From todays Republican-American……
Losing election a relief when victors’ responsibilities emerge
Marshall Miles of Salisbury, who had been an outspoken critic of the previous Region 1 Board of Education, waged a campaign to be elected to the board last fall, but was defeated by Jennifer Weigel. Miles, who operates Robin Hood Radio of Sharon along with Jill Goodman, and writes a blog called Region 1 Report, keeps a close eye on the actions of the board. Last Wednesday at the start of the board’s budget hearing in Falls Village, Miles came to the microphone to congratulate members for working hard to come up with a plan.
“You all came in under a tough situation,” he said, then added, “When I saw the insurance costs for next year (a 22.9 percent increase) I was glad I lost the election.” Board members laughed and thanked him for his praise.
Region One Board of Education Public Hearing on the Budget April 2
A video of the meeting will be posted here by Thursday evening….
Region 1 school board OKs budget
(full story at http://rep-am.com)
During the comment period, Tom Gailes of Canaan asked if the rising health costs are due to illnesses of one or two employees. Herrick said there are 420 employees enrolled in the Region 1 pool and there are 17 claims of more than $100,000. When Gailes asked if there is any way to track so they’ll know about costs for the following year, Herrick replied that cannot be done due to medical privacy rights. Marshall Miles of Salisbury congratulated the board on its hard work in developing a budget. “You all came in under a tough situation,” he said.
The litany of frighteningly stupid Common Core math worksheets never ends. Perhaps now, though, kids are starting to fight back in satisfyingly creative ways.
A.B.C Region One March 26
From The Republican-American March 31 (full story at http://republicanamerican.ct.newsmemory.com/?token=1308022181)
The 45 members who comprise the seven boards of education in Region 1 will meet on April 23 at 7 p.m. to hear a report from board attorney Gary Brochu about the region’s 7000 policy series that deals with governance.
Hosted by the All Board Chairmen Committee, which is an advisory committee to the Region 1 Board of Education, the meeting will allow all members to hear what Brochu told committee members earlier this month. At that time he provided recommendations dealing with the employment of the superintendent and the handling of shared services.
Brochu told them the statutes that formed the region in 1939, and the special act of the Legislature in 1959 which set up shared services for special education, don’t comply with current practices.
During an ABC committee meeting this past week, Andrea L. Downs, chairman of the Region 1 board, pointed out that the committee does not have a budget and therefore cannot hire an attorney. Committee Chairwoman Electra Tortorella of Sharon said that last year the Region 1 board voted 4-2 to have the series studied by the attorney. She said the ABC committee voted unanimously to take on the review.
“I wasn’t on the board then, but I attended meetings and don’t remember that,” Downs said.
“I don’t object, but I want to do the process properly. The Region 1 board has to approve any funding.”
Tortorella said the Region 1 board’s minutes reflect the vote. Now the committee has to recommend to the school board to have Brochu come back on April 23.
Salisbury’s Claude Rolo asked if there are enough funds in the legal line of the budget to pay for Brochu’s visit. Downs said she believes there are.
The committee agreed to pass on the request to the Region 1 board.
Salisbury Board of Education March 24
Housatonic Valley FFA wins oratory glory
In Your Corner
With much poise, students from four high schools took part in the annual National FFA Extemporaneous Public Speaking Career Development Day last Thursday at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.
The district competition, which included participants from Wamogo, Nonnewaug and Northwest Regional high schools, was hosted by Housatonic. Each of the schools takes on the hosting duties for three-year spans, and this is the first year for Housatonic’s turn in the rotation.
The event calls for the young men and women to speak before audiences of judges, fellow students, parents and community members. First-year FFA students recite the FFA Creed. The other contests have members either speak extemporaneously on a random subject or give a prepared speech. All those participating were school winners. Following their presentations, they were asked questions by the judges.
The winners of the district program will go on to the state level. Housatonic’s Sam Bradway of Salisbury received first place for his prepared speech on water management. Olivia LaFontan of Kent took top honors, speaking extemporaneously on how being an FFA member makes one more employable.
Other Housatonic students who were recognized are: Sam Weisman of Salisbury, second place for prepared speech; Patrick Purdy of Sharon, second place for extemporaneous; Eve Cullerton of Salisbury, fourth place for creed and Molly Benack of Salisbury, fifth place for creed.
Bradway spoke of the need for a collaboration between the federal and state governments and private businesses to improve the country’s management of water systems. He said water is one of the most important resources and the need for reform in the way it is distributed is clear.
LaFontan, who described herself as being “chronically shy,” said four years ago she could never picture herself having the confidence to speak before an audience. She attributes the transformation to being part of FFA.
Those taking part in the extemporaneous segment chose three topics randomly and had a half-hour to construct a four- to six-minute speech. LaFontan spoke about agriculture teaching skills and values, as well as leadership qualities that allow for taking initiatives in life. She also noted that she has learned how to deal with both satisfied and dissatisfied customers.
“Farming is in my blood,” said the senior, who plans to attend the select nursing program at UConn in Storrs next year. “Farming goes back a long way in my family and even as a nurse, I think I’ll continue to be involved in it on a personal level.”
Region One Board of Education Budget Workshop March 20