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BOE approves new members, reviews consolidation project

KEN-TON - Earlier this month, the Ken-Ton Board of Education (BOE) administered oaths of office to officers and board members, and addressed concerns about the ongoing consolidation project that may lead to district school closings.

The board voted 4 to 0 to re-instate Bob Dana as the board’s president and instate Todd Potter, Jr. as board trustee at its meeting on July 2. Both officers will serve the same term, effective July 1 and ending June 30, 2016.

Dana also nominated Stephen Brooks for re-election as vice president, and the board approved him, 4 to 0, for a term to expire in 2015. Trustee Judy Frank became convener of meetings upon a similarly unanimous vote.

Dana said he has served as the BOE president for the previous three years. In the past, he taught in Williamsville for more than 30 years, was a consultant for the state education department, and taught part-time at Buffalo State College.

When asked what he plans to accomplish during his new term, Dana said arriving at a solution to the consolidation project is his main concern. In the face of falling enrollment and financial struggles, the district may have to make some difficult decisions, up to and including closing additional schools.

Last month, a focus group of residents ranked eight scenarios, from best to worst, for how to arrange the district’s schools. The highest-ranked proposal involves closing Kenmore Middle and Holmes Elementary. Most suggest closing at least some elementary or middle schools, and some also propose changes to Kenmore East and West.

At the meeting, Dana also said the board would ask superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro to research “two or three” of these scenarios.

“We need to complete decisions relative to the consolidation project. It started last year, we need to see it through and get that done, [and] try to persevere in these hard economic times,” Dana said. “We’re faced with the prognosis that we have to make cuts and reductions to survive, and we’d like to do better than that.”

In other news:

•Christine Ljungberg was instated as the board’s district clerk and Margaret Weglarski as its treasurer. Both will serve year long terms expiring June 30, 2014.

•Janet Gillmeister, the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, announced her retirement, effective January 1, 2014.


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