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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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School board won;t provide funding to Salmon River Hall of Fame


FORT COVINGTON - Salmon River school board officials decided after a heated debate at this week’st board of education meeting they will not be donating $150 to the school’s athletic hall of fame, a non-profit group, to purchase plaques to honor students who have played in 10 or more varsity sports.

They cited state law barring the district from making donations to non-profit organizations.

Board member Mike Sisto asked board president Judith Stark if they could put the issue to a vote. He noted that independent district auditor Carl Seyfarth of Seyfarth and Seyfarth Certified Public Accountants told the board in October that he would not look at a transaction that small, although it would still be illegal for the board to make such a move.

“He said he would not write it up. It doesn’t mean it’s legal,” school business executive Natascha Jock said.

Ms. Stark said Mr. Sisto could not make a resolution in light of the law.

“[The board] can vote it down, I don’t care,” Mr. Sisto said. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

He pointed to a recent spaghetti dinner that was put on for student athletes and their families, but Ms. Jock noted the school hosted the event, not a non-profit group.

Mr. Sisto later suggested a compromise that the school take over the athletic hall of fame, but the board took no action on the matter.

In other news, Superintendent of Schools Jane Collins reported that the district’s Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) for the 2011-12 school year is awaiting approval from the state Education Department (NYSED), having been submitted in October. She said she met with NYSED officials in November and is anticipating positive results.

“We hope to hear any day of the successful approval of that,” she said, adding that the November meeting left her “confident it will get full approval.”

APPR is a new state-mandated system of evaluating teachers and administrators. It is uniform throughout the state and all districts must conform to NYSED guidelines and submit regimented, timely evaluations.

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