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New Scotland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 22, 2010
By Saranac Hale Spencer
VOORHEESVILLE In the five years that Kevin Kroencke, 54, has been on the school board, the district has gone from facing the state comptroller’s audit findings that the former superintendent “took advantage of a weak system of internal controls” to a completely new administration. He wants “to watch that blossom.”
Every part of the community that makes up Voorheesville’s school district is related, he said, so he wasn’t able to identify what group a board member is most responsible to.
Kroencke “absolutely” supports the budget, he said. In an ideal world, he would have liked to have included an international baccalaureate program and more money for funding student groups like the Odyssey of the Mind and Model United Nations.
As for facing the budget dilemma in 2011-12, Kroencke said, “We need to be able to conserve our resources.” As an example of effectively cutting costs in the recently proposed budget, he cited the change in the way Academic Intervention Services are delivered. Voorheesville saved money by reconfiguring the program instead of cutting it, he said, concluding, “We need to constantly examine and rethink how we deliver services.”
Leadership in the district, Kroencke said, “comes from being tied in with the community.” The board reflects the community’s values when it selects a superintendent, he said, and “she builds a team that is going to move us forward in a 21st Century model of learning.”
He defined that as shifting from learning as an individual exercise to learning as a collaborative effort focused on problem-solving and research.
“My thoughts on full-day kindergarten are, the first thing we need to do is make sure the program we offer students now is the fullest and richest program we can,” Kroencke said. “The research is inconclusive at best,” he said, adding later, “Most of the research I’ve seen… the benefit of full-day kindergarten is sort of lost by third grade.”
The board is always looking for areas that the district can improve in, he said, explaining that the state just released, months overdue, its assessments called report cards of school districts around New York. One aspect that could be explored is how the district can move students from level two to level three, or from level three to level four measures of their achievement on standardized tests.
“Our weaknesses, thankfully, aren’t that many,” he said.
Kroencke, who works in the New York State Education Department and is a graduate student at The College of Saint Rose studying educational psychology, lives in Voorheesville with his wife, Eileen. Their son is a graduate of Voorheesville’s high school.