Fredonia ed board questioned on coaches

Several concerned citizens addressed the Fredonia Board of Education recently about coaching appointments.

Two Fredonia freshman spoke first, asking the board why it did not consider a candidate for the football coach position, despite ex-perience within the district.

Ross Conti, a coach in the district for 30 years, also addressed the board later, asking about the policy on how coaches are appointed and evaluated. He explained he had been displaced from his position as coach in the past by faculty members who did not know he wanted the job.

Superintendent Paul DiFonzo explained that coaching appointments are made yearly and teachers are given the first opportunity to fill the positions. However, he said teachers try not to take positions already held by coaches in good standing.

Conti said there have been times teachers will say they did not know positions were already filled before taking the position. He asked this be improved in the future.

John Gullo addressed the board to ask that a member of the board join a steering committee of volunteers who would like to raise money to improve the football field.

The football coaches approved at the meeting in-cluded Varsity Head Coach Mike Marshall, Assistant Varsity Coaches Robert Brown, Tim Wright and Bill Piper, Head JV Coach Nick Bertando and Assistant JV Coach Kyle Yelich.

The board also received a special education update. The district has total of 33 FTE staff and related services personnel (includes two half-time positions) and 162 total special education students.

A majority (144) of these students attend the Fredonia campus, 15 attend BOCES centers, one attends St. Mary’s School for the Deaf and two attend the Gustavus Adolphus Learning Center.

The board also approved the district calendar with the two-week spring break. DiFonzo said he looked into conflicts with sports schedules and 3-1-3 students, as the board asked, and said there were no problems.

He reiterated the change made more sense after sharing the universal pre-kindergarten with Dunkirk, where the only conflict will be with high school students attending BOCES.

The board will meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in high school room 636.