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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 14, 2011

Norray is VP
Anderson elected to lead BKW board

By Zach Simeone

BERNE — Heading into the next school year, having adopted a contingency budget for the second year in a row, the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School Board met last week to elect a new president and vice president, and re-organize for 2011-12.

As its president, the board unanimously elected Carolyn Anderson, who is now retired from a career in management of employee benefits, and who came onto the school board in 2009, serving as vice president last year. Anderson will have the authority to set meeting agendas, and the responsibilities of being the spokesperson for the board, and an intermediary between the superintendent and the other board members.

Until 2008, BKW board members had rotated into office; now, they are elected by the board.

“When I assumed the role of vice president,” Anderson told The Enterprise this week. “We had talked about succession planning and, ideally, for someone to serve in the role of vice president prior to assuming the responsibilities of president. I found it extremely helpful to do that. I got a chance to work closely with the president, working on agendas, a number of different issues that I thought helped to prepare me better.” Maureen Sikule had been the president for two one-year terms.

Anderson looks forward to the challenge of being the spokesperson for the school board, and providing the public with a “clear picture,” she went on.

“Sometimes, I might give more info than I’m supposed to,” Anderson quipped, “but I’m hoping that I’ll always be forthright and honest with everyone, and as open as is allowed.”

Moving into the vice president’s post is Jill Norray, who was also elected unanimously. Norray joined the school board last year.

As to whether she would like to be the president of the school board at some point, Norray said, “It’s always good to have someone as the president that’s had the experience of being the vice president. I think if you look at the existing board, not knowing who’s going to be elected next year, you have a lot of people with the experience of being president and vice president before, so there’s a lot of options for looking at that as a prerequisite.”

Norray sees her appointment as an opportunity to learn, she said.

“Since I run a lot of meetings in my normal work, I don’t know if I really see it as a challenge,” said Norray, who works as an information-technologies manager for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, “but I think it’s a good fit.”

Anderson said she thinks that she has “big shoes to fill.”

“Since she is remaining on the board, she will be an excellent resource,” Anderson said of Sikule, “and she’s as committed and involved as she has always been, so I think we’ve got a good team going.”

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