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Board of Education Update: October 2017

Submitted by Susan Dean, Chairman, BOE Communications Subcommittee.

District News

New Faculty

Over the summer we were pleased to hire an experienced and talented group of new faculty members.  We are excited to welcome the following new teachers/administrators to our RSD 17 Community:

Michael Battista                  HKHS                      Tech Education Industrial Arts

Samantha Doran                HKHS                      Guidance

Erin Edwards                      BES                           1st Grade (Long Term Substitute)

Kristine Lindsay                Central Office         Pupil Services Director

Abby Magee                       HKHS                        Science

Jamie McDermott               HKMS                     Guidance

Keith Morrissette                HKMS                     Music

Amanda Pilch                     HKHS                      Science

Barbara Welles                   HKHS                      Math

Brienne Whidden                HES                        Principal

District Budget Concerns for the 2017-2018 School Year                     

The lack of a state budget has been a tremendous concern to towns and school districts throughout Connecticut. Although both Haddam and Killingworth approved annual budgets, revenue estimates from state sources may change if the legislature’s spending plan isn’t finalized. Since July 1 the state government has operated under executive order. Governor Malloy announced a revised order, scheduled to begin October 1. In the absence of a state budget, further reduction of funds to municipalities will be made.

Superintendent of schools Howard Thiery has monitored state budget talks closely and has met with other Connecticut education leaders to assess the potential impact of various proposals under consideration. Additionally, he imposed spending caps throughout the district limiting expenditures to essential needs at the start of the school year. Only necessary positions have been filled and all principals have been instructed to conserve resources in the event of revenue reductions.

The Superintendent has also remained in dialogue with leaders in both Haddam and Killingworth regarding the budget situation. Joint meetings have taken place with the Board of Education and the Selectpersons and Finance Committees of both towns to gauge the implications to all three entities and develop plans in response to likely state budget outcomes. The RSD 17 Board of Education and the school administration have been proactive throughout the town and school budget process-and remain so-in an effort to maintain the quality of services to students while minimizing impact to taxpayers

Strategic Capital Planning Committee Report

The Strategic Capital Planning Committee will make its Phase II presentation to the BOE at two workshops on October 17th and November 14th. The committee’s first phase included analysis related to enrollment, utilization capacity of the five HK campuses, capital improvement plans and budgets. Phase II will include a presentation of several scenarios outlining possible uses of our schools to maximize space utilization, academic efficacy, and resource efficiency. The BOE will consider the scenarios and determine next steps in the project

Haddam-Killingworth High School Class of 2017 Graduate Report

There were 147 HK High School graduates last year. 103 (70.1%) are attending a four-year college.

23 (15.6%) are attending a two-year college. 10 (6.8%) are involved in military/technical education.

11 (7.4%) are going into employment. It was also noted in this report that the graduating class dedicated 14,514.25 hours of community service to the greater Haddam and Killingworth Communities.

Board of Education News

Board of Education Members

Haddam: Joanne Nesti (Vice Chair), Kathy Brown (Secretary), Dan Chase, Peter Sonski, Sue Twachtman, and Maura Wallin

Killingworth: Joel D’Angelo (Chair), Suzanne Sack (Treasurer), Eric Couture, Susan Dean, and Jeannie Young

A thank you to Kathy Brown, Dan Chase, Susan Dean, and Jeannie Young who will be leaving the Board the end of November. In November the towns will each be electing two new Board of Education members.

A Special Note of Appreciation

The Board of Education sincerely wishes everyone a rewarding and productive 2017-2018 school year.

The BOE wishes to thank all school employees for their work during the school year and the summer to make this coming year a successful one. There is always a great deal of time and effort needed to conclude one school year and then prepare for an upcoming one. Thank you!

All agenda and minutes of Board of Education Meetings and Subcommittee meetings are posted on the district website under Board of Education.

Accessing Information

  • District website is
  • Facebook Page information is at
  • Information can be viewed on this site
  • The RSD 17 app-mobile site can be accessed through your cell phone.
  • Television: The meeting schedule for the Board of Education is posted on the district website and the public is welcome. The meetings are televised on Channel 18, HKTV every Tuesday at 8:00 am, 2:00 pm, 7:00 pm and on Thursday at 7:00 pm.

One Response to Board of Education Update: October 2017

  1. Edward Munster

    October 21, 2017 at 9:02 am


    Thank you for submitting this report.