C-P board names supt., assistant administrators

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

May 2, 2007 - Sandra Billodeau was officially awarded the superintendent's contract at Como-Pickton Consolidated Indpendent School District during a special board meeting Monday night.

An assistant superintendent was also chosen, and a secondary assistant principal was named to replace Joe Ryzman, whose resignation was accepted at the meeting.

Lydia Walden was appointed as assistant superintendent. Walden will be assuming Billodeau's old post, left vacant when she was first asked to serve as acting superintendent when Bryan Neal resigned after being accused of misusing district funds and arrested for fraud in January. Billodeau was offered the superintendent job at the regular April board meeting, but state law required a 21-day waiting period before a superintendent could be formally hired.

Billodeau expressed confidence in Walden's abilities to fulfill the assistant superintendent's duties, describing her as a "very competent person."

Walden will be assistant superintendent of special programs, which includes special education, federal and gifted and talented programs.

She will also work closely with Billodeau as part of the administrative team for some grants, and will work with teachers and other staff on others.

Penny Armstrong was promoted to assistant secondary principal under Secondary Principal Jeanne Lay. Armstrong has served as the math curriculum coordinator, tutored students, and was the content math curriculum director. As assistant principal, she will add a few other duties.

Armstrong replaces Joe Ryzman, who was reassigned from athletic director to assistant secondary principal and weight lifting coach by Neal at the end of the first semester.

Ryzman submitted his letter of resignation, effective at the completion of his contract for the 2006-07 school year. In the letter, he thanked the board and administration at the school "for the opportunity to work with the students of Como-Pickton CISD."

"I, as always, measure my worth and success as a professional on the positive impact that I have had on my place of employment. I am leaving Como-Pickton believing that through my efforts the athletic department is a better place than when I arrived here," Ryzman wrote in the resignation letter.

Aimee' Ryzman, Joe Ryzman's wife, also submitted her letter of resignation to Billodeau and Elementary Principal Kay Chance on April 27. She noted that she would be resigning as elementary secretary as of June 20, when her contract expires. 

"Working here for the past 4 years has been an amazing experience for me. I will take with me many new skills learned along with precious memories. Our children, John and Molly, have benefited greatly by attending Como-Pickton school," Aimee' Ryzman wrote in her letter of resignation.

"I have enjoyed working with the administration, staff, parents, and students. You have a wonderful community and it will be missed," she concluded.

The board accepted both resignations as well as that of Debbie Carden, a member of the custodial staff who resigned on April 20.

In looking toward the future, Billodeau noted that once things get settled a little more, other tasks will be divided up and assigned based on need, position and staff strengths. 

All of the district's teachers were approved for rehire in March by the board for new contracts for the coming school year. Everyone should have picked up their contracts by May 11. 

"Our district may have some budget issues, but our greatest resource is our teachers. We need to ensure people don't forget that," said Billodeau, emphasizing how diligently each staff member works to ensure students' educational needs are met with the resources available.

Billodeau said the school's most immediate plans will be getting ready to celebrate the accomplishments of the students and staff at the school with banquets and awards programs slated throughout the month.

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