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Salmon River elects new board of education vice president

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FORT COVINGTON - The Salmon River Central School District Board of Education elected one of its newest board members, Robert Lapage, as vice president of the board at its monthly meeting this week.

The position had been open since late September, when former board member and Vice President Greg Cunningham resigned following several controversial issues at Salmon River. These include the failed tenure of former high school principal Alison Benedict and the proposed amendment of former hockey coach Bill Plante’s debarment from all school coaching positions.

Mr. Lapage, elected in May and expected to hold his position on the board until June 2018, is a longtime Fort Covington resident and a Salmon River employee retiree after 24 years of service. He has two grown children, both Salmon River graduates, and resides with his wife, Alice.

The board is currently operating one member short after accepting Mr. Cunningham’s resignation at its October meeting. An attempt to elect a vice president at that meeting failed because five votes are required to fill the position. The seven present board members were split between nominees Peter Ghostlaw, nominated by Mr. Lapage and Michael Sisto, and Matt Mainville, nominated by Linda Durant and Sheila Marshall.

This time Mr. Lapage’s election as vice president passed on a 6-1 vote, with Mr. Mainville also nominated. Ms. Marshall cast the dissenting vote.

The board then voted to hold a special election on Dec. 3 to fill Mr. Cunningham’s open seat.

Members of the Salmon River BOE typically serve five-year terms. Mr. Cunningham had two years left on his term when he submitted his resignation.

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