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Pleasant Valley fills several administrative spots

Pleasant Valley High School has a new principal and assistant principal.

At the meeting Thursday night, the Pleasant Valley School Board approved promoting Kelli George from assistant principal of the high school to principal. She takes the place of Matthew Triolo, who resigned in July. George is an alumna of Pleasant Valley High School, and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from East Stroudsburg University. She will receive a salary of $118,000.

In addition to George, who served as an assistant principal, the high school also had a second assistant principal, David Sodl Jr. He resigned in August.

To replace Sodl, the school board hired Robinn Poole. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mercey College, and a master’s degree in educational leadership, as well as science education. Poole attended CUNY Lehman College and Montclair State University for her master’s degrees. She has certificates in administrative I: Principal K-12, and Instructional I: Biology 7-12.

Poole has worked for the New York City Department of Education, then the Essex County Vocational and Technical Schools in administration. Most recently, she worked for Newark Public Schools as a vice principal of Science and Career and Technical Education. Her salary will be $87,000.

The school board also adjusted Rae Lin Howard’s position of assistant to the superintendent to a commissioned officer with the title of district assistant superintendent. Her contract is for five years.

Howard joined the district in November 2020, replacing Joshua Ziatyk. He resigned in May 2020. At that time, Howard was brought in with a salary of $125,000. Her new position will pay $145,000 per year.

Howard has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English from Slippery Rock University, and a doctorate of educational administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as certificates in English 7-12, Principal K-12, and Superintendent.

Members of the school board congratulated the women for their promotions and appointments.

The school district also has some staff saying goodbye.

Among the retirees are Amelia Meixsell, a paraprofessional at the middle school, effective Dec. 31; and Viola Murphy, a child accounting coordinator, effective Nov. 30.

“I’d like to congratulate Viola Murphy on her retirement. I wish her all the best and many years, and good luck to her,” said Director Todd Kresge.

Those who are resigning included Lori Bettencourt, a teacher at the high school, effective Oct. 7; Angela Rivera, a substitute teacher and paraprofessional; Marie Snyder, a substitute teacher; Janine Brown, a school nurse at the middle school; and Evelyn Garced, a monitor at the middle school, effective Oct. 1.

Director Susan Kresge said she is concerned about not having enough staffing in a couple areas. She asked if there are enough people in the technology department, and would like to hire more substitute teachers.

Kresge said she talked to Chuck Tomori, the director of technology, and asked him if he thinks he needs more staff. She said he told her that at some point there will be a need for more technicians.

“I would really appreciate it if the board would be willing to have administration look at this to see if we are truly staffed OK right now or if we do need to be looking at possibly hiring another technician,” she said.

As far as the teaching staff, Kresge said the two newly created, full-day kindergarten classes are being taught by educational specialists.

The classes were created because the school district had some late registrations. Specialists are also being pulled to help cover for teachers when they are absent.

“I really don’t want to pull the remaining specialists that we have on a daily basis to cover classrooms when they should be servicing those students,” she said. “I think it might be something we need to look at.”