Westfield, New York School Superinten...

Westfield, New York School Superintendent Mark Sissel, almost 5 months later

Posted in the New York Forum

Since: Jan 12

Location hidden

#1 Jan 18, 2012
It's now been almost five months since Superintendent Mark Sissel left his position in Westfield Academy and Central School District. I've thought a lot about all of the comments, blogs, media, etc. and it seemed very one-sided to me so I decided to check a little into the situation for myself. I basically did this for two reasons. The first, it seemed that I saw many, if not most, other area schools made more cuts and increase taxes over the past four years than Westfield did. The second, the Westfield school seemed friendlier, more professional, and more communicative than I have seen in a long time. In the four budgets produced while Mark Sissel was Superintendent, there was a 0% tax levy for all four years, and in two of the four years, there was an actual decrease in the school budget. I looked at the budgets myself and he cut over 1/4 million dollars the first year, 1/2 million the second, more than 3/4 million the third and over 1 million the last. There were so many blogs and comments about unchecked spending and wasted money, yet over the four years he was Superintendent, he cut more than 2 1/2 million dollars which resulted in lower taxes than if he had continued down the path that previous Superintendents had started. He also cut a lot fewer staff than other area schools so he must have been doing something right. There were many accusations and comments thrown out as facts, and most of which I checked out myself, were not even close to the truth, or at the very least were exaggerated and embellished beyond all recognition. Above and beyond that, in the blogs and newspaper articles, I saw no emphasis on the formerly mentioned decrease in budgets and tax levies while he was at the helm. These are just some thoughts as time goes on and a man and his family have left our school and community with many unfounded and unproven accusations, and with a legacy of four years of more responsible fiscal measures overall than Westfield has seen in many years.

Since: Jan 12

United States

#2 Jan 20, 2012
Mark Sissel is an outstanding Superintendent and I agree with lakemom3. There were some malicious attacks out there where people actually stated they were just repeating what they had read. I know we are a school of similar size where the Superintendent cut more teachers and there was still a tax levy.

United States

#3 Jan 21, 2012
Mark Sissel is an outstanding superintendent and educational administrator. I just commented on another discussion saying that my knowledge of him includes a person who cares about all kids and goes the extra mile to give each child every opportunity to be successful and achieve.

United States

#4 Jan 22, 2012
I've also read some of the negative comments and one that I see that is overwhelmingly false is the misrepresentation of a CBO (Central Business Office). Mark Sissel seemed to be an excellent Superintendent and effective at his job. He definitely saved the district money by having Westfield become part of the CBO. The thing that many people don't realize is that because it's BOCES, it's able to be reimbursed by state aid at a rate of about 75%. Simply put, that means that if it costs you $80,000, you get reimbursed to the tune of about $60,000. So it really doesn't cost $80,000, it actually is a final cost of $20,000. You have to look at the whole picture, not just the line item in a budget. I have seen repeated errors saying that it cost $50,000 more to be involved in the CBO than before Westfield was involved but that is incorrect as that doesn't take into account the revenue it generates by getting reimbursed by the state through state aid. Again, it seems another case of twisted facts and false information. Mark Sissel was smart enough to look at the big picture and go ahead with cost-cutting measures, even when the facts were misrepresented by people who didn't want any change.

Baltimore, MD

#5 Mar 12, 2013
Mark Sissel is a man who abandoned his family. He's not a nice person.

San Antonio, TX

#6 Mar 24, 2013
Mark Sissel is not a nice man. He abandoned his child, never paid support. He has a lot of people fooled.

Buffalo, NY

#7 Jul 3, 2013
Why is he now an elementary teacher??

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