernich began her report at the November 2 meeting stating that there are probably “100 different reasons why you are here.” She repeatedly stated that she looks forward to hearing from the public, either personally or in the forum of the public meeting. “We do want to hear from you. Your job is to inform us and we will receive what you want to tell us.”

Interim superintendent Dr. John Morgano reported that volunteers are being sought to participate on a task force to explore what efforts/interventions may be productive for the students as the district strives to maximize its efforts to address bullying in the schools. The task force will examine what has been done to date and explore the impact of each effort/program and will also explore additional interventions brought forward by the participants. A broad spectrum of participants is being sought so that the task force is as representative of the Eldred community as possible. Those interested in participating should contact the district secretary. Morgano’s expectation is that the task force would be able to present recommendations by February.

Morgano stated that he has greeted students at both schools during the morning arrival time and at lunchtime and that Eldred students are the “most respectful and courteous kids I’ve ever seen.”

He acknowledged that he has reassigned Scott Krebs to administrative duties of curriculum development and grant writing. Later in the meeting the board approved the hiring of Jean Maxson as interim principal at the high school. No details regarding the employment arrangement were offered.   During a follow-up conversation, Morgano stated that Maxson’s agreement is for $550 per day for days that the district is in session and that employment contracts for the principals are still under negotiation.  As such, Krebs is drawing his $129,802 salary from the previous contract while undertaking the administrative tasks. Morgano reiterated that Krebs will be seeking grant monies for the district that have not previously been sought due to a lack of manpower.    

Later in the meeting during the public comment session, two individuals expressed concern that the district would now be paying for an additional administrative position, and one stated that the teachers do a superb job of writing their own curriculum.

Two individuals commented on the board’s voting down of a forensic audit, one suggesting that the community might want to override the board’s veto of the audit by means of a referendum. Another complimented the board and administration on their seemingly improved attitude toward acknowledging problems, specifically the mediocre graduation rate. His comment was followed by another speaker, who asked whether the board considered itself culpable in any way for recent events related to bullying and whether any of the members had considered resigning their positions as a result.

There was minimal response from the board to these comments other than to acknowledge the speakers.

The next board meeting has been rescheduled to December 7 at 7 p.m. at the McKenzie Elementary School.


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