By PETE KLEIN
Express News Staff
LONG LAKE - Long Lake Central School District Board of Education President Hallie Bond said her good-byes to the other board members Thursday, June 13.
Bond, who is leaving the board after 15 years, advised the board members to "put the school first. Our job is to maintain the health of the school. It is the teachers' job to educate the kids."
She believes the school provides a good education.
Bond recognized the current problems of declining enrollment and budget difficulties faced by all rural schools, but said, "I believe our population will rebound."
In summarizing the ups and downs the school and the board have recently faced, Bond said, "This has been a rewarding job. Your job now is keeping the school and keeping it alive."
Jules Comeau, a former board member who has recently taken issue with the board on several matters, had advice of his own. He said, "I think this board needs to improve its public image and to concentrate on your true mission, the education of the students. We have heard enough of [workplace] romance and dating discussion."
Comeau presented a long list of suggestions the board should consider when choosing its next president and ended with, "I sincerely hope you will move beyond the circus of the past few months and start focusing on your real mission: education."
Comeau's wife, Betsy, agreed and added, "There have been too many personal agendas that have caused the problems."
The board later agreed to not consider at this time a fraternization policy "Against Romantic or Sexual Relationships Between Supervisory Employees and Subordinates." The idea of a fraternization policy came up in response to Superintendent Mary Dickerson's friendship with an employee at the school.
Regarding tenure, another recent issue, Mason Smith, Bond's husband, suggested, "If there is any doubt, don't award."
Joseph Koehring's probationary period was extended through Aug. 31, 2014.
School Physician Russell Rider's contract was renewed for the next school year. He will be paid $6,000, the same as this school year.
Physical Education teacher David Olbert will retire at the end of the school year. He will be offered a $2,000 stipend to conduct Driver's Education next school year.
Steven Wilk's contract as school psychologist was renewed for the new school year at $300 per diem, the same as this school year. Lisa Tebo of ADK Abilities will provide occupational therapy services.
Gina Pellettier will be the girls' varsity soccer coach and John Reynolds the girls' varsity basketball coach for the upcoming school year. Jim Piraino will be boys' varsity soccer coach, Joseph Koehring the boys' modified soccer and baseball coach and George Biffer the girls' modified softball coach.
-- The board approved a $5 million umbrella property insurance policy with Utica National.
-- The board approved the 2013/14 Bus Maintenance Contract with Tupper Lake Central School District. Long Lake anticipates having three full-size buses, one small bus and two school vans.
Long Lake will pay Tupper Lake $500 per vehicle. Shop labor will be billed at the rate of $31.85 per hour for mechanics and $23.16 per hour for helpers.
The board will next meet Thursday, July 11, starting at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria.