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Pleasant Valley delays open to school year

Published August 24. 2018 12:27PM

Pleasant Valley has pushed the start of the school year back until at least Tuesday due to the discovery of mold in a number of places in several school buildings.

Only Pleasant Valley Intermediate is closed currently, but remediation efforts continue throughout the district.

“By all accounts, this has been the wettest August on record for our area. As a result, our systems have been stressed to keep pace and remove moisture from the air,” Superintendent David Piperato said during Thursday evening’s board meeting while explaining how mold had been discovered and was being treated.

“This week, the issue escalated quickly and it became clear that professional remediation was needed.”

The district hired Belfor Property Restoration to assess the situation and develop a plan.

Piperato added that the Belfor representative expressed to him that they were dealing with similar issues in other schools and that he had not seen anything like this in 25 years.

Parents are being advised to check the website and the district’s social media for updates on the exact date that school will start. The ConnectEd call system and email will also be used to contact parents.

Teacher’s passing

The district had an even more difficult issue to deal with this week.

On Tuesday as teachers were arriving for their first day of school, building principals had the difficult task of informing them of the passing of social studies teacher and soccer coach Chris Pachuta.

“I can tell you nothing was accomplished on Tuesday, and it should be that way,” said high school Principal Matt Triolo. “We came back on Wednesday ready to work and we had an amazing two days.”

“I just want to commend you, Mr. Triolo,” said Director Donna Yozwiak, “on how professionally you handled announcing the passing of Mr. Pachuta to the staff and the faculty of the high school.”

Piperato also made a statement regarding the passing of Pachuta, whose wife, Angela, teaches at Pleasant Valley Intermediate School.

“As a district, we would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Chris’ family, friends and colleagues. We will do everything in our power to support Angie and the family during this very difficult time,” Piperato said. “Everyone affected by this tragedy remains in our thoughts and prayers.”

The school has made grief counselors available to both students and staff, and will continue to do so into next week when school begins.

Other business

• The board approved the hiring of six teachers. Kyle Bonser was hired to teach health and physical education, Sean Kline was hired to teach math, Denise Hopely was hired as teacher of gifted, Anne Geffken-Gordon was hired as a fifth-grade teacher and Susanne Rasely-Phillips was hired to teach English as a second language. Kelsey Tompkins was hired as a part-time health and physical education teacher. Sarah Adams was hired a guidance counselor.

• The board previously approved changing the dean of students position to assistant principal for Pleasant Valley Intermediate. The position has not been filled and a decision was made to make a one-year revision back to dean of students.

• Robert Hahn was hired as varsity head coach for basketball.

• A contract in the amount of $18,260 was awarded to MKSD Architects for the design of the new main entrance of the high school.

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