Minutes January 30, 2013


Chappaqua, New York



January 30, 2013



8:15 p.m.



Horace Greeley High School



Board of Education
Victoria Tipp, President
Alyson Gardner Kiesel, Vice President
Karen Visser
Randall Katchis
Jeffrey Mester


Staff Members

Dr. Lyn McKay, Superintendent

Mr. Eric Byrne, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum

Mr. Andrew Selesnick, Assistant Superintendent for Leadership, and Instruction

Mr. John Chow, Assistant Superintendent for Business

Theresa Markley, District Clerk / Adm. Asst. to Superintendent


Visitors Present:

Representatives of the Chappaqua PTA, school PTAs, building administrators, faculty, and other interested citizens.


President Tipp called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m. The Retreat will be rescheduled. Alyson Kiesel moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussion of labor negotiations. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Alyson Kiesel moved to adjourn the executive session. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

President Tipp moved to reconvene the public session at 8:25 p.m. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

President Tipp welcomed the community, students, and parents. She announced that tonight we talk about all the hard work that our students do. Dr. Mckay welcomed them also and turned to Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Eric Byrne and Horace Greeley Principal Robert Rhodes to begin the presentations.


Students Talk About Learning

Mr. Byrne declared this a terrific night because we often talk about planning and designing programs, but we don't often hear how the students feel about the programs and the impact they have on them. Our students have had some extraordinary accomplishments. Let me introduce:

NehaGupta - Field Hockey, Tennis Field Hockey Golden Dozen Award

Brent Lobian - Football, Wrestling National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Golden Dozen

Scott Wymbs - Wrestling Holder of HG wrestling record for most wins 118 ... and counting

Each student recreated their own experiences with hard work, team work and success through sports. They learned to manage time, worked through problems including family relationships, and developed skills to be stronger and able to push themselves farther.

Math competitions - Math teacher George Benack is the coach for the all female math team, that has been competing in the New York Math League and spoke in glowing terms of their accomplishments.

Team: Maya Anand, Jiayi Peng, Alexandra Medway, Aparna Nathan, Amy Wang are now in first place.

They explained the types of problems utilized in the math contests. Every year the competition includes a real world question such as in Moody's Mega Math Challenge 2012. The query was which high speed rail lines are most reliable, which city presents best location, and use math to determine if the rail system is feasible and practical to continue to be built. Criteria includes the need to know how people think, response to traffic and trends and then represent that with numbers. The team offered an optimistic point of view. The girls brought all of their own real life experiences, different backgrounds, and used their strengths to synthesize different points to collaborate on one paper. They used good research and interdisciplinary skills.

Science research - Science teacher Trudy Wesler provided some background on the three year program. In freshmen year students are interviewed. Work begins in sophomore year to find a topic of interest and a mentor. The second year is more research and senior year preparation for competition.

Jiayi Peng, Sara McElheny, and Sasha Zemsky

Sara McElheny - Sara's project was on student stress, utilizing surveys from 192 freshmen students

Jiayi Peng - Jiayi's project was entered in the Siemens competition. She studied the healthy vs non-healthy brain building in computer science. She learned self-confidence and perseverance by dealing with rejection from adults who did not want to mentor, and peer review process with lots of critiques.

Sasha Zemsky - Sasha performed research on Parkinson's disease using fruit flies. She learned that if the experiment doesn't work out as expected, it may be the hypothesis is incorrect.




President's Report


WPSBA Legislative Advocacy Report

President Tipp had nothing to report this evening.


Superintendent's Report


Dr. McKay stated that the Douglas Grafflin Elementary School Principal Search was progressing.


Proposed 2013-14 school calendar

Dr. McKay presented the proposed calendar with two weeks in December; a week in winter, a week in spring, and early dismissal days scheduled on Fridays. Alyson Kiesel moved to adopt the calendar. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Dr. McKay reported that all panic buttons will be installed next week.

