09/10/14 2:00pm
09/10/2014 2:00 PM

New Suffolk school board president Tony Dill spoke to a packed crowd at the schoolhouse Tuesday, notifying board meeting attendees that the district has received “assurances from at least one lender” that it will be approved for a loan to fill its “significant” budget gap.  (more…)

08/13/14 2:00pm
08/13/2014 2:00 PM
(Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

The New Suffolk School District has partially closed an unanticipated deficit, officials said Tuesday night. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

New Suffolk school officials say they’ve found a way to partially close an unanticipated $150,000 deficit caused by a unique situation — one in which a special assignment teacher has decided to return to the district — and will mostly likely have to finance the remaining portion of the budget gap.  (more…)

07/09/14 1:27pm
07/09/2014 1:27 PM

After learning that a teacher who’s been on special assignment elsewhere for 10 years has decided to return to the district, the New Suffolk school board notified community members of a “significant” and unanticipated deficit in its 2014-15 school budget.

During Tuesday night’s board meeting, Superintendent Michael Comanda announced that an instructor who has been director at the Mid East Suffolk Teacher Center in Ridge since 2004 now wants to resume her position at New Suffolk Elementary School. (more…)

05/13/14 8:00am
05/13/2014 8:00 AM
(Credit: newsuffolkschool.com)

This will be Holly Plymale’s final year as New Suffolk’s head teacher. (Credit: newsuffolkschool.com)

New Suffolk Elementary School District head teacher Holly Plymale is resigning from the post she’s held for nearly nine years.

Ms. Plymale, who’s a former New Suffolk student, said she has decided to step down at the end of this school year due to “health issues,” according to her resignation letter read by Superintendent Michael Comanda during the school board’s meeting Tuesday.

(more…)

04/16/14 10:00am
04/16/2014 10:00 AM
New Suffolk Common School board president Tony Dill presenting his preliminary spending plan during Tuesday night’s regularly scheduled board meeting. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

New Suffolk school board president Tony Dill presenting his preliminary spending plan during Tuesday night’s regular meeting. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

New Suffolk school board president Tony Dill presented his preliminary 2014-15 spending plan Tuesday night, which carries an estimated 1.7 percent, or $13,000, increase to the tax levy.

(more…)

03/12/14 9:00am
03/12/2014 9:00 AM
(Credit: Carrie Miller)

(Credit: Carrie Miller)

Note: This story was update at noon Wednesday to reflect additional edits.

In an effort to provide New Suffolk Common School’s primary students with additional one-on-one help, the school board voted during its Tuesday night meeting to hire a part-time teaching assistant.

The board voted unanimously to hire Karen Costello, a state-certified teacher who previously served as a substitute teacher in the Greenport School District, to assist head teacher Holly Plymale with kindergarten and first-grade students, Superintendent Michael Comanda said. (more…)

01/15/14 9:00am
01/15/2014 9:00 AM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Newly appointed business manager Babette Cornine (left) at her first New Suffolk board meeting Tuesday night.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Newly appointed business manager Babette Cornine (left) at her first New Suffolk board meeting Tuesday night.

Less than a month after the release of a state comptroller’s audit that found several issues in the handling of finances within the New Suffolk Common School District’s budget preparation, as well as the resignation of a longtime treasurer — the district has hired a new part-time employee to take on managing the school’s finances.

And she has a familiar face.

Current Greenport school board member Babette Cornine was appointed to fill the district’s newly created business manager position at New Suffolk’s regularly scheduled board meeting Tuesday night. She’ll be taking on the responsibilities of the district treasurer, and them some, officials said.

Ms. Cornine said she held the business manager position for the Greenport School District from 1991 to 2006, handling many of the district’s financial obligations including payroll and reporting finances to the state.

She said she has also held a position as a customer service representative at Bridgehampton National Bank.

“I think there are some things you never forget,” Ms. Cornine said of the skills she had learned at Greenport schools. “Every school district is the same, and even though this is a smaller district they still have to do all the same things as a larger district does as far as reporting to the state.”

Superintendent Michael Comanda, who also serves as superintendent of Greenport School District — at least until after he steps down at the end of this school year — said although Ms. Cornine oversees his position in the Greenport school district, he does not feel there are any conflicts of interest at play, as each district has its “own unique setup.”

“I think it’s actually advantageous because we have an established work relationship,” he said. “I see no reason why this can’t be successful.”

On the findings of the comptroller’s audit, Tony Dill, who prepares the school’s annual budget in his role as school board president, said “there are ways in which we label certain items that are not consistent with the rules and regulations.”

“When you really understand what’s going on here, it’s very technical stuff. They are not saying, ‘No you had no business spending that money,’ they are saying, ‘No, you shouldn’t have called it this,’ Mr. Dill said.

In Ms. Cornine’s newly created business manager role, district officials said they hope to gain a better understanding of such rules and regulations.

Ms. Cornine started the position Jan. 1, already instituting some changes to the way finances are formatted in monthly reports, listing out expenses rather than lumping them together, for example — following recommendations from the comptroller’s office.

And although she said she feels knowledgeable in the preparation of finances for the state after her time at Greenport, she added “you can never say you know everything, because everything changes so quickly.”

To ensure the district’s monetary reports are in line with technical reporting aspects deemed legal by the state, Ms. Cornine said she will be attending a state-run finance training course, as well as meetings at BOCES to learn from other school business officials.

“We were trying to find someone who had a significant amount of experience in accounting,” Mr. Dill said. “She knows all the fundamentals, and came with suggestions for modifying things in ways that can be done.”

Mr. Dill said there was interest in the business manager position from several candidates.

“I think it is a good find for us,” Mr. Dill said. “She is encouraging.”

Ms. Cornine’s current term will run until June 30, and she will be receiving $6,500 for her time, according to the meeting agenda.

Mr. Dill said the salary is higher than that paid to the district’s outgoing treasurer, Diana Foster; but that Ms. Cornine will take on additional responsibilities including the state education’s department’s annual financial report, which the school had hired an outside accounting firm to prepare (using the treasurer’s financial records) in the past, “costing the better part of $1,000 alone,” Mr. Dill said.

cmiller@timesreview.com

01/06/14 8:08pm
01/06/2014 8:08 PM
FILE PHOTO | Check back here for school closing updates.

FILE PHOTO | Check back for school updates.

Updates on school closings, delays, early dismissals and event cancellations:

As of 10:45 p.m. Monday

• Two-hour delayed opening on Tuesday at the Mattituck-Cutchogue, Southold, Greenport, and Oysterponds school districts.

• Two-hour delayed opening on Tuesday at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School.

• Our Lady of Mercy Regional School will have a delayed start at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

• Peconic Community School will have a delayed start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

• New Suffolk Elementary School will have a delayed start at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

• Be sure to click the following links for any cancellations made between updates: Mattituck-Cutchogue, Greenport, Southold, Oysterponds, New Suffolk, Our Lady of Mercy, Bishop McGann-Mercy, Peconic Community School.

Check back for more information.