South Country Central School District Board Notes – May 22 Business Meeting

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At the commencement of the May 22 Board of Education business meeting, President Cheryl A. Felice called for a moment of silence in recognition of Memorial Day and for those who gave their lives to assure our rights as Americans.

The first order of the meeting was for district clerk Christine Flynn to administer the oath of faithful performance to Cameron Trent, who was voted as a trustee to the Board of Education for a two-year term, ending on June 30, 2021. Mr. Trent said being elected to the Board has been a “humbling experience” and that he is ready to get to work.

The meeting’s agenda was followed out of order to accommodate presentations, including Kreamer Street Elementary School students’ report about the school’s new STEAM Lab. Members of the Kreamer Kingdom STEAM Lab Commission were on hand, but student representatives from grades K-3 explained to the trustees and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani what it has meant to have the pilot program in place. In addition, the Board and Kreamer Street Principal Sean Clark honored science teacher Gina Benzie, who was named a 2019 recipient of the Suffolk Section of the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS) Elementary Level Science Teacher of the Year for having promoted the enhancement of science education with distinction. 

During Dr. Giani’s report, he congratulated Fine Arts Chairperson Suzette Fandale and Music Chairperson James Uzzi on the excellent Districtwide Fine and Performing Arts Show. Dr. Giani and the trustees congratulated the students on their excellent work, and trustee Chris Picini added that the annual event is a “tradition” with his family. 

Dr. Giani and President Felice also congratulated trustee election candidates Melissa Aruta, E. Ann Hayes and Clyde Parker who were elected to the Board of Education, commencing July 1, 2019 for a three-year term. Dr. Giani also announced that the 2019-2020 proposed budget and additional propositions were overwhelmingly approved and thanked the community for their support. 

Center for Environmental Education and Discovery Co-Founders Rebecca Muellers and Tom Pelletier also started a dialogue about the organization’s school program opportunities. The environmental organization is interested in being a future resource for the district. 
The trustees also approved the Board meeting calendar for the 2019-2020 school year, as well as nine probationary appointments. In other business, the Board approved a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) resolution, not to exceed $21 million, which will allow the District to borrow funds for the purpose of covering expenses in the short-term, until the receipt of tax monies from the Town, which is expected to begin in late December 2019.

The next Board of Education meeting will be held on June 12.