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Hudson school board elects new member


HUDSON — Near the end of the Monday night meeting of the school board, members voted to appoint Peter Rice to fill a vacancy on the board. He was sworn in by board treasurer, Daniel Barrett, and took his seat for a minute before the board voted to adjourn.

Mr. Rice won four votes and prevailed over two other strong candidates, former board member Pat Abitabile, who resigned her seat last summer due to family problems that have now been resolved, and Bob Conte, a retired district teacher, with 40 years on the job. Mr. Rice replaces Justin Cukerstein.


Mr. Rice, who serves on the school district’s Budget and Curriculum Committee, will be the only board member with children in the district’s elementary school. He received strong applause after receiving the winning the vote.

He has resided in Hudson his whole life. Due to having suffered a back injury in a car accident, he cannot work and lives on disability payments, which he said, will give him more time to devote to school board work.

Board member Elizabeth Faut said before the vote that the board should move in the direction of diversity in choosing a new member after pointing out that one retired teacher, Emil Meister, already sits on the board.

Other issues brought before the board this week included:

*Mid Hudson Cable has donated a large screen TV for a 1/2 credit media arts course that will be offered by Dan and Mary Udell

*The board is preparing to incorporate an anti-bullying policy into its code of conduct, in compliance with a state mandate. Anti-bullying posters now decorate the cafeteria

*The district is having a problem with illegally parked cars along Harry Howard Avenue and is planning to speak to the police about enforcing the no parking ordinance

*A number of audits were mentioned at the meeting. The state audited the district last spring; the district performed an internal audit, and an external audit will be complete in October.

*The $6 million roof project begun this summer is finished except for some work remaining at Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School, which was held up by late deliveries.

*Dr. Stuart Hirsch, dean of New York University’s Dental Outreach program, which now comes to Hudson four times a year to provide access to dental care for local children gave a report on what the program has accomplished. The program is funded by grants and will run for two more years. When it started three years ago, dentists detected a 43% rate of decay connoting an average of 3.2 cavities per child treated. In June, the rate had dropped an average of 2.5 cavities per child. Figures for dental work performed last week were not yet available.

Dr. Hirsch believes that fluoride treatments are responsible for most of the improvement. While many children have their own dentists, the NYU team has treated close to 40% of students at the John L. Edwards Elementary School on State Street and the Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School. They also treat children from the Hudson Head Start program.

Dr. Hirsch praised John L. Edwards Principal Carol Gans for her support and described how she kept the school open during a time when the school was closed by snow and called parents to tell them they could still bring their children in for dental treatments.

The presence of the dental team has been good for local business. The dental care team stayed at the St. Charles Hotel, and, said Dr. Hirsch, “We’ve eaten in every restaurant in town. They love us.”

The next Board of Education meeting ISD October 18, 6:30 p.m. at the Junior High cafeteria.

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