The Tamaqua Area School District has a new director of special education.

The district's board of education hired Jennifer Aponick, Barnesville, to the position during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

Aponick replaces Gregory Koons, who resigned in May to take a job with the Luzerne County Intermediate Unit. His last day of work for Tamaqua Area was June 30.

Aponick was hired on an unanimous 7-0 vote on the recommendation of the board's education committee. Directors Dr. Thomas Rottet and Mark Rother were absent from the meeting.

Aponick, whose salary will be $80,000 annually, spent the last three years working in the Salisbury Township School District, Allentown as Supervisor of Special Education. Prior to that, she worked with the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit for seven years as an educational support teacher.

Aponick was present at the meeting and was welcomed by the board and administration. She said she is looking forward to getting started with her new responsibilities.

The school board also approved the position of Student Services Program Manager for its Alternative Education program.

In other business, the board approved the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit No. 29's Special Education Service Agreement for the 2010-11 school year for a tentative amount of $1,164,392, payable in six scheduled installments.

The district also authorized an agreement to participate in the Child Nutrition Program for the intermediate unit and for the Schuylkill County AVTS Operating Agency, and approved a contract with Behavior Heath Associates.

Personnel moves

The board hired four part-time paraprofessionals, listed as highly qualified, at the rate of $7.75 per hour: Stephanie Balliet, Elaine Jones and Cheryl Kabana, all of Tamaqua, and Stacy Prusak of Nesquehoning.

Darlene Fetterman and Rosemarie Derr were added to the district's substitute teachers list.

Kyle Oliver, Andreas, was hired as assistant girls tennis coach, while Megan Fulmer and Debbie Connely, Tamaqua, were approved as assistant cheerleading coaches. Greg Stewart, who is the boys head soccer coach, was approved as assistant high school wrestling coach.

Peter Polyak and Aaron Chromiak, both of Tamaqua, were approved as summer student workers, retroactive to May 24 and May 28, respectively.

Jeanine Gottstein, custodian, had her unpaid leave of absence extended that started April 9 extended through an anticipated return date of Aug. 30.

Middle School teacher Koreen Nalesnik had her request for two days of unpaid leave of absence for Oct. 7-8 approved.

Tara Krajcirik, middle school teacher, was approved for a child rearing leave, effective for the 2010-11 school year.

The following elementary teachers were appointed as mentors, at stipends to be determined: Vicki Feliciano for Dylan Peters; Georgiann Sester for Angela Smith; Danelle Kane for Krista LaBraico; Jennifer Kinder for Ashley Stanek; Charise Fiorella for Samantha McBreen; Vanessa Boyle for Abigail Neverosky; Michele Bittner for Nicole Weaver; Donna Frantz for Audra Schlect; Cindy Viel for Andrew Michalik; Sheree Basinsky for Zachery Evans; and Judy Midas for an elementary teacher to be determined.

Purnell funds accepted

The board agreed to be accept being a perpetual trustee to the School Administration Fund of late former Tamaqua Area Superintendent Elbur C. Purnell and his wife Ruth S. Purnell, in the amount of $54,355.61.

Board President Larry A. Wittig inquired whether the district could have the newly formed Tamaqua Blue Raider Foundation operate such a fund as the Purnell estate has left in the board's hands. "I'd like to get us out of the trustee business and have the foundation pick it up," Wittig said.

"You don't have the choice if you accept it," said Attorney Jeffrey Bowe, the district's solicitor.

"Would it be like an orphan's court situation?" asked Wittig.

"My gut (feeling) is no," said Bowe, who explained that the district can't go to orphan's court merely because it is an imposition for it to operate the fund."

"I just feel the foundation could get a better return on it," offered Wittig.

In other financial matters, the board authorized the district's annual donations of $7,000 to the Tamaqua Public Library and $2,500 to the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission.

The district also purchased $32,455.38 in cafeteria equipment for Tamaqua Elementary School, as well as a $17,020.75 steamer/convection unit and a $7,532 convection unit for the high school, from Clark Food Services Equipment, as per a State general purchasing contract.

A bid quote was awarded to McClure Company to install new underground oil lines at West Penn Elementary School, at a cost of $7,240.

A floor scrubber was purchased from Master Chemical Products, Inc., Wilkes-Barre, for $5,556.80, as per the Pa. State contract.

Carpeting was purchased for the high school library from Metro Design Center, Allentown, at a cost not to exceed $14,076.80, as per the State contract.

The board also ratified a three-year contract with Coordinated Health Services, Bethlehem, for providing athletic training servcies for the next three fiscal years. The costs will be $28,000, $28,980 and $29,994 for each year of the agreement.