By CHRIS EBERHART
Katy Keohane Glassberg will move over one seat on the dais during Rye City Board of Education meetings as the former vice president succeeds recently-retired board president Laura Slack, who stepped down following the end of the 2014-2015 school year after nine years on the board.
“The school district is in excellent hands with Katy Glassberg at the helm,” Slack told the Review this week. “She has excellent judgment, is intelligent, a great communicator and a dedicated, hard worker. The district and the community are fortunate to have her leading the school board.”
Keohane Glassberg, 47, is a retired litigation attorney in her professional life and is entering her sixth year on the school board. During her time on the board, Glassberg served as the vice president for the past three years, chaired the Policy, Facilities, and Health and Safety committees, served on the Management and Curriculum councils and served on the Technology, K-12 Science, Civility Initiative and Safe Routes to Schools committees.
“I’m gratified in the confidence that my board members had in me to elect me president,” Keohane Glassberg said regarding the unanimous vote of her colleagues. “And I was lucky to serve as Laura [Slack’s] vice president for these past three years. Laura [Slack] is incredible, and I’ve had great training in being a board officer.”
Keohane Glassberg, whose first meeting as school board president was on July 1, said the school district is currently in a good place after finalizing collective bargaining agreements with two unions—the Rye Administrator Association and the Rye Teachers Association-Secretarial, Clerical, School Nurse and Computer Aide Unit—and passing the school budget by more than 70 percent of the vote.
But looming is the possibility of a zero percent tax levy cap for New York state schools, which means school districts wouldn’t be able to increase their budgets in order to remain under the state-mandated tax cap.
According to a recent report by the New York State Educational Conference Board, a coalition of seven leading statewide education organizations representing parents, teachers, administrators and school boards, the state-mandated tax cap levy increase would be zero for the 2016-2017 school year, based on the first four months of the consumer price index and projections by the state Division of the Budget.
“My number one goal is the same as everyone else’s on the board and that is to ensure Rye schools continue to be as vigorous and excellent as Rye is known for,” Keohane Glassberg said. “And that’s been difficult with the tax cap and the unfunded mandates. And the possibility of a zero percent tax cap is worrying. It has all the districts worrying.”
Looking toward the 2015-2016 school year and beyond, Keohane Glassberg said her focus will be to continue the school district’s efforts in the areas of technology and communication with the community.
Last year, the school district experienced denial of service attacks, which are malicious attempts to make a server or a network resource unavailable to users by temporarily interrupting or suspending the services of a host connected to the internet. To fix the problem, Keohane Glassberg said the school board hired Edu Tek to manage the network and make upgrades to the security over the summer.
Keohane Glassberg has been a Rye resident for 20 years. She has one child in the schools and another who graduated from Rye High School in 2015.
Also assuming a new role on the Board of Education is Chris Repetto, who was elected vice president for the upcoming school year. Repetto, 48, said being elected to the position by the other school board trustees is “an honor, privilege and great responsibility.”
“We have an extremely well-balanced, unified and cooperative team in place, and I am deeply appreciative of their faith in me,” he said.