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'In the Loop' with the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education: Lew-Port commencement includes a first salute

Fri, Jul 2nd 2021 07:00 am

By Jodee Riordan

Board of Education President

As we celebrate Independence Day this weekend, please take a moment to honor the commitment of our recent Lewiston-Porter graduates who have joined the U.S. armed forces. At commencement, Chief Master Sgt. Edward J. Stefik, command chief of the 107th Attack Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, led us in recognition of the five young men, giving each their first salute. These include Henry Swearingen, U.S. Army; Preston Hillman, U.S. Army; Luc Buth, U.S. Army ROTC, at Niagara University; Sean Reilly, U.S. Marines; and Sean Tupper, U.S. Marines.

Please keep these graduates and their families in your thoughts and prayers. We wish them the very best as they leave home to pursue their military careers in service to our country.

The Board of Education was set to meet on Thursday to organize for the 2021-22 school year. The annual organizational meeting is a time to conduct the official business of getting the new school year up and running. The Board of Education seats new members and elects board officers to lead for the coming year. On Thursday, Jennifer Klemick, reelected to her second term, was set to take the oath of office. Danielle Mullen was elected board president, with Julie Donnelley as vice president.

The Board of Education will be busy throughout the summer with the next meeting Monday, July 26, an Aug. 9 work session and regular meeting on Aug. 23. The board will conduct its annual retreat on Friday, Aug. 13, and Saturday, Aug. 14. This annual retreat is an excellent opportunity for the board to focus on its charge, review the work of the past year and plan for the new year. It is extremely important as it sets the plan of action, and the tone, for the upcoming year.

This coming year, the board will be focused on the education, health and safety, academic and social-emotional support of Lew-Port’s students, post-pandemic. As with the school year just completed, there is no certainty as to what the new year will hold, and we can only anticipate many extraordinary challenges. The commitment of this board to doing the very best for our students, families, faculty, staff and community cannot be overstated.

Navigating a pandemic has required a very high level of governance capability, professionalism, empathy and strength. Working together with the superintendent and administration, the Board of Education did everything possible to educate, inspire support and keep safe our entire school community. I want to personally recognize and thank our board for their dedication, integrity and strength.

With last week’s commencement, the month of June concluded both the 2020-21 school year and my tenure on the Board of Education. I am stepping down at this time in order to pursue a professional opportunity within the district. As I reflect on my 11 years in service to the Lewiston-Porter community, I am proud of the work we have accomplished as a Board of Education and the leadership I have been able to provide. It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the growth and success of our amazing school district. The best interest of Lewiston-Porter has and always will be my priority, and I am confident that I leave the Board of Education in very capable and caring hands.

The board will appoint a new member to fill this vacancy at the July 26 meeting.

Thank you, Lewiston-Porter, for allowing me to keep you “In the Loop” these past many years, and for your enduring support of the work of the Board of Education.

“In the Loop” will be on hiatus for the summer. Please watch for communication from Superintendent Paul Casseri, and monitor the school website and social media to stay informed and engaged.

Have a safe, enjoyable and relaxing summer!

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