New contract for BR superintendent

BY PAT FARNELLI

Blue Ridge school directors approved a new five year contract for Superintendent Robert McTiernan, Monday, just a week before the board reorganizes with its newly elected members.

His employment and compensation plan was approved for July 1 through June 30, 2019, as presented.

The contract includes a salary freeze for next year. There will be a 1 percent increase the second and third years, then a 1.5 percent increase the fourth year, and a two percent increase for the fifth year, McTiernan said.

The board approved hiring Murphy, Dougherty & Co. to conduct an audit of transportation billing.

“We have found some irregularities, particularly in van billing, as we went over the invoices for some students’ transportation,” McTiernan said.
The board approved an amended transportation contract for the 2013-14 school year.

Later in the agenda, the board approved the termination of the Jefferson Center transportation contract with Lewis Bussing for van 65.

McTiernan said that two students were being transported for special education services, and are no longer attending that facility in Scranton, but have returned to the Blue Ridge campus for programs there. “This saves the district $30,000 in tuition and $40,000 in transportation,” he said.
A job description was approved for the director of business, finance and human resources; and acting business manager, Penny Greene, was then hired for this position, with a salary of $59,000 with benefits, effective Nov. 25.

McTiernan noted that this was part of the district’s economic restructuring of the business office to reduce personnel costs.

Deborah Bennett was hired as board secretary for the remainder of the term, ending June 30, 2017, at a salary of $1,200 per year. Lorrie Detwiler as board recorder, at $1,200 per year, which McTiernan said amounts to $50 per meeting.

The dual enrollment agreement with Lackawanna College was approved for Jan. 1 through June 20, 2014.

A letter of agreement with the Pennsylvania State University School of Nursing Agency for Ann Marie Summers was approved, pending paperwork.

The board approved an admissions charge for all indoor sporting events of $1 for adults and students. Those 10 years of age and under are free, as are those 65 and older.

The board granted permission to pay Nicole Farrell one day’s pay at her per diem rate to write the PDE School Safety grant application. This is a competitive grant program and will be used to pay for security cameras for a safety technology update project.

High school principal Matthew Nebzydoski recognized Jenna Bennett and Austin French as seniors of the month.

Elementary teacher Trudi Hepler was noted as recipient of the $150 Educational Support Grant.

James Mangel was recognized as the girls JV and Varsity Basketball head coach.

Jon Carpenter was hired as an instructional substitute for social studies and English, and Nicholas Swaha was hired as a non-instructional substitute.
Nichole Welmon’s resignation as hall monitor effective Nov. 18 was accepted with regret.

The board approved participation in the Keystone Purchasing Network for food services, paper, custodial, and athletic supplies for the 2014-15 school year. They also approved advertising for bids for items not included in the Keystone Purchasing Network for wood chips, fuel oil, custodial, general, food service and athletic supplies for the 2014-15 school year.
Outgoing board members Cindy Gillespie, Jennifer Merrill-Mess, and John Ketchur were thanked for their service, and cake was served after the meeting in their honor.