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Year in Review: Panther teachers signed contract, board members resigned in 2017

Panther Valley teachers signed a five-year contract in June.

The contract runs from 2015-2020. Terms included a 3 percent raise in each year of the contract, and a larger deductible for medical costs.

Teachers had issued a strike notice for May 22 but called it off when an agreement was in sight.

On the same day they approved the contract, the school board passed a budget with no tax increase. Some open positions were eliminated, and many staff were reassigned in order to reach the balanced budget.

The school board also changed its dress code, dropping a requirement for students to wear school colors.

Two Panther Valley school board members resigned, and another resigned before he could take his seat.

Anthony DeMarco resigned in August, citing his work schedule. In February, he had stepped down as board president. Another board member, Brian Dolena, also stepped down in February, citing his work schedule. Their replacements, Justin Foster and Chris Kerestes, were reelected in November.

William Mansberry Jr., who also won a seat in November, resigned before he could be sworn in because of health reasons. His replacement will be chosen in January.

Panther Valley Elementary students raised $4,773 through their book fair to help purchase a new playground. Their teachers also donated supplies to a Houston, Texas, school that was damaged in Hurricane Harvey. Second grade students also collected items to donate to local food pantries.