Kennett Consolidated School District officials thank Perzel for a job well done
● By Steven Hoffman
At its Sept. 11 meeting, the Kennett School Board discussed some policy revisions, reviewed enrollment figures, and approved some routine personnel items as the new school year gets under way, but a significant portion of the meeting was spent saying farewell to Robert Perzel, the district's director of construction and facilities. Perzel is retiring after spending the last 17 years in that role with the school district.
“The wonderful facilities that we have are all overseen by Bob,” said superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti. “That's a very difficult job. We're going to miss him.”
Perzel received a standing ovation from everyone in attendance.
School board member Heather Schaen noted that during Perzel's time serving as the director of construction and facilities, the school district undertook construction projects for Bancroft Elementary and the Kennett Middle School, and the high school underwent an extensive renovation. Additionally, the Mary D. Lang building was converted into a kindergarten center.
“I will miss you as a friend and I will miss you as an employee of the district,” said school board member Dominic Perigo, who worked closely with Perzel because of his involvement with the school district's Facilities Committee. “You have been an asset to the district and to the community.”
School board member Aline Frank said that she was grateful for Perzel's work and professionalism through the years. She explained that Perzel always helped her understand the information that he was sharing about the district's facilities.
In other business at the meeting, school board member Michael Finnegan noted during his Finance Committee report that, as a new school year gets underway, state lawmakers still haven't ironed out the details of a balanced budget for the fiscal year that started on July 1. Finnegan explained that lawmakers passed a state budget for 2017-2018 with the expenditures set, but not the revenues. Uncertainty about the state budget does nothing to help school districts, which are heavily reliant on funding from the state.
Tomasetti presented an enrollment report to the school board. The enrollment in elementary schools has seen a year-to-year decrease of about 48 students because a rather large fifth grade class from the 2016-2017 school year that has moved on to the Kennett Middle School. The middle school's enrollment has consequently increased from one year to the next. Overall, the district's enrollment stands at 4,211 students, which is a slight increase over last school year.
The school board also approved second readings of policies pertaining to jury duty regulations for employees, drug and substance abuse policies, and the regulations protecting employees against unlawful harassment. The policy regarding maintaining professional adult/student boundaries is also being updated.
The Kennett School Board will meet again on Monday, Oct. 9 at Greenwood Elementary School. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.