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Palmerton services director's resignation accepted

Published October 21. 2009 05:00PM

Palmerton Area School District has accepted the resignation of its director of district services.

The school board on a 7-0 vote Tuesday agreed to accept the resignation of Gary D. Snyder, effective Sept. 29. Directors Carol Dwyer and Kerry Beidleman were absent.

Snyder, of Franklin Township, was charged last month with the sexual assault of a boy. He remains free in lieu of $100,000 unsecured bail.

Snyder's pay was discontinued after the board suspended him without pay in July. That action came one day after Snyder was arraigned by District Justice Cazimir Kosciolek of Lansford on two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two counts of indecent assault, and one count each of rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, indecent exposure, corruption of minors, and aggravated indecent assault.

Snyder had been placed on a paid leave of absence by the district in April.

Prior to the motion to accept Snyder's resignation, resident Billie Jo Moyer asked why Snyder was allowed to resign rather than being outright fired.

Board solicitor Steven Serfass told Moyer the board received Snyder's letter of resignation.

"There is no further disciplinary action," Serfass said. "The matter is closed from the district's perspective."

Moyer then said that Snyder should be responsible for having to pay the district back money he received during the time frame that he was suspended with pay.

Superintendent Carol Boyce said that matter is one in which the district would have to discuss with the district attorney.

When resident Bill Strauch asked Boyce how the district planned to fill the position, she said it would post and advertise for it.

Also on Tuesday, the board heard a presentation from high school instructors Tammy Recker and Travis Fink on student council and its role and activities.

Recker said the goal of student council is to see how it can make the school and community a better place to be.

Steph Gursky, president of student council, spoke of the various functions the group is involved in.

She said the council strives to "promote our school spirit."

Gursky mentioned that the high school sold 250 T-shirts recently; held a pep rally last week; held a talent show; and grants wishes through Dream Come True.

"It's great to include everyone and show their school spirit," she added.

Recker said the students are also involved in community outreach programs, such as Toys for Tots, Dream Come True, and Awareness Week.

"I want the kids out in the community," said Recker, who added that 121 students, or 23 percent of the student body, are members. "We want to promote Palmerton Pride."

In a related matter, Recker announced that the Booster Club's community pep rally/bonfire is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m., Nov. 5.

In other business, the board:

• Accepted the resignation of Jennifer Altemose, substitute teacher, effective Oct. 1.

• Accepted the resignation of Elizabeth Wehr, substitute teacher, effective Sept. 28.

• Accepted the resignation of Allison Makar, substitute teacher, effective Oct. 13.

• Approved the employment of Ann Marie Martin as substitute nurse, effective Oct. 21.

• Approved the employment of Tami L. Cunfer as substitute secretary, effective Oct. 21.

• Approved the employment of Kelly Ruddick as substitute instructional aide, effective Oct. 21.

• Approved the employment of Cynthia Grosso as substitute secretary, substitute cafeteria worker, and substitute instructional aide, effective Oct. 21.

• Approved the transfer of Deborah Scheckler to secretary to the superintendent at a salary of $30,000, prorated, effective Oct. 5.

• Approved the transfer of Kim Ottinger to secretary to district facilities/district services at a salary of $31,498, prorated, effective Oct. 19.

• Approved the contracts for the superintendent's secretary and the business administrator's secretary.

• Approved tuition reimbursements for Melissa Beahn, $535.50 (adjustment); Valerie Koch, $535.50 (adjustment); and Suzanne Lawrence $320.

• Approved the salary adjustment of Natalie Dize and Zach Tofany from bachelor's degree to Bachelor's+24 upon the settlement of the collective bargaining agreement between the teachers and the district.

• Approved the salary adjustment of Rich DeSocio from master's to Master's+15 retroactive to Feb. 27, 2009.

• Approved a correction for Robert Dailey, director of Special Education, to attend the Eastern PA Special Education Administrators Conference from Oct. 28-30.

• Accepted dictionaries for the third grade from the Rotary Club as its annual gift.

• Accepted an upright piano and a baby grand piano from the Carbon Career & Technical Institute.

• Tabled action on a payment in the amount of $5,567 from the McCall Grant to George's P&H for plumbing and electric work completed on the high school science lab.

• Approved, on a 6-0 vote with one abstention, the donation of six books donated by director Michael Ballard; two to Parkside Education Center, two to S.S. Palmer Elementary, and two to Towamensing Elementary. Ballard abstained from the vote.

• Approved the agreement with St. Luke's Hospital for the employee assistance program.

• Approved PlanCon K for Towamensing Elementary School.

• Approved the unpaid leave request for Amy Negley effective Nov. 7, 2009 through Jan. 10, 2010.

• Approved a tuition reimbursement in the amount of $1,071 to Ryan Heller.

• Appointed Denise L. Strohl and Brad Landis as co-advisors to the ski club as volunteers, effective the 2009-10 school year.

• Appointed Michael Shafer as volunteer cross country coach in the 2009-10 school year.

• Appointed Rick Anderson as volunteer wrestling coach in the 2009-10 school year.

• Appointed Dan Heaney as volunteer wresting coach in the 2009-10 school year.

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