DOWNEY - Martha Sodetani, who first won a seat on the Downey Unified School District board in 2005 replacing the departing Cheryl Andresen, was elected board president Tuesday.She will serve in that capacity for one year. Former incumbent Barbara Samperi thanked her colleagues on the board and the DUSD management team for "making my job in the past year easy." Elected vice-president was Nancy Swenson, who also won a seat on the DUSD board in the same year. Sodetani is the current president of the Assistance League of Downey and, among other association memberships, also serves on the board of PTA Helps and is an active member of Gangs Out of Downey. Among her awards is the mayor's Diakonia Award given to her last year by former mayor and current Councilman Mario Guerra for "outstanding service to the community." She said her fervent wish is that even as she is often mistaken as the author of good projects or decisions in the district, others who follow in her footsteps will find themselves in the same happy situation of benefiting from and in turn making good decisions affecting the district's future. Swenson, who works as manager III-IT asset management at Raytheon, filled the seat vacated by Betty Ferraro. She is likewise involved in community organizations, including GOOD and Gypsy Johnson/Assistance League of Downey. Multi-term board member Donald La Plante, a history/political science teacher at another school district, takes another turn as clerk. The board also approved the following appointments: a) audit committee -- Tod Corrin, Sodetani, Samperi; b) budget committee -- Willie Gutierrez, Corrin, Mark Morris; c) representative to the county committee on school district organization-La Plante; representative to LACSTA-LaPlante; and d) school/city coordinating committee-Corrin and Samperi. Meanwhile, the board heard a performance by a reduced Carpenter Elementary School choir under the direction of Mark Shearer, while it recognized the members of the Downey High School volleyball team as High School CIF Southern Section Division 2A Girls Volleyball champions led by coach of the year Andrea Sims. In other action, the Board: *Approved the certification of signatures for the period from December 2010-December 2011, or until it takes subsequent action; *Accepted with thanks cash and in-kind donations, both large and small, from several sources, including $8,100 from Rio San Gabriel PTA earmarked for reading materials at the school, and 3,184 books from Michael Dante valued at $3,000 to be used in the Downey High School library; *Ratified/approved routine district business including: the payment of convention and conference expenditures and other fees; the general agreements with a number of organizations providing a variety of specialized services; special education placements; purchase orders by the purchasing department; the issuance of patrol orders for hourly, overtime, and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Services; B warrants covering the month of November; the agreements between the Downey Adult School Career and Education Center and several clinics/medical groups to furnish practical training in the dental assistant, medical assistant, and vocational nursing programs; the change order to an order for frozen slush drinks for the Food Services Department; accepted as complete roofing, fencing, backhoe, concrete, and electrical work performed by various contractors; the purchase of equipment according to established purchasing policies and regulations; the abolishment of a vacant position at Gauldin Elementary School and the establishment of a few limited-term positions corresponding to the job classifications mostly that of senior instructional assistant (assigned to Warren High School, and Maude Price, Lewis, Old River and Carpenter Elementary Schools) while increasing the hours of a similar position (but for severely/multiply handicapped) at Griffiths Middle School; and routine personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; *Approved the revisions to BP 1105 and AR 1105, Uniform Complaint Procedure (regarding compliance with state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs, with respect to privacy, unlawful discrimination, etc., issues, as well as to AR 1105.1, Williams Uniform Complaint Procedure) addressing administrative, textbook supplies, facilities, etc., matters; *Approved the changes to the duties of personnel/payroll assistant-Adult School per duty statement effective Dec. 15, 2010; *Received the proposed Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 3150, Title I programs (federal funding for improving the academic achievement of disadvantaged students), for review; *Approved the revised 2011-12 Downey Adult School Course of Study; *Ratified the supervised internship agreement and supervised paid fieldwork agreement, including revisions, with Chapman University; as well as the 2011-2013 educational fieldwork agreement with the University of Redlands; *Ratified the school safety police program agreement with the city (overtime assignment of a police officer to Downey, Warren and Columbus High Schools) through June 23, 2011; *Ratified Amendment No. 1 extending the contract term for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Contract No. 073912:11) through June 30, 2011, and increasing the grant from $25,000 by an amount not to exceed $25,000 for a total contract amount of $50,000; as well as Amendment No. 2 which further increases the grant from $50,000 by an amount not to exceed $25,000 for a total contract amount of $75,000; *Approved the Memorandum of Understanding with the Los Angeles County Office of Education addressing their combined efforts at running the CWD/ROP designated subjects credential program; *Approved the adjustments in the 2010-11 budget for all funds to reflect the 2009-10 ending unaudited actuals in the 2010-11 beginning budget; *Denied the claim submitted by Victor A. Lopez, in compliance with Government Code Section 911-15 and 945; *Received and approved the administrative report containing the fund balance and sources and uses of developer fees collected during the 2009-10 fiscal year; *Received the administrative report containing the 2010-11 first period interim financial report as of Oct. 31, 2010 on the financial and budgetary condition of the district, and approving the positive certification that DUSD can meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the 2010-11 fiscal year; and *Endorsed the actions of the superintendent on student cases. The next regular public meeting of the of the Board will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave.
********** Published: December 16, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 35