Long-time East Aurora School Board member Daniel Brunson is once again serving as the board’s president. It is Brunson’s twelfth year on the board and the 10th time in 10 years he’s been elected to its top post.
At the same re-organizational meeting last week, MaryBeth Covert accepted the nomination for vice president, and new board members Judith Malys and Terri Ohlweiler were sworn in.
In other matters, the latest induction of student scholars into the district’s honor society drew criticism from board member Steven Zagrobelny, who felt it overwhelmingly favored girls. He noted that of the 41 newest Junior National Honor Society members only eight were boys.
“There is a need for analysis,” Zagrobelny said. “I asked teachers, ‘Are girls smarter than boys?’ They said, ‘no’, so then why are the boys’ averages out of skew? If the system grades them on conformity and not aptitude, we can disenfranchise them, lose them. I’d like to readdress the issue with some data. How do we grade? How do we assess performance?”
Covert noted that middle school boys learn differently than girls. If they could be assessed in a way that captures that difference, she suggested, it might mitigate the long-standing disparity in the district’s honor society membership.
Superintendent Brian Russ added, “It’s very clear something’s wrong. When I saw the picture in the newsletter, I thought, ‘We need to do something different.’ ”
The board also discussed the ramifications of students opting not to participate in standardized testing. Russ said districtwide participation has exceeded the 95 percent required by the state Education Department.