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Old schools emptied in wake of downsizing

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KINDERHOOK — The Ichabod Crane Central School District Board of Education accepted the resignation of Middle School Assistant Principal Shannon Shine at the board’s August 2 regular meeting. The move makes it possible for him to take over as principal of the 4th and 5th grades in the district.

Mr. Shine replaces retiring elementary school Principal John Stickles, though the position will be a little different now, since both grades will be in the Middle School this September and 3rd grade is now part of the Primary School.

The board also discussed what will happen to the two, now-vacant school buildings the district owns, the Martin Van Buren and Martin H. Glynn elementary schools. The board hired a real estate consulting firm, CresaPartners, to advise the district on opportunities to lease or sells the buildings.

Board member John Antalek said the Property Disposition Review Committee had a conference call with CresaPartners about the legal titles of the buildings. Mr. Antalek also said the committee also met with representatives from the Town of Kinderhook and the Village of Valatie about moving municipal offices to the Martin H. Glynn School, which is in Valatie.

“We are sort of in negotiations with them now,” Mr. Antalek said of the municipalities, but he said he couldn’t discuss any more details with the public.

The report from CresaPartners will be online for the public to view after the board releases it.

The board is also looking for a member of the public to sit on the Audit Committee. The committee is made up of several board members and administrators. Mr. Antalek, who is on the committee, said that it would help to have someone with a finance background but that is not a requirement for candidates. Interested residents should email the board at boardofeducation@ichabodcrane.org.

The signs of transition at the Middle School, where the school board meetings are held, were obvious as the district condenses the supplies from two buildings into one. Books, desks and even blackboards where stacked in the hallways.

“It doesn’t just fall into place,” said board member Regina Rose of the move. There is “a lot of physical work to do,” she added.

Mr. Shine will be principal for the two lower grades now housed in the Middle School. Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick said the school plans to move the playground equipment from Martin Van Buran to the Middle School for the 4th and 5th graders.

The board has decided to wait until October to start the search for a new superintendent. The district is currently conducting a consolidation study with the Schodack Central School District. “We saw that there was clearly a reduction in the number of applicants last year,” said Board President Andrew Kramarchyk said of the search they already conducted. The board ended up appointing Mr. Bordick to another year as interim superintendent.

“It’s not that we think we are moving toward merging at this time,” said Ms. Rose, but she worried that applicants would not be interested in applying for a position that might be dissolved under a consolidation agreement between the districts.

This week the board also heard from the Football Committee, which is raising money for the privately funded program this school year. The team and its supporters have a fundraiser scheduled for the Crossgates Mall in Albany August 12. The team still has to raise $4,000 to meet the $31,000 goal required to fund the football season, and the deadline is August 14.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com.

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