Mount Vernon Tabs Sarver As New School Board President

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New Mount Vernon School Board President Leonard Sarver being sworn in by district Clerk Richard McCormack.
New Mount Vernon School Board President Leonard Sarver being sworn in by district Clerk Richard McCormack.

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon School Board may have a new president, but its mission remains unchanged: “provide a quality education for all students, regardless of their zip code.”


What Is The Biggest Challenge The School Board Faces?

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What Is The Biggest Challenge The School Board Faces?

  • Finding a proper permanent superintendent candidate.

  • Increasing communication between the district and city.

  • The "K-8" Restructuring Plan.

  • Adjusting to the Common Core Learning Standards.

  • Crafting a budget that reduces the strain on taxpayers.

  • Earning the trust of a weary public.

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Acting Vice President Leonard Sarver has been sworn in as the new president of the School Board by district Clerk Richard McCormack following Gerald Whiteside’s unexpected resignation due to personal and professional responsibilities.

Whiteside’s resignation became official on March 6. Both he and Sarver were elected to the board in 2011. In his resignation letter, Whiteside thanked his fellow board members and interim Superintendent Judith Johnson.

“Serving has been an honor, a pleasure and deeply rewarding experience,” he wrote to Johnson. “To my board colleagues, I offer my sincere appreciation for your support, guidance and dedication to our mission. To Ms. Judith Johnson, with whom I have worked closely, I offer my sincere thanks for your dedication and vision, and your ability to inspire and encourage.”

Sarver takes the helm as the school district is in a period of upheaval. The district has announced a radical, multi-year restructuring plan that will transition schools to a “K-8” model. Meanwhile, teachers and administrators continue adjusting to the new state Common Core Learning Standards and it took affidavit votes to pass the budget by 20 votes last year.

“Despite our fiscal challenges, we have made great progress with investments in technology, adopting an enhanced curriculum and initiating a comprehensive plan to restructure the schools to optimize resources and increase student achievement,” Sarver said. “[The Board’s] mission is to provide a quality education for all students, regardless of zip code.”

The School Board is also in the process of searching for a permanent replacement for Johnson, who will retire at the end of the school year. Trustees are hosting a public forum with finalists from 6 to 11 p.m. on Wednesday at Holmes Elementary. Sarver said that appointing a new superintendent is among the most important roles he is taking on.

“One of the most important processes in which a school board president is involved is the search for and appointment of a new superintendent,” he said. “This is of critical importance to this school district at this time.”

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Comments (4)

The poll doesn't include the option that the biggest challenge is ridding the school system of the corruption and incompetence that infests every aspect of official Mount Vernon.

And that starts at the Mayor's Office. It's called trickle-down corruption.


Is this a conflict of interest? Isn't strange how the color of green breaks down most political and racial barriers? Is the person the right selection for this position?

Are the taxpayers being kept in the dark and continually being ripped off by corruptive behavior? Are the taxpayer dollars being somehow diverted for personal gain?

Are we being subjected to the theory of hold them down and convince them that they are receiving the proper education for their children, although they are, in reality, receiving an inferior product? Are we the foundation for the pyramid game of living large in retirement?
One of the past presidents setup his relative with a charter school, evidently this position does have its perks.

Be alert, taxpayers, the torch has been passed, the beat goes on and some things will never change UNLESS WE DEMAND IT!

Maybe Sarver will bring some sense of responsibility to the MVBOE, which has been criminally negligent for the past several years. But I doubt it, as long as Mayor Ernie Davis continues to stick his hands into the operations.