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What you need to know for 03/23/2017

Eight Schenectady teachers retiring at end of year

Eight Schenectady teachers retiring at end of year

The Schenectady City School District will lose more teaching experience at the end of the school yea

The Schenectady City School District will lose more teaching experience at the end of the school year.

The Board of Education on Wednesday accepted the retirements, effective in June, of eight teachers.

They are Courtney Stella, a special education teacher at King Elementary; Cathy Lenahan, a teacher at Paige Elementary; Edward Pfeifer, the Career Center at Steinmetz; Dana Richardson, health teacher at Schenectady High School; Diane Robusto, Pleasant Valley Elementary; Catherine VanNortwick, Mont Pleasant Middle School; Joan Wade-Keszey, special education; and Gregory Wolos, English teacher at Schenectady High School.

Each will receive a $6,000 retirement stipend and their accumulated sick leave, which totaled $63,318.

Last month, the board accepted the retirements of four administrators.

Superintendent Eric Ely had negotiated a $10,000 retirement stipend if they gave notice of intent to retire by Jan. 1.

Ely is looking at cost savings as he puts together the 2009-2010 budget based on the current $154 million spending plan. He is examining how many teachers and administrators need to be replaced or if positions can be filled internally. This will save the district some money as the new hires would likely be paid less than those retiring. The district has roughly 1,000 teachers currently.

The board also accepted the retirement of Richard Yager, manager of employee benefits and its longtime clerk. Ely said Yager has a wealth of knowledge about the district’s history.

technology audit

In other business, the board approved an action plan to correct shortcomings found in a state comptroller’s audit of its technology. Ely said issues that have been fixed were the district did not have a policy for removing people’s e-mail accounts when they left district employment and not shutting down computers at the end of the school day.

Ely also reported that the district has already used two of its allotted three snow days. It has 186 days in its school year by contract, so it should not be a problem unless there is a rash of severe weather. He said the district made the decision to cancel school on Wednesday based on the forecast, which had predicted more severe conditions than what turned out to be.

“Maybe we could have gone, but they were calling for a quarter-inch to a half-inch of ice,” he said.

The board also accepted donations of several musical instruments and a $6,000 anonymous donation to buy new uniforms for the high school boy’s varsity basketball team and sneakers for both the varsity and junior varsity squads.

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