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Meeting Type:
Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
9/12/2007 7:00:00 PM



WEDNESDAY, September 12, 2007



Present: Board: Ray Engle, Dan Gentile, Patrick Perugino, Jennifer Zalaski,

Karen Kulesa, Lisbeth Leonardt, Martin Wetzel, Lenny Morgan, Michelle Spencer 

Administrators: Dr. Distasio, Superintendent of Schools, Gerry Perusse, Business Manager, Carol Doiron, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education,

Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum and Keith Rafaniello, Director or Technology 


Mr. Engle called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. The group joined in the Pledge to the Flag. 


MOTION: To adopt the agenda as presented. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded

Dan Gentile, motion passed unanimously. 


MOTION: To approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of June 13, 2007. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Lisbeth Leonhardt , motion passed unanimously. 


At this time, Dr. Distasio introduced the following new staff members: Elizabeth Bartholomew – Guidance Counselor @Terryville High School; Annsue DiVenere – Special Education Teacher @Harry S. Fisher Middle School; Jason Hart – Music Teacher @ Harry S. Fisher Middle School; Justin McDermott – Spanish Teacher @Terryville High School; George Mitesser – Mathematics Teacher @Terryville High School and Meg Porcella – English Teacher @ Terryville High School. 

Dr. Distasio introduced Mr. Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction who introduced Mary Rimcoski, (Grade 3 teacher at Plymouth Center School) Plymouth’s Teacher of the Year. 

At this time, Mr. Engle called for the following Motion: 

MOTION: To recess at 7:10 p.m. for the purpose of a brief reception. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Leonard Morgan motion passed unanimously. 

MOTION: To call the Board of Education Meeting back to order at 7:18 p.m. Motion Leonard Morgan , seconded Lisbeth Leonhardt motion passed unanimously. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 September 12, 2007 




Dr. Distasio shared the following communications with the Board: a letter of resignation from Mrs. McConnell; a letter from Mayor Kramptiz appointing Mrs. Kulesa to the Plymouth Board of Education; and a letter from Commissioner McQuillan congratulating Jarrod Bridge, student at Terryville High School for performing at the Advanced Level on all four subtests of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. 




A. Notification of Resignations 

Dr. Distasio accepted the resignations of the following individuals:

Mark Sconziano, Boys’ J.V. Soccer Coach effective June 30, 2007 and Gregg Shell, English Teacher at Terryville High School effective August 3, 2007; Barbara Pilbin, District Cafeteria Director effective September 4, 2007; Wendy Brainard, cafeteria worker at Plymouth Center School effective August 15, 2007 and Meg Rivera, Secretary at Main Street School effective September 7, 2007. 

B. Appointments 

Linda Farrington Athletic Director

Angie Suffridge Assistant Athletic Director

Carol Doiron District Administrator In Charge 

Department Chairs 

Reyes Mabasa World Languages

Sharon Newcity Language Arts & Social Studies

Barbara Camp Mathematics

Guy Tarantello Science 

Elementary Advisors 

Shari Kohl Art Advisor (Main Street School)

Diane Boylan Art Advisor (Plymouth Center School)

Peter Tunila Intramurals/Grade 4 (Main Street School)

Jill Levandoski Intramurals/Grade 5 (Main Street School) 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 September 12, 2007 

James Eschert Intramurals/Grades 4 & 5 (Plymouth Center School)

Robert Carter Music (Main Street & Plymouth Center Schools) 

Grade Level Coordinators/Elementary 

Pamela Wessman Kindergarten

Maria Davis Grade 1

Hope Bellantuono Grade 2

Paula Allaben Grade 3

Dina Schaffrick Grade 4

Barbara Pescamona Grade 5 

Harry S. Fisher Middle School Advisors & Coaches 

Carol Sieracki & Bonnie Doughty-Jenkins Co-Drama

Lou Zabuska Boy’s Intramurals

Dawn Alarcon Girl’s Intramurals

Anne DeMichiel Music

John Mordarski Student Council

Paul Schwanka Boys’ & Girls’ Cross Country

Damon Papp Boys’ Soccer

Kelly Vitale Girls’ Soccer

George Smith Volunteer Girls’ Soccer 

Lead Teachers 

Rhonda Mazur Main Street School

Joan Zabek Prospect Street School 

Terryville High School Advisors & Coaches 

Katherine Brown, Michelle Luba, Susan Glenn,

Melissa Gilbert & Edward Rostowsky Senior Class Advisors 

Amy Radke, Mary Ann Baldyga, Donald Jarvie,

& Robin Gudeczauskas Junior Class Advisors 

Michael McGowan, Michelle Luba, Peter Veleas,

& Elizabeth Bartholomew Sophomore Class Advisors 

Lisa Aiudi, Melissa Gilbert, Michael Blanchard,

& Elizabeth Bartholomew Freshman Class Advisors 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 September 12, 2007 

