After five years away from Lehighton Area School District, a familiar face will soon return to serve as an administrator of the special education program.

Lehighton Area School Board approved the recommendation to hire Sean LeDonne as supervisor of special services. She had previously served the school district for 13 years as a teacher and assistant supervisor of special services.

For the past five years, LeDonne has served as supervisor of special education at Colonial Academy in Wind Gap. She replaces Shaun McElmoyle, who resigned his position in August to become special education supervisor at Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21.

"I'm very excited to return to Lehighton," said LeDonne.

Also hired by the school board is Daniel Oswald Jr. as a utility custodian. Donald Dorward, Jr. is transferred from custodian to utility custodian.

In addition, the school board approved tenure for Jessica Bruch, Jessica McCarroll and Elyse Roman. All three teachers were hired in 2009.

Under his legislative report, board member Dave Krause gave an update on two pending Pennsylvania House of Representatives bills. SB 1115, concerning charter school reforms and special education funding, was not brought to a vote. SB 1309 also was not passed. This bill would have prohibited taxing entities, including school districts, from appealing the assessment of a property based on the sale of the property if the taxing entity would gain less than $10,000 annually from the assessment.

"The reason both of these bills did not pass is due to calls from board members, PSBA's (Pennsylvania School Boards Association) efforts, and others in support of public education," said Krause. "It is very effective to have our voices heard."

He urged contacting legislators to thank them for their support.

Delegates to the PSBA Legislative Policy Council recently met in Hershey to adopt an official platform for the association. All of the items in the proposed 2013 PSBA legislative platform passed except for supporting legislation that restores the authorization for any school district to levy and collect mercantile or business privilege tax.

According to Krause, "Based on feedback, the group feels this would be a burden to businesses that are already taxed significantly."

The next meeting of Lehighton Area School Board is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at LASD Administration Building, Conference Room A. The public is encouraged to attend.

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