Cambridge school board accepts vote results, readies membership changes


CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The Cambridge Central School District Board of Education said goodbye to two members, Dr. Tom Wolski and Lillian Herrington, at its regular meeting on Tuesday night.

Wolski expressed thanks to district residents for electing him to the board for four terms. "It's been a privilege to be up here, although sometimes terrifying We have an intact administrative staff, which is one of the hallmarks of a successful school. I think morale is returning to where it was and we have an extremely competent board, which is going to be taking over," he said.

Herrington said that despite some rough times in her one term served, she did the best with what she was given and thanked everyone who supported her. "It's been a challenge being on the board. It has opened my eyes to many things; I didn't realize I've led such a sheltered life. I wish I could have done more It's been a pleasure working with most of the people in this district," she said.

Board members accepted the results of the public vote on May 20 that approved the 2014-15 budget, public library proposition, bus purchase and the election of Neil Gifford and Dede Nash to the board, who sat in on the meeting.

During its meeting, the board approved a portion of the consent agenda and an amended Communication Advisory Committee charter. The board also heard end of year administrative reports and an update on solar panel installation.

The consent agenda for personnel was unanimously approved, however the remainder of the consent agenda for new business was tabled. Nash and Gifford will have to familiarize themselves with the agenda before the July board meeting.

Board president Paul Baker-Porazinski proposed the amendment to the committee charter to allow room for more individuals if necessary, specifically seeking those who have web design experience. The amendment extended membership from five to seven, instead of five to 10. Both the amendment and the amended charter were unanimously approved.

During the administrative report, elementary principal Colleen Lester said the school will be changing the format of open house for next school year. She said the way the school teaches subjects like math has changed dramatically over past years and that there is misinformation on what the Common Core math standards actually are.

"We will be informing parents on Common Core and how to help kids with homework," Lester said. "We are changing the format to be more of a parent-information night We will likely be adding a couple of parent math nights as well to teach parents to help students with their math homework."

After the administrative report, the board heard an update on the solar panel installation. The New York State Education Department approved the solar panel project for the roof of the school and bus garage. However, superintendent Vincent Canini said the representative from Monolith Solar who was working with CCS on the project has left. "We have another individual coming in We are supposedly on schedule to be installed but I have no idea when that is," he said.

The meeting concluded with an executive session to discuss a concern brought to the board during public comment. Doug Laytrip recalled a school bus accident on May 28 to the board, in which one of his kids was hurt. He said he was disappointed with the school's protocol when it comes to accidents, and had a similar experience when one of his kids was once airlifted to Albany when he got hurt at the school. Laytrip expressed frustration that communication to parents from the school during those incidents was poor.

The Cambridge Central School calendar will end on Friday, June 27, with graduation in the gymnasium at 7 p.m. American author and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine, Jeff Goodell, will be delivering the commencement address. The school expects 74 students and two GED recipients to participate in commencement activities.

Contact Tom Momberg at Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg


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