Personnel changes and issues kept Lehighton Area School Board busy on Monday evening as the school district prepares for the start of the 2013-2014 school year. The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 3.
The school board approved the recommendations to hire Kevin Bond as high school technology teacher, Megan Kibler as long-term substitute elementary school Title 1 / math teacher, Samantha Kistler as special education teacher; Alison Rheinhardt as long-term substitute special education teacher, Laura Schiffer as high school social studies teacher, and Bobbie-Jo Stehle as speech therapist.
Addressing the school board, Bond said, "Thank you for this opportunity." As graduates of Lehighton Area High School, both Kistler and Stehle added, "It's good to be home."
In addition, the school board approved the recommendation to hire Floyd Brown as assistant supervisor of special services / district assessment coordinator.
Recommended hires for mentors for new school district employees include Katherine Decker for Diane Schnell; Patricia Ebbert for both Stehle and Joseph Zarelli; Matthew Fisher for Trevor Miller; Bernard Shea for Bond; and Laurel Zimmerman for Angela Harris.
The school board also approved the extra-curricular hire of Melissa Volcskai as SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) advisor.
Additional athletic hires for the 2013-2014 school year include Sarah Devitt as head cheerleading coach; Brian Polaha as head baseball coach; Greg Poremba as head softball coach; and Zarelli as assistant boys' soccer coach.
On the flip side, resignations were accepted from Sarah Beck as high school special education teacher; Stephanie Booth as head cheerleading coach; Floyd Brown as special education teacher; Stephen Hluschak, Jr. as high school social studies teacher; Lisa Krause as language arts / reading teacher; Jacob Marushak as high school technology teacher; and Heather Solt as middle school paraprofessional.
Superintendent Jonathan J. Cleaver noted that Krause has been a teacher in LASD for 17 years.
"On behalf of the school district, we thank Mrs. Krause for her dedication and service and wish her well," said Cleaver.
In other personnel business, the school board voted 8 to 1 to table a proposed compensation plan for administrators and managers. As part of that same vote, the school board hired Paul Blunt, Esquire, from the Law Office of King, Spry, Herman, Freund, & Faul, LLC of Bethlehem, PA as chief negotiator for LASD in the matter. School Board Director Dave Krause was the lone dissenting vote.
The school board meeting on Monday evening also included two executive sessions to discuss two separate and distinct personnel issues behind closed doors.