Gina Richie Art

Brook Matusczak Future Business Leaders of America

Mary Marrone Majorettes/Dance Team

Linda Farrington Girls’ Intramurals

Barbara Camp National Honors Society

Mary Rioux & Susan Glenn Students Against Destructive Decisions

Sharon Newcity Student Council

Sandra Macinaus Academic Bowl

Susan Glenn & Melissa Gilbert Newspaper

Megan Charette Cheerleading

Christopher Perkins Drama

Brook Matusczak Yearbook

Brent Gurski Jr. Varsity Boys’ Soccer

Richard Keater Girls’ Volleyball 

Special Education Coordinators 

Amy Radke Terryville High School

Margrit Morley Harry S. Fisher Middle School

Katherine Brown Prospect Street School (half-time)

Elizabeth Platt-Suski Main Street School (half-time)

Irma Lesser Plymouth Center School 

Television Production Advisors 

Frank Block & Julie Tracy 

Computer Network Coordinator 

Richard Trudeau 

Technology/Business Department Chair 

Richard Trudeau 

MOTION: To approve the following appointments: Athletic Director, Assistant Athletic Director, District Administrator In Charge, Department Chairpersons, Elementary Advisors, Elementary Grade Level Coordinators, Harry S. Fisher Middle School Advisors & Coaches, Lead Teachers at Prospect Street and Main Street Schools, Terryville High School Advisors and Coaches, Special Education Coordinators, Television Production Advisors, Computer Network Coordinator and Technology/Business Department Chair. 

Motion Patrick Perguino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 September 12, 2007 

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Jason Hart to the position of Music Teacher at Harry S. Fisher Middle School effective July 1, 2007; the appointment of Justin McDermott, Spanish Teacher at Main Street School, effective July 1, 2007; the appointment of George Mitesser, Mathematics Teacher at Terryville High School, effective July 1, 2007; the appointment of Annsue DiVenere, Special Education Teacher at Harry S. Fisher Middle School, effective July 1, 2007; the appointment of Meg Porcella, English Teacher at Terryville High School, effective August 27, 2007; and the appointment of Elizabeth Bartholomew, Guidance Counselor at Terryville High School, effective July 1, 2007.

Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed unanimously. 

C. Approval of Organization Chart 

MOTION: To approve the Organization Chart included in the Board of Education packet. Motion Lenny Morgan, seconded Dan Gentile motion passed unanimously. 

D. School Lunch Program 

Dr. Distasio explained, Public Act 06-63, An Act Concerning Healthy Food and Beverages in Schools, requires that all Connecticut public school districts that are eligible to participate in the healthy food certification take action to certify whether all food items sold to students will or will not meet Connecticut Nutritional Standards. After a brief discussion, the following motions were made: 

MOTION: To approve, in accordance with Public Act 06-631, that the Plymouth Board of Education authorize Dr. Anthony Distasio, Superintendent of Schools, to sign the ED-099 Agreement for the Child Nutrition Program, and to sign any claims for reimbursement. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan. Motion Amended by Ray Engle to read Public Act 06-63, Amended Motion Lenny Morgan, seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed unanimously. 

MOTION: To approve, in pursuant to section10-34 of the general statutes that participates in the National School Lunch Program, we certify that all food items made available for sale to students in our school district will meet the nutritional standards published by the Connecticut State Department of Education. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously. 

Dr. Distasio also explained, in accordance with Public Act 06-63, the Board may allow the sale of items excluded from certification as long as such sale is in connection with an event occurring after the end of the regular school day or on the weekend, such sale is at the location of such event and such food is not sold from a vending machine or school store. After a brief discussion, the following motion was made: 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 September 12, 2007 

MOTION: The Plymouth Board of Education will permit the sale of items excluded from certification as long as such sale is in connection with an event occurring after the end of the regular school day or on the weekend, such sale is at the location of such event and such food is not sold from a vending machine or school store. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously. 

