JPS Board Unveils Presidential Plaque, Votes Canvassed

With the successful passing of its budget on Tuesday night, the Jamestown Public Schools District now has official confirmation of its financial blueprint for the 2013-14 academic year.

On Wednesday, the board of education presented the official canvass of votes for its school budget proposition, school bus proposition and school board member election.

The results showed the budget passing with a 321-68 vote, the bus proposition passing with a 303-79 vote and board members Joe Dimaio, president, and Patrick Slagle being re-elected to the board for three-year terms, with 305 and 283 votes, respectively. The following resolution to approve the implementation of these passed propositions was passed unanimously by board members.

The newly approved and adopted budget in the amount of $75,369,680 will be administered for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2014. Also, the district is now authorized to enter into a lease-purchase agreement for school buses and vans at a total maximum estimated cost of $795,000.

In other business, the board honored a former member by dedicating a “presidential plaque” in his name. The Joseph T. Pawelski Presidents’ Plaque was unveiled by DiMaio, with Pawelski himself in attendance. The plaque will display the names of past, present and future board presidents, starting with Pawelski. Christine Schnars, who served as board president from 2008 to 2012, was also listed on the plaque.

According to a JPS news release, Pawelski served on the JPS Board of Education for 19 years, and was elected by his peers as president of the board for five consecutive terms, from 2003 to 2008. During his time on the board, Pawelski presided over many positive district accomplishments, and navigated the board of education through a number of substantive challenges during his terms.

Deke Kathman, JPS superintendent, said Pawelski’s time spent as board president has special significance for Kathman in his own tenure as superintendent.

“I grew to know and respect president Pawelski as I served in my first roles in Jamestown’s central administration,” he said. “One of his last acts as president was to authorize my initial employment contract as Jamestown’s superintendent of schools. I owe Joe Pawelski a great debt of gratitude, both personally and professionally. The Pawelski Presidents’ Plaque is a great idea, and entirely appropriate given Joe’s extraordinary service and commitment to our district.”

As for the plaque itself, DiMaio said it was something he felt was long overdue.

“(Pawelski) was such an integral part of a lot of things that went on in Jamestown,” he said. “When I came on the board, I considered him a mentor. And he kind of showed me a great deal of the ways that you go about doing things, and doing them the right way. So that’s why I felt that this was completely appropriate to do for Joe.”

Pawelski himself was unaware that a plaque was being dedicated in his name, as he was told beforehand he would be receiving a certificate.

“I’m kind of surprised, actually, and I’m very appreciative,” said Pawelski. “We spent a lot of years together on (the board), and I’m glad to see it’s still going in the right direction. But I’m very happy, very surprised and humbled.”

The presidential plaque will be permanently displayed in the JPS board of education meeting room. As future JPS board presidents retire, their names will be added to the plaque to honor their service to the district.

Additionally, the board passed a resolution allowing DiMaio to attend the annual conference of the New York State Association of Small City School Districts, of which JPS is a member. The NYSASCSD conference will be held from June 2-3 at the Fort Orange Club in Albany.