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New Danville school board member selected

The Danville Independent Schools board of education has selected a new board member to fill a vacancy left by Paige Stevens. The new member is Jennifer Pusateri.

Pusateri was a candidate for the last vacancy on the board, which was filled by Esther Rugerio in early August.

The board made the decision to select Pusateri during a Sept. 8 special called meeting following a closed session during which they discussed candidates.

“I know we’re more than ready to make the appointment as of tonight,” said Board Chair Steve Becker during the meeting.

There were three candidates for the position, said Superintendent Tammy McDonald.

According to a Facebook post on the Danville Schools page, Pusateri was sworn in as the newest member of the board on Sept. 9 by Boyle County Clerk Trille Bottom, and she has children who are in the Danville school system: an eighth grader at John W. Bate Middle School and a junior at Danville High School. According to her Twitter profile, Pusateri’s background is as a doctorate student and universal design consultant at the University of Kentucky, a Universal Design for Learning advocate, a CAST National Faculty Member and a UDLHE Network leadership team member.

The potential appointment of a new board member was on the Sept. 1 special called meeting agenda as a possible action item. However, after a closed session discussion, the board decided that since Rugerio had not had a chance to interview candidates, she should be able to do so, and then a decision could be made Sept. 8.

In other business, during the Sept. 1 special called board meeting:

• The board decided the district would enter into a contract with Gravity Diagnostics so staff and students could be tested for COVID-19 at the new drive-thru testing location at 224 Southtown Drive, should they choose, so they can go through the drive-thru without an appointment and, once they show proof they are staff or student at Danville schools, the billing for testing would be sent to the state of Kentucky, and the state can use federal relief funds to pay for the testing.

• McDonald presented the board with a staff request for additional staff using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds.

“What we’ve seen is as we’ve had a few quarantines, and we’ve had a few of our most medically fragile students that have flipped and had a need to go to virtual since we’ve seen an increase in cases in the community,” she said.

In turn, she said, there has been increased need for instruction as some students are working from home. The request asked for three instructional assistants to help with classrooms that are seeing quarantines and virtual students, one of whom would work with special education students.

The request was approved by the board.

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