E. Contract of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace &

Agricultural Implement Workers of American, Local 376 

The Board Members received this contract in their packet for review. Dr. Distasio explained the contract was ratified by the Secretary’s/Paraprofessional’s Union on August 22, 2007. The contract was discussed in subcommittee. The following Motion was made: 

MOTION: To approve the contract with the UAW Local 376 as negotiated and presented for the 2007 – 2008 through 2009 – 2010 school years. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Martin Wetzel motion passed unanimously. 

F. Approval of Childbearing/Childrearing Leave 

MOTION: To approve childbearing/childrearing leave for Eleanor Riker, Spanish Teacher at Harry S. Fisher Middle School to begin on or about December 30, 2007 through the end of the school year. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Patrick Perugino motion passed unanimously. 

G. AlertNow 

Dr. Distasio informed Board Members a new notification system will be implemented as a method of communicating with parents and the school community. He explained AlertNow is an automated system that will automatically call parents in the event of school cancellations, late openings, and early dismissals or some other school event as deemed necessary, also when report cards are issued and special school events. It will also be used to alert parents to district programs or school based programs. Dr. Distasio indicated that further information will be sent to parents about this new communication method. 

H. Cafeteria Management 

Dr. Distasio informed the Board Members that Education Connection has been hired to help manage the school cafeteria program. He explained that Education Connection will fulfill the managerial function of the cafeteria from ordering the food to supervising the cafeteria staff. The two main goals of the new managerial system are to improve customer service and product. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 September 12, 2007 

I. Plymouth Board of Education Strategic Plan 

Included in the Board of Education Packet for the month of September was the draft of the Plymouth Board of Education Strategic Plan. This plan includes a Vision, Mission Statement, Beliefs and Board of Education Goals. The plan was reviewed by the Administrative Team and will be reviewed by each of the respective schools for input. The Board was asked to review the plan. The plan will be reviewed again in October for any changes. It will then be brought before the Board for its approval. 

    1. Out-of-State Field Trip

MOTION: To approve the field trip to Springfield, MA for the Terryville High School band and special education students to attend and perform at the Big E on September 26, 2007. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously. 


A. Curriculum – Lisbeth Leonhardt, Chair 

The Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting took place on August 8, 2007. The following items were discussed: (a) CMT/CAPT Preliminary Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Report: All schools reached Adequate Yearly Progress benchmark for the CMT and CAPT tests. Further analysis of the scores and recommendations will be presented to the Board in October; (b) Summer

Curriculum Work and Updates: Curricular areas updated during the summer that reflected changes in the Connecticut State Department of Education curriculum guidelines and frameworks are: Grades K-8 Language Arts; Grades K-5 Mathematics; Grades K-8 Science; Grades 6-8 Social Studies;

Grades 9 & 10 Science; Grades 9-12 English and Grades 9-12 Mathematics;

(c) Summer School Report – An extensive summer program for children was offered for children at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The following data represents the number of students who attended summer school at each level: Elementary – 32 students; Middle – 11 Students; and High School – 86 students; and (d) New Courses and Text Books – Mrs. Leonhard asked for Board approval of the following: 

MOTION: To approve the purchase of the following: two (2) new textbooks for the science department at Terryville High School: Life Science McDougal Littell Publishers, Copyright 2006 and Modern Chemistry, Holt Rinehart and Winston Publishers, Copyright 2006. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Dan Gentile motion passed unanimously. 

MOTION: To approve a one-half credit introductory German course to be offered for the fall and spring semesters at Terryville High School along with the purchase of the textbook Komm mit! to be used with this course. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Dan Gentile motion passed unanimously. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 September 12, 2007 

The next Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting took place on September 5, 2007. The following items were discussed: (a) Teacher of the Year – Mrs. Mary Rimcoski was selected as the Plymouth Teacher of the Year and will be honored by the Board of Education at its next regular meeting; (b) Board Goals – Dr. Distasio presented for discussion, a draft of the 2007 – 2008 Board of Education Goals. After Board Members have had an opportunity to review them, they will be presented for final recommendation at the October 10, 2007 Board Meeting; (c) Title I Report – The program will continue in its present form at the elementary school level. The middle school will increase its Title I staff by one tutor which will expand the services to grade seven and allow students who have been receiving Title I services to continue in the program. The Curriculum Subcommittee would like to represent the following Motion to the full Board for its approval. 

