Teacher retires after 23 years

TORONTO – The retirement of a longtime city school district educator was discussed during Thursday’s city school board meeting.

The board adopted a resolution of acceptance and thanks for the upcoming retirement of Cathy Blankenship, according to Maureen Taggart, principal of Toronto High School and district communications coordinator.

“We did have a longtime educator put in for her retirement at the end of this school year,” said Taggart, adding Blankenship is a preschool aide at Karaffa Elementary School. “She’s been with the school district for 23 years.

“The board commended her for her years of service,” Taggart continued. “She really has been a dedicated employee of the school district. She currently works with Theresa Cooper in her preschool room and has for many years. She will most be remembered for her kindness and compassion toward children in the classroom.”

In other business:

Taggart said construction of the new district building to house grades sixth through 12th is proceeding on schedule to be open for next school year. However, she added the school board also is making plans should construction be delayed for any reason.

“We decided we’re going to develop two calendars for (the coming school year),” said Taggart.

“The first calendar will be similar to any school year with the date beginning at the school year. We also will have a contingency calendar, which has a start date after Labor Day. We’re just preparing ourselves for any difficulties with construction of the new school. We just wanted to make sure we had plans in place.”

Taggart said Riesbeck’s grocery store and Domino’s Pizza let the school district use their freezers while the freezer at Karaffa is being repaired.

“We are publicly thanking them for the use of their freezers and letting us (store food there),” she said. “The freezer at Karaffa is having a new compressor installed.”

The board adopted a resolution proclaiming March as Developmental Disabilities Month “to show their support for students with developmental disabilities,” said Taggart.

The board approved Kara Purviance as substitute teacher; Johnathan Durand as volunteer assistant baseball coach; Jaclyn Hughes and Jennifer Liddick as substitute instructional aides; and Nolan Wilson and Mason Larkins as volunteer basketball coaches.

The next school board meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on March 21 at the Karaffa Elementary School library, 1307 Dennis Way.