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Hudson District boosts wage rate for teaching assistants


HUDSON–Substitute teaching assistants, English as a New Language and athletics received attention at the Hudson City School District Board of Education meeting Monday, December 12.

At the request of Schools Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier, the Board voted to raise the pay per hour for substitute teaching assistants from $10.53 to $12. Dr. Suttmeier noted that the district needs more teaching assistants than some other districts in the region.

The district is hiring a new teacher for English as a New Language (ENL), even though this is the middle of the school year. Dr. Suttmeier introduced the teacher, Laura Morrissey, at the meeting. Currently from Pearl River in Rockland County, Ms. Morrissey plans to move to the Hudson area over the holidays and hopes to start teaching in the Hudson City School District (HCSD) in mid-January.

The exact date depends on when the school she currently teaches at will release her. Dr. Suttmeier said that Ms. Morrissey had impressed her during the hiring process.

Ms. Morrissey called the prospect of teaching ENL in the Hudson District “a real honor,” adding, “I plan to [teach ENL] for the rest of my teaching career.”

The High School Varsity Football Team members appeared with their coaches to received congratulations for their past season. They were the undefeated champions of their section division and made it to the Section 2 Class B Super Bowl. Their only defeat came in the Super Bowl, where they lost to Glens Falls, resulting in a final record of 9-1. Dr. Suttmeier thanked the team for “giving us a thrilling season” and presented each player with a Certificate of Achievement, reading off each recipient’s name in turn.

Team members and a coached also talked about their November field trip to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to both the Giants and the Jets. There, said a player, professionals “told us about a whole side of sports we don’t see,” most related to money and finances. The high school players visited the locker room and “stepped into boxes we probably won’t step in again,” ranging in dollar cost from the high triple digits to over a million.

The pros reportedly told the youths that for a career in sports they did not have to be “the best and brightest, but you have to be a hard worker.” The local players were also advised not to count on playing sports for income but instead to earn an a degree that was useful “anywhere” and were told that besides players, professional sports teams hire people to perform important ancillary functions–everything from entertaining stadium audiences during a time out to accounting.

One Hudson player thanked the people—including the bus drivers–who enabled his team to go on the field trip.

Meanwhile, plans to build a new high school athletic field are proceeding a month ahead of schedule, Dr. Suttmeier announced. A request for bids will go out before the holidays and, if all goes according to plan, the new field will be ready next September.

Also at the meeting:

• Dr. Suttmeier thanked Hudson Alderman John Friedman (D-3rd Ward) for suggesting regular High School lunches where local professionals tell students about their career paths. “It’s really a nice partnership with the community,” she said. This semester the High School hosted three such lunches: one with a lighting designer, one with a landscaper, and one with an acupuncturist. Next semester plans call for three more such lunches

• The superintendent reported that many factors go into deciding whether to declare a snow day and even whether to delay opening of school. For example, even with a three-hour delay, the lunch staff has to be on site at 8 in the morning. In addition, if all school districts that use the same bus company are closed except one, extracting busses for that one district out of the mass of parked busses could be difficult. She acknowledged that with the December 12 snow day, the District has only two snow days left.

The next HCSD Board meeting is Monday, January 9, at 7 p.m. at Hudson High School.

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