School board honors publisher Maggie Klein, postpones Senerchia field-naming decision

The Pelham Board of Education Wednesday recognized Maggie Klein, former board member and founder of the Pelham Weekly and Pelhams PLUS, in addition to discussing several other topics.

The board passed a resolution honoring Maggie Klein and awarded her with a plaque which recognized her many years of service to the Town of Pelham, through her dedication as a journalist and as a community member. Klein founded the Pelham Weekly in 1992, which transitioned into the news website the Pelhams PLUS in 2015, which ran its final issue in December 2019, after 27 years of “fair and thorough news coverage” by the paper and the site. Klein served on the board of education from 1992-1998, for which she received the Thomas B. Fenlon Award in 2002.

Board of Education President Jessica DeDomenico announced that the board plans to act on a proclamation honoring Anthony Senerchia Jr. at the board’s meeting on Jan. 29. The decision was originally planned to be shared on Tuesday.

In her report, Superintendent Cheryl Champ commended PMHS girls’ varsity basketball coach and teacher Tim Pitrulle on achieving his 200th career win on Dec. 27. Champ also congratulated seventh grader Julia Findikyan, whose essay “What Freedom Means to Me” was selected out of hundreds of submissions for the Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia’s American Freedom Essay Contest.

Colonial School’s PTA has raised $17,000 through a ‘read-a-thon’, where the students collect donations to encourage them to read. The money raised will go towards funding cultural arts programming at Colonial, and the PTA has extended the offer to share donations with the other elementary schools, should they want to participate in the fundraiser.

Champ announced a number of scheduling changes which will take place in the current school year as well as the upcoming 2020-21 school year. The graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 will take place at 9:30 a.m. this year instead of 10 a.m. in an effort to avoid the threat of thunderstorms which caused issues in the past few years. In November, the evacuation drill that takes place on the Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday will become a 2 p.m. early release instead of an 11:55 a.m. release.

In wake of the news that both Pelham Memorial High School Principal Jeannine Clark and Assistant Principal Judd Rothstein will be leaving at the end of the 2019-20 school year, Champ said the search for their replacements has begun. The board plans to have final candidates by March 18. The same process is underway for principal of Siwanoy School. The board hopes to appoint candidates for principal by April 1 and assistant principal by April 3.

Additionally, Champ provided mid-year updates on all aspects of the board’s strategic plan, including authentic learning, the whole child and cultural competence.

Champ also said both the Village of Pelham and Pelham Manor police departments will be practicing safety drill procedures at Prospect Hill Elementary over this weekend.