At Meeting, Schenevus Superintendent Urges Merger


At Packed Meeting,

Superintendent Says

Merger Is Best Option

Schenevus Superintendent Theresa Carlin presented three options – merging, tuition-out or dissolving – for the future of the school district tonight at a public meeting in the school’s gymnasium. (James Cummings/

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to

Hugh Gallagher’s three children attended Schenevus Central, and he stood up to support of merging with Worcester Central to get more state aid for both schools.

SCHENEVUS — With time and money running out, Schenevus Central School Superintendent Theresa Carlin gave parents three options for their district: Dissolve, tuition-out or merge.

“We cannot sustain ourselves as a K-12 district much longer,” she said at a presentation in the school gymnasium tonight. “Our number one solution is to merge with another district.

But families who came out to the meeting were divided on which of those three choices to make.

Doug Gulotty, a Schenevus resident and former Wilber Bank president who spent 17 years as a board member and whose wife teaches at the school, favors tuitioning-out. “The identity of the school matters,” Gulotty said. “I want everyone to keep an open mind.”

“To merge these districts and keep our kids in them would be the best for our community,” said Kathi Fredette, a former teacher and six-year board member.

Hugh Gallagher, a parent of three students and husband of Kelly Gallagher, Schenevus school board president, insisted that merging is the best option.

“It’s hard to see it go, but it’s been a 10-year inequity,” he said, “Surrounding school districts get $6,000 more per kid annually…that’s a stunning amount.

Carlin has indicated that Schenevus and Worcester school could apply for funds that would pay for half of each district’s costs towards a study on the merger.

“Can our school afford the $15,000 for the study?” asked Joan Nisan.

“It’s a cost we’re willing to spend,” said Carlin.

Others expressed concerns about the months leading up to the merger. “Are there any resources to help us get through this?” asked school board member Stacie Haynes, a parent and Susquehanna SPCA executive director.

“We’re doing everything we can legislatively,” said Duncan Davie, state Sen. Jim Seward’s chief of staff “But the new constituted senate has no interest in helping out.”  Seward himself could not attend the meeting, due to health issues.

The school must now wait until January, when it might be awarded a $25,000 grant from the New York Department of State to consider beginning the merger study. If approved, the merger study would begin in February and last nine months. Merger itself could take as long as two years, as both school boards and both communities would have to vote on the idea.

“We are running out of time,” said Carlin.

2 thoughts on “At Meeting, Schenevus Superintendent Urges Merger

  1. Linda

    Very sad.. I graduated from that school in 1976 lots of children plenty of teachers I had my own son in the school for a while until we left New York, Worcester was always a problem school even in the 70s how could this have happened A study you’re taking $16,000 for a study do we see anything wrong with this I’m sure we do we had to remodel we had to enlarge we had to make it fancier when in my opinion it was never necessary I am sorry to see all of this happening at school has been around for a long time and we always got through the issues that’s before there are money hungry people in schenevus. Who will be hurt the children you imagine them getting on a bus and having to go all the way to Worcester are you going to be able to afford the bus route to Worcester will you have school bus drivers to go to Worcester how long will the children have to be on the bus for what time will they have to get up in the morning and what time will they get home at night how about thinking about the children for a change.

  2. Donna Neylon

    There’s been a lot of centralizing/regionalizing here in Massachusetts over the years. Many of the small and very small towns could no longer afford their own schools. Once they merge, they’re at the mercy of the bigger towns that they’ve merged with and that can get expensive. Do your research and find the best option for the students AND your current and future taxpayers. Good luck from a “kid” who grew up in Otsego County.

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