School board members and superintendents gathered at Questar III on April 11th for a presentation on the BOCES tentative budget at its annual meeting.

District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz presented information on organization’s proposed administrative, rent and capital budget for 2018-19.

The proposed administrative budget consists of two components: the first that supports the general operations of the BOCES which is increasing by 2.72%, and the second which includes Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB), or retiree health insurance, that will increase by 5.16%.

The 22 component districts that make up Questar III will vote April 17 on the proposed $6.3 million administrative budget. However, the actual charge to component districts would be $5.3 million, or 1.9 percent higher, due to other revenues that reduce the overall administrative costs for districts.

The administrative budget is the only budget school boards vote on each year.

District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz, Donna Gibson, and Board President John Hill.

At the meeting, Board President John Hill presented the family of the late Bob Gibson with Questar III’s highest honor – the G. Lucius Cary Annual Service Leadership Award. This was in recognition of Bob’s four decades of volunteer service. This was the first time the award was presented posthumously.

Bob’s wife Donna accepted the award and spoke about Bob’s passion for public education and BOCES at the meeting.

“He really valued education, and he felt that this organization does so much for so many children that might not have the opportunity to experience so many different things that they can through this organization,” Gibson said.

In memory of Bob’s love of singing, the Mendelsohn club of Albany, of which Bob was a longtime member, performed two songs at the meeting.

Chairs of Questar III’s four superintendent subcommittees provided updates on special education, career and technical education, school improvement and district services. Ultimately, these budgets will depend upon final service requests from districts.

Attendees also watched several videos that highlighted several BOCES programs and services.

Culinary Arts students prepared and served a variety of hors d’oeuvres and desserts as part of their CTE program. Students were recognized for their efforts under the direction of Chefs Andrew Ottati and Peter Desmond.

Component school boards will vote Tuesday, April 17th on the proposed administrative budget as well as three Questar III board vacancies. Those running are incumbents Paul Puccio (Schodack CSD) and Frank Zwack (Berlin CSD) and new candidate Mark Mann (East Greenbush CSD).


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