Three new school board members to be sworn in today
Three new Lee County School Board members will be sworn in before they officially take their seats during the regular board action meeting tonight.
Newly elected board members Don Armstrong, Mary Fischer and Thomas Scott will be sworn in at 5:30 p.m. in the school board meeting room by the Honorable Josephine Gagliardi. A new board chairman and vice chairman will also be elected today at the beginning of the action meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.
“I’m thrilled to get started,” Armstrong said, so he can begin resolving a lot of the issues that the district has run into over the past few years. “I’m excited to bring some type of balance into the school district.”
Scott said he is glad to finally get at the issues at hand because they have all been campaigning for the better part of the year.
“I’m ready to get started,” he said.
Fischer shared her excitement about being sworn in during the board meeting.
“I am very excited about it and honored that the Honorable Josephine Gagliardi will be swearing all of us in,” Fischer said.
Armstrong is looking forward to rolling up his sleeves, so he can begin tackling the transportation audit, along with looking for a new superintendent.
Scott agreed with Armstrong in stating that the board needs to get to the bottom of the transportation issue and begin holding workshops as soon as possible.
“The transportation will be another workshop that we will have to address immediately,” she said.
Although the transportation issue is important, Scott said the biggest job the board is faced with is searching for a new superintendent. He said within the first week to 10 days, the board needs to come together and begin searching for a new superintendent.
Fischer is also looking forward to working hard for what is best for the kids. She said the first thing she would like tackle once seated is to form a good working relationship with her fellow board members, so they can begin their huge task of selecting a new superintendent with the help of the community.
Another issue that Scott wishes to begin looking into is the budget for the next fiscal year because it requires a good conversation. He explained that since they are at the beginning of a new fiscal year, they can begin projecting what needs will be met in the future.
“Everything has to be done for the benefit of providing an excellent education for these kids,” Scott said. “What’s best for these kids is the template I will be using.”
Armstrong said he will also bring forth a recommendation of doing a district-wide forensic audit to discover additional ways to trim some of the “fat off the budget.” He explained that the forensic audit will help in finding other ways than laying people off to save money.
Scott said that the new board members have been involved in a lot of the conversations the previous board members had, along with keeping “us plugged in on the documents flowing back and forth.”
He explained that they have made the transition as easy as possible for the new board to step in and pick up where they left off.
“All I ever wanted from the get go, is to get to work,” Armstrong said. “Let’s go to work… the games are done.”
Armstrong won in the primary election defeating school board chairman Steven Teuber. Scott also won during the primary election defeating incumbent school board member Elinor Scricca.
Fischer won the remaining seat for the Lee County School Board in the general election defeating her opponent, Arnold Gibbs.