Fredonia hires two elementary teachers

Two new Fredonia Elementary School teachers were hired at a recent meeting of the Board of Education.

Dan Kondrick was appointed as an Elementary Special Education Teacher and Caitie Berndtson was appointed as an Elementary Teacher, each set to commence Aug. 27. The two first-year teachers were each spoken highly of by Elementary Principal Mark Drollinger.

Kondrick is a former Teaching Assistant who was motivated to return to school to earn a degree to become a teacher because of his passion in the classroom.

Drollinger said of Kondrick, “He understands that it’s important to build relationships with kids first. … I think that he’s going to be a teacher that kids will connect very quickly to and that will make him very successful.”

Berndtson, a graduate of John Carroll University, has leadership experience through the Buffalo Sabres Learn to Play hockey program and as a coach of the Hamburg Hawks youth hockey team. Superintendent Dr. Brad Zilliox praised her ability to connect and instruct in a variety of different settings.

Drollinger called the interview process for Berndtson’s position “highly competitive” and noted more applicants for the position than the school has had in recent years. Berndtson began with an introductory video which Drollinger said “stood out amongst all the other candidates” the district interviewed. After a “thorough” interview, Drollinger said Berndtson’s demo lesson “really showed us that she can command a classroom.”

Berndtson said she is “super excited and honored” for the opportunity to begin her teaching career at Fredonia. She said, “I’m really excited to start here and be a positive influence on the Elementary community in Fredonia.”

Zilliox and the Board joked that the new hires were excused early after the appointments were approved just a dozen minutes shy of two hours after the meeting began.

Also approved by the Board for hiring were substitutes Max Martin, Sarah Josephson, and Morrigan Waller; classified Teacher Aide Jessica Schneider; and extended leave substitute Shannon Moore.

Children’s Educational Services, Inc., was also awarded the designation to provide pre-kindergarten services to students residing in the District.

Fall coaching assignments were also announced by the District, with varsity head coaches Greg Sherlock (football), Jim Rush (boys soccer), Cheryl Tabone (girls soccer), Amanda Krakowiak (volleyball), and Carol Zirkle and Tom Stokes (cross country) among those set to return to their same role as this past fall.

The Board also approved the termination of Building Maintenance Mechanic II Josh Tresler, effective May 24; along with resignations from School Secretary Sara Corey, effective May 24, and Remedial Reading Teacher Lindsey Lauber, effective July 30.

The District awarded a bid for trash removal to Casella Waste Management at a cost of $34,140 for the 2024-25 school year. A bid for gasoline and diesel fuel for the 2024-25 school year was awarded to NOCO Energy Corp., at a cost of $2.58 per gallon of diesel fuel and $2.665 per gallon of gasoline.

The meeting began with a moment of silence for Jessica Sinclair, a Fredonia student who recently passed away.


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