Questions and Comments

We welcome public inquiries, and in respect for each other's time, we ask that you limit your inquiry to three minutes. Board members may be contacted via email or phone.






Recommended Action: Personnel

Dr. McKay made the following recommendations.



Alyson moved to approve the recommendations as amended. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


"BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby authorizes the attached Agreements for Services for the individuals and agencies listed below effective for the 2012/2013 school year, or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education":

Successful Learning Center.


"BE IT RESOLVED that, the Board of Education hereby appoints the individuals listed as AP proctors to be employed on an "as needed" basis effective for the 2012/2013 school year, or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education":

Janine Bronen, and

Linda DiChiara Williams.

Request for Discretionary Leave of Absence:

Mr. Dillon Clark, Teaching Assistant, Horace Greeley High School, effective January 3, 2013 through January 18, 2013.


Ms. Linda Adair, Regular Substitute Teaching Assistant, Horace Greeley High School, effective January 11, 2013.

Appointment: Regular Substitute

Ms. Jennifer Durand, Regular Substitute Teacher of Elementary Education, Westorchard Elementary School, effective November 29, 2012 through June 30, 2013 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education), Step 2, A(BA), $65,792, prorated.

Ms. Jillian Durante, Regular Substitute Teaching Assistant, Horace Greeley High School, effective January 28, 2013 through June 30, 2013 (or earlier at the discretion of the Board of Education), $21,256, prorated.



Recommended Action: Other


Karen Visser moved to approve CSE summaries reported to the Board on January 11, 2013, as amended. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel moved to accept the gift from Friends of Greeley Theatre in the amount of $2,596.02 for purchase of the following items to be used in conjunction with the March production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses as well as for future Greeley Theatre Company productions: 1) $2,000.00 - assorted lumber, fabric and drapery supplies needed to build the set of Les Liaisons Dangereuses and 2) $596.02 - (4) Clear-Com Intercom Headsets (used by production crews, to replace broken headsets and increase permanent inventory). Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously. The Board acknowledge the generosity and continued support of Friends of Greeley Theatre.


Karen Visser offered the following resolution,

"BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education authorizes the Board President to execute a Release and Settlement Agreement regarding Student No. 700140. A copy of said agreement shall be incorporated by reference into the minutes of this meeting."

Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Alyson Kiesel moved to appoint the attached list of individuals as Subcommittee Chairpersons of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.



Jeffrey Mester introduced Chuck Napoli. Mr. Napoli is an architect and a realtor who recently presented a plan to the Town of New Castle to introduce new recreational, commercial and cultural activities into the core of the business district. He feels strongly that New Castle needs to use the Bell Middle School field for parking. Without it, he feels there is no place for the village to grow. His plan elevates the fields to the Senter Street elevation with cars parking under the Bell field. Improvements to Bell would result in a new playing field with lights and by moving cars off Senter Street, it would create a new, more efficient drop off and pick up for students. His detailed plan includes a performing arts center and stores.

Mr. Napoli explained PPP - public-private partnerships - a contractual agreement between a public agency and a private sector entity. He noted the field would be gifted so the district could lease the land underneath. He asked the board to partner and go to the next step.

Board members asked how this plan is integrated with the Town's master plan. Some board members felt it made more sense to wait for the new plan being developed before going forward. It was noted the Boehmer traffic study, completed in 2003, was used as a basis for this plan and would have to be updated. Additional questions remain such as where does it leave the district should the commercial project fail.




Karen Visser moved to accept the Claim Auditor Report for December 2012. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


President Tipp gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at Horace Greeley High School

8:15 p.m. Board Meeting


Superintendent's Budget Proposal

Budget Discussion (school programs and staffing)


Adjournment - Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn the meeting at 10:57 p.m. and to reconvene in Executive Session to discuss negotiations. President Tipp moved to adjourn Executive session at 12:20 a.m. and reconvene public session for final adjournment. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Theresa Markley, District Clerk / Admin. Asst. to Superintendent

Victoria Tipp, Board President