Superintendent Reflects On Duties, Board Welcomes New Members

Ellen Cross and Natalie Carlson were appointed by the Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education as the ex-officio student board members for the 2018-19 school year. The position was approved by district voters during the 2018-19 school budget vote in May. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

By Jordan W. Patterson

Bret Apthorpe reflected on his first year as the Jamestown Public Schools superintendent at a regular meeting Monday.

“I was thinking this morning it was just about a little over a year ago I met with the board for the first time,” Apthorpe said. “It was very exciting for me to hear, to learn the passions (the board has) for the students of the city of Jamestown.”

The superintendent said the board’s expectations for district and the students have been “unwavering.” He said the board has helped place the district in a better instructional and financial place going forward.

He recalled a winter January day when the board “rolled up (its) sleeves” to figure out a method to become more organized. He said the district now has “much more clearer lines of accountability and responsibility.”

During the meeting, returning board members Nina Karbacka and Dan Johnson, who were recently reelected, were given the official oath of office. Paul Abbott and Patrick Slagle were reappointed as board president and vice president, respectively.

New to the school board were Natalie Carlson and Ellen Cross, newly appointed student ex-officio board members. The duo was sworn in during the meeting. Carlson and Cross are both Jamestown High School seniors and are additionally co-public relations officers for the National Honor Society.

The position of student ex-officio board member was approved by district voters during the most recent school budget vote and board election.

“It is important that students know that they have a voice with the board of education,” Abbott said in a news release. “Having it formalized with ex-officio members ensures a student presence at all meetings.”

In other news, John Panebianco, former director of pupil personnel services, was approved as the director of human resources to a probationary position.

Apthorpe expressed gratitude towards Panebianco and his passion for the school district.

“No one loves Jamestown more than John Panebianco,” Apthorpe said.

In the vacancy left by the new appointment, Bret Muscarella was approved as the new director of pupil personnel services. Muscarella filled the interim-principal position at Clymer Central School during the 2018-19 school year.

Muscarella told the board he was excited to be back in Jamestown where he graduated and give back to the community.

“What an honor and a privilege it is to come back to my home town,” he said.