Oysterponds votes to extend admin contracts

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | The Oysterponds school board listens to a presentation about a new project that is now part of the school's enrichment  program Tuesday night.
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | The Oysterponds Board of Education during a hearing about the school’s enrichment program Tuesday night.

The Oysterponds school board approved a salary increase and contract extension for both part-time Superintendent Richard Malone and principal Joan Frisicano during its meeting Tuesday night.

Mr. Malone’s contract was set to expire at the end of the school year, but will now be extended for two years — through June 2016.

Formerly the school’s administrative consultant, Mr. Malone was hired in July 2012 to replace Ms. Frisicano as the school’s superintendent after she resigned.

Mr. Malone will receive a salary increase of 1.5 percent for each of the two years, as well as a one-time signing bonus of $4,000 to be paid by year’s end. He is currently paid an annual part-time salary of $60,000 for 100 days of service, according to his existing contract.

In June, the district rehired Ms. Frisicano to serve as interim principal while it searched for a permanent replacement for then outgoing principal Françoise Wittenburg. Ms. Frisicano’s contract has been extended by one year, until June 30, 2015, and she will also receive a 1.5 percent salary increase. She is currently being paid an annual part-time salary of $62,500 for 125 days of service, according to minutes from a prior board meeting.

Although the contact extensions were approved by the board, they were not agreed upon unanimously.

Long-time board member Linda Goldsmith chose to abstain from voting on Mr. Malone’s extension, saying afterward that she believed the board should have spent more time discussing the contract extension.

Ms. Goldsmith chose to vote in opposition to Ms. Frisicano’s extension and declined to say why.

In other board news:

• The board has scheduled phase two of its Strategic Planning Committee Report, to be held Feb. 4. at 7 p.m.

• The board approved the schedule for its budget workshops to be held at 7 p.m. on Feb.25, March 11, and March 25.

• The school has exciting news in the classroom, where all students, grades kindergarten through sixth grade, will be broken up into groups to work with area business owners and artists on a number of different projects to benefit the community. It is a new part of the school’s enrichment program, “Reach for the Stars,” said Sue Poveromo, program director, while describing the project during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Students were able to choose between projects in jewelry design, soccer, robotics, animals, food design, photography, or movie making; and have been paired into groups where they will learn how to perform a service, and then pick different recipients in the community to benefit from the student’s work.

Students choosing photography, for example, will learn how to create impact posters or PowerPoint presentations for groups like the North Fork Animal Welfare League or environmental non-profits, Ms. Poveromo said.

“It is only going to be a successful experience,” said Mr. Malone, after hearing about the project.

More than a dozen area businesspeople have volunteered to work with the children and teach them how to provide the service of their choice; including Jerri Woodhouse of Taste of the North Fork, Chef Noah Schwartz of Noah’s in Greenport, Holly Mastrangelo of HotShots Photography and Thomas Bush of Cold Blooded Playthings of Rocky Point.

• The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 21., at 7:30 p.m.