Blue Ridge school director resigns

BY STACI WILSON

Blue Ridge School District is short one board member as Jackson Twp representative Lavonne Lewis tendered her resignation.

In a special business meeting held prior to the monthly work session Monday night, Lewis’ resignation, effective Sept. 20, was accepted, with regret by the board.

Lewis was not present at the meeting.

Board President Laurie Brown-Bonner said she had spoken with Lewis about the resignation.

Bonner told her fellow board members that Lewis felt she could not give the position the time it deserved and was “compelled” that leaving the board was something she needed to do.”

The Region 3A School Director position has been posted and applications for the seat will be accepted until Friday at 2 p.m.

The seat will go up for election for a two-year term in 2013, the next municipal election year.

The resignation was the only agenda item handled during the business meeting and the board transitioned into its work session with a post-apocalyptic, team building exercise led by Bonner.

Bonner told the board the exercise was about making difficult decisions – like those the district leaders feel are coming in the next year’s budget.

Superintendent Robert McTiernan asked for the board for guidance regarding the payment of certain school expenditures, specifically those related to the payment of contracted security services during school events.

The board decided to draft a resolution that would allow the administration to use its discretion to pay for the security services in a timely manner up to a cost of $300. Costs over the $300 would be subject to board approval.

The security costs are part of the school budget covered in the athletic and general school budgets.

The board is expected to vote on the resolution at the upcoming meeting.

The school’s maintenance department is in the process of repairing and providing preventative maintenance to the building’s wood burner, reported Harold Empett, chair of the facilities and grounds committee.

Several coaching appointments will be presented to the board at the meeting, said athletics and activities chair Christina Cosmello. Openings still remain for a middle school girls’ basketball coach and an assistant varsity/junior varsity girls’ basketball coach, as well as a track coaching position.

Wellness committee chair Cindy Gaughan was not present but Principal Matthew Nebzydoski said that a self-esteem program targeted for middle school girls was in the works and should be introduced in November.

Bonner said she is attempting to set up meetings in the district focused on Title 1 funding with staff members representing Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey.

She also said that she, McTiernan and two other board members would be attending the Pennsylvania School Board Association conference in Hershey in October.

At work in curriculum and career development, Nebzydoski said that middle school students would have the opportunity to take part in ‘BizTown,’ as part of their career exploration.

During the one-day field trip, students will be assigned a career and must carry out those job duties in a simulated town.

At the high school level, students will be exposed to professionals and careers at presentations held during the school day free period throughout the year. Students will be required to attend at least four of the presentations.

Under the budget and finance committee, the district is looking into purchasing busing software.

Following the work session, the board met for an executive session.

The board will hold its next business meeting, Monday, Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m., in the school cafeteria.