Fallout continues over PL school closure|
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
By Dianne Byers Staff Writer
COMMODORE - The fallout continues from last week's decision by the Purchase Line School Board to close North Elementary School. At a special meeting May 29, following a 90-day cooling off period from a public hearing held in February, the school board voted 7-2 to close the school with a majority of members noting their reasons for supporting the action as low numbers of student enrollment and financial costs associated with renovating the building and preparing its technology system for more modern equipment.
Last night, the board approved two resolutions for furloughing and eliminating permanent staff and not renewing contracts with temporary professional employees associated with closing the North school.
The resolution for the furloughing of teachers notes it is based on section 1124.3 of the state's public school code that permits school districts to either furlough or not renew contracts with temporary professional employees for the closing of a school building and names teachers, Carlene Sadler, Tiffany DeStefano and Eric Misko as those who were furloughed effective last night.
The resolution notes the three "shall be afforded all rights under the Public School Code and the collective bargaining agreement with the education association including the exercise of bumping rights as provided by applicable law and the applicable bargaining agreement."
The second resolution approves the elimination and demotion of cafeteria, custodial, secretary and nurses aide positions effective the last day of the 2011-12 school year. Those named in the elimination of four cafeteria positions are Bridget Buterbaugh, 4.5 hours per day; Tonya Kachmarchi and Connie Pershing, 5.5 hours per day, each; and Debra Pearce, eight hours. Cafeteria employee Cindy Mattis will have her hours reduced from 7.5 hours to 5.5. Those named in the elimination of three custodial positions are Michele Pearce, five hours per day; and Rick Keith and Mary Pearce, eight hours per day. The 12-month secretarial position eliminated is held by Carol Kurka and Christina Davis, the seven-hour per day nurse's aide position.
Each of those named in the resolution will also be afforded rights under the applicable bargaining agreement between the district and the union representing the workers including the exercise of bumping rights provided by applicable laws and bargaining agreements.
In other business, the board:
• held an approximately 90-minute executive session for personnel and litigation matters and returned to executive session following adjournment of the meeting for personnel and negotiations matters.
• did not renew a one-year food service contract with Metz Culinary Management, Dallas, beginning July 1 through June 30, 2013. The cost would have been $55,219 for salary and benefits for on-site manager Ben Leverknight, $9,308 for a management fee and $11,664 for administrative costs.
At several meetings and work sessions, a majority of members expressed their dissatisfaction with the company's failure to aid the district in reducing the large deficit in its cafeteria fund budget. The amount estimated for the 2012-13 school year was $160,000 and for several years prior had been more than $100,000 each year.
In a separate motion, last night, the board authorized creating and advertising a 12-month food service director position.
• authorized recalling the most senior furloughed or demoted instructor to fill a full-time elementary physical education teaching position for the 2012-13 school year.
The teacher who will be recalled is Janessa Hardesty at a salary of $55,414.
• hired head coaches and set their salaries for the 2012-13 school year. They include: Sean Mack, track, $4,292 and cross country, $2,500; David Krug, boy's basketball, $4,300; Greg Pack, girl's volleyball, $2,750; Candi McCabe, girl's softball, $3,096; Kachmarchi, cheerleading, $2,000, Rebecca Hudak, girl's basketball, $4,300; Terry Neely, boy's baseball, $2,750; and Brandon Overdorff, football, $4,850.
Mack, McCabe, Kachmarchi and Pack are returning coaches. Krug was a former assistant boy's basketball coach. Several business meetings ago, the board voted to open the athletic director's position and all head coaching positions. At the May 29 meeting, the board hired Isaac Solak of Philipsburg to replace long-time athletic director James Klyap who submitted an application to be reinstated to the position. Solak's salary is $5,000.
• granted a leave of absence, beginning July 9, to Tammy Lechner, board secretary and administrative assistant to the district's business manager.
• authorized creation of a full-time elementary guidance counselor position for the 2012-13 school year.
The board will meet Monday for a work session and June 29 for a business meeting where motions to be considered will include adoption of the 2012-13 proposed budget. Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m.