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New director of special education hired in Northern Lehigh

Published October 14. 2009 05:00PM

Northern Lehigh School District has hired a new director of special education.

The school board unanimously agreed on Monday to appoint Mary Kay Williamson to the post at a salary of $83,000.

The 12-month position will be pro-rated for the 2009-10 school year. The appointment will be effective at a mutually agreed upon start date.

Williamson will replace director of special education Lori Newman Mankos, who resigned.

Newman Mankos has accepted a position as a special education supervisor with the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit.

Also on Monday, the board approved a request from Lana Schmidt, high school German teacher, for the continuation of the Student Exchange Program between interested students from the district and the Eduard Spraenger Gymnasium in Landau, Germany.

German students will be arriving in the district tentatively on Oct. 1, 2010, and stay until Oct. 14, 2010. Expected expenses to the district will be substitute coverage for the hosting teacher as deemed necessary and bus expenses for day trips as budgeted.

Northern Lehigh students will travel to Germany in June 2011 at a time that will coincide with the school year in the Rheinland-Platinate, preferably during the summer months. Trip participants will be responsible for all expenses; however, they do request liability insurance coverage for the entire group, as has been granted since their first exchange trip in 1984.

Additional monies needed for this program will be raised through student fundraising efforts.

In other business, the board:

- Announced that the December board meeting will be held on Dec. 7, instead of Dec. 14. The reorganizational meeting will be held at 7 p.m., followed by the regular board meeting at 7:30 p.m.

- Authorized administration to enter into an agreement with AssetWorks, Inc. as the district's inventory management system. The cost for the system is $1,300 per year, and will automatically renew yearly.

- Authorized administration to continue the cell phone service contract with Verizon Wireless for the Athletic Director at a cost of $49.19 per month, which represents no increase over last year. The cell phone is to be used exclusively for Athletic Director business.

- Approved to reappoint the law firm of Steckel & Stopp as solicitors for the school district for 2010 at a retainer fee of $1,750. There is no increase over last year's fee.

- Appointed Patricia Ingles as high school special education aide, replacing Dawn Wehr, who resigned, at a salary of $11.05 per hour, 6 1/2 hours per day, 180 student days, plus additional 20 hours of staff development according to language in Memorandum of Understanding (2008-12 Educational Support Staff Memorandum of Understanding) effective Sept. 21, 2009.

- Appointed Harold Kline as second shift maintenance position, replacing Earl Snyder, who retired, at a salary of $9 an hour, Tuesday through Saturday, from 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., effective Oct. 12, 2009.

- Approved the request of Beverly Rupert, high school second shift custodian, to take a 12-week family medical leave beginning on Sept. 21, 2009, for medical reasons. She will be using her accumulated sick days and other paid leave in conjunction with the FMLA leave. After her FMLA leave has expired, she is requesting an unpaid leave of absence until she is released from her doctor to return to work. The anticipated release date is Dec. 1, 2009.

- Acknowledge teacher Camille Vernarr, who has completed the requirements per the Collective Bargaining Agreement that would entitle her to a salary increase for the 2009-10 school year, from Step 5B=24, to Step 5M.

- Approved Robin Blocker, Lori-Beth Guelcher, Shelly Long, JoAnne Sipos, and Kathy Yelinek as unpaid volunteer aides in the Peters Elementary School for the 2009-10 school year.

- Approved the following substitute teachers for the 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute teacher rates as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule:

Amberly Gable, Secondary English; Peggy Gallagher, Elementary; Jeff Jacobucci, All Subjects; Karen Kassis, Elementary; Kristen Kentner, Elementary; Ashley Kunkle, Elementary and ESL, Joseph Nester, Secondary Social Studies and Special Education; Laura Pandel, Secondary Social Studies; Donald Rehrig, Secondary Mathematics; Richard Snell, Secondary English; and Daniel Shea, CLIU Guest Teacher. Kentner and Pandel's appointments are pending verification of missing documents.

- Approved the following individuals as substitute secretaries/aides for th e2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute rate as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule:

Peggy Balliet, Amberly Gable, Heather Hughes, and Sally Kasztejna. Balliet and Hughes' appointments are pending verification of missing documents.

- Approved Peggy Balliet as substitute cafeteria worker for th 2009-10 school year at the 2009-10 substitute rate as approved on the Supplementary Personnel Salary Schedule. Balliet's appointment is pending verification of missing documents.

- Approved a field trip for the Biology I Class, high school classes, to the Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia on Oct. 28. The trip will be funded by students and the high school budget.

- Approved a field trip for the South East Team, middle school, to Ellis Island, NY, on May 5, 2010. The trip will be funded by the PTO and student fundraising efforts.

- Approved a field trip for the West Team, middle school, to Medieval Times, in Lyndhurst, NJ, on June 3, 2010. The trip will be funded by the PTO and student fundraising efforts.

- Approved changes to school board policy #539, classified employees, uncompensated leave, as presented after the first reading.

- Granted homebound instruction for an 11th grade student, Student No. 1109160, for five hours per week, effective Oct. 7, 2009, and continuing for about three months.

- Approved abatement/exoneration requests of per capita taxes, for the residents that fall within the guidelines.

- Approved changes to the Northern Lehigh School District Emergency Operations Plan.

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