West Branch meets new superintendent
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
By Annie Lynn Staff Writer
ALLPORT - At last night's meeting of the West Branch School Board of Directors, Timothy Eyerly, president, introduced Sandra M. Craft, new district school superintendent, to the board and visitors. Ms. Craft will assume her duties on Sept. 9.
The board discussed placing one of the two following resolutions on the November ballot: A. "At this time all directors of the West Branch Area School District are elected for one of three regions. Do you favor eliminating the elections by region and instead, elect all directors at large?"
In a roll call vote, Donald Yontosh, Larry Allen, Gerald Coble, Joseph Kovalcin and Mary Ann Couteret voted no. Tom Veres, Ronald Mollura and Timothy Eyerly voted yes. B. "At this time all directors of the West Branch Area School District are elected for one of three regions. Do you favor eliminating the elections by region and instead, elect one director from each region and the remaining directors at large?"
In a roll call vote, Mr. Kovalcin, Mr. Yontosh, Mr. Allen, Mr. Coble, Ms. Couteret and Mr. Eyerly voted yes. Mr. Mollura and Mr. Veres voted no.
In personnel business the board approved the resignation of Crystal Gay and Colleen Viehdorfer as West Branch Area Senior High Student Government advisers; Shelly Houser, Janice Walker and Adele Williams as substitutes; leave without pay for high school secretary Cindy Gormont for Sept. 5; family medical leave for Crystal Gay to begin Aug. 27 to Sept. 17, as full days, and from Sept. 18 to 23 as half days; Wendy Fernburg, supervisor of special education, signing a non-obligatory contact for the purpose of searching for a substitute speech therapist to fill a FMLA leave.
Following an approximately 45-minute executive session, the board approved reinstating employee No. 00077 and rescinding the suspension of 30 working days and demotion taken at the Nov. 19, 2007 board meeting; furloughing employee No. 733, personal care aide, effective immediately since the student has been placed out of the district; furloughing employee No. 714, personal care aide, effective immediately since the student is receiving TSS services; furloughing employee No. 51, personal care aide, effective immediately since the student has been placed out of the district; furloughing employee No. 792, personal care aide, effective immediately since the student no longer requires the services.
The board also approved a request for Ms. Fernburg and a second person to attend the 2008-09 PA SBAP training workshop at State College on Sept. 9 at no cost to the district.
In transportation and athletics, the board approved the resignation of Nathan Owens as assistant Jr. High football coach; a motion to defer a decision on approving Scott Slippey as assistant Jr. High football coach until all paper work is in; the van transportation contracts, as presented, with a retroactive start date of July 1, 2008; a motion to reject an increase of 4 cents per mile based on a gasoline price of $3.999 and a variance of plus or minus 1 cent for every plus or minus 20 cents change in gasoline prices from $3.999 for van transportation; David Catanzaro and William Crain as volunteers; advertising for a head varsity softball coach; deferred a decision to approve an amount for the renovations of the press box at the football field.
In other business, the board approved the transfer of Ron Natalie, custodian, from high school third shift to high school second shift; a quote of $7,845 from Safety-Kleen for the removal of unwanted chemicals from the science labs, animal lab specimens, drum of old unmarked boiler treatment and various sealers and solvents; requiring all student activity fundraisers to be paid with cash or money order; W.R. Baird as the investment company representing the district and discontinuing the use of the Royal Bank of Canada; the district in partnership with the Central Intermediate Unit 10 and other area school districts, paying for two months' rent and electric to rent an apartment in Clearfield to provide the Life Skills students a relevant hands-on curriculum; the final reading of the student wellness policy; and an invoice from Burns and Burns Associates Inc. in the amount of $49,680 for the 2008-09 insurance package.
Following discussion, the board entertained two motions concerning the transfer of soccer field funds, set aside at the Nov. 19, 2007, board meeting for the preliminary study of a soccer field. The first motion was to move the funds back to the tennis court account from where the money originated. The roll call vote was Mr. Yontosh, Mr. Coble, Mr. Allen, Mr. Kovalcin and Mr. Eyerly voting yes and Ms. Couteret, Mr. Mollura and Mr. Veres voting no. The second motion was to move the funds to the general funds account. The vote was Ms. Couteret, Mr. Mollura and Mr. Veres voting yes and Mr. Yontosh, Mr. Coble, Mr. Allen, Mr. Kovalcin and Mr. Eyerly voting no. Member Larry Cowder was absent.
William Hayward, elementary principal, noted that kindergarten orientation is set for Monday at 7 p.m. in the elementary gymnasium. Sean Wechtenhiser, high school principal, reported that the high school homeroom numbers are posted on the front doors of the school building.
He said the high school orientation was held yesterday, shared PSSA information and noted the grants that have been received.
A motion passed to advertise for Classrooms for the Future grants. Dave Williamson, athletic director, distributed the fall athletic schedules for 2008-09 and noted the first football game is Aug. 29 with Southern Huntington at 7 p.m. in the home stadium. Dave Nelson, maintenance supervisor, reported the building will be ready for the opening of school.
William Woolworth, a representative of the Morris Township Fire Co., spoke to the board about a presentation the fire company gives to the elementary students every October. He explained there are two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, for kindergarten through sixth grade. He noted there is a lecture and video and the students are also taken outside to see fire equipment. Mr. Woolworth asked the board for assistance with the financial aspects of the presentation. The board passed a motion to donate $300 to the fire company. Mr. Woolworth noted the fire company was denied having a table at the Career Days event last year and asked if the board would consider including the fire company this year, allowing it to set up a table with information about volunteering with the fire company.
He explained the advantages of volunteering for both the students and the fire company.
Mr. Hayward expressed his appreciation to Mr. Woolworth for the presentations the fire company gives each year and to Mr. Nelson and the custodians for their hard work to get the building ready for the school opening.
On behalf of the Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Antoinette Franek requested a donation of textbooks to be distributed to a school in Liberia, Africa.