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Final meeting of the Mohawk School Board

By NICOLE PITT

MOHAWK, N.Y. (WKTV) - Heading back to school this fall will be very different for students in Ilion and Mohawk. For the first time the students will be attending the same school- the newly merged Central Valley Academy. Monday night, the Mohawk Central School District Board of Education met for the last time.

The board members had some final business to tend to- namely- a final resolution to pass. All five board members were in attendance, plus the BOCES District Superintendent Mark Vivacqua to oversee the meeting.

The board voted 4-1 to pass a resolution to transfer all of the assets, staff and obligations to CVA. The final resolution of the board marks the end of a long battle of budget cuts and merger defeats for the district.

"It's been frustrating," said Vicki Coffin Judd, President of the Former Mohawk Board of Education. "It's extremely disappointing at times because you feel as though you have no power to do certain things that you really want to do for our staff, for our children, for our families. I think now that we are one, we are going to show everyone and we're going to be able to successfully move forward with that support and yes we still have fiscal worries and yes we still need to be fiscally responsible but we'll be together. We'll be together in this and I think it may ease some of that frustration and disappointment that we've felt over the years as the Mohawk Central School Board."

Vivacqua says he believes many people assumed it would come down to Mohawk and Ilion in the end. "These two communities are kind of naturals," said Vivacqua. "It's the town of German Flatts all together and it makes a lot of sense and I would tell you that this transition is going very, very well."

"It's a long tradition here. It's a proud tradition here and I think everyone here in the community has some sadness but there is a lot of hope and faith moving forward in the new CVA environment," said Vicki Coffin Judd, President of the Former Mohawk Board of Education. "And I think that will pass over to our kids and be extremely exciting and rewarding moving forward."

Judd is serving on the new Board of Education at CVA. The board consists of seven members. "We've been working together quite well. It's a dynamic group and we're all in it for the right reason," said Judd. "Their heads, their hearts, their souls. Everyone is working really well together I am very pleased to be part of that group."

The next several weeks will be very busy. There is a lot left to do before school opens this fall. "We have to get all of the parents their lists out. We need to make sure all of the parents are able to come in to the buildings and start looking at the new environment and making sure that the parents and the kids are comfortable and ready to move forward in new district," said Judd.

Vivacqua says most of the work deals with logistics but there is still a lot of moving to do. Some of that movement involves BOCES. They are moving into the old Remington Elementary School. "This merger is making other things possible regionally that go beyond this district," said Vivacqua. "That (Remington) is going to be a Regional Education Center now. We're going to be having alternative education basically a small high school there as well as an adult education center for retraining adults. So that's going to be a vibrant building. We were running out of space in Herkimer so there is a big advantage beyond CVA."

The board members were presented with a plaque on Monday night, in honor of their time served with the Mohawk Central School District.

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