At the Nov. 16, 2021 school board meeting, school board member Gus Guadagnino was elected by his colleagues on the board to serve as chairman for the next year. The board chose Susan Duval to serve as vice chairwoman.
Board member Jimmy Lodato made the motion to elect Guadagnino for his experience chairing the board during the district’s successful efforts to bring back the half-cent sales tax in 2015.
He stated, “The reason I’m saying this is because we’re moving forward with a lot of programs. One of them will be the half-cent going forward and Gus was in the chair when that happened. If we move forward with Gus, I think it will be giving us the continuity we need to move programs forward.”
Board member Kay Hatch nominated Susan Duval for vice chair and she was approved by her colleagues unanimously. Duval served as chairwoman in 2019.
Superintendent John Stratton remarked, “I just want to take a moment and publicly thank Mrs. Prescott for her service this past year. You’ve done an incredible job. It’s been great to serve beside you and I look forward to doing so again in the future. It’s been a quick year and we’ve dealt with a lot and done it with dignity and I appreciate each of you [all board members] but I especially appreciate you [Linda Prescott] serving in that capacity.”
Before adjourning the meeting, the new chairman stated,
“I don’t know if congratulations is really a great word, but I accept it and I hope I don’t let yous (sic) down. For those that don’t know me, I’ve been in the chairman seat before and I got to tell you something that I welcome everybody that comes in here and speaks. Turns my stomach when they started getting a little violent or they start making threats. I have no problems shutting the mic off or throwing you out.
“This is a place for stability and you should treat each others (sic) like human beings and threats about getting rid of you and all that kind of stuff doesn’t hold water with me. Once again, I enjoy learning… There’s a statement that it takes a village and for you to come in here and bring us some things that we don’t know about.
“We’re not the enemy, you know. If you think that way then you don’t know the passion and the love we have for educating our children. So if nothing else, I’d like to see a more friendly atmosphere around here and together we can work a lot of things up. I’ve heard some things, I’m not gonna pick on them, but I heard some things said that was totally inaccurate and if there was things that are bothering you and you need to know about it, we have a whole staff that will answer any question you have.
“So with that, let’s be friends and have a good Thanksgiving and stay healthy.”