Comings and goings celebrated in Cassadaga

SINCLAIRVILLE – Every beginning has an end, and every ending leaves room for growth.

During the recent organizational meeting at Cassadaga Valley, three school board members took their oath of office. Re-appointed members President Carl Perry and Vice President Jeanne Oag were both happy to keep their positions. Newly appointed member Beverly LeBaron is looking forward to working with the board this upcoming school year.

Perry took time to thank the board for allowing him to be president another year.

“It was a very enjoyable experience this last year,” he said. “I really look forward to working with all of you again.”

Oag believes she and Perry make a good team.

“We worked very well together this year,” she said. “I am happy to pick up the slack.”

“When we (board members) have any decision we all stand behind it,” Oag continued. “One of the nicest parts of being on this board is we all respect each other’s choices. We are a cohesive board.”

Interim Superintendent Thomas Schmidt gave his blessing to the new administrative team and a heartfelt goodbye to his fellow school board members.

“Our new administrators are off to a very good start. They started July 1, and have been working very hard,” he said. “Mr. Leichner has been meeting with the building administrators when he has time. I think the whole team is going to be ready to move forward. They are going to hit the ground running August 1, instead of just coming in and getting to know each other.”

“I have really enjoyed my time here,” Schmidt continued. “This is a great district. You have a great board and I can see you moving this district forward.”

Oag offered her appreciation to Schmidt for the past nine months of service to the school.

“You left us in a lot better shape than when you came in. It has been a pleasure to work with you. I know you are leaving with mixed emotions,” she said. “I want you to know that all your hard work has meant a great deal to a lot of people. You can take pride in knowing you have done a lot of good here.”

LeBaron has been watching Schmidt’s journey and feels he did a good job.

“From the time you took over – although it was a sad situation that brought you here – from the very day you took over there was a feeling in this district that everything was going to be all right,” she said. “You have proven that feeling to be true.”

Perry offered up his farewell.

“When you bring an interim in there is always a concern in the back of your mind you think are you getting a babysitter or are you getting someone that can come in and work with you,” he said. “Right from the start … I think we asked you to come on board late Tuesday night and Wednesday you met with the administration and that was your first day. Usually when someone says someone ‘rolls up their sleeves and gets right to work’ it is a figure of speech, but with you it was literal. I watched you do it … you took off your coat, rolled up your sleeves, and said ‘we can do this’ and by the end of the night we had accomplished something pretty significant. That impressed the heck out of me.”

“You came in and brought personality to the district,” Perry continued. “You treated this position not like an interim but like it was yours, and that kind of commitment and care was apparent early on. You did a lot of work for us this year. Not just in education but with the people too. You are a significant part of our accomplishment.”

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