Tamaqua Area High School has a new principal.

The school district's board of education appointed Stephen P. Toth to the principal's post during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

The move, effective today, promotes Toth from his position as assistant high school principal, replacing RuthAnn Gardiner, who in December, 2010 became the district's director of special education after Jennifer Aponick left for a position with the Northwestern Lehigh School District.

During Toth's tenure as assistant principal, he aided in crafting the district's mandatory drug testing policy for students involved in sports and extracurricular activities, which took effect with the current school year.

Toth was appointed on a unanimous 8-0 vote. Director Eileen Meiser was absent due to illness.

The board also renewed the contract of Tamaqua Area Superintendent of Schools Carol Makuta for another five-year term, effective Aug. 26.

The administrative moves followed a one-hour closed executive session, which was announced for legal matters.

In other business, the board approved Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29's administrative and program budget for 2011-2012. Board Secretary Robert W. Betz was appointed to serve on the Intermediate Unit's board of directors for a new three-year term, beginning July 1 and running through June 30, 2014.

The use of Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 21, as an emergency weather make-up day was ratified. The day was originally scheduled as a school holiday but was switched to a school day at the recommendation of Makuta, who suggested using next Monday rather that taking another of the four snow make-up days built into the district's calendar for April.

The addition of three courses to the high school curriculum was approved. The new courses include a one-credit Introduction to Business class, which is an elective, and one-credit pre-calculus and pre-calculus honors classes, which actually cover trigonometry according to the new Prentice Hall math course sequence that the district will be using.

Field trips were approved as requested by Thorn Devlin, ski club adviser, to take the ski club to Killington, Vermont for an overnight trip from Friday, March 18 to Sunday, March 20; and by Roseann Weinrich, to take her anatomy and physiology classes to the Exhibition in New York City on Thursday, March 3.

Out of state conference requests were approved for Sally LeMasters, middle school media center teacher, to attend the 2011 Book Expo America Conference in New York City in May; and for Makuta to attend the 2011 Best Practices Institute.

A resolution was approved that delegated authority for collection of local services tax for the district to the Schuylkill County Tax Collection Committee.

Personnel moves

In personnel matters, the board terminated the employment of a custodian, retroactive to Jan. 21. The custodian was not named, nor was any explanation given for the move.

The salary of Linda Edmonds was adjusted to that of highly qualified status, retroactive to Jan. 19. Edmonds resigned as a part-time paraprofessional as of Feb. 4, as did Kathy Goff, with both resignations accepted by the board.

Soji Otuyelu, Palo Alto, and Amanda Gallagher, Tamaqua, were approved as guest substitute teachers.

The following requests for Family and Medical Leaves were approved: Marsha Rodgers, from Jan. 25 to May 12, beginning after all personal and sick days are exhausted; and Emily Daubert, beginning approximately March 11, after all sick days are exhausted.

Unpaid leaves of absence were approved for Maura Streisel, middle school teacher, for Feb. 14 (one-half day) and Feb. 15; Elaine Jones, part-time paraprofessional, for March 31 and April 1; Diane Michalik, elementary teacher, for March 31 and April 1; and Sherri Gerber, high school teacher, for March 22.

Makuta announced that kindergarten orientation will be held on Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Tamaqua Elementary School.