Two or more Westfield Academy and Central School (WACS) students will be allowed to participate in Fredonia Central School's indoor track program, after some contention over the question earlier in the month. At that time, the decision was tabled.
During Tuesday's regular Fredonia Board of Education meeting, the issue was removed from the table. Superintendent Paul DiFonzo said he had a conversation with WACS Superintendent David Davison, who assured him WACS would cover student costs if either or both of the two interested students were to compete in state finals.
At the earlier meeting, it was explained the addition of the two students would not result in costs to FCS. However, board member Karen Mosier asked what would happen if either of the students or both made it to the playoffs.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Fredonia Central School Board of Education members Edith Byrne and David Giambrone had questions regarding Westfield students interested in participating in Fredonia’s indoor track program, but the board unanimously decided to allow Westfield students to participate in the program.
High school principal Todd Crandall explained additional costs would be required to support travel and other related expenses. Concerns remained among board members as to who would be responsible for those costs.
Currently, only two WACS students are known to be interested in participating, but enrollment will be open and more than two students may want to participate.
Board member Edith Byrne, who expressed concerns about large enrollment at the earlier meeting, asked if the end of the enrollment period was known. DiFonzo replied a date had not been set, but the period would likely be short so the total number of interested WACS students would be known shortly.
Board member David Giambrone asked if the terms discussed at the last meeting, including some coaching assistance pledged by WACS, had changed. "Are they the same parameters we talked about last time?" he asked.
DiFonzo said they were, and expressed satisfaction with his conversation with Davison of WACS regarding coaching support and other factors. "We would set up the contract the same way other districts (such as Dunkirk) have set up sports-sharing contracts," DiFonzo explained.
The WACS students would provide their own transportation to FCS, then travel to competitions along with FCS students on FCS buses. DiFonzo said if enough students join the program to warrant the need for a second bus, then a cut-off would need to be set for enrollment. "We need to serve Fredonia students first," DiFonzo noted.
Board member Tom Hawk, who expressed support for allowing the students to participate at the earlier meeting, made a motion to allow WACS students to participate. At the earlier meeting, he said "This is for the kids. That's who we're here for," of the request, and called it an "opportunity" for students.
Board member Michael Bobseine seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously. Bobseine noted at the beginning of the discussion he had been hired once to act as lawyer to one of the WACS students, but said he did not feel that affected his ability to vote on the matter.
WACS student Miranda Warner, one of the two students who initiated the request, was present throughout the meeting. During the final public portion of the meeting, she stood up and thanked the board. "I would just like to thank you for all of your time and consideration. This is a great opportunity and I am so very glad to be able to enjoy this with Fredonia. Thank you," she told the board before it adjourned.
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