Panther Valley High School will be led by a familiar face, at least until March 31st. The School Board appointed Dr. Robert Mauro, the former superintendent of the District, as the interim high school principal effective January 15th, until March 31st. Mauro will receive a stipend of $300 per day, not to exceed $16,000. Mauro's appointment was not unanimous, however. Directors Mickey Angst, Irene Genther, and Koreen Nalesnik opposed the appointment.
Angst urged for a no vote on the grounds that the district cannot afford Mauro. "Even though $300 a day isn't that much more than we were paying Mr. (George) Gillespie, (the former principal) we need to hold the line," he said. "I don't believe it's that urgent. If it were so urgent, we shouldn't have sat on Mr. Gillespie's resignation," he added.
Angst said that Gillespie's resignation was dated November 16th. Genther started to add her comments, but was silenced when other members of the Board called for the question during Angst's comments. According to Angst, the board started interviewing potential candidates for the permanent position on Wednesday evening.
The Board also approved a substantial raise for business manager Kenneth Marx, Jr. Marx had been receiving a salary of $62,500, as of July 1, 2009. As of January 15th, his salary will jump to $73,282. Angst commented that he had looked forward to voting yes for Marx's raise; however, he felt that the board gave away that raise when they voted to hire Mauro. As a result, he voted against it, adding that he felt that Marx does an excellent job. Nalesnik also cast a no vote.
Mary Louise Gauronsky, permanent part-time transportation clerk. received a raise from $9.75 to $10.25 per hour, effective July 1, 2009.
The Board also opened nominations for Board secretary. Donna Trimmel and Irene Genther were both nominated. Trimmel received the nod with seven votes in her favor. Anthony Pondish was also appointed as the PSBA liaison. This position combines the former positions of PSBA rep and legislative chairperson.
In other personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation for retirement of two long time district employees: Mary McKee, middle school teacher, and Leroy McCole, Jr., high school custodian. Superintendent Rosemary Porembo spoke highly of McKee, praising her more than 30 years of service to the district, first as a kindergarten and elementary teacher and then moving to the middle school. "I have no doubt that generations will talk about her for many years," she added.
The board also appointed the following people to positions as PSSA coaches for the 2009-2010 school year at a stipend of $135 per day: Glen Kuntz, Ed Kocha, Adrienne Bonner, Ahsley Price, Andrew Michalik, and Lauren Schock Wall. These positions are funded by the Accountability Block Grant.
Bonnie Dopira was added to the substitute teachers list. Jenny Zona and Kira Gotthardt were appointed as chaperones for the Ski Club for the school year. Brian Rivera was added as an assistant wrestling coach for the remainder of the year. Jill Zweisdak was approved as a scorekeeper for the swim season.