District discusses equity statement, BOE retreat

Members of the public discussed their thoughts on the district’s equity.


At their meeting Monday night, the Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education engaged in comments from the public about the district equity statement plan. 

When the BOE allowed the public to comment on agenda items, residents discussed equity and the Comprehensive Equity Plan Statement. Superintendent Erik Gundersen commented that this item relates to the district’s equity statement, which is “approved every three years.” The statement is renewed annually, and ensures that “there is a resolution that the plan is still in place.” 

Some members of the public felt that they should move past the equity discussion, while others believe that the discussion should be held. 

River Vale resident Shirell Gross commented that she continues to discuss equity in her workplace, while Eli MoAllem, a second resident, stated that it has pulled focus away from students in the district. 

Later in the meeting, Board member Michael Weaver referenced a past article published on the Trailblazer website about gender equity in sports. This article was also mentioned in a past BOE meeting. He stated that he wants to “devote time at the Board retreat to speaking about it because it aligns with some of our Board goals.” 

Board president Tammy Molinelli said that the BOE retreat will be held on August 4th at Pascack Hills. It will be open to the public to attend. 

The BOE also unanimously approved agenda items regarding summer employment for staff members, supplemental instruction for certain students, and the district’s bills, which totals to $5,046,715.39. They tabled the motion to approve a donation from the Pascack Hills High School Football Program Scholarship. 

A few other items the BOE approved include Adam Ballard’s hire as the new science teacher at Hills and the resignation of Kevin Kirkby as head coach for the baseball team. 

Gundersen expressed gratitude for his time in the district as he takes the position as superintendent in the Suffern Central High School District. 

“I will forever be grateful for my Pascack family…thank you for allowing me the honor of serving this district,” he said. 

As the meeting concluded, Molinelli explained the transition as Gundersen leaves and Daniel Fishbein starts as interim superintendent. Each BOE member will be having individual meetings with him to ask questions and discuss ideas for the future. 

“We all should have the opportunity to connect with the administration,”  she said.