Newcomers to Dunkirk School Board sworn in

The newest additions to the Dunkirk Board of Education officially recited their oaths of office on Thursday.

Adam Reisenweber was sworn in by Superintendent Gary Cerne during the reorganizational portion of the meeting, while high school senior Emily Van Wey became the new student board member. Reisenweber said he ran for a seat on the board to help out the community and work for the school.

“We’ve been involved with our school since our kids started and this was the next logical step,” he said. “No specific goals at this time, but for now, I’m just getting my feet wet and we’ll see what happens.”

Incumbent board members David Damico and Bridget Majka were also sworn in for their new terms.

During the election of officers, the board cast unanimous ballots for Kenneth Kozlowski as president, Damico as vice president, Linda Guy as board clerk and Majka as assistant board clerk, all of whom are continuing on in their corresponding roles.

Tracy Ossman will continue to be the district clerk at a stipend of $1,512 and William Thiel was reappointed as treasurer for $10,000. Timothy Abbey shall be the transportation director for the 2014-15 school year at a stipend of $10,000. Rita Mrowka will be the tax collector for $8,896 and Dr. Vikram Sodhi will become the new chief medical officer for $25,000.

Cerne said Sodhi has offices in the local area and has done concussion work at the University at Buffalo.

Regular board meetings will continue to be held on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the large group instruction room of the administration building.

Cerne gave a preview of how the new school year is shaping up, saying the payment in lieu of taxes agreement extension with NRG Energy Inc. will continue to be a huge goal for the district.

“We would like to get the NRG situation all signed and done, so that’s a big thing that’s still hanging out there,” he said. “We’re looking forward to getting to the table and getting that done. We’ll also be having negotiations for two new contracts with the teachers and the administrators. Then, of course, it won’t be long until we’ll be back into budget season and I don’t anticipate it being any easier than last year.”

Cerne added officials are hoping to wrap up Phase III of the EXCEL Capital Project by December. He also expects bids for Phase IV to be opened during the spring.

Also during the meeting, the board accepted resignations from Jessica Vasquez as Spanish-speaking clerk II (effective Aug. 18) and Nancy Voigt as teacher aide (effective July 1).

The shared service agreement with Fredonia Central School for the 2014-15 girls swimming program was put into effect.

Julie Hebner of Fredonia was appointed as account clerk, effective Aug. 15, at $14.34 per hour. A typist position was filled by Laurie Barberich for $43,973, effective Aug. 6. Barberich is transferring from a 10-month position to a 12-month one and is filling the vacancy left by Jeannine Peterson, who retired.

Cerne announced the Class of 1984 would like to dedicate and purchase a flowering tree for the district. A walk on Saturday will help raise funds for it, with a dedication ceremony around noon outside in the triangle-shaped area by the auxiliary gymnasium at the high school.

The board approved Phase III change orders for Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric at a total net cost of about $8,500.

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