New positions allow for Fredonia transition

OBSERVER Photo by Anthony Dolce Three hires were approved during the Fredonia school board meeting.

Though Fredonia’s Greg Lauer was appointed to the position of assistant principal at Fredonia Central School, his official start date for the job had to be delayed while Fredonia looked for a new physics teacher. After last week’s meeting, Lauer won’t have to wait anymore.

Effective Jan. 10, Daniel Bittinger will be appointed to a full-time long-term substitute position, filling the role that Lauer vacated. Bittinger’s contract will take him through June 24. Bittinger, who graduated from Lakeshore, later attended Grove City in Pennsylvania and the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is certified in physics, general science, students with disabilities, all grades seven to 12; and driver’s education. He has been teaching for the last 14 years, most recently at Buffalo City Honors, and has also worked at Chautauqua Lake and Pine Valley.

“When we approved Greg Lauer as AP, this left a gap in physics instruction,” said Fredonia Superintendent Dr. Bradley Zilliox. “There was some concern about who we’d be able to attract in the middle of the school year and this could not have worked out better with Dan.”

Bittinger said that he’s heard great things about Lauer and the school district, and is excited to join. “I’m looking forward to grabbing the baton from him and having the transition be as smooth as possible,” he said.

In addition to filling their vacated role of physics teacher, the Fredonia Central School District is also welcoming new faces into their nursing department, though they will see one member leave as well. Both Christin Kingsbury and Cashel Mulkins have been brought on to the registered professional nurse position, both effective on Jan. 3 and will be on board until Jan. 2, 2023.

Kingsbury is filling in the vacancy that was open at the high school, and currently lives in Fredonia, where her daughter also attends school. Originally from Germany, Kingsbury received her associate nursing degree in 2004, then came to the United States that year, where she earned her bachelors in science and nursing. She then passed her board exams in 2009. Since 2009, she has served in several roles at Kaleida Health in Buffalo.

Zilliox spoke highly about the experience she brings. “She has experience, including emergency and intensive care,” Zilliox said. “We look forward to her coming on board.”

Mulkins, while hired for the same position as Kingsbury, will be serving in more of a COVID coordinator position, though there is no official Civil Service position that gives that title. Mulkins has five years of experience working with children for Silver Creek youth recreation. Mulkins attended nursing school with the goal of working in a public school. As more of a floater position, Mulkins’ hiring offers Fredonia a lot of flexibility should a nurse have to miss time.

“I’m very excited to start,” she said. “Thank you for the opportunity. I grew up in Silver Creek and currently reside in Angola. I have two children of my own and would eventually like to move them here.”

Mulkin’s position within the school is still being figured out, mainly because of the retirement of Fredonia nurse Leisa Hellwig. Hellwig’s retirement will be effective on Feb. 7. While Dr. Zilliox acknowledged there were rumors, her retirement wasn’t something that the school fully anticipated. Hellwig had been the school nurse at Wheelock recently, and has served in the district for nine years.

“She was part of the positive and nurturing environment that was always present at Wheelock,” Dr. Zilliox said. “We appreciate everything she did. She was an absolute trooper throughout the pandemic and the work that needed to be done across the district. We thank her for her time here.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today