Several personnel changes approved by Lehighton board
Michael A. Heery/Special to the TIMES NEWS Lehighton Area School Board hired for several positions on Monday evening for the 2013-2014 school year. Included in those hires are Diane Schnell, second from left, as middle school Title 1 / gifted teacher, and Trevor Miller, second from right, as high school business teacher. Pictured congratulating them are Lehighton Area School District Superintendent Jonathan J. Cleaver, left, and School Board President Rocky Ahner, right.
On Monday evening, Lehighton Area School Board approved several personnel changes for the 2013-2014 school year.
The school board approved the recommendations to hire Angela Harris as elementary school librarian; Trevor Miller as high school business teacher; Diane Schnell as middle school Title 1 / gifted teacher; and Joseph Zarelli as speech therapist.
In addition, the school board approved the recommendation to hire Lucyna Godek as a paraprofessional assigned to East Penn Elementary School.
Superintendent Jonathan J. Cleaver was authorized by the school board to hire individuals needed in order to be fully staffed for the opening of the 2013-2014 school year. The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 3.
Resignations were accepted from Ashley Kovatch as speech therapist; Sandra Michalik as assistant supervisor of special services; and Selene Polaha as middle school teacher.
"I trust that these individuals are making the right choice by moving on," said School Board President Rocky Ahner. "We wish them nothing but the best."
In other business:
• The school board approved the meal prices for the 2013-2014 school year. Breakfast will cost elementary students $1; middle and high school students $1.30; and adults $1.90. Lunch prices are $2 for elementary students; $2.30 for middle and high school students; and $3.25 for adults.
• Cleaver announced that an auction of all surplus LASD items will take place on Thursday, August 15 at noon behind the Administration Building - located at 1000 Union Street in Lehighton. Houser Auctioneers has been contracted to conduct the auction.
• The school board approved a resolution supporting the removal of Article XVI-C from the Public School Code of 1949. The provisions of Title IX, which is federal law, are not applicable to local school districts and this state law exceeds the requirements of the federal law at the expense of the school district.
According to Ahner, "It is a necessity for the school districts to have the utmost flexibility in decisions regarding sports programs offered and facilities based on overall interest of the student body and the financial ability of the school district to provide such programs."
• The school board approved a contract between James Schwab and LASD for clinical psychologist services - as well as a contract with Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 for child abuse recognition and reporting tracking software.
The school board is currently negotiating a compensation plan for administrators and managers.
• Under his legislative report, School Board Vice President Hal Resh said, "The new state budget that was adopted by legislators within hours of the constitutionally-mandated June 30 deadline brought little change for school district operations."
• In an editorial that he read by Susan Spicka of the Shippensburg area, Resh noted that the new budget restores less than 13 percent of the $961 million that was cut from public school funding in 2011. It also fails to cover additional state-mandated costs.
"So our schools will once again be forced to either increase local taxes or cut programs," he read.
The next regular meeting of Lehighton Area School Board is scheduled for Monday, August 26 at 7 p.m. at LASD Administration Building, Conference Room A.