NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo Area Schools Board of Education got right down to business during its special meeting on Tuesday, May 21, electing John Haskins as the new member of the New Buffalo Area Schools Board of Education.

Haskins will fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Pano Arvanitis, who left to become NBAS Business Manager, replacing Dan Coffman who is retiring.

Haskins will hold the seat until the November 2020 election. He is a lifelong resident and 1995 graduate of the district. He has four children enrolled in the school district and coaches youth sports and volunteers for other school activities.

Haskins was nominated by Trustee Frank Magro and seconded by Trustee Heather Black. He received four votes, with Trustees Patricia Newton and Lisa Werner voting no.  The only other nomination from the list of seven candidates was Kathie Butler, who was nominated by Werner and supported by Newton, who both voted for her while Board President Chuck Heit and Trustees Black, Roger Lijewski and Magro voted no.

The other five candidates were Paul Ciccarelli, James McCafferty, Sue Rahm, Caitlin Rosinko and Jude Stahmer.  All but Rosinko gave brief introductory comments to the board during the May 13 meeting.

The board then selected Black to be the new board treasurer, succeeding Arvanitis, and elected Lijewski to board secretary, succeeding Black. Werner cast the only no votes for both positions.

Prior to the vote, Black thanked the seven members of the community who showed their interest in the district and applied for the open spot. Lijewski agreed, saying it was important that board members show interest in the district and support their children’s activities and sports.

Werner said that although the appointment was for only a short time, until the next school election in 2020, she said it was an important position and one that needed to be filled with someone with experience which she felt Butler would bring to the table. Heit said it had been a difficult decision for the board with the number of candidates to chose from.

In other business, the board voted to employ Martin McGinn as mathematics teacher.  He has 19 years teaching experience and is currently employed by Cassopolis Public Schools.

The board also chose former Superintendent Michael Lindley as New Buffalo’s candidate for the Berrien RESA board and approved the proposed Berrien RESA operating budget of $12.5 million. This budget is slightly reduced from the previous year, as reflected in the fund balance increase to $4.5 million from $4.4 million.

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