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Mayfield district names new head

School board OKs budget proposal

April 9, 2008
By KAYLEIGH KARUTIS, The Leader-Herald
MAYFIELD — The Mayfield Central School District Board of Education appointed a new superintendent and approved its budget Tuesday.

Wells Central School District Superintendent Paul Williamsen was appointed the new superintendent.

He is replacing Ralph Acquaro, who has been with the district for 10 years and will retire in June.

Williamsen will begin in June and his contract states he will remain until May 2011.

Ernest Clapper, vice president of the Board of Education, said the board has not yet finalized the contract.

The district has not yet released Williamsen’s salary. During the search, the district advertised a salary of $130,000.

Clapper commended board members for their work in finding a new superintendent.

“I’m very appreciative for the time and effort the board spent dedicated to this … it was a major commitment,” he said.

Williamsen, who has been at Wells for eight years and was previously the principal at the Broadalbin-Perth Middle School for 10 years and the assistant principal at the Scotia-Glenville High School for 2 1/2 years, will meet with teachers and school staff April 22 for an introduction to the school community.

At 7 p.m. that day, there will be a community meeting for Williamsen to meet and speak with community members.

The Board of Education also passed a $16.1 million budget, a $565,205, or 3.6 percent, increase over the 2007-08 budget.

Acquaro said the majority of the increase came as a result of higher health insurance costs and an increased amount spent on programs for handicapped children.

The potential tax-levy increase in the proposed budget is 3.5 percent. Acquaro cautioned the increase is not yet certain. He said it may go down, depending on other factors.

Acquaro said the district’s budget brings the cost per pupil to $6,473, which he said is significantly less than the state average and lower than almost all other school districts in the area.

“We’re maintaining programs, course selections and expanding summer enrichment” under the 2008-09 budget, Acquaro said.

Board member Tush Nikollaj called attention to the $630,000 annual cost for utilities and asked if something could be done to bring it down.

“I think the next step would be looking into [energy costs]. There have been a lot of developments in solar panels, and it might be the time to look at that,” Nikollaj said.

Nikollaj also mentioned the possibility of using a windmill to power the school.

Acquaro agreed a windmill probably would be able to power the entire school, and possibly parts of the town and village as well.

“I think it’s something worthwhile to look at … we really want to get into some real savings,” Acquaro said.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place May 13 at 7 p.m. at the high school library. Residents will vote on the budget May 20.

Kayleigh Karutis covers rural Fulton County.

She can be reached at


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