KINDERHOOK– The Ichabod Crane Board of Education appointed Jason Thomson as the next superintendent of schools at a special meeting Wednesday, December 18. According the resolution passed unanimously by the board, Mr. Thomson’s appointment will start “on or about February 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.”
“Mr. Thomson comes to the district after serving as superintendent of Delaware Academy Central School District at Delhi for the past nine years,” according to a press release from the Ichabod Crane School District. The release says he began his education career as a high school special education teacher and middle school health educator/teacher. His school administrative experience includes serving as director of special education, building principal and vice-principal.
At the special meeting, Board President Matthew Nelson said it was the board’s “honor and privilege” to appoint Mr. Thomson.
“We’re just delighted that it worked out and that you’re here,” said ICC board member Regina Rose, who was on the board’s superintendent search committee.
“I’m so glad this whole thing is over,” said board member Susan Ramos.
Former Superintendent Michael Vanyo left the job in June after coming to an agreement with the board to end his contract following his arrest for DWI and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. The board subsequently hired Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick, who will stay in the district until February.
Mr. Thomson, who attended Wednesday’s meeting with his wife and three children, said his family is excited about joining the district. He said, “It’s going to be difficult leaving my children” referring to his students in Delhi. As for accepting the superintendent position at Ichabod, he said, “I’m ready to work together.”
After the meeting, Mr. Thomson introduced himself to the audience at high school Winter Concert that was taking place that night.
As for other changes in administration at the district, at the board’s regular board meeting on Thursday, December 12, the board approved co-principals in the middle school building, which houses the 4th through 8th grades.
In 2011, when Mr. Bordick was also serving as interim superintendent, the board at that time voted to close the elementary school buildings in the villages of Valatie and Kinderhook and move students in grades 3 through 5 to the main campus on Route 9. The 3rd grade is now housed in the primary school and the 4th and 5th are in the middle school building.
Mr. Bordick said at the December 12 board meeting that having 4th through 8th graders in one building was not done for programming reasons but because of space and that the needs of students in those different grades are “significantly different.”
So the board approved having co-principals in the middle school to help deal with the needs of students, staff and parents. Current 4th through 8th grade Principal Tim Farley and current high school Assistant Principal Anthony Marturano will now be co-principals. Mr. Farley will focus on the 4th and 5th grades and Mr. Marturano, who was the assistant principal in the middle school for several years, will focus on the 6th- through 8th-grade group.
Mr. Bordick stressed that “they would act together” at the school.
Current Middle School Assistant Principal Marcella Sanchez will move to the high school as assistant principal in that building. Mr. Bordick said that was a good fit for Ms. Sanchez, since “her background is high school teaching.”
“We are blessed at the district to have such talented administrators,” Mr. Bordick said. He said the change will most likely happen on January 6 after the school winter vacation.
Board President Matthew Nelson thanked the administrators for being so flexible.
Also at the December 12 board meeting:
• The board approved new hours for the primary school building now that the there is an on-campus connector road between the middle school and primary school buildings. The road has shaved time off of the bus routes. The primary school will now start at 7:40 a.m. and dismiss at 2:40 p.m.
• The board heard from Wendee Aglow-Lentz, a parent concerned about a policy that middle school students who join a varsity team must have a physical to determine “sexual maturity” to play the sport. Ms. Aglow-Lentz was distressed that her daughter had to see one of the school’s physicians according to district policy. She said she spoke with the school nurse, the athletic director and the doctor and was finally told by the school physician to take her daughter to their private physician. But she asked the board, “Why are you fighting parents who want to get an assessment from a private physician?”
She said she also reached out to the office of state Senator Daphne Jordan (R-43 rd) about whether this was state policy. She was told, “It is not required… It is a recommendation from the state.”
She urged the board to change the policy so that students could get the physicals from their own medical professionals. She also pointed out that the school does not have a contract with a female doctor. “You have to have a female physician for the girls since you have a male physician for the boys,” she said.
Mr. Nelson said the board’s policy committee would look at the issue. Mr. Bordick said that there might be more immediate action the administration could take
• The board approved the tenure of music teacher Karolyn Eberhardt.
The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday, January 7 at 7 p.m. in the High School Library.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email