MOTION: To grant the District approval to apply for the 2007- 2008 Title I Grant. Motion Martin Wetzel, seconded Michelle Spencer motion passed unanimously. 

B. Facilities - Dan Gentile, Chair 

Mr. Gentile turned over the reporting of facilities to Mr. Perusse. Mr. Perusse reported the following: the new high school is 80% complete; at the present time most of the rooms are painted; ceramic tile is being installed in the bathroom; work on the gymnasium began on September 3rd; cafeteria floor has been glazed; the lockers are going to be installed on September 24th; the auditorium seating will be installed October 22; the cabinetry in the classrooms and office are being installed; climate control and generator will be started next week; the all weather track is on hold until spring; the furniture will start being delivered and installed between November 5th and December 15th. Other issues: Plymouth Center School oil tank is complete; Harry S. Fisher Middle School oil tank was finished today; Main Street School will

have caps on the parapets this week, energy efficient windows have been installed at Harry S. Fisher Middle School; the bricks have been pointed at the high school and the middle school and there is a new stage curtain at the high school. 

C. Finance – Dan Gentile, Chair 

The Finance Subcommittee met prior to the Board of Education Meeting and reviewed the Final Report for 2006 - 2007, July and August accounts by facilities reports and moved that they be forwarded to the Town of Plymouth Board of Finance. 

D. Negotiations

No Report 

E. Personnel – Patrick Perugino, Chair 

Mr. Perugino reported that the Personnel Subcommittee met with the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting and approved all of his appointments and leaves. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 9 September 12, 2007

F. Policy – Jennifer Zalaski, Chair 

No Report

G. Safety/Transportation – Michelle Spencer, Chair 

No Report

H. Education Connection –

No Report 

I. Student Representatives 

Merissa Heslin – On August 31st an Activity Fair was held; currently there are 23 clubs offered at Terryville High School; Freshman Election for Class Officers and Student Council will be held this week and THS open house will be held on September 20th at 7 p.m. and parents will be following their child’s schedule. 

Robert Lutters – There was a great student volunteer turnout at the Terryville Fair; the Fresh Start began and there are over 50 student mentors and the first meeting will take place next month. 

Patricia Kuhn – Fall sports are in full swing; i.e. Boys and Girls Soccer; Girl’s Volleyball; and Cross Country Boys and Girls. The boys soccer team had their first game today, unfortunately it

was a loss; the girl’s soccer team will have their first game on Friday against Wamogo; and girl’s volleyball team had its first game tonight and recorded a win against Goodwin Tech both varsity and junior varsity and cross country – boys won but lost against Lewis Mills, cross-country girls did not perform well today. 


Mrs. Doiron – Director of Pupil Personnel/District Administrator in Charge 

Elementary Summer School was a success. There were 45 students from pre-k through grade second and 32 students from grades 3 – 5 for a total of 77 students. Main Street School was used for the Apple Camp Program. The other classes were held at Plymouth Center School. Thank you to all the custodial staff for their help.

Mrs. Doiron would like the Board to consider sending one of its members to Early Childhood Council Meeting(s). Please contact her if you are interested. She will e-mail schedules to all Board Members. The fist meeting will be held on October 22nd at 4 p.m. However, most meetings will be held on Friday mornings. Meetings will be held once a month. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 10 September 12, 2007 

Mr. Lovely – Director of Curriculum & Instruction 

The high school summer program was very well attended. Two students earned enough credits to graduate. Two grants were received with respect to Title I - $500 from the Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament and $850 from the Thomaston Savings Bank. Mr. Lovely thanked these companies publicly for their donation to the Title I Program. 

Mr. Rafaniello – Director of Technology 

The new PowerSchool Software Program is up and running. Parents of high school students will receive their log in name and password in the mail by the end of the week. All parents will be able to keep track of their child(s) grades, assignments and attendance. This information is available immediately. There will be an article in the Community News that will provide more information. Middle school parents will also be receiving a letter. Students will also be provided with a log in name and password. They will be able to get missing assignments, etc. Elementary schools will be having access to PowerSchool next year.

