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Dunkirk state champs lauded at school board

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford The state champion Dunkirk Lady Marauders bowling team gets applauded at the Dunkirk Board of Education meeting Tuesday. The girls were there to show off new championship rings, purchased through business and community donations.

Dunkirk’s champions have their rings.

The state title-winning Lady Marauders girls bowling team attended their school district’s board of education meeting Tuesday to show off the bling. They received a standing ovation from board and crowd alike.

“The ride after the championship was unbelievable,” said coach Donna Kubera. She was speaking both about the actual ride home a day after clinching the title March 10 — it featured a police escort off the Thruway to the high school — and the months that have followed.

The team has marched in two parades and received numerous other recognitions, Kubera said. Now, each team member has rings to commemorate their championship. Kubera said they were paid for through donations by community members and local businesses.

“It’s just been an awesome experience,” she concluded.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, Interim Superintendent Sylvia Root told the board she wants to work on the district’s issues with retention of substitute teachers.

“We want to look at people who are on the list who never substitute for us … and get them off the list,” she said. Root’s first step will be ask those who do little or no substituting if they are still interested in doing the job.

She also suggested that there should be more pay for long-term substitutes who have more work than short-termers because they have to do lesson plans. Another idea of hers is to rely more on Dunkirk school district retirees.

Root praised their experience and knowledge of the district.

Board member Bob Bankoski asked if other school districts offered more pay than Dunkirk. Root said Dunkirk pays $90 a day for the first 20 days a state-certified sub teaches, while the Gowanda and Jamestown districts both pay $105 a day.

Also, the board announced Angela DiCara as the 46th William T. Colman Award winner. The $12,000 award goes to a retired teacher who taught for at least 10 years in the Dunkirk school district. It’s funded by a trust dictated in Colman’s will and established by the board in 1973.

“I’m at a loss for words,” said DiCara, her voice breaking with emotion. “I’m shocked, I’m honored.”

“Teaching was my whole life,” she added. “I will treasure this moment,” she concluded.

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