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Pearl River Schools Approve Tenure for Seven District Employees

The Pearl River School District honored seven employees granted tenure at the board of education meeting Tuesday night.

One of Dr. John Morgano's first acts as Pearl River Superintendent was to consolidate four district administrative positions into three.

Sue Wheeler became assistant superintendent for curriculum and instructionand Diana Musich was hired to fill the new position of director of human resources and community services.

"Diana took the new role as Director of Human Resoruces and Community Services when I became superintendent and thought it would be a good idea to put two jobs into one," Morgano said. "I thought that maybe the community services part wouldn’t get done, not as well as what Sandy (Cokeley) did, but do most of it. Diana has done all of it and then some and done an exemplary job." 

During Tuesday night's board of education meeting, Musich and Wheeler were among seven district employees Morgano recommended for tenure along with science teacher Catherine Bonanno, foreign language teacher Scott Silverman, school psychologist Ellen McCabe, teaching assistant Elizabeth McConeghy and Pearl River Middle School Assistant Principal Kristen Talleyrand. 

"I wish all the candidates well and it's a pleasure to have you as permanent members of our team," Morgano said.

Morgano spoke briefly about each one and the board of education approved tenure for them.

"This is a big step in your careers and we greatly appreciate everything you do for the school district and the children, so I’d like to congratulate you all again," Pearl River School Board President Robert Davis said.

Wheeler came to Pearl River as director of curriculum in 2004 and gained tenure in that position in 2007. Morgano spoke of the challenges involved in her job due to ongoing changes in assessment and core standards and advances in the use of technology in the classroom.

"Sue has excelled in her capacity as the person overseeing curriculum and instruction," Morgano said. 

Morgano spoke about the important role Talleyrand plays, including her knowledge of dealing with bullying in schools.

"She is an invaluable member of the middle school team, particularly adept in tecology and anti-bullying," Morgano said. "In fact her doctorate dissertation was in bullying, so it is a topic she has studied in depth."

Morgano stressed the importance of McCabe's work as CPSE chair for the district.

"When I was director of special education in two other districts, I always had somebody else chair CPSE," Morgano said. "It's a very tough job. Those parents are going to be with the school district another 13 years and if it's not done exactly right, it's a tragedy for the school district, the parents and the child. I always put my best person in charge of that. (Pearl River Director of Special Services) Carolyn (Moffa) put her best person there and it's you."

Bonanno teaches chemistry and Silverman teaches French at Pearl River High School.

"All of the student’s in Scott’s class are always engaged in learning," Morgano said. "I don’t know if you know how much I see when I pass by, but I watch what’s going on. They are always very engaged in the lesson and very focused on what they are doing and it’s a credit to you, Scott."

McConeghy is a teaching assistant at Evans Park Elementary School. She has also worked at Franklin Ave. Elementary and Pearl River Middle School.

"(Evans Park Principal) Peggy (Lynch) often comments how Betsy gets the job done," Morgano said. "She is not afraid to meet things head on when she sees a need."

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