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Watkins art students win $5K

    WATKINS GLEN—Nine Watkins Glen students earned the school’s art program $5,000 through the Vans Custom Culture shoe design competition.
    Watkins was one of five schools flown to Los Angeles, May 30, where the grand prize of $50,000 was awarded.  The four remaining schools, which includes Watkins Glen, also received funds.  The Watkins students designed and decorated four pairs of Vans shoes, which people voted on through a web campaign.  The students spent nearly a month working on the shoes.  The students include: Erika Rhodes, Brandi Crissinger, Meredith Johnson, Chanda Brown, Kim Morris, Mara Brisbois, Lydia Bievier, Courtney Tuttle, and Elena Likoudis.
    Art Teacher Elaine Wojtus presented the school board with their trophy for making it to the finals, at the Monday, June 4, school board meeting.  She said the students attended a “red carpet” event organized by Vans, which featured some celebrities.  The group also got to tour the Vans facility.  Wojtus added they also toured Los Angeles and Santa Monica.  Superintendent Tom Phillips said the Watkins community raised an additional $1,610 for the kids to do extra things while in L.A., above the trip Vans was covering.
    In other business:
    • District resident and mother of two Annette Bascom said her son, Charles Bascom, had lost a scholarship for his first year at the University of Buffalo because certain paperwork was not properly transferred to the college by the school district.  She added that for him to still be a student athlete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association level, his transcript needs to be forwarded on within two weeks of graduation.  Phillips said he would make sure that happens.
    • Kate Bartholomew, high school teacher, spoke to the board as the newly elected Watkins Faculty Association president.  She asked the board to do two things.  First, was to reconvene the districtwide communication teams as the schools move to a single campus.  She also asked that the district work to offer what’s best for the students, and not necessarily what is mandated.
    • The board approved the elimination of 14 positions throughout the district, as voted on by the district residents in May.  During public comment, French teacher Bridget Searles asked the board to reconsider not eliminating one French teaching position.
    • The lunch prices for 2012-13 will increase by 10 cents.  Phillips said this is a federally mandated increase.
    • Three positions were created: administrative assistant to the superintendent, bus driver, and bus monitor.  Phillips explained the district is actually eliminating one position and rearranging staff and responsibilities.
    The next school board meeting is Monday, June 18.  It is expected to start at 6:30 p.m.



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