New Paltz Central School District sets the tone for the 2017-18 school year at organizational meeting

The New Paltz School Board (right to left): new board member Teresa Thompson, new board member Kathy Preston, Sophia Skiles, Alison Eastman, Michael O’Donnell, Brian Cournoyer and Matthew Williams. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

The New Paltz Central School District Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting at district offices on Wednesday, July 12.

Newly-elected board members Kathy Preston and Teresa Thompson were sworn in by district clerk Dusti Callo, who then administered the oath of office to the board’s choice for their president, Michael O’Donnell, and vice-president, Alison Easton. Callo was then sworn in herself by O’Donnell for another year as district clerk and chief election inspector.


The New Paltz Board of Education is now comprised of O’Donnell, Easton and Brian Cournoyer (all of whom have a term ending June 30, 2018); Sophia Skiles and Matthew Williams (with terms ending in 2019); and Preston and Thompson, who are on the board until June 30, 2020.

The district named the New Paltz Times and Daily Freeman as the newspapers of record.

Tina Long was appointed district treasurer. The collector of taxes will be the secretary to the assistant superintendent for business and the external auditor Cooper, Nieman & Co., LLP. Amy Ludwigson was appointed claims auditor with Jennifer Chase the deputy claims auditor. Raymond G. Preusser, CPA PC was appointed internal auditor.

The school and labor attorneys for the district are Shaw, Perelson, May & Lambert, LLP and the Institute of Family Health was appointed school physician.

The director of pupil personnel services will serve as equal rights officer and one of the two Title IX officers.

The high school and middle school assistant principals were appointed “dignity for all” coordinators for their respective schools and the coordinators of student support services for Lenape and Duzine Elementary filling that post at their schools.

Additional appointments included assigning the deputy superintendent as district DASA coordinator and harassment officer along with the director of pupil personnel services. The assistant superintendent for business was appointed director of facilities and operations and records management officer. The district clerk was given the job of records access officer and the superintendent will handle records access appeals.

Building administrators remain the supervisors of attendance and Christine Sutton the substitute caller.

The Health Advisory Committee was approved to operate for another year, which includes voluntary participation by teachers, students and community members and mandatory participation by department heads for facilities and operations, transportation, food service and New Paltz Police Chief Joseph Snyder.

In the absence of superintendent Maria Rice, deputy superintendent Michelle Martoni will be acting superintendent.

In the event that high school principal Barbara Clinton is not physically present on campus on one or more days (or portions thereof), middle school principal Richard Wiesenthal shall be acting principal for the high school for short term discipline matters. The same is true for Wiesenthal, with Clinton acting as principal for the middle term should Wiesenthal be unavailable for that period of time.

If Duzine Elementary School principal Debra Hogencamp is unavailable on campus for a day or more, deputy superintendent Michelle Martoni and/or the Lenape Elementary principal (yet to be hired) will be acting principal. The same is true for Lenape Elementary should that principal not be available.

The following organizations were approved as affiliated organizations of the Board of Education: Duzine/Lenape PTA, Middle School PTA, High School PTSA, New Paltz Athletic Association, New Paltz Music Association, New Paltz Central School District Foundation for Student Enhancement and New Paltz Arts in the Schools association.

The cost for elementary school breakfast and lunch is now $1.70 and $2.70, respectively (up .10 from last year) and breakfast and lunch at the middle school will now cost $1.95 and $2.95 respectively (up .10 from last year). The price of milk at .50 remains the same at elementary and middle schools.

Information about eligibility for the veteran’s tax exemption and the breakdown on tax exemptions for seniors can be found on the district website at Click on “our district,” “board of education,” “meetings and minutes” and “July 12 organizational meeting.”