Cortez Resigns from Board

By Jann Wiswall

As the new building at Ellicottville Central School takes shape, students have been eager to get a first-hand look at the multi-purpose gymnasium/stage and other new areas that will become part of their school lives in 2016. Next week, all students will have the opportunity to tour the new space, ECS Superintendent Mark Ward reported to the school board at its Tuesday, June 2 meeting.

In addition, students from West Valley Central School will be getting a tour next week in preparation for the consolidation of its athletic programs with ECS.

Ward said that construction is moving along quickly. The most visible sign of progress is the exterior brick work. Almost an entire side of the new addition’s brick has been completed to date.

In other news, the board accepted the resignation of Michelle Cortez from the Board of Education effective May 19, 2015. According to Ward, Cortez recently moved to Little Valley, which is not in the school district. Board members must reside in the district.

The board has not yet publically discussed its plans for Cortez’s replacement.

The board did approve the tenure appointments of two ECS teachers. Diana Olson’s tenure is effective Sept. 1, 2015; Marie Davis’ tenure will take effect July 1, 2015.

In addition, the board approved several appointments to the teaching and administrative staffs for the 2015-16 school year and several open positions have been advertised.

Ward has asked the board for its assistance helping to strengthen the ECS Alumni Association. Ward hopes to boost participation in the annual alumni banquet as well as class reunions, saying he “would love it if people made a big deal about their big anniversaries.”

By establishing the association as a 501(c)3 organization, Ward also hopes that more fundraising for association-sponsored scholarships will result if donations are tax-deductible. He is working with staff and alumni to identify individuals who will serve as class representatives with the association and to gather that group for a meeting to discuss strategies.

The 28th Annual High School Academic Awards Banquet was held Tuesday, June 2, just before the board meeting. Middle/High School Principal Bob Miller reported that 25 of the 35-member senior class (69 percent) had attained the Honor Roll (1) or High Honor Roll (24) this year. “This is an impressive achievement for our school,” he said.

The next meeting of the ECS School Board will be held on Tuesday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library. All are welcome.