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Board hears pitch for middle school girls lacrosse

The possibility of adding girls lacrosse to the sports lineup of Akron Middle School was part of a preliminary athletic budget for 2008-09 discussed by the School Board on Wednesday night.

Athletics Director Larry Bryant said many girls have asked for the program.

"Interest is great," he said. He also said the the department would like to add "field hockey at the modified level" for middle school girls.

"Right now we have an overload in some of our sports, especially girls volleyball," said Bryant, adding that, currently, "track and field is the only modified sport" for the middle school girls.

Bryant's presentation and one by Debra Eppolito, director of instructional technology, are part of preliminary preparations for next year's budget. Administrators have been making brief presentations at the board's meetings.

Eppolito's wish list included updating the computer network infrastructure and the district's telephone system, as well as adding more wireless access to school buildings.

School Superintendent Robin B. Zymroz said some of the technology upgrades are contingent on district residents approving a $23 million capital project. A public hearing will be held on that project at 7 p.m. Tuesdayin the high school auditorium, and a referendum is set for Dec. 13.

In other business, the board:

* Viewed a tape of a WIVB-TV broadcast of a recent webcast in the fifth-grade class of Sue Guyton, where pupil Molly Serena got to see her mother, Dena Helms, an Army nurse serving in Iraq, for the first time since last summer. Members of the class posed questions to Helms about her duty there.

* Learned that Jenna Depczynski, a high school junior, was a participant in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. She was one of nine piccolo players from across the U.S. selected to participate.|

* Accepted the retirement of Michael Kropelin, buildings and grounds superintendent, effective July 1. He has been with the district for 24 years.

* Approved a trip by the boys and girls swim team to the annual Eastern States Swim Meet on Long Island Jan. 25-28. There will be no cost to the school district.

* Scheduled next month's business meeting for 7 p.m. Dec. 19, instead of the fourth Wednesday, which falls during the winter recess. The monthly workshop meeting, normally the second Wednesday, will be held Tuesday following the public hearing on the capital project.

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