Meeting Minutes September 7, 2022

President Hess opened the meeting at 5:16 PM and led the Board/Public in the Pledge of Allegiance.


PRESENT: Jessica Hess, Christopher Clark, Meghann Khork, James Marino, Uzma Mehr, Joseph Liberto

ABSENT: Kerry Davis (excused)

RESOLVED: BY: KHORK/CLARK that the agenda be approved as presented.



Patricia Moore addressed the Board with the following concerns:

  • She feels the Board meetings starting at 5:15 PM is too early for people who work to make it to the meetings, should consider a later start.
  • She thinks that “Public Comment” should be offered at the beginning and end of the meeting, incase people arrive after the meeting starts.
  • She asked about the status of the tennis courts.
  • She indicated she had spoken with Supt. Palotti before the meeting regarding “furries”, but Asked for a comment for the public from him.

Supt. Palotti indicated that the repair/replacement of the tennis courts is included in the future project plans for district. He also, stated for the record that the district has no plans to have litter boxes or any other such accommodations for “furries” and as far as he knows, contrary to what people have heard, there are no other area district making these accommodations.

Debra Olds addressed the Board regarding “furries” stating that she does not like the fact that students are dressing like animals and wondered why the district would allow it.

Supt. Palotti stated that the district has a dress code for students and as long as what they were wearing was within the dress code there was not a problem.


Morgan Allison, High School Principal, introduced Scott Sexton as a summer graduate. President Hess presented Scott with his diploma and together with Superintendent Palotti congratulated him on his graduation.

President Hess announce that the meeting would be paused briefly for a reception for the graduate and his family/friends.

The meeting resumed.


Construction Report: Andy Billiotte (Welliver) provided the Board with a construction update.


  • Sean Gaffney, North Hornell Principal reported:
    • Thank you to Emily Haynes for all of her help this summer getting ready for the school year, Caroline Booth coming in to help during the summer;
    • John Dolph, Krissy Smith, Josh Burchard and John Holister for getting our construction filled building, moved, organized and cleaned;
    • Teaching staff who survived a massive move and were able to hoe out classrooms and were ready for day one!
    • Shannon and Steve and their staff for getting the grounds and the transportation up and running smoothly
    • Amazing Paras for making our first two days much smoother than I had anticipated, thank you!
    • Parents thank you for trusting us with your kids!
    • Stealing Julie’s Thank you to Erica and the ELA team for working on finding new curriculum.
  • Julie Smith, Intermediate School Principal reported:
    • The first two days of school have been pretty smooth so far! Today we had our school wide Red Raider assembly and the RR mascot actually came to act out how to be respectful, responsible and safe! He was a big hit!
    • This year, we have new phonics programs, as well as a new math curriculum. They’ve definitely been needed! Thank you to Erica and our ELA and math committees who spent a lot of time last year researching programs. More important than these programs is the attached professional development to make sure teachers are supported with their implementation and that we are implementing it effectively.
    • As a building last year, we talked a lot about wanting to focus more on academics, making academics fun, and celebrating achievement. We have a couple of teachers, Keelia Hamdan and Chelsea Miller, who are going to run a spelling club and enroll the Hornell Intermediate School in the Scripps Spelling Bee. We also have Jane Aini and Andy Gibbs taking the lead on Math Olympiads, which is a fun and competitive math club. I want to thank those teachers for stepping up and trying something new!
    • Mrs. Marino and I have established a new group of student leaders we are calling Student Ambassadors. They came in twice this summer. We trained them in talking with adults, shaking hands, showing confidence, and explaining things. Many of them served as tour guides at 2nd- grade Orientation and Open House, both of which were very well attended. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about this young group of leaders and look forward to them greeting guests
    • A big thank you to our custodial and maintenance crews. The Intermediate building got some needed interior painting in halls and stairwells this summer. We’ve all been saying after last year, this summer felt like a breeze!
    • Our After S’Cool Club starts on Monday and we are also working with the YMCA to do an after school program at Intermediate that covers until 6:00 and on Fridays to help parents out more.
  • Morgan Allison, High School Principal reported:
    • A big “thank you” to Jen Bixby and Vicki Plank for all they do;
    • Shout out to Shannon Davis and his crew for making the building and grounds look great and to Alan and his crew for getting the inside of the building ready for the new year;
    • Thanks to our new Assistant Principals, Kate and Wendy, who planned and carried out a very successful 7th Grade orientation with over 70 students attending;
    • Great job to the teachers who were in and out all summer getting things set up for the new year, it looks great!
    • Held a “Welcome Back” assembly with a theme of “Raiders Rising” – we are back and rising from the past; it was great to see all the smiling faces back in the halls;
    • We have teamed with the community and have received wonderful support getting more and more “perks” for students with Honor Passes; In grades 8-12 we have 47% of the students starting the year with Honor Passes and or on the Honor Roll; students are working hard and getting involved.
  • Shannon Davis, Facilities Director reported:
    • 95 % of our bottle filling drinking fountains have been installed
    • Intermediate Gym door (that has been nonfunctional for 12 years) are now up and running again.
    • Maintenance vehicles have been up fitted with new snow plows
    • N.H. has had all shrubs removed
    • Partnership with YMCA soccer
    • Partnership with Cummings Nature center
    • Parking lots sealing and painting complete at H.S.
    • Fall Sports fields changeover and painting.
  • Amy Feeley, Director of Pupil Personnel reported:
    • Thank you to our District Registrar, Counselors and Principals for getting new students enrolled and placed quickly;
    • Parents were happy with beginning year open houses to meet staff.
  • Brittany Thoma, Director of Technology reported:
    • Thank you to Shannon and his department for all of their help.
    • Very grateful to have Frank, Joe, Linda and Fonda for all they do to keep things running smoothly.
    • Supt. Palotti mentioned the new digital clocks in the High School, which helps to automate our lockdown process and creates a series of events. They have also been installed in the North Hornell School and will be in the Intermediate School soon.
  • SUPERINTENDENT ’S REPORT: Superintendent Palotti reported:
    • We are off to a nice start, it felt like we were back to 2019 when things were more normal.
    • Our primary focus is on our kids and keeping things positive.
    • Much like we did in 2017, we have contracted with Nicole Alioto of Alle Breve Educational Consulting to perform a district wide needs assessment. She will be interviewing and surveying various groups throughout the district and community. She will be conducting 1:1 interviews with the Board, I will not be directly involved, the opinions of all matter. She will then provide a full report to the Board as a process to revisit our goals and plans.
    • On October 6th we have scheduled a half day (PM) conference day, to conduct a districtwide safety drill. Staff will have trainings ahead of this drill. We are training for something we hope we never need.
    • Supt. Palotti asked School Business Official, Patrick Flaitz to provide an overview on COVID related Federal Funding. He provided data on the various years funding, how it was allocated and the plans for using the funds in the future.
    • We will review the Capital Project plan that was presented at the last meeting again in October before a determination is made for future propositions to be put forth for community vote.


RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORK that, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Palotti to approves/accepts the following Consent Agenda items:

  • Approval of the minutes from the meeting of August 9, 2022
  • The Board has no objections to the recommendations of the Committee on Special Education and approves the authorization of funds to implement the special education programs and services consistent with such recommendations for the CSE meeting of August 29, 2022, the CPSE meeting of August 31, 2022 and the 504 meeting of August 31, 2022.




RESOLVED: BY: KHORK/CLARK that, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Palotti, the Board approves the SRO Agreement with the City of Hornell for the 2022/23 school year.




RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORK that, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Palotti, the Board authorizes Patrick Flaitz to dispose of the tech equipment on the list dated September 7, 2022.



RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORK that, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Palotti the Board approves the request of the Hornell Area Wind Ensemble to pay a flat rate of $500 for the use of the school facilities for the 2022/23 school year on days that staff is normally scheduled.


RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORK that, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Palotti, the Board here-in awards the 22-23 Jr/Sr High Capital Outlay Project plumbing contract to the lowest responsible bidder, as follows: Amering & Johnston, Inc. – $40,700 



RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORK Motion made to group agenda items VI E 3 a-I together for one action.


RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORK that, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Palotti, the Board:

  • accepts the resignation of Becky Smith as Food Service Helper effective August 29, 2022;
  • accepts the resignation of Christine Smith as Cleaner effective September 6, 2022;
  • approves the probationary appointment of Julie McHenry as Teacher Aide effective August 31, 2022, 10 months, 7 hours per day;
  • approves the probationary appointment of Bianca Romero as Teacher Aide effective August 31, 2022, 10 months, 7 hours per day;
  • approves the probationary appointment of Bailey Smith as Teacher Aide effective August 31, 2022, 10 months, 7 hours per day;
  • approves the probationary appointment of Brook Smalt as Teacher Aide effective August 31, 2022, 10 months, 7 hours per day;
  • approves the probationary appointment of Christine Smith as Food Service Helper effective September 6, 2022, 10 months, 3.75 hours per day;
  • approves Christopher Auman as a Student Teacher from SUNY Fredonia to work with Chelsea Miller;
  • approves the following changes to the substitute roster and other assignments, pending successful fingerprint clearance through the New York State Education Department and approval through DMV and or Civil Service if Applicable:

Substitute Additions:

Amy Mayer – Teacher Aide, Uncertified Teacher
William Headley – Teacher Aide, Laborer
Jane Trescott – Cleaner




The next Regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 5:15 PM in the High School Library.

RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORKthat, at 6:03 PM the Board move to Executive Session to discuss the tenure of a particular individual.


RESOLVED: BY: CLARK/KHORK that, at 6:19 PM the Board return to Regular Session and the meeting be adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,
Carol Eaton, District Clerk