With merger off table, ICC resumes search for super

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane school board has reappointed Lee Bordick Interim Superintendent, serving this time on a month-to-month basis until the board is able to find new superintendent for the district.

Mr. Bordick, a retired superintendent, has been serving as interim superintendent for the past two years on year-long contracts. The board’s search efforts for a permanent superintendent last year did not yield a candidate the board wanted to hire, and the board was also awaiting the results of a merger study with the Schodack Central School District, which would have limited the tenure of any new superintendent.

But the merger study showed the taxes would increase in the Ichabod Crane School District should the two districts merge, so though the board plans to pursue sharing some services with Schodack without having the two districts merge in the near future.

The ICC Board of Education hired Questar III, the regional BOCES, to conduct a search for a new superintendent at a board meeting earlier this month, and board members agreed at the regular monthly meeting Tuesday, June 19 that they would propose an annual salary for a new superintendent of between$145,000 and $165,000.

The board also talked about the cost of school photos for students, which will be an issue the Policy Committee will discuss July 12. Board President Regina Rose said that parents had complained that Ichabod Crane school photo prices were higher than other districts.

Ms. Rose said that the district’s Teachers Association organized picture day and received a commission from the photography studio, which the Teachers Association then uses for several scholarships given out each year. Ms. Rose said this had been going on for at least 40 years and the association had never asked for board approval.

Board member John Chandler said he spoke to officials in other districts who had never heard of commissions. The board sought legal advice on how to move forward with the issue. Ms. Rose worried that if the Teachers Association didn’t get a commission for the photos they would not organize picture day and then it would fall on the administrators to organize.

“It’s not really a fundraising event,” said Mr. Chandler, who said that taking pictures of students is a school service. He said that there is already a district policy for advertising in school that the board could look at to determine whether to approve this practice.

The board also discussed school facilities, with members saying that there are several issues that need to be looked and money that needs to be found to cover the work on school buildings. “Whatever number we come up with, the needs are greater than that number,” Mr. Bordick said to the board of looking at capital projects.

The board’s Facilities Committee has been creating a list of major and minor projects that need to be done. Mr. Chandler, who reported for the Facilities Committee, said that many construction projects were put on hold because of the merger study.

“Any discussion is going to get a full review of the public,” Mr. Bordick said of construction projects.

The district was again named as an Energy Star Leader by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s conservation program. Ichabod Crane Director of Facilities and Operations Steve Marotta said that the average for buildings around the state that have received the Energy Star rating was 69; in the ICC District buildings were given scores in the 90s. “Now we are improving on the improvements,” said Mr. Bordick.

The board’s Finance Committee reported that the district will pay off what board member John Antalek called a “liability” of over $600,000 on the teacher and employee retirement services, a move that will save the district $96,000. The liability, which resulted from a payout following several retirements in 2010, will be resolved with money from district reserve funds and the fund balance. Mr. Antalek said there was an incentive from the state to pay the liability off to gain the savings.

The next board meeting is the reorganization meeting Tuesday, July 10, when the board will choose its officers and make committee appointments.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

 

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