Director escorted from board meeting
CHRIS PARKER/TIMES NEWS Panther Valley School director R. "Mickey" Angst, right, is escorted from Thursday's public school board meeting by Lansford Police Officer Joshua Tom.
Panther Valley school board's vote on whom to hire as an elementary school secretary on Thursday ended with school director R. "Mickey" Angst being escorted from the meeting by police.
The trouble unfolded after a motion to hire Mary Ann Krajnak, wife of school district maintenance supervisor George Krajnak, failed by a 4-5 vote. Angst, along with Irene Genther, Bill Hunsicker, Koreen Nalesnik and Anthony DeMarco, had opposed the hire. David Hiles, Jeff Markovich, Michelle Markovich and Richard Zabroski were in favor.
Saying he "knew enough about the background of the situation," Angst said, "I think the superintendent should be ashamed ... she should be fired." At that point, board President Jeff Markovich began banging his gavel and telling Angst he was out of order. Angst continued, and Markovich ordered him out of the meeting.
Angst refused, saying "there is no justification for putting me out of this meeting." He told Markovich to call the Summit Hill police.
"You made an out-of-context remark and I ejected you," Markovich said. He instructed the security guard to call police.
School director Irene Genther questioned Markovich's authority to remove Angst.
"Is that possible that the president has that much power?" she asked.
"Absolutely," Markovich said. "I'm conducting the meeting, not Mr. Angst."
When Angst stayed put, Markovich called a recess until police arrived. About 10 minutes later, Lansford Officer Joshua Tom arrived and gently encouraged Angst to come with him to the front of the building to wait for Summit Hill police, whose jurisdiction includes the school district.
"I'll be in the gym," Angst told Tom. He said he wanted to see the girls' basketball game against Pine Grove.
As Angst left, Nalesnik apologized to Superintendent Rosemary Porembo on his behalf. Porembo said she was "very shaken" by the incident.
Genther then moved to hire Scott Weiss, who has been filling in for the elementary secretary, and whom she described as Porembo's second choice. Weiss was one of four people who applied for the job, and the board agreed to hire him.
It was then that Angst walked back into the room. DeMarco asked him what he was doing. At that point, Hiles left the meeting, as did Porembo.
Summit Hill Officer Lori Leinhard arrived and called Markovich out into the hall to talk. They were joined by Nalesnik and talked for several minutes before returning to the meeting room.
From there, with Leinhard and Tom on standby, the meeting progressed smoothly.
Weiss will assume his full-time secretarial duties, at $12.60 an hour, today.