Regional high school joins Dukes County OPEB Trust
The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) signed on as the first regional entity in the newly created Dukes County Pooled Other-Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) Trust at the school committee's meeting Monday night.
The Dukes County Pooled OPEB Trust was established through special legislation last spring. The fund will allow Island towns, water districts, refuse districts, the Land Bank, and other regional governmental entities to pool money set aside for unfunded liabilities for employees' post-retirement benefits for investment purposes.
School business administrator Amy Tierney signed the trust document with Dukes County treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders, West Tisbury treasurer Kathy Logue, Chilmark treasurer Melanie Becker, and Dukes County Commission chairman Carlene Gatting. Dukes County parking clerk Carol Grant notarized their signatures.
The "Student Spotlight" on this month's agenda featured junior Maxwell Moreis, selected as an extraordinary student by the high school staff to make a brief presentation about himself to the school committee.
Mr. Moreis talked about the positive influence his high school experience through the culinary arts program, sports, and volunteer work has had on his life.
He said he wanted to be a chef since age five and plans to attend the Culinary Institute of America after high school. Mr. Moreis received the high school's 2010 outstanding achievement in culinary arts award and won the 2009 Student Iron Chef contest.
There was no doubt why, after he wowed the school committee and meeting attendees with samples of his delicious ravioli with squash filling in a cream sauce and cheesecake with caramel.
An active member of the Young Brothers to Men Group, Mr. Moreis initiated plans for and helped prepare a community dinner that raised $2,500 for earthquake victims in Haiti. He also plays varsity football and lacrosse.
In other business, superintendent of schools James Weiss said he continues to work to reestablish the high school's driver's education program, but has been unable to find an instructor. He plans to put out a request for proposals again for the program for next fall.
Given some confusion about the student travel policy since its revision last January, Mr. Weiss went over the policy rules and regulations for clarification before the school committee's vote to approve three student trips as school-sponsored.
In the principal's report, Principal Steven Nixon said parent conferences went successfully last week, with 417 students represented by 382 parents.
Mr. Nixon also announced the formation of two new school-based committees to evaluate discipline, headed by interim assistant principal Andrew Berry, and scheduling, headed by interim assistant principal Matt Malowski.
The committees will include students, community members, parents, and teachers. They will meet five to seven times over the next several months and then make recommendations to the school committee early next year.
Under old and new business, Ms. Tierney introduced district manager Gail Oliveira and Leslie Floyd, the high school's new cafeteria director, who are employed by Chartwells, the school's food service management contractor. Ms. Floyd started her job October 4 after former director Rick Akerly retired. She already has met with the school nurse and members of the Student Council, and talked to students in the cafeteria to hear about their likes and dislikes.
At the meeting's end, the school committee and Mr. Nixon thanked Susan Parker of Chilmark for her eight years of service. She did not run for reelection. Mr. Nixon presented her with a special plaque, and the school committee gave her a book to read to her grandchildren.