Former Granville Board of Education member Molly Celani was named as a temporary member of the board Monday night, filling a slot vacated when new district transportation supervisor John Steves resigned as board president.
Steves resigned his seat in October to clear his way to apply for the district position.
Board President Kathy Nelson announced the resolution to name Celani as the first order of business Monday night in a meeting held at the Mary J. Tanner Primary School. Annually the board holds meeting at Tanner and Granville Elementary and takes a tour of the facilities before the meeting.
Celani’s interim position was confirmed by the board 8-0 on a motion from new vice President Eric Scribner and a second from Dee Bergeron, with John McDermott absent from the meeting.
The temporary position will last until a new board member can be elected in May and takes his or her seat in June.
The short-term nature of the selection does not prohibit Celani from running for the position in May, officials said.
“Welcome back, we appreciate you helping us out,” Nelson said after issuing the oath of office.
“Thank you, it’s good to be back working with you,” Celani said.
Celani served on the board from 2004 to 2007, when she said she chose not to seek reelection due to her husband Tony’s medical issues.
As a way of introducing herself to the board members who have taken seats since her departure, Celani spoke briefly of her qualifications for holding the board position.
“I just wanted to let you know how I figure into the educational world,” Celani said. Including working as an educational consultant following working as a teacher, Celani explained she also volunteers with several organizations including the Slate Valley Museum and the Slate Valley Garden Club. Her teaching career took place in the North Colonie Central School District and Loudonville Elementary School from 1961 until 1995, she said.
When then board President John Steves announced he planned to retire the board directed Superintendent Mark Bessen to seek advice from BOCES.
Given the options, including holding a costly election for the seat, the board chose to seek a former member to fill the temporary vacancy.
Celani was sought by Nelson and agreed to take the position.
In other news from Monday night, Bessen said the fire alarm at the school Monday had students outside for almost 10 minutes.
The alarm was traced to a faulty smoke detector which has been repaired. The superintendent also thanked Charlie Reed who volunteered as the bus driver for the Granville Lions Club’s annual Christmas shopping trip for needy children.
High School Principal James Donnelly thanked the board during his report for restoring a half-time monitor to the school. Thanks to the addition, he said teachers have been freed up to work in academic intervention leading to approximately 100 more students getting help from teachers.