The Bridgehampton School District is still deciding how best to fill a vacancy on the seven-member Board of Education that was created when Nicki Hemby resigned last week after pleading guilty to felony grand larceny charges in connection with embezzlement from a former employer.
This week, District Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre said the board can either appoint someone to fill a one-year term or hold a special election. In an email this week, Dr. Favre said she hopes to have more information by the regularly scheduled board meeting on July 31. “Currently, the board is considering [its] options,” she wrote.
At the district reorganization meeting last week, the board unanimously voted to appoint Ronald White and Lillian Tyree-Johnson to the roles of president and vice president of the board, respectively. Both joined the board in 2009 and will serve one year in their new roles.
Mr. White, who was reelected in 2012, is a graduate of Suffolk County College in Selden. He is a real estate agent for Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Ms. Tyree-Johnson is a bookkeeper and the wife of Bridgehampton Bees basketball coach Carl Johnson.
The Bridgehampton School District is also considering plans to upgrade security at the school.
The changes will bring the district into compliance with the recently passed New York State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) regulation. The program, which was approved by the State Education Department in August 2011, seeks to promote a safe learning environment for all students.
“Districtwide school safety plans and building-level school safety plans shall be designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies,” the regulation says, “and to facilitate the coordination of schools and school districts with local county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies.”
Bridgehampton officials say the main focus for now is to revamp the main entrance to the school by creating a monitored vestibule. When visitors walk into the building, they will pass through two unlocked front doors into a private vestibule. From there, someone in the main office will monitor the entrance via security camera and determine if they can enter the building through a locked door. If they are allowed in, visitors will be buzzed through the second set of doors.
It is unclear at this time how much it will cost the district to install the new vestibule. At a board meeting on June 26, board members explained that a final design had not yet been selected.