Riverhead school board notes; July 6 meeting

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Riverhead school board vice president Greg Meyer is sworn in to his second three-year term during Wednesday night's reorginizational meeting.

The Riverhead School Board is seeking community members interested in filling the one vacant seat on the seven-member board.

Former board member Angela DeVito unexpectedly announced her resignation during a heated debate on a multi-million proposal for building and grounds upgrades at a meeting in June. Board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse asked anyone interested in the position to contact district superintendent Nancy Carney at 369-6717.

“We choose to open up and see who comes forward,” Ms. Cotten-Degrasse said during the Wednesday night reorganizational meeting.

The board will either appoint someone to the seat or leave it vacant until Ms. DeVito’s term expires on June 30, 2012, Ms. Cotten-Degrasse said, adding that the board will not likely pursue a third option, which is scheduling a special election for the seat.

“Obviously that’s very expensive,” she said.

“We wish Ms. DeVito success and best of luck in your future endeavors,” said board member Jeff Falisi.

Financial adviser appointment

As expected, the board voted to appoint Joseph Singleton, who was hired as interim assistant superintendent for finance and operations in December, to a financial adviser position.

Mr. Singleton is authorized to work 25 days between July 7 and December 30 for “the purpose of transition with the new superintendent of finance and operations and preparation of data for the proposed bond issue,” the agenda states.

He will earn $800 a day, Ms. Cotten-Degrasse said during the meeting.

The district will have to pay Mr. Singleton a daily rate at the same time his replacement, Sam Schneider, gets paid. Mr. Schneider will collect an annual salary of $162,000.

Ms. Cotten-Degrasse said Mr. Singleton’s per diem rate is money well spent. She added that it was not possible for Mr. Schneider to train before his appointment started, as he was under contract from his previous post in the Shelter Island School District.

Appointments and new member sworn in

Ms. Cotten-Degrasse, the incumbent board president, was reappointed to her post and sworn in to her second three-year term during the meeting. Incumbent board vice president Greg Meyer was also reappointed to his post and sworn in to his second three-year post.

Newly elected board member Kim Ligon was sworn in to her first term.

“They welcomed me with open arms,” she said after the meeting.

Acting high school principal David Wicks, who has served in the role since April, was officially appointed to the position. Mr. Wicks succeeded former principal David Zimbler who took a job in the Westbury School District.

District improvements

Plant facilities manager Mark Finnerty took to the podium at Wednesday night’s meeting to outline several improvements being performed at district schools this summer. Among those improvements were re-screening the gym floors at the high school and middle school, repairing sidewalks at Phillips Avenue and replacing window balances at Roanoke Avenue.

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