Montrose Area names acting superintendent

ANDREW FALONK

ANDREW FALONK

BY PAT FARNELLI

Montrose Area School Board selected an acting superintendent Monday, and chose a new school board member to replace George Gow, Region 2, who recently resigned.

Andrew Falonk was appointed as acting superintendent effective Oct. 30 through June 30, or upon the appointment of a new Superintendent, whichever comes first, at a per diem rate of $475.

Board president Chris Caterson noted that Falonk will be working several days per week, as needed, including every Wednesday.

Caterson said, “We interviewed two candidates, and Mr. Falonk was our unanimous choice.”

Superintendent Michael Ognosky said that he knew Falonk personally: “We worked together at Western Wayne for 12 years.”

Falonk previously served as the superintendent of the Western Wayne School District, retiring from the post in 2012.

Caterson noted, “I want to say how proud I am to have served on this board while you (Ognosky) were here, and I think I speak for the board when I say that we are grateful for your excellent work as superintendent.”

The board also accepted with regret the resignation of James Tallarico, high school principal, effective Dec. 31. Tallarico will be starting Jan. 2, 2014, as superintendent at Mid Valley School District as superintendent, Ognosky said.

The four candidates for the vacant school board seat were Richard M. Jordan, Gregory Scheer, Jeffery C. Mead and Dr. Robert Sullivan.

Caterson began by cautioning the candidates that the candidate selected will only be on the board for two months. “George is going to be on the ballet, so unless you do an aggressive write in campaign and win, it will be up to him to decide. Or, he may decline.”

The interviewing process of asking all four candidates the same questions, then letting them respond in turn.

Questions were posed to the candidates, allowing them each to reveal their intentions as a school board member, as well as their personalities and character.

The board members had already been given the candidates resumes and credentials, so introductions were kept brief.

Caterson explained that any board member could nominate any candidate, and that the first candidate to receive five votes would win the seat. “We will not leave without filling this position,” he said, and noted that sometimes all of the candidates are nominated and voted upon before one receives five votes.

Nominated Jordan and the board voted unanimously in his favor. He was then invited to take his seat at the board, and voted on a number of the items on the agenda while abstaining from others.

Jordan is a practicing attorney and head of a law firm in Philadelphia. He is the father of two recent Montrose valedictorians, and has served on several committees and the Community Advisory Board for the district. Jordan helped draft the district’s non-surface gas lease.

The board approved a three-year extension to the existing contract with Murphy, Dougherty & Company, Certified Public Accountants, for audit services through June 30, 2018 at a fee of $21,600 for each fiscal year.
They also approved 2013-2014 transportation contracts and payments for bus and car contractors.

The resignation of Jerry Homsher as Assistant Varsity Wrestling Coach retroactive to Sept. 13, was accepted with regret.

The following coaches were appointed:
*Daniel J. Brown as Head Varsity Wrestling Coach at a salary of $4340 for the 2013-14 winter sports season only.
*Joseph Gilhool as Junior High Assistant Boys’ Basketball Coach at a salary of $2737;
*Samantha Abbott as Assistant Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach at a salary of $3290; and
*Robert Sherbinko as Assistant Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach at a salary of $3290.

The following long-term substitute teachers were hired: Jayme Moyer, Spanish; Katherine Luvender, art at the Junior-Senior High School; and Ariel McKennas, health and physical education at Choconut Valley Elementary School.