The Vernon school board filled its two vacancies for the remainder of 2021.
The school board on March 11 unanimously appointed Ray Zimmerman and Charles Cimaglia to fill the seats left vacant earlier this year by Brad Sparta and Mark Cilli.
Overall, eight candidates applied for the two positions, including former board of education member Michael Peek, who wasn’t re-elected in November.
Zimmerman and Cimaglia will fill those seats through December and have the option to run for full terms in the November general election.
Zimmerman is a 17-year volunteer as the district’s ice hockey coach. He said students’ attitudes change with a school board that provides good guidance.
“If the board is working well and working with well with the superintendent, it sets the tone for everybody down below,” Zimmerman said. “When the board is active and interested in what everybody is doing, it builds up the community.”
Cimaglia said the district’s biggest role is to do what’s best for the children.
“We need to put the right things in place, as far as technologies and different programs,” he said.
Cimaglia said he has seven children; some have gone through the district already, and others who are currently enrolled. He said he has seen many positive changes in the district.
“I was always proud of this district because of what it’s known for,” he said. “It’s always known for being a good school district. People came to Vernon because they wanted to be part of the school district.”
Zimmerman said that, while the district has seen an enrollment decline, he’s seeing many homes in Highland Lakes filling with young families. He said he expects the enrollment numbers to increase.
“I’ve seen the pulse of the school go up and down, and I want to help people go in the right direction,” Zimmerman said.
Cimaglia touted the district’s robotics and engineering programs, and the district’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic, as some of its achievements.
“I know everyone here is trying hard to do what’s right,” he said. “Whether we make good decisions or bad, we all have to go through it. I think this is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to face.”
“If the board is working well and working with well with the superintendent, it sets the tone for everybody down below.” Ray Zimmerman
“We need to put the right things in place, as far as technologies and different programs.” Charles Cimaglia