Goodbye tributes took up much of the Waterville Central School Board of Education meeting last week.
Farewells came for staff members, administrators and Board members whose time with the District ends this month. Going into the summer at least seven vacancies need to be filled along with a new principal and two new Board members starting July 1.
Junior-Senior High Principal Nick Rauch said Bob Gray, who is retiring after 27 years as the building’s guidance counselor, is one of two people, along with former teacher and administrator Matt St. Peter, who lives and breathes Waterville. “He knows this community inside and out,’’ Rauch said. “He cares about kids.’’
It was noted that when he retires, after helping the District through the summer, it will end a long period of having someone from Gray’s family involved with the school. His mother was the school nurse for 30 years starting in 1973, and before that his father, Charles, served on the school board from 1968-1975.
Director of Special Programs and Data Coordinator Becky Nugent retired in January after a 33-year career in education. She started in Waterville as a special education teacher and returned to the district three years ago.
Nugent will continue with the district as a data consultant.
Teachers aide Mary Crowe worked at Memorial Park School for 22 years. MPS Principal Karen Hinderling said Crowe was always flexible about filling in where needed.
All three of the retirees attended the meeting.
The two-hour public session opened with recognition of Waterville senior Gabe Williams, son of Dan and Melissa Williams of Deansboro. Williams last week won the Federation golf tournament of the top high school golfers in the state.
Athletic Director Tom Gifford talked about Williams starting on the varsity team in seventh grade and earning the spot as the team’s No. 2 golfer. Williams and his cousin, Gavin Poyer, won the Center State Conference two-golfer tournament as ninth and eighth graders.
The pandemic canceled the season in his sophomore year, but as a junior last year Williams helped the Indians win their first Section Three title in golf. They repeated it this year with an undefeated season, and Williams and Poyer also won the two-golfer CSC tournament again. Also this spring Williams won the CNY PGA Open.
Williams finished fifth in the public school state tournament to become one of six public school students in the state to play at Bethpage last week in the Federation event against golfers from New York City, private schools and Catholic schools.
Gifford said Williams has a tremendous presence of leadership with his class and younger athletes and students.
Golf coach Bob Gray and volunteer assistant Dave Poyer, a member of the WCS Board of Education and Williams’ uncle, also spoke on how strong the senior is at the mental aspect of golf and how hard he worked on his game. Williams will play Division 1 golf at St. Bonaventure University starting in the fall.
In her report, Spring said one student last week was in isolation with Covid.
She provided where in the search process the District is with seven positions: Business administrator, Building Maintenance Supervisor, Guidance Counselor, Music teacher, Dean of Students, Director of Special Education, Family and Career teacher.
The Business Administrator and Building Maintenance Supervisor positions have interims appointed during the search, Spring said.
She then recognized two administrators who are leaving; this is the last…