Tamaqua middle schooler Michael Serrano just asks that people respect him.

After his presentation to the Tamaqua Area School Board Tuesday, it would be hard not to.

Working with the help of his teacher, Trisha Maksimik, Serrano developed a science project which adapts the controller for a FightBox 360 console, an Xbox game. He used a power point presentation to explain his work, as his parents, family and Tamaqua Director of Special Education RuthAnn Gardiner looked on proudly.

Serrano stated that he was nervous, but soon got into the presentation like a seasoned public speaker.

"I'd like to give a shout out to the staff and teachers," Serrano said, addressing the board. "And thank you for listening to me for a little bit."

Gardiner said that April is Autism Awareness month.

In other news, the district's business manager Connie Ligenza said that the district will have the numbers for its heating oil cost next Tuesday. Tamaqua belongs to a consortium, through the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit, for oil purchase. Ligenza estimated that the district's oil use will be 15,000 gallons or less.

That's much lower than the 25,000 gallons the district used in prior years, she said.

"We've been able to reduce consumption by making energy saving measures across the district," Ligenza said after the meeting. "It's been significant."

The district will also advertise for bids for liquid propane.

Although the board won't take official action until its regular meeting, it appears that board member Robert Betz will continue to represent the district on the board for the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit. The term will be from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016. Betz has served on the Tamaqua board for 34 years, and on the I.U. board for 30 years.