HUDSON—The big news from the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting June 15 was the upcoming retirement of Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier effective January 2, 2022 (see “Hudson’s Suttmeier announces retirement,” June 17 issue). But the meeting also included teacher recognition, facilities updates and preparations for the new school year.
The board last week announced tenure, effective in September, for nine faculty and staff: Laura Backlund, English as a New Language; Thomas Giosa, Music; Brian Hoolihan, Social Studies; Joanne Lanuto, psychologist; Anna Oleson-Wheeler, elementary teacher; Kyle Roberts, Health; Megan Sullivan, elementary teacher; Hope VanTassel, speech teacher; Nichole Wordon, elementary teacher.
Most of those granted tenure have been with the Hudson City School District four years.
“I’ve really enjoyed working here,” said Mr. Giosa, who added that he looks forward to more years.
“It’s been a pleasure, I’m really proud,” said Ms. Lanuto.
Mr. Roberts said the last few years “flew by. Every year has been enjoyable.”
Student Representative to the Board Noshin Tasnim reported that the seniors on the Student Council had selected Meghan Abitabile as Teacher of the Year. Ms. Abitabile teaches social studies at Hudson High School.
In other staffing news, the HCSD has “a number of openings in the Buildings and Grounds Department,” reported board member Sage Carter.
“We’re currently doing the second round of interviews” for the open positions, Dr. Suttmeier said.
For the time being, Ms. Carter said, “We have been relying on our custodians and outside contractors” to meet the Buildings and Grounds needs. She thanked Jesse Boehme, the district business administrator, “for keeping it going,” she said.
‘It was delightful to know we could have a prom in person.’
Supt. Maria L. Suttmeier
Hudson City School District
Ms. Carter also reported that the Server Room will undergo an electrical upgrade during the summer, because its current electrical system is “insufficient.” On the other hand, she called the newly-rehabilitated baseball facilities “fantastic.”
For summer school, Mr. Boehme reported, the district is seeking bids for 12 bus runs. But some contracted transportation costs can increase 3.2% over last year. “This is a surprise to me,’ he said, because in previous years the increase has been about 1%. Mr. Boehme said the reasons for the increases include the “skyrocketing cost of oil and other commodities.”
Earlier this month HCSD sent a survey to the community to help create a spending plan for the $5.9 million the federal government is allocating for the district to help overcome the effects of the pandemic. At the June 15 meeting, she reported that preliminary survey results showed that the most popular possibilities include Social Emotional Learning and Safety/Security.
In one result of the relaxation of Covid-19 prevention requirements, “It was delightful to know we could have a prom in person,” Dr. Suttmeier remarked. “Chaperons said, ‘It’s so wonderful to see the kids happy to see each other.’ ”
But just before last week’s board meeting Governor Cuomo removed Covid restrictions from many places but not schools. This caused questions. “We need clear guidance,” said Dr. Suttmeier. The HCSD wants the cohort requirement removed, for more flexibility. Additionally, she said, the district wants to reduce the required social distance on school buses.
Also at the meeting:
* Ms. Carter reported the district is looking for a “dial timer” for the tennis court lights
* The board gave outgoing member Linda Hopkins a plaque. “It’s been an absolute honor to work with all of you,” she said.
The next meeting of the Hudson City School District Board of Education will kick off the 2021-22 school year, as it will take place Thursday, July 1, at 6 p.m. at Hudson High School. That’s two days later and a half hour earlier than previous board meetings.