Busy Night For Oswego Board Of Education; Athletic Director Resigns

By Bill Foley, OCT Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego City School District Board of Education met on Monday  night and its vote resulted in a major administrative change.

In a unanimous vote, the board accepted the resignation of Athletic Director Michael Conners, effective on February 2. He was appointed, effective February 2, as a physical education teacher at Kingsford Park Elementary School.

Conners will receive a salary of $85,232 for the 10-month position, which is the identical salary he earned for the 12-month athletic director position.

Superintendent of Schools Ben Halsey indicated that with the wealth of experience and education Conners brings to the position that the salary is a “fair market value.”

Not only has he been a veteran physical education teacher in the Fulton School District, but has administrative experience for the past two and a half years in the Oswego City School District.

David Gryzka has served as the Oswego High School Dean of Students as well as providing support in the area of physical education.

He has been named as the interim Athletic Director at a salary of $73,868.

Halsey noted that Gryzka will be receiving the same salary as he did as Dean of Students. However, it was also noted that the district is moving back to the “traditional athletic director” as Gryzka will be involved in athletics as well as the physical education aspects of the position.

The district will post immediately for a new OHS Dean of Students.

The Superintendent of Schools noted that with the retirement of Assistant Principal Susan Piaseki and the vacancy in the Dean of Students position that it will allow the district to review and analyze the administrative structure of the high school.

In other administrative changes at the previous meeting Robert Duffy was named as the new Special Programs Director and Karen Canale as the district clerk.

Halsey noted that the position of Assistant Special Programs Director is also currently vacant.

Prior to the regular meeting the monthly committee meetings were conducted.

Under the “Instruction” area the board reviewed four resolutions that were placed on Monday evening’s regularly scheduled meeting.

The board approved placing a new mathematics course entitled “Basic Geometry” on the agenda as well a mentor-scholar program for the fourth year at Oswego Middle School along with a winter guard international competition overnight trip to Corning on February 7-8 and an agreement between the New York State Coalition for Independent and Religious Schools and the Oswego City School District.

All four resolutions were later approved unanimously.

The board approved placing vacancy notice postings including Oswego High School Assistant Principal, an OHS interim dean of students as well as a variety of other positions among professional and support staff.

Also on the regular agenda was the transfer of funds to pay for additional costs of the Runaway Homeless Attendance Counselor, reallocation of funds for Online Vendor Scoring of ELA and math tests for grades three through eight, the purchase of a new microfilm reader and records management services through BOCES and tuition to cover Oswego students attending school in the Mexico Central School District.

Approval was also given to approve a maintenance contract between the district and Siemens Industry for additional controls for the Energy Performance Contract for the capital projects at a cost of $24,377.

In “Personnel” the board will address numerous resolutions.

On the January 26 agenda will be a professional retirement of OHS Assistant Principal Susan Piasecki (effective on July 1), retiring support staff cook-manager Kim Bryant (effective on March 31), leaves of absence for elementary teachers Nicole Freebern, Shirley Hadley and Michelle Baroody and dean of students David Gryzka.

Teacher tenure will be on the January 26 agenda for social studies teacher Michael Howard, technology Matthew Bock, elementary teacher Eric McCrobie, library media specialist Jeremy Shanly, special education’s Catherine Chase and elementary teacher Carol Janice.

Probationary appointments including English teacher Casey Lawson, elementary teacher Stephanie Dawson and speech teacher Cheri Rohn will be on the future agenda.

Regular substitute teachers expecting approval at the next meeting are Melissa Russell (Reading) and Keriann Eastman (Elementary) along with coaches Tom Frawley (baseball junior varsity head coach), Dan Witmer (boys’ junior varsity lacrosse head coach) and Gina Lee (volunteer cheerleading coach).

The orchestra pit musicians and choreographer were also placed on the future meeting for approval for the annual musical.

Jeff Wallace will be placed before the board as an Oswego Middle School after-school homework supervisor while school psychologist interns Emily Cunningham and Karyvette Fieto will be on the agenda at a stipend of $12,000 each.

Mary Warrington, a part time teacher aide, has requested a leave of absence while probationary support staff appointments before the board will be school bus drivers James Liccardi and Ray Hatalla along with food service helper (part-time) Charles Dumas.

Ward Andres, a computer aide, will also be on the agenda under “contingent permanent” while a number of substitute and temporary employees will also be acted upon.

During the regular meeting superintendent’s report Halsey spoke about the progress for alternative educational opportunities and indicated that due to the inclement weather meetings were delayed.

He is expected to bring further information to the board during future meetings.

The proposed calendar for the next school year was reviewed in draft form and discussion is expected to continue before February approval.