JOHNSTOWN - After several recent years of divisive votes, the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education this week reappointed its current officers for 2012-13 without controversy.
By identical 8-0 votes, current board President Paul VanDenburgh and Vice President Jennifer Sponnoble were reappointed for another school year. The votes occurred at the board's organizational meeting at Johnstown High School. Board member Angela Clizbe was absent.
The nine-member Johnstown school board in recent years has had several divided votes for its top officers, as certain factions developed. It didn't happen Tuesday, and the current officers were given immediate support to lead the board another year.
New Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education members Kathryn Zajicek and Mark Ward read the oath of office Tuesday night at Johnstown High School.
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VanDenburgh said he was "humbled" by the vote of confidence after being nominated by board member Ronald Beck.
"I think it shows we have a good thing going and a lot of respect for the process," Sponnoble added.
She was nominated by new board member Kathryn Zajicek.
VanDenburgh said he couldn't single out one major issue dominating the Johnstown school agenda for the coming school year. But he did mention the board will continue to look at issues such as trying to strengthen attendance by students, and possible grade-level grouping for the district.
In other personnel matters affecting the board, three members took the oath of office for new three-year terms. They were Beck, and new members Zajicek and Mark Ward. All three captured seats at the district's May 15 annual election. Beck gained the most votes with 393, and Ward had 359. They were the only candidates to file petitions. Zajicek received the most write-in votes with 225.
All board members were given conflict-of-interest statements, which district Clerk Larraina Carpenter said must be filed with her.
VanDenburgh also requested committee signups. He noted some committees, such as the Facilities Committee, met on a limited basis during the last school year.
"I have no overwhelming desire to keep these committees together if they're not going to be active," VanDenburgh said.
The board made numerous other appointments during its organizational meeting, including Carpenter as clerk, Dr. Richard Solby as district physician, and Melissa Baker as district treasurer and chief accounting officer.
Superintendent Robert DeLilli was officially administered the oath of office for another school year.
The only no vote on a personnel item came from board member Douglas Dougherty, and it involved former board member Leslie Buggeln-Bosworth. The board voted 7-1 to appoint her as Sir Bills Athletic Fund treasurer for the coming school year at an annual stipend of $1,000. Dougherty said Buggeln-Bosworth, as a board member, pushed hard for people to volunteer in the district and is now accepting a stipend.
"I will continue to vote no on Mrs. Buggeln-Bosworth," Dougherty said. "I think it's hypocritical."
Michael Anich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org