The Tamaqua Area School District added 11 new teachers to its faculty for the 2010-11 school year.
The teachers were welcomed by the district at a reception in the middle school cafeteria Tuesday evening prior to the district's board of education committee meetings.
The new instructors are all on the elementary level and were introduced to the school board by Steven Behr, the district's elementary principal, and James J. Fasnacht, assistant elementary principal.
New faculty members at Tamaqua Elementary School include Amanda Zuber and Zac Evans, third grade; Andrew Michalik, fourth grade; and Angela Faust and Dylan Peters, fifth grade.
New teachers at West Penn Elementary School include Audra Schlect, first grade; Ashley Stanek and Abby Neverosky, third grade; and Nicole Evans, fourth grade.
Samantha McBreen, first grade, and Krista Labraico, kindergarten, are new additions to the faculty at Rush Elementary School, Hometown.
Amanda Gallagher, the district's new student services program director, was also welcomed by the board.
Board President Larry A. Wittig noted that the new teachers went through an extensive screening process. "There were a ton of applications" for the positions, he said.
"I hope you all assimilate and have a long stay with us," added Wittig.
$160K owed to I.U.
During the finance committee meeting, Connie Ligenza, the district's business manager, reported that the district is in the process of settling the 2009-2010 budget with Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29.
Ligenza said the district is being asked to pay an additional $160,000 to the I.U., due to the increase in the number of Tamaqua Area students in the I.U.'s Life Skills program, as well as increased costs with Emotional Support and Intinerent Services.
Ligenza said the Life Skills classes had an increase of seven with its ADMs, of average daily membership.
Board Treasurer Daniel E. Schoener, who chairs the finance committee, wanted to know why the district wasn't previously informed of the increases.
"It just seems odd," said Schoener. "It would have been nice to know about this at budget time."
"Does the line item (in the TASD budget) for the coming year need to be adjusted?" asked Director Aaron Frantz. "Would it need to be adjusted up?"
Ligenza explained that the I.U. does a reconcilation of its accounts in January and at the end of the fiscal year. "In January, we were close to where we should be," Ligenza said. "It wasn't until the end that it showed up."
Ligenza added that she would like to see the I.U. do reconciliations more often. "Every time they add a student, the cost changes," she related. She also mentioned that there have been years when the district got funds back due to the reduction of the ADMs.
Jennifer Aponick, the district's special education director, said from last December, the district had an increase of 35 special education students in the middle school alone.
"The biggest problem is the ADMs," stated Aponick. "If the kids get pulled back by their districts, the costs per student goes up."
"We'll take a good, hard look at it again when we get the December numbers," said Ligenza. "We've been asking them for a midpoint reconciliation, too."