Board of Education Policies can be found on the website: plymouth.k12.ct.us.

Thank you to Connor Raymond, Chris Casolo and David Magnano for helping to broadcast tonight’s Board meeting.

Mr. Perusse – Business Manager 

PowerSchool is being used in the Point of Sale Machines and will also be used in bus routing. The auditors are auditing the State Report which hinges on and creates the grants we receive.

Dr. Distasio – Superintendent 

Dr. Distasio thanked Lisa Aiudi for all the work she did for the Town and with the Terryville Fair – 300 students out of 500 students worked at the fair this year. A number of staff worked at the fair, in particular, Phyllis Worhunsky, Gary Travers, Brian Falcone, Mike Cerruto and his wife. 

Dr. Distasio reported a very well organized and smooth school opening thanks to all the hard work of administrators, principal and staff. The Opening Meeting for staff was held on August 22nd at Plymouth Center School. Mr. Norm Bossio was the guest speaker. His message to the staff was very positive and entering. Dr. Distasio also reported that a video of the opening was being played on Channel 16; Plymouth’s Teacher of the Year, Mary Rimcoski, was introduced, and a small token of appreciation was distributed to 17 staff members who had perfect attendance last year. Dr. Distasio commended the custodians and maintenance personnel for the wonderful job they did in preparing the schools for opening day. He indicated how fortunate our district was to have such a wonderful staff of administrators, teachers and support staff. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 11 September 12, 2007 

Parents were again encouraged to discuss the importance of bicycle safety with their child/children and to encourage them to always wear their bicycle helmets, be careful of

traffic and to always go at manageable speeds when riding. Drivers were also encouraged to drive defensibly and to be cognizant of children riding bicycles. 

In closing, Dr. Distasio wished the students in the District of Plymouth a very productive and enjoyable school year. 

11. Public Comments Regarding Agenda or Non-Agenda Items 


12. Board Liaisons to Schools 

Mr. Perugino – Prospect Street/Main Street School 

PTA Officers – Eric Lumbard, President; Wanda Alvarez, VP, Treasurer, Christine Pilbin and Secretary, Cate Speakman. Meetings 3rd Tuesday of the month at MSS; Open House at PSS September 13th and September 18th PTA Meeting at MSS. 

Mrs. Zalaski – Terryville High School 

No Report 

Mr. Engle – Plymouth Center School 

Meeting took place the same date as Curriculum Subcommittee Meeting. Mrs. Collins to notify Mr. Engle by e-mail mail of meeting dates. 

Mr. Gentile – SEPTA (Special Education Parent/Teacher Association) 

Mr. Gentile indicated he will contact Melissa Johnson for meeting dates and times. Mr. Wetzel reported election of officers took place; also SEPTA is sponsoring on October 4 at HSF at 6:30 p.m. a program where the topic is Students that Have Special Needs (great success stories). Students explain what it is like to have autism and who helped them along the way. 

13. Final Board Comments 

Mr. Morgan – Good to be back, welcome new student representatives, and he looks forward to a very good year. 

Mr. Perugino – Welcome back Mrs. Kulesa to the Board, Mentors are needed, congratulations to Mary Rimcoski and Jaarod Bridges. 

Plymouth Board of Education Page 12 September 12, 2007 

Mrs. Kulesa – It’s great to be back 

Mrs. Zalaski – Welcome back all students, please consider joining the PTA. 

Mr. Gentile – Success in our district can be attributed to being uniformed and committed. What the administrators and staff do is incredible. Many new things happening this year. 

Mr. Engle - Welcome aboard Karen. We are on target with the new school. Mr. Engle welcomed student representatives. To Robert Lutters, student representative, make the best of your last year at Terryville High School. Congratulations to Mary Rimcoski. The CABE convention approaching. Please try to attend. This year it will be held Mystic Marriott in Groton on November 16th & 17th Welcome back to all. 

14. Next Regular Board Meeting 

Mr. Engle stated that the next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on October 10, 2007 at 7 p.m. at Terryville High School. 

15. Adjournment 

MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 8:18 p.m. Motion Patrick Perugino, seconded Lenny Morgan motion passed unanimously. 

Respectfully submitted, 


Patrick Perugino


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