PHILIPSBURG — With a narrow 5-4 board vote, Dana Droll was hired as the human resource director at the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District.
Droll was last year’s president of the school board. The salary and her qualifications were called into question at Tuesday’s board meeting.
The prior director’s salary was about $50,550, while the proposed salary for Droll was $68,000. The salary figures do not include benefits.
Board member Richard Wood asked how the budget is impacted by the hiring process. Superintendent Gregg Paladina noted that the Director of Finance Thomas Martin calculated the difference between the former and proposed costs.
Because Droll selected an individual versus a family plan, the cost difference came out at a $5.20 increase, Paladina noted.
Martin also pointed out that, in general, changes stemming from turnover don’t have a large impact on the budget.
“A lot of times, they’ll usually wash out, whether somebody comes and goes as far as you might pick up a little more or less on salaries or a little bit more or less on benefits,” he said. “Usually it’ll work itself out.”
He noted that an allowance for turnover costs could be put into future budgets.
There were four other candidates for the position. Board member Dustin Minarchick said that the decision to vote against Droll was due to another applicant possessing more relevant experience and being a better fit for the district. Paladina disagreed, later noting Droll’s qualifications include a Master’s degree in public administration.
Linda Bush voted no due to the salary, Tiffany Warlow, Minarchick and Wood also opposed the hiring. Droll takes the position after the resignation of Joanna Latosky, effective Jan. 4, 2022.
All other hirings were unanimous and included Daina Baughman, reading specialist at Osceola Mills Elementary; Jessica Fahr, 5.75 hour special education personal care aide at Philipsburg Elementary; Erin Evans, 4.5 hour special education instructional assistant, autistic support, at the middle school; David Boron, Robert Sinclair and Chad Meyers as 5 hour district wide custodians; and Hannah Price as 5.5 hour kitchen helper at the middle school.
Student teachers from Penn State were also approved for the spring semester.
The board also accepted resignations from Matthew Lobb, social studies/ELA teacher at the high school; Michael Mann, health and physical education teacher at the middle school; Robert Pearce, 5.75 special education personal care aide at Philipsburg Elementary; and Lanetta Lucas as 5 hour district wide custodian.