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Canton picks merger committee members

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CANTON - The Canton Central School Board Thursday evening appointed 13 of the 14 district residents who will serve on a joint advisory committee that will explore the idea of merging the Canton district with neighboring Potsdam Central.

The list of volunteers was unanimously approved during a special afternoon meeting in the district office.

School Superintendent William A. Gregory said one more person representing athletics still has to be identified from Canton.

On Tuesday, the Potsdam school board approved 11 of its 14 committee members. The joint committee is scheduled to hold its first session from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Potsdam Central.

The meetings will alternate between the two districts for the next six months. During this time period, consultants from Western New York Educational Council, Buffalo, will gather data and meet with the committee.

Canton planned to select a member of the Golden Bear Booster Club, but the volunteer who stepped forward did not qualify because she is also a school district employee.

“I’d start with the Pee Wee Association because it’s broad based,” said school board President Barbara B. Beekman.

If that doesn’t yield success, Mr. Gregory suggested asking one of the district’s retired athletic directors to serve.

The following volunteers were approved for the joint committee, representing various stakeholders groups:

■ Christopher Downs, Banford Parents Organization

■ Janet Warner, McKenney Middle School Parents Organization

■ Ronda Curtis, Hugh C. Williams High School Parents Organization

■ Mary McGovern, teacher representative

■ Thomas Van de Water, teacher representative

■ Sarah Rivers, student representative

■ Gary Cougler, non-teaching staff representative

■ Patrick Hanss, SUNY Canton Higher Education representative

■ Justin Sipher, St. Lawrence University Higher Education representative

■ Joseph McDonough, Administators’ Association representative

■ Varick Chittenden, retired community representative

■ Paul Doty, arts representative

■ Jessica Zuhlsdorf, business representative

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