ELIZABETHTOWN — The newly formed Elizabethtown/Lewis-Westport School District now has a new name: Boquet Valley Central School District, a new superintendent, Joshua R. Meyer, and new colors of navy blue and gold.
As for the school name, the decision was not made until Monday’s meeting as the school board was undecided.
About 100 people waited curiously for the decision.
An exit poll at the May 21, budget vote, as well as student polls were conducted in which voters could state their preferences for the district’s name, colors and mascot.
The name choices were Eastern Adirondack Central School District, and Boquet Valley Central School District, both of which were deemed acceptable by the New York State Education Department.
Westport High School junior Laurence Lobdell addressed the board supporting the Boquet Valley moniker, saying “Boquet Valley is an original name. No other district in the nation or world could be called this. Eastern Adirondack is so bland. It’s (Boquet Valley) a perfect symbol as the river connects the towns. It’s a bridge between the people.”
Lobdell ended his plea with, "EA, No way!”
Tom Koehler, current Westport school board member, spoke on behalf of Eastern Adirondack in which he felt using, “Adirondack,” gave instant recognition and would be an asset to graduates when they indicated their high school.
The board voted unanimously to go with Boquet Valley.
The school mascot will be the Griffin, which has already been utilized by the combined sports teams, though additional detail may be added to the logo.
CVES Superintendent Mark Davey, who also has been serving as interim ELW Superintendent, informed the board that the state requires the new district to include, “at Elizabethtown-Lewis and Westport,” in its name for any official documents.
To which Meyer quipped, “We will need longer school buses.”
For the "Meyer for superintendent" vote, board members Philip Mero, Dina Garvey, Heather Reynolds, Suzanne Russell, and Sarah Kullman voted in favor, while Alan Jones and Karin DeMuro voted no.
Scott Osborne, who serves as the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School District superintendent, and Brent Suddaby from West Genesee School District in the western part of the state, had also been in the running.
Meyer, who will be under contract for three years, will receive a salary of $130,000 with the following two years negotiated at a later date. He currently serves as the Westport superintendent and principal.
To be decided at the next board meeting will be official building designations of which Lake View Campus/Mountain View Campus, or Sisco Street Campus and Court Street Campus are under consideration.
In a technology update, the board supported recommendations to purchase 100 Chromebooks for Elizabethtown and 25 for Westport, which already has 75.
They will also follow Northeastern Regional Information Center advice for servers, services and workstations, as well as technology inventories and assessments. All website purchases will also be through the center.
A district data privacy officer will also be appointed.
The board also acknowledged and thanked the volunteer work of Ryan Hathaway of Hometown Electric and the use of CVES students in wiring the Elizabethtown campus for computer link-ups, which they deemed an excellent educational experience for the students.
VALS AND SALS
Another issue for the new district, brought up by Elizabethtown teacher/adviser Kaitlin Fielder as well as two students, was the possibility of co-valedictorians and salutatorians; one from each current school district.
Concerns revolved around the possibility that each current district may have different grading standards. It was decided that this will be the policy for the first three years of the district.
Fielder also recommended that a new district honor society be created which would also be a part of the National Honor Society.
During the public session, Fielder implored the administration and board to notify teachers as to the next school year’s placements as soon as possible as there is, “great anxiety” among the staff.
Since larger classes are moving up, there will be the establishment of new class sections for grades 3 and 6 at the Elizabethtown campus, though the staff size will remain the same.
The following actions/consents were approved: building use for the Elizabethtown Lewis Youth Commission; recognize the Boquet Valley Support Staff Association; approve an after school agreement with Adirondack Community Action Programs for an after-school program; become a self-insurer as to Workers’ Compensation claims; approve the request for a foreign exchange student to attend Boquet Valley.
Davey expressed concerns on the costs of health insurance which he felt have been affected by some CVES employees choosing to go to emergency care centers or hospital emergency rooms rather than a physician where they would have to cover a $15 to $20 co-pay.
He cited that a physician visit typically runs around $115 while an emergency room visit can average $1,500.
The tuition for out-of-district students was also discussed.
Boquet Valley District Treasurer Sharlene Petro-Durgan provided background information and the suggestion that $2,800 be considered. Several individuals including Boquet Valley Board Member Suzanne Russell indicated that the cost to the district is marginal and, “you cannot put a dollar amount on the benefit these students bring to our school.”
The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday June 26, at the Westport school.
It is expected that an executive session will start at 6 p.m., and the public portion of the meeting will commence at 7 p.m.
Email Alvin Reiner at: email@example.com.