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Panther Valley fills vacant school board seat

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    William Mansberry, right, takes the oath of office as a Panther Valley School Board member as board solicitor Robert Yurchak holds the Bible. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

Published August 29. 2018 12:18PM

If the past is any indication, new Panther Valley School Board member William Mansberry should have no trouble retaining his seat.

Mansberry was the top vote-getter during last fall’s election. But he declined to take the six-year term he won because of health issues.

On Thursday, Mansberry was appointed to fill a seat vacated by another board member who moved out of the district.

Mansberry said he is in better condition to take on the task of serving as a school director.

“I’m not 100 percent better, but I know I can handle what I got,” Mansberry said. “I didn’t feel like I was going to serve anybody justice by not attending meetings and things like that.”

Mansberry, born and raised in Summit Hill, previously served two terms on the school board more than a decade ago. Mansberry has been involved with the Boy Scouts, Panther Valley band boosters, the Summit Hill Recreation Commission and the Summit Hill Italian Club.

He said his first priority is the students of the district, followed by the taxpayers.

Helping to ensure safety for students is an important issue facing the board, he said. Districts around the country are trying to improve safety in their schools.

“We’ve got to do something too to keep these kids safe in school, and make sure they have a safe environment,” he said.

He’s also hopeful that the board can work together to avoid large tax increases in the future.

“I’m gonna try my best. I’m a taxpayer myself and I don’t want to see them go up astronomically,” he said.

He said that Harrisburg has to help school districts cover the cost of the mandates that it forces school boards to adopt.

“It’s gotta stop somewhere. You gotta draw the line. Hopefully we can do that,” he said.

In other business

• The board voted to hire Jennifer Schlegel as K-3 learning support teacher, and Melissa Gilbert as elementary education teacher. Starting salary for each position was set at $37,394.

• The board accepted the resignation of kindergarten teacher Ashley Strachko and JSHS special education teacher Candice Boyle. Both will be held for 60 days or until a suitable candidate has been hired.

• The board accepted the resignation of school psychologist Meghan Hoppes, who was hired earlier this month. The district will advertise for a new school psychologist. The psychologist will split time between Panther Valley and Weatherly Area School District, with both districts sharing the cost.

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