MAHS converting to gas

BY PAT FARNELLI

The Montrose Area High School building will soon convert to natural gas, and an agreement with Leatherstocking was approved at the school board meeting on Monday.
The board also approved the advertisement for bids to convert three boilers at the Junior-Senior High School from fuel oil to gas.
In the work session prior to the public business meeting, board member Gloria Smith questioned the language in the agreement before the motion was made, and brought her copy to Superintendent Michael Ognosky to point out clauses that seemed problematic.
“Who takes care of the pipeline before it enters our building?” asked Smith, pointed out a line that she said stated that Leatherstocking shall not be liable “from the pumping station.” Ognosky said that Leatherstocking is responsible for the pipe before the building’s meter, and for the meter itself.
He said that he did not have the answer to her question, but would check the contract and address the question in the regular business meeting.
During the business meeting, Ognosky said that the agreement states that the district shall be solely responsible for upstream of the pipeline, and that the district is responsible for leaks after the meter.
He noted that the indemnification clause in the agreement is the same as the one agreed to by Endless Mountains Health Services board.
The board then voted to approve the agreement.
In other business, the board voted to approve moving graduation to June 15, a surprise move decided upon after conferring with seniors from William Host’s Solar Energy International course. The seniors were honored in the “Good Things are Happening” part of the work session for their ongoing class achievements, including solar panels they are now constructing.
Ognosky began the discussion of the current school calendar by saying that graduation is scheduled for June 8, with the last day of school set for June 11. He called the seniors back into the room to ask their views on whether any Easter vacation days should be converted back to regular school days to ensure that graduation remain on June 8, in case there are more snow days.
The seniors responded that they would rather have graduation on June 15 than to give up Easter Thursday or Monday.
“I’ve been doing this for 38 years, and students never cease to amaze me,” Ognosky responded.
The board approved the change of graduation to June 15.
Prom is scheduled for Friday, May 3 at the Stonehedge in Tunkhannock. There will be a dinner dance for the first time in a long time, and Pamela Staats requested that the prices be kept reasonable, and that parents be notified well ahead of time, so that no one is unable to go because they cannot afford the cost of dinner.
The board also discussed the proposed 2013-14 school calendar.
Sherry Gow was appointed as a learning support instructional aide at Lathrop Street Elementary School, at a rate of $9.36 per hour, 6.5 hours per day.
Caitlin Ely was hired as a substitute athletic trainer retroactive to Jan. 7, at the rate of $16.15 per hour. Ely will be working one day per week, as the current trainer has to miss Mondays because of her schedule at Marywood University.
Four retirements were accepted with regret:
John J. Cherundolo, sixth grade teacher at Lathrop Street Elementary; Karen Griffith, instructional support teacher at Lathrop Street; Rickie Clapper, Director of Facilities and Transportation; and Mary Keihl, family consumer science teacher at the Junior-Senior High.
The board approved budget transfers for several unforeseen expenses for the current school year, totaling $6,500.
Those items included new Algebra I books as per change in curriculum; new home and away uniforms for the football team, made necessary by the addition of players from Elk Lake; and a five percent above contract raise for the district’s bus drivers, approved earlier this year.
The next school board meeting and work session will be held on Monday, Apr.1 at 7 p.m. at Choconut Valley Elementary School.