HUDSON–Staff additions and retirements, swimming pool staff pay, parent participation in conferences, a proposed sidewalk to the elementary school, regular updates via TV, and recognition of administrators by outside groups highlighted the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting December 17.
Christopher Pierro made his appearance as the new purchasing assistant, replacing Barbara Elliott, who retired after 33 years with the district. Mr. Pierro was born and raised in Hudson, he said, and graduated from Hudson High School.
The board also announced the retirement of clerk/typist Lorraine Dellavechia and elementary school teacher Rebecca Martin. Ms. Martin has served the HCSD for 21 years.
Ms. Dellavechia has served it for 36 years, starting shortly after her graduation from Hudson High School. Her three children also attended HCSD schools, with one set to graduate in June. Later, Ms. Dellavechia said she planned to begin her retirement with a move to Connecticut. She said the best experience in her clerical career was “working for an amazing boss in the very beginning of my career, George Baseheart,” who was then assistant principal of Hudson High School and is now retired.
“He showed me how all students should be treated equally when we worked in the discipline office at Hudson High School. We still remain close friends 30 years later, she said. She also described her best experience as part of the HCSD: “seeing how the community came together when our Hudson High School basketball team participated in the State championship in 2016. And seeing my son, Tyler, play and be part of this team.” She said the community’s support “was incredible and inspiring as an employee, member of the community, and parent. It was a special part of history. It had been 40 years since something like this occurred here.”
For her successor, she advised, “Be true to yourself and stand up for what you believe in. Always keep the students’ best interest at heart…be passionate about …helping them, and watch them grow to become young adults. “
Also at the meeting, district Business Administrator Sharifa Carbon announced a proposal to raise the wages of the high school swimming pool lifeguards and other staff back to $2/hour more for working the less popular shift. As the state minimum wage has risen, the wages for the more popular shift have risen, and the pay gap between the two shifts has narrowed. The proposal seeks to restore an incentive for working the less popular shift.
In other business this week:
• District Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier announced that “over 77% of the parents” attended the elementary school parent-teacher conference. Some teachers said 100% of their students had a parent present
• Dr. Suttmeier also announced a proposal to build a sidewalk from near the Crosswinds housing complex to the elementary school, “so children can walk to school safely.” The enlargement of the school included the replacement with a sidewalk on its grounds with an access road, but still some “children want to walk.” In addition, drainage work on the elementary school grounds continues
• Newsman Lance Wheeler attended the meeting to create video images for a revived regular TV update “Inside the Hudson City School District.” Dr. Suttmeier announced that the HCSD had contracted him in November. The show will air on Mid-Hudson Cable TV and be available on YouTube
• Ms. Carbon reported she was selected for a two-year term on Governing Board of the New York Cooperative Assets Securities System (NYCLASS), an investment fund that caters to the public sector
• Dr. Suttmeier reported that she and Jeff Rovitz, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties, had received plaques from Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood at a ceremony, in honor of their contributions to the community
• Dr. Suttmeier estimated that the clean-out of the defunct John L. Edwards Primary School (JLE) should be finished by mid-January. She noted that the district’s automatic phone answering system needs revising to omit mention of JLE.
The next meeting of the HCSD Board of Education will take place Monday, January 14, at 6:30 pm in the High School library.