School director vows no tolerance for personal attacks at meetings
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Left, Carole Geary, Pleasant Valley School District's associate superintendent, presented Keystone Awards to three schools. Accepting on their behalf are, Chris Fisher, PVSD assistant to the superintendent/principal of Chestnuthill Elementary; Joshua Krebs, PVE principal; Erica Walters, Polk Elementary principal; and Todd VanNortwick, PVI principal.
Thomas Murphy Sr., president of the Pleasant Valley School District, began the last meeting of the school board directors, by reading a statement of apology in reference to an incident that took place at the Feb. 28 board meeting with comments made by a resident.
"At our last meeting, during the public comment section, a member of the public was providing opinion on the TIF project and then digressed into a character assassination of Mr. Borger. While we encourage the public to express their opinions, personal attacks on individual board members or of the board or administration cannot and will not be tolerated. I would like to apologize to the board, everyone that was in attendance and particularly to Mr. Borger for my performance 'at the switch' at that time and for not taking action to curtail such comments. I cannot change the past, but I want everyone to be assured that I will be vigilant in terminating any speaker who henceforth displays similar behavior."
The comments made were in reference to school board director Steve Borger being named the district's representative for a committee being formed to work with the Pocono Mountains Economic Development Corporation, which is considering granting a TIF loan to the owners of the proposed Alpine Rose Motorsports Club, Antonio and Paul Matinho.
TIF is a public financing method that is used for subsidizing redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects.
The amount of the loan would be somewhere between $10-15 million. In order for the loan to go through, Eldred Township, the Pleasant Valley School District, and the county (all taxing bodies) must agree to it. Each taxing body has to have someone on the TIF committee. Eldred's supervisors named Sharon Solt to that committee and Pleasant Valley School District named Borger, an Eldred resident.
Keystone Awards presented
Carole Geary, the school district's associate superintendent, presented Keystone Awards to three PVSD schools: Pleasant Valley Intermediate (PVI), Polk Elementary and Chestnuthill Elementary.
Accepting them were their principals, Todd VanNortwick of PVI, Erica Walters of Polk Elementary and Jason Fischer of Chestnuthill Elementary.
The Keystone Awards are Achievement Recognition of Adequate Yearly Progress for two consecutive years of 2010-11, 2011-12.
The Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), is part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and holds Local Education Agencies (LEAs) accountable to students, their parents, teachers, and the community.
The purpose of AYP is to ensure that all students have reading and math skills that prepare them for the future. The law states that all students must reach the Proficient level or higher in Reading or Language Arts and Mathematics by 2014. LEAs and schools must show Adequate Yearly Progress on several measurable indicators: Attendance or Graduation Rate, Academic Performance, and Test Participation.
Dr. Douglas Arnold, PVSD superintendent, said he was proud of all those who worked hard to achieve the awards and thanked the district's administrators.
Joshua Krebs, principal at PVE, brought members of the PVE special area classes staff to be recognized, "Because they're the folks I can brag about."
He presented a video presentation about PVE's special area classes. He thanked the school board.
"It's awesome to see the excitement in our students' faces. They have fun but in that fun is learning. Thank you for making it possible for these teachers to do what they do. You all make a difference in the lives of our kids," said Krebs.
Dr. Arnold said that the club does a lot that benefits the athletes and the schools.
Board member Susan Kresge asked business manager Susan Famularo about the impact sequestration will have on the school district. Famularo responded by stating that recent information shows that food and nutrition and the ACCESS program will not be touched. The KtO grant money that has been received to date may be all that the school district will see this school year. IDEA and Title programs will have a 5 percent impact for next school year. The total impact, which could be less than $250,000, will impact the district going into next year.
In other business, the board approved, 6-0 (directors Harvey Frable, Dominick Sacci and Steve Borger were absent):
• the appointment of Thomas Murphy, Sr. (president of the school board) to the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Board for the period of July 1, 2013-2014-June 30, 2016
• the 2013-2014 school year calendar
• hiring part-time paraprofessionals at an annual salary of $20,331, prorated, effective March 3: Michael Gold, PVHS, replacement position for Timothy Hinton; Valerie Kaye, PVI, replacement position for Jeremy Langan; Erelene McCormick, PVHS, new position; Marie McGinley, PVHS, replacement position for Timothy Hinton; Cheryl Frable, PVE, replacement position for Onel Ramirez; Lidia Lorens, PVI, new; and Laura Muldowney, PVI, new.
• hiring paraprofessional associate substitutes: Michael Gold; Valerie Kaye; Erelene McCormick; Marie McGinley; Cheryl Frable; Lidia Lorens; and Laura Muldowney.
• hiring Laura Muldowney as an elementary substitute
• hiring for high school winter school, 1 credit course at a $1,637.50 stipend: Talitha Graham mathematics/science; Danielle Unger, English
• hiring Roger Pomposello as assistant to the PVE principal, effective March 4, at an annual salary of $69,800, prorated
• transfer Diane Siani from the position of assistant principal to assistant supervisor of Special Education, effective March 4
• Colonial Intermediate Unit #20 2013-2014 operating budget of $3,017,300 with PV's contribution to not exceed $28,982.24, at no increase from 2012-2013
• contract for Mary Givogre Tafel for speech/language support services as needed at a cost of $75 an hour plus mileage for Feb. 28, 2013 to the end of 2012-2013 school year
• junior high girls soccer coach for 2012-2013 spring season: Derek Strohl
• Intramural advisers for 2012-2013 spring season: Chris Pachuta, soccer; Amanda Giunta, Polk parent volunteer.