Board of Education Corner – November 2020

We know it has been a while since the last board corner report that was provided, but the board has had a very busy summer and beginning of the school year.  We apologize for the extended delay and we will be back to our routine monthly reports beginning with this report.

First and foremost we would like to welcome back to the Greater Johnstown School District Dr. William Crankshaw, who was hired to be our new superintendent of schools.  Dr. Crankshaw hit the ground running as soon as he started back in the district on October 1, 2020.  We are excited to once again have the opportunity to work with Dr. Crankshaw over the next several years.  His experience as a superintendent and knowledge of our community is something we feel this district really needs at this time.

We would also like to take a moment to thank Dr. Geelan for her year of service that she was able to provide to our district as the interim superintendent.  It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Geelan and what she brought to our district at such a critical time was invaluable.  We would like to wish Dr. Geelan a very happy and well deserved retirement.

The board spent the better part of the summer working on the selection process for the open superintendent position.  This was a very long and time consuming process, but is probably one of the most important jobs our board has been faced with in quite some time.  We would like to thank everyone who participated in this process as all the feedback and information that was obtained from different constituent groups throughout our district really helped us in our decision making process.

Our board has continued working as normal throughout the entire transition process.  We have been meeting as committees and transitioning from one administration to another over the past couple of months.  We have finally completed those transitional meetings and are now getting back to our normal schedule of holding committee meetings along with our regular board meetings.

Our audit committee has been working with the administration and looking forward to the possibility of a reduction of state aid that we keep hearing about and working on a plan to combat those reductions if they were to take place.  This committee has also started preliminary discussions about the budget for the upcoming year.

Our facilities committee is currently working with the district staff to go over the building condition survey that was conducted this past summer.  The committee is sifting through that report and will continue to work on a plan to address recommendations that came from that building condition survey.

Each year one of the biggest events for all the school districts across the state is the annual convention and annual business meeting.  This is an opportunity for board members to attend training sessions, networking events, and learn about ways to advance our school districts to become more successful.  For the second year in a row I have had the pleasure of attending this conference and being the voting delegate at the annual meeting.  This year’s version was done entirely from a virtual setting which really did work out well with all things considered.  There was a lot of great information that will be helpful to our school district and this information will be presented at the upcoming board meetings.

We have a number of committee meetings and another board meeting scheduled for the month of November so please keep a look out for information regarding these meetings.  We are also exploring ways that we can resume our community outreach tour that we started last year as we feel it was a great way to get out and have a conversation with members of our community and school district.  We want to be sure that if and when we resume these meetings we are keeping everyone’s safety at the forefront.

That is all for this month’s board corner, please look out for the next edition to come out sometime at the end of this month.  Please remain safe and have a wonderful holiday season.

Chris Tallon