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NY Mills School board tests waters for Novak’s replacement

The plan to replace current New York Mills High School Principal Blaine Novak after he moves into his new role as district superintendent was discussed at length during Monday’s school board meeting.

Currently, the district has three full-time administrators: a superintendent, high school principal, and an elementary school principal.

The board is considering re-organizing that model after Novak moves to superintendent. Two new models proposed both involve replacing the current principal position with a dean of students, a move that could save the district up to $25,000, according to documents provided at the meeting.

The proposals present logistical problems, however.  The physical layout of the school would make discipline and general management of the school difficult with a K-12 dean of students rather than a principal.

Some board members wondered if the savings would be worth it, given that the dean would be an “uncertified employee.”

“Money is a concern, but so should be the level of service,” Superintendent Todd Cameron said.

“I’m very concerned about the appearance – if we go with three full-time administrators then go through budget issues, what will the public think?” asked board member Kristina Ehnert.

“There are a lot of schools that are bigger than us with way less administration, and some schools that are smaller that use the same amount,” said Novak.

Ultimately, the board made a directive to advertise for a high school principal, but is keeping its options open.

In other news, the board:

-Discussed the spring sports season with Activities Director Matt Radniecki, who said that the district is “getting to the point where they can’t make up all their games” due to the inclement weather, although they are trying their best.

Potential  solutions include playing double headers in softball and baseball, scheduling games on Wednesdays or Saturdays, and eliminating non-conference games, Radniecki said, although he doesn’t foresee playing four nights a week.

-Had a question and answer session with a group of students who recently returned from a Close Up trip to Washington, D.C. and New York.

Students reported that highlights from the trip included going to the Hard Rock Café and seeing “Mamma Mia” on Broadway.