The Glen Cove Board of Education meeting held on Monday, Feb. 23, began on a positive note with the honoring of a district employee for his heroic act, and was followed by two presentations by middle school students and a budget presentation by Victoria Galante, the assistant superintendent for business.
Finley Middle School security guard Horace Townsend was recognized for performing the Heimlich maneuver on a Finley Middle School student in the school cafeteria last December upon noticing the child choking. Finley Principal Nelson Iocolano and Superintendent of Schools Maria Rianna thanked Townsend for his quick thinking and heroic actions.
Townsend expressed his gratitude to the district for providing him and other school personnel with CPR training, which equipped him with the necessary skills to help the student in distress.
“I was in the right place at the right time and did what I had to do,” said Townsend.
His son, who was in the audience, stood up and said that he had witnessed the event was proud of his father.
“He ran into action like a superhero,” he said. “But he’s been saving my life every year for the past 25 years and is my superhero every day.”
In addition to celebrating Townsend, the board was also presented with research conducted by Finley students Matthew Gasparello and Kylie Paul as part of the school’s newly implemented research program. During the half-year course, students selected a topic of interest, writing extensive research papers on what they learned.
Andrew DiNapoli, their teacher, said that the program is aimed at creating “active, not passive learners” and the research projects are designed to have them become “experts in their fields.”
“The students become the teachers, and it is a lot of fun to watch and experience,” DiNapoli said.
Last semester the program had 47 students and Rianna said there are more than 70 enrolled this semester.
Next, Galante led a budget workshop for the 2015-16 proposed budget. She went over the tax levy, the appropriation increases, the revenue budget, the capital and administrative components of the appropriation budget and the reserves. She explained that tax levy limit is comprised of an allowable levy growth factor, which is 1.62 percent for Glen Cove, plus allowable exemptions, which makes the maximum allowable tax levy 2 percent for Glen Cove.
Some of the appropriation increases for 2015-16 include a 6 percent increase for health insurance, an 18 percent increase for ERS and a 13.26 percent increase for TRS.
On the revenue side, a lot of the line items must remain flat at this point, since Gov. Cuomo has not released the numbers for the schools’ state aid.
“The governor has a reform agenda and is essentially holding state aid hostage,” said Rianna. “There are no state aid runs yet, so we have been advised to stay flat. We’re kind of walking blind without number guidance.”
The projected revenue budget for 2015-16 is $81,434,751, compared to the current year, which is $79,281,428. The capital component of the appropriation budget is proposed at $7,277,915, compared to $6,280,751 for this year and the administrative component totals $6,929,529, compared to $6,557,007 for the current year.
The next budget workshop will take place at the board of education meeting on Monday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the middle school.