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Palmerton School District: Stadium lights won't impact fall sports season

Published September 22. 2011 05:01PM

Palmerton Area School District will shell out over $250,000 to replace its high school stadium lighting and to undertake a water mitigation project.

The school board voted 7-2 on Tuesday to award a contract to JB Electric, of Minersville, in the amount of $99,469, for the high school stadium lighting replacement project. Directors Carl Bieling and Tina Snyder were opposed.

Four new steel poles, foundations and lighting fixtures will be installed at the stadium. A prior inspection conducted by an engineer deemed the current lights to be faulty.

Because the high school football team has several away games scheduled for mid-to-late-season, the fall sports season - namely football and soccer - is not expected to be impacted by the project.

By a unanimous vote, the board agreed to award a contract to Jones Masonry Restoration, of Harrisburg, in the amount of $157,000, for the district water mitigation project.

That project will make repairs to the building exteriors, primarily at Parkside Education Center, as well as Towamensing Elementary and the junior high school.

Both projects are included in the list of bond projects after the board agreed last fall to borrow $5 million and restructure its 2006 bond issue.

Also on Tuesday, the board heard presentations from pre-retirees Deb Hard, Jean Calpas, Linda Brown, Diane Hanna, and Ron Debias on various training adviser projects.

Superintendent Carol Boyce said that under the current collective bargaining agreement, the instructors have agreed to work on the projects for the betterment of the district.

Hard and Calpas, third grade instructors at Towamensing Elementary, said they have come up with children's books for students to read that target their particular reading levels.

Hanna, a special education instructor at the high school for grades 9 and 12, and Brown, a family & consumer science instructor at the junior high, have developed a homework and study skills after-school clinic specifically for at-risk students in ninth grade.

Debias, a high school art teacher, has created a transitions program designed to assist students who make the move from junior high to high school.

Board President Barry Scherer thanked the instructors for their work.

"The presentations were very excellent," Scherer said. "I'm sure they will make a big difference for the students."

In other business, the board:

• Approved the change order for the SS Palmer generator replacement project to the Thomas L. Hoffman Company, Inc., of Allentown, in the amount of $1,436 for additional work.

• On a 5-4 vote, rejected a motion to approve the unpaid suspension of support staff employee #3514, effective Sept. 21, 2011, pending the resolution of legal investigation. Directors Michael Ballard, Carl Bieling, Carol Dwyer, Tina Snyder and Stuart Henritzy voted against the unpaid suspension, while directors Darlene Yeakel, Susan Debski, Clarence Myers and Scherer voted to approve the unpaid suspension.

• Agreed to reclassify the rental subsidy received on June 30, from "assigned" fund balance to "committed" fund balance. The purpose of these funds would be for funding for retirement, CCTI and special education.

• Agreed to utilize the inventory control module from Central Susquehanna IU at a cost of about $2,086. This action will reactivate the inventory software.

• Approved disability leave in conjunction with Family Medical Leave beginning Aug. 29 for Lisa Koller, Jr. High Learning Support Teacher. Return to work date is to be determined.

• Approved the addition of Paula Strohl to the substitute cafeteria list effective Sept. 21, at the rate of $7.25/hour.

• Approved the following student teachers from Kutztown University from Aug. 31 to Oct. 21: Taylor Remaly with Kathryn Hassler, grade 6 at SS Palmer; Jocelyn Taich with Nikolai Millen, grade 4 at SS Palmer; and Angela Schwartz with Roberta Beckley, grade 3 at SS Palmer.

• Approved the following student teacher from University of Phoenix from Sept. 6 to Dec. 2: Stacy White with Monique Hofford, grade 6 at SS Palmer.

• Approved the following extracurricular positions per the negotiated contract for the 2011-12 school year: Brad Landis, Co-Ski Club Advisor, volunteer; Denise L. Strohl, Co-Ski Club Advisor, volunteer.

• Approved Josie Sterling to the position of cafeteria worker assigned to Towamensing Elementary, effective Sept. 21, 2011, at the rate of pay of $10.60 an hour according to the negotiated support professionals contract.

• Approved the Employee Assistance Program Agreement with St. Luke's Hospital at no cost to the district.

• Approved the salary adjustments for horizontal movement on the respective salary levels per the teachers' negotiated contract for Meghan Krebs, from BS to MS; and Zachary Tofany, from BS+24 to MS.

• Approved tenure for David Lavin, high school Social Studies teacher.

• Rescinded the resignation of Mark Weiss, German Teacher at the High School and District ESL Teacher. Original Board action was on Aug. 16 with no definite effective resignation date.

• Approved the transfer of Diane Gebhard from cashier at Parkside Education for two hours a day to cashier at Towamensing Elementary for three hours a day at the same hourly rate of pay.

• Approved Suzanne Lynn as a long-term substitute teacher for Learning Support at the junior high school effective Aug. 30, through approximately Feb. 15, 2012 ($37,882) prorated. Suzanne is presently assigned to this position as a short-term substitute.

• Accepted, with gratitude, the following gifts from the SS Palmer PTO: Coal Bowl Playground Sign in recognition of the donators and volunteers; $287 for purchase of magnets for Principal's 200 Club at SS Palmer Elementary; and $849 for Yearbook Advisor at SS Palmer Elementary School.

• Approved the Event Booking Contract for Sonic Sound Productions Inc., which will provide the DJ services for the junior high school dances throughout the 2011-12 school year sponsored by the Palmerton Area Jr. High National Honor Society.

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