Weekly Feature

2017-06-22 / Local News

Lancaster Central officials honor MacKay at last board meeting

by ALAN RIZZO Reporter

At the last meeting of her 15-year career on Lancaster Central’s Board of Education, member Marie MacKay received thanks from her peers for a job well done.

During Monday’s meeting, board President Patrick Uhteg presented MacKay with a plaque commemorating her service, calling her a “well-deserving recipient” of such honors for her representation of Lancaster’s students and families.

“You are someone that I have grown to trust and admire and someone who has furthered our district with your dedication and your service,” he said, noting that MacKay was also recently recognized for her work by the Erie County Association of School Boards. “I can guarantee you will not be forgotten.”

In response, MacKay called her board service “the most rewarding experience of my public career,” reiterating her pride in the educational progress Lancaster Central has made during her tenure, significantly improving its academic and cost-efficiency rankings.

She also expressed gratitude to a host of supporters and mentors, thanked current board members and Superintendent Michael Vallely for their contributions and professionalism, and thanked the public for backing her for five terms.

“I am so honored that you entrust your children, and your school district, to my hands, and I am humbled by your support,” she said. Following her remarks, MacKay received a standing ovation from educators assembled in the room.

Also during the meeting, Uhteg reviewed the board’s goals for the 2016-17 school year, which included plans to update the district’s reserve fund policy during a work session tentatively scheduled for July 31 and pledges to hold as many meetings as possible at the Central Avenue School building.

He also reviewed developments in several areas, from academics to capital improvement, some of which included:

• Lancaster High School plans to add advanced placement courses in environmental science, computer science, and a course in biomedical sciences this fall, while the district continues to explore the possibility of creating an alternative school in cooperation with Our Lady of Pompeii Church.

• Phase five of the district’s $57.3 million capital project is now underway at the bus garage on Walden Avenue and will be completed over the next 18 months. Most work in phase six — which includes improvements to Hillview Elementary’s library, art room, nurse’s office and playground and replacement of the pool roof and track at LHS — should be nearly complete by the start of the 2017-18 school year.

• The district plans to create an implementation plan to comply with education law 87.01, which requires four lock-down drills per year at district schools, adding to current district practices.

Prior to Monday’s meeting, a group of 10 students from Lancaster High School received awards from the district for their participation in Model United Nations conferences this year at St. Bonaventure University and Canisius College.

Among those awarded were Irene Handy and Jenna Miori, who won best delegation at Canisius; and the teams of Jacob Gozdziak and Daniel Buscaglia, and Irene Handy, David Paul and Jamison Naminga, who won medals of excellence at St. Bonaventure.

Honorable mentions went to Brandon Habschied, Eric Enser, Simon Maslak and Samuel O’Neil.

The board will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday July 13, at Central Avenue Elementary, 149 Central Ave.

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