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Administrator promoted; fundraisers declared successful; school groups seek share of spoils

Warren Easton’s board of directors adopted new bylaws and appointed a second assistant principal at a marathon monthly meeting, March 14.

The board promoted administrative assistant Mervin Jackson to the job of second assistant principal. The promotion comes with a $10,000 annual raise, which will be pro-rated for the remainder of the current school year.

Talk of the promotion began earlier this year when it became known that Jackson had completed additional training to prepare for such a role. As the board reviewed job descriptions for two assistant principal slots, they requested that the titles be changed from assistant principal to “assistant principal one” and “assistant principal two” to establish a clear chain of command in the event of an emergency.  Current assistant principal Joseph Gilyot will assume the role of assistant principal one.

The board accepted their revised bylaws after adjusting three sections of article four.  Changes include an extension of the waiting period, from one to two years, that must pass before a former board member can serve again after the prior term is up.

Ex-officio member Sal Genovese said the golf tournament fundraiser raised over $10,000 for the Hall of Fame committee.  A dance at Rock ‘n’ Bowl yielded about $500, the board thought the event was well received and expressed the hope that it will grow next year.

Former member Charles Petrey, who served from June 2009 until August 2010, will return to the board in April.  The board also approved the minutes of February’s meeting and accepted the finance committee’s report.

The board voted to add an item to the agenda and then went into a closed executive session to talk about  a school security issue.  President David Garland said the session did not touch on  “personnel review,” the stated purpose for the  executive session listed on the original agenda. No motions resulted from the session.

The board received appeals for funding from different school groups, among them Easton’s dance team and a French class hoping to take a trip to Europe. The football team asked for funding for a football practice field. Coach Tony Hull told the board that his program is “out of money.”

“We’ve come across a major hurdle we can’t handle on our own,” Hull told the board.

The football team can no longer practice safely at Easton Park because it is thronged with children in the afternoons.  Last season the team paid to practice at City Park. Those unexpected costs, estimated at  $265 per practice, depleted the team’s reserves.

Action on the funding requests was postponed until the April meeting because early departures left the board without a quorum as the March meeting neared its close.

Board members present included David Garland, David Napoleon, David Benelli, Brenda Christiansen, Jeff Zapata, and Robert Delle.  They were joined by school staffers Gilyot, Hull, principal Alexina Medley, financial officer Mike Greer, fund development coordinator Janet Gaudet and a smattering of  students and faculty.

The meeting began at 6 p.m. and adjourned at 9:30 p.m.  The next board meeting will be April 18 at the school.

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