Silver Creek school board hears budget presentation, appoints personnel

SILVER CREEK – The Silver Creek Board of Education heard its first budget presentation and made personnel appointments.

At its last board meeting, the school board announced it will begin looking at the budget. It also announced the resignation of Dean of Students Marcy Sweetman, who took a position at BOCES.

At its regular meeting the board addressed both of these matters.

Athletics Director Sean Helmer gave a presentation on the athletics budget. He went through each expenditure to explain how each is calculated.

In the end the athletics budget showed an increase from $258,075 to $282,056. Helmer explained $11,000 of this change is due to the fitness center expenses having been moved from the general budget to the athletics budget. The other significant increase is due to increases in coaching salaries, which are from contractual step increases based on number of years.

He did say the district has saved significantly in sports by being able to share with other districts like wrestling and swimming with Dunkirk and football, and in the future, track with Forestville.

Helmer also presented a chart with all of the athletic offerings which ranked the sports by popularity and also listed the price per participating student.

He explained some of the sports inherently cost more because of the costs of gear and officials, but some sports prices appeared to increase because it was the year for new uniforms based on the four-year cycle the district uses.

He said football is still the most popular sport for participation, but lacrosse and swimming are gaining in popularity.

He said there has been a light decline in participation in sports overall, but Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich said this could be as a result of a decline in the middle/high school population overall. He added over 50 percent of the school’s population is in the elementary school, so this trend may reverse as that population ages.

The board also appointed Rachel Curtin, from the middle/high school music department, as dean of students.

“Ms. Curtin was a strong candidate for this important position. I want to thank her for stepping up and I look forward to working with her,” Ljiljanich said.

A resident commented Curtin’s move is a major blow to the choral department in the school. Ljiljanich said a search to fill Curtin’s position in the music department will commence immediately.

Sweetman was also present at the meeting and thanked the board and wished Curtin luck in her new position.

The board also approved the resignation of William Brennan as modified basketball coach and appointed Jeff Skryzinski as boys modified basketball assistant coach. Special education teacher David Skalski was also granted tenure.

The board will meet on Jan. 23 for a workshop on the technology, transportation and buildings and grounds budgets with a meeting to follow.

In other business:

Ljiljanich reported approximately 40 contractors attended the pre-bid meeting for the capital project. He said it is hoped because there appears to be so much interest, the competition will keep prices low and the district will be able to afford some of the proposed alternate projects.

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