Mountain View board president resigns

BY TOM FONTANA
Correspondent

Todd Adams announced his resignation Monday night from the Mountain View school board.
He was reelected president of the board in December.
After opening the meeting by awarding “Pride in Mountain View” honors for recent achievements by some students and faculty members, Adams declared that he was stepping down from the president’s seat, and then as president pro-tem conducted the election of a new board president. Nominees were vice president Thomas Stoddard and director Elwood Williams. Williams was appointed by a 5-3 vote.
Adams then asked secretary Diane Makosky to read a statement he submitted stating his decision to resign from the board.
“Because of recent health problems,” Adams explained in the letter, “I no longer have the time or energy to do the job.”
Adams had been at the center of a controversy last fall concerning the suspension and reprimand of soccer coach Roger Thomas.
Superintendent Francine Shea suspended Thomas from participating in a scrimmage and warned of possible action by the PIAA soccer league after accusing Thomas of unsportsmanlike conduct, especially during a match last fall with Old Forge High School.
Thomas accused Adams of telling high school principal Robert Presley to order Thomas to remove his first-string team members from play when the Mt. View team was widely out-scoring Old Forge.
Thomas refused to do this and Adams later denied giving those instructions to Presley.
A large group of parents and students attended the board meeting on Feb. 4 in support of Thomas, and at that time Thomas repeated his allegations.
“He (Presley) came up to me and told me the school board president (Adams) was angry,” Thomas stated, “and said ‘stuff will hit the fan’ if I didn’t do something. And as we can see, stuff did hit the fan.”
Presley acknowledged that he did speak to Thomas at the game after Adams complained, but that ‘stuff will hit the fan’ were his words, not those of Adams.
“They may not have been his words,” Thomas replied, “but that was your impression of his intent. At that point, that caused a conflict, because Adams’ son was on the bench, a member of the team.”
Adams served on the board since being elected to represent Clifford Twp. in the fall of 2009. He was first appointed board president in May 2012.
After the reading of the resignation letter, Adams immediately left the board room, and Williams took over the duties of president.
Maintenance director Robert Taylor reported the results of a request for cost estimates submitted by Triguard Security Systems, of Avoca, for an upgrade of security apparatus in both school buildings.
For the elementary facility, Triguard’s proposal included: the replacement of 11 interior and exterior security cameras and an upgrade of digital recording technology; the addition of 15 more cameras; fingerprint readers; and replacing the fire alarm system. The total estimated cost of the elementary school work, including labor, is $132,674.
“There is more work necessary at the elementary school than the high school,” Taylor told the board, “because the high school security system is 10 years old, and the elementary system is 22 years old.”
At the high school, a security upgrade would include: the replacement and addition of security cameras, bringing the total for the interior and exterior of the building to 58 cameras; fingerprint readers; and installing door-prop or 24-hour alarms to all doors. The estimated cost is $105,847.
Taylor said the work would take four to six weeks to complete, and could be done with minor disruptions to classes at the high school. “But because the elementary system is so outdated,” Taylor said, “it will take a lot of rewiring.”
During the public comment portion of the meeting, a few bus drivers in attendance asked the board, and specifically business manager Joseph Patchcoski, if the district was exploring the use of a transportation contractor located in the Poconos.
“That’s a rumor,” answered Superintendent Shea, “and there’s no truth to it.”
“I was asking Mr. Patchcoski,” one bus driver stated.
“And I’m answering,” Shea responded. “It’s only a rumor.”
In other business:
Karen Voigt, director of curriculum and instruction, announced that on Saturday, March 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mountain View High School will host “High School Challenge,” an academic competition that will include several area high schools, and the public is invited to attend free of charge.
Coaches appointed for spring sports included John Fitzpatrick (junior high soft ball), Luke Gorham (track assistant), and Thomas and Molly Virbitsky (co-track assistants).