Palmerton district hires new math teacher
A new junior high school math teacher is on her way to Palmerton Area School District.
In a special school board meeting Monday night with just one item on the agenda, directors unanimously hired Sarah Sullivan to replace Ralph Andrews, who is resigning the position effective Sept. 20.
Sullivan will begin her teaching stint on Sept. 23 and make $46,000 (prorated) in her initial year with Palmerton.
Before the vote, Director Kathy Fallow, who participated in the meeting via telephone, questioned how hiring a teacher just out of college would impact the district’s math program.
“We are facing declining math scores and I’m wondering if hiring someone brand-new is in the best interest of the district,” she asked the administration.
According to the state Department of Education’s PA Future Ready Index website, 34.3% of junior high school students scored proficient or advanced on state assessments in math/algebra for 2017-18, compared to the state average of 45.5%. The school, however, had an academic growth score of 83.3 in math, compared to the state average of 75.2.
Acting Superintendent Tom McLaughlin supported Sullivan’s credentials and touted her skills during the search for Andrews’ replacement.
“We had three applicants for the position, and Sarah was clearly the best going through the interview process,” he said.