Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Board of education sends $93.6 million budget to voters for approval on May 21


The Pelham Board of Education unanimously adopted Wednesday a proposed $93.6 million budget for the year beginning July 1, sending the spending plan to voters for approval on May 21. The budget would raise the tax levy 2.68%, which is below the state-set cap.

The board will hold the required public hearing on the budget at its next regular meeting on May 8, which is currently set to start at 7:30 p.m.

Also up for approval by Pelham voters will be a ballot proposition to allow the replacement of the synthetic turf at the Glover Athletic Complex stadium.

The proposed budget does not include significant expansions in programming this year because the school board is still working on completing a new five-year strategic plan, the district said in an email to parents.

In the budget, the board allocated $2.2 million from the fund balance and reserves to help hold down the tax increase and to preserve existing programs. Trustees also budgeted $2.2 million from the debt service fund to offset borrowing costs for capital projects such as the new Hutchinson Elementary School, the district email said.

The Glover turf replacement project would be paid for with “$850,000 from an existing capital reserve that was created for the specific purpose of replacing the turf,” meaning taxes will not need to be increased for the project, the district said.

On election day May 21, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to to 9 p.m. in the Pelham Middle School gym. Candidates for two three-year terms on the board of education will also be on the ballot. Petitions to run for trustee were due Monday (today) by 5 p.m. at the district clerk’s office. (Additional information on voter registration and mail-in and absentee ballots can be found here.)

The school board also discussed the previously announced administrative changes at the school middle and high school, with Pelham Memorial High School Principal Mark Berkowitz departing at the end of the school year and Pelham Middle School Principal Lynn Sabia taking temporary medical leave.

As reported, PMS Assistant Principal Sean Llewellyn will serve as acting principal of the middle school through June and then Superintendent of Schools Dr. Cheryl Champ plans to recommend the school board appoint him interim principal of PMHS for next school year. Dr. Maria Thompson, the district’s current director of humanities, will become PMS assistant principal on an acting basis this year and as the interim next.

Dr. Steven Garcia, executive director of human resources and leadership, told the board an additional change at the middle school will see Brian Leighton, a physical education teacher, “assist with working with students and some of the administrative tasks for the rest of the school year.”

Siwanoy Elementary School Principal Farid Johnson was recognized at the board meeting for being honored as Elementary School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State.

“Farid has done an incredible amount of work in a short amount of time, and this is his fourth year with us in the district,” said Champ. “In Farid’s time, he’s brought a lot of different programs to bear that have really left his clear fingerprints on Siwanoy.”

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About the Contributor
Annika Halvorson, Staff Reporter
Annika is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a senator in the student association and a volleyball player. She is the president of the PMHS Chemistry Club, and is interested in coding and computer science. She enjoyed writing for a journalism fellowship at the start of highschool and looks forward to writing with the Pelham Examiner!

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