By GEORGE FJELD
BRANDON–At its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 7, the OVUU Board appointed 2 new board members and resurrected the middle-school concept. Vacancies that had opened on the board because of resignations were filled by secret ballot. Letters of interest were requested and received from Pittsford and Brandon residents. Pittsford resident Brooklyn Markowski was appointed to fill the vacancy created when Eric Pearsons resigned. Brandon resident and former student representative to the OVUU Board, Pajua W. Gamba was appointed to fill the spot vacated by Derek Larsen. They will be voted on at March’s Town Meeting to complete the remaining terms.
The board has decided to revisit the middle-school concept. The process was well along its way when it was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. At that point, the board was considering the creation of a middle school for grades 6-8, either as an addition to the Otter Valley building or as a separate structure. This could occur either on the Otter Valley grounds or elsewhere. A middle school would have its own programs geared to the students. Superintendent Kristen Hubert and OV principal Michael Rupple both have expressed their support for this concept. The Reporter will reach out to them for explanation of why it is advantageous to separate these preeteens from the older students. Community involvement is anticipated and appreciated.
Policies regarding treatment of staff, communication, and support to the board, and delegation to the superintendent were updated and passed.
In other business, the Board accepted the resignations of Kim Faber (retiring after decades of teaching 5th grade at Neshobe), Mary Heath (retiring after years as PE teacher at Neshobe), Christina Sweet (OV health teacher) , and Vicki Wells (principal at Neshobe for the past 2 years).
The Board approved the annual reports of and asked for an update from the administration regarding the Ely Trust and the Booth, Burditt, and Pinney funds. Questions about how the funds could be accessed and used will be answered. The first reading of the updated Ely Fund Investment Policy was undertaken.
Monthly community forums continue with the focus on values, mission, and vision. September’s forum focused on safety and October’s on goals, values, and hopes. The next forum will be held on Tuesday, November 28th at the OV library from 5:30-7:00 p.m. The Otter Valley community is invited. Zoom is available.
The board finished its evening with an executive session.