Catching Up With the Beacon School Board

Highlights from recent meetings

The Beacon school board on June 21 unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the New York State School Boards Association as it advocates a proposal to allow school board members, who are elected volunteers, to receive a stipend. The NYSSBA argues that payments would help parents who serve on boards offset the cost of childcare and encourage a more diverse pool of candidates.

The nine-member board also passed a resolution supporting the NYSSBA to advocate for a proposal to require the school day to start no earlier than 8 a.m., which it says would improve academic achievement and graduation rates. Because districts must coordinate schedules for extracurricular activities, including interscholastic sports, the decision should be implemented statewide, the association said. Before the pandemic shutdown, Beacon High School and Rombout Middle School started at 7:30 a.m. The vote was 8-1, with the lone “no” from Anthony White, who said he had not researched the issue enough. 

On July 7, the board approved the appointment of Sagrario Rudecindo-O’Neill as assistant superintendent for curriculum and student services at a salary of $169,000 annually. She succeeds Erik Wright, who left the district in June to become an assistant principal at a Yonkers school. 

The district continues its search for principals at Beacon High School and South Avenue Elementary to succeed Elisa Soto, who left to become an assistant superintendent in the Newburgh district, and Laura Cahill, who is now an elementary principal in the Hyde Park district. On July 28, the board appointed Assistant Principal Thomas O’Neil as interim principal at the high school.

At its annual organizational meeting on July 7, the board re-appointed Meredith Heuer as president and chose Flora Stadler as vice president. 

■ The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 16.

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