Weatherly hires teachers, touts transportation savings
In its final meeting before the beginning of 2018-19 school year, the Weatherly Area School Board made dozens of personnel appointments and highlighted a 30 percent savings in transportation costs the district enjoyed during the 2017-18 school year.
Following a 25-minute closed door executive session, the board began the public meeting by accepting the resignations of two teachers, Learning Support teacher Nicole Groblewski, and ESL teacher Andrea Kelly.
Those positions were then filled by Krystal Brennan and Domenica Saunders, respectively.
Brennan’s annual salary was set at $44,695 plus benefits and Saunders’ hourly rate was set at $20 per hour for her work as an ESL teacher and $8.41 per hour as a paraprofessional in accordance with the Weatherly Area Education Support Personnel Association contract.
In other personnel moves, the board
• Hired Michelle McLauren as long-term substitute at an annual salary of $44,695
• Appointed three mentors for the newly hired teachers, with a stipend of $750 for the year for each of the three women
• Appointed Peter Bard as coordinator of safety and security. He will continue to serve as the district’s business manager and there was no salary increase associated with the additional duties.
When asked if any of the dozens of individuals appointed to paid positions with the district were relatives of any board members, administrators, or faculty members, Superintendent Teresa Young said none were.
There was a stir among those in attendance when the board approved the transfer of Deborah Koch to the position of Cafeteria Monitor/Office Assistant, adding that Koch would be subject to a 45-day probationary period. No reason was given for the stipulation.
The board was asked if such a probationary period had ever been instituted before in the history of the district. District Solicitor, Christopher Slusser responded, “Other districts have done this.”
Board member Matthew vonFrisch praised administrators and the district’s transportation provider, Rohrer Bus Service, for the substantial savings the district enjoyed during the 2017-18 school year. According to vonFrisch, the district saved nearly $300,000 in transportation costs during this past school year compared to 2016-17. Business Manager Bard confirmed the savings noting that the district spent $1 million on transportation in 16-17 and just over $700,000 in 17-18. Bard said the savings were a result of shorter bus routes, new schedule of start times, and larger capacity buses from Rohrer. He credited Superintendent Young for the idea to change start times and reworking the bus routes.
Bard also noted that Rohrer will be employing four 2019 model-year buses and several 2018 model-year buses during the upcoming school year.
Board members Amy Potsko and Girard Fewins were absent from the meeting, while Gerard Grega participated via speakerphone.
The board’s next caucus meeting will be held on Sept. 5, and its next regular meeting on Sept. 12.