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ELDRED, NY — The welcome mat was rolled out, posters were hung and songs were sung by students at the George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School as they said “thank you” to Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther for the financial assistance she has directed to the Eldred School District.
Touring both the elementary and junior-senior high schools September 23 with board member Kristen Smith and administrative officials, Gunther kibitzed with the pre-K, Kindergarten and first-grade classes, as well as some of the cast members of the upcoming elementary-school musical. Music teacher Sara Shult provided guitar accompaniment for the singing, with lyrics reworked to personally thank the Assemblywoman.
During the 2018-19 school year, about $130,000 in funds were directed to the district.
The funds were used for various capital improvements to enhance security at the buildings (capital improvement funds are available for projects that have at least a seven-year life). This included paving at the elementary school to relocate the play area to the rear of the building, installation of alarms and card readers on outside doors, re-cored locks to reduce the number of master keys in circulation, gates to secure the bus-loading areas and laminating the glass in the front and cafeterias of both buildings to protect from windstorms and break-ins. A dilapidated modular classroom outside of the high school was also removed. Gunther’s office also channeled $75,000 for the current school year to assist in funding two armed resource officers from the sheriff’s office.
Walking the halls of the high school, Gunther engaged a few upper-classmen in conversation. She took advantage of the opportunity to fill them in on both the position and responsibilities of a member of the state assembly. They extended their thanks for the tutorial and good wishes for visiting.
The assemblywoman commented that there was a feeling of warmth and community as she walked through the hallways of both schools, and said a good school district is important to the community.