New superintendent takes helm at Montrose
BY PAT FARNELLI
The new superintendent of the Montrose Area School District introduced the board of directors to a cross cultural project she is proposing for introduction into the district’s curriculum.
Carol S. Boyce, who came to MASD after holding the head position at Palmerton Area School District for five years, was named superintendent at the Jan. 13 board meeting, effective Feb. 3.
Boyce was employed under the terms of a three-year contract, with a starting salary of $120,000.
The “Zuni Project” was an agenda item for the work session prior to the school board meeting, and Boyce said that she wanted to introduce a document detailing the project that, if approved, would enable students to make connections with students and artisans in Arizona who are members of the Zuni tribe.
Boyce was wearing a silver necklace with hummingbirds crafted by Bobby and Loreen Shack, internationally known Zuni silversmiths, who may be able to participate as artists in residence, along with their son, who is a woodcarver and member of a Native American dance troupe.
Board President Chris Caterson responded, “Sounds like a curriculum area – perhaps you can flesh this out further at our next curriculum meeting?”
Building, grounds and transportation director Chris Tripp reported that two undersized propane shop heaters in the district garage were failing, which provided a good opportunity to switch to natural gas heating.
He said that although not all of the invoices are in, the bills show that Leatherstocking Gas was “almost dead on” with their prediction for savings on energy bills.
“There is a big efficiency gain from going to natural gas, and while we would have spent $27,000 on fuel oil last month, we spent $11,000 on gas, Tripp said.”
Tripp also said that the communication system for the transportation is working out very well. “The communication with bus drivers has been terrific.”
Caterson noted that the former acting superintendent Andy Falonk had commented on how well the communication system here works.
Business director Michelle Lusk said that the state audit report has been received for the 2011-12 year, with no findings, which is considered a satisfactory report.
She said she attended the PSEA’s conference regarding the governor’s proposal and that the district’s state funding was estimated at $375,000 for the next school year, and ABG funds were estimated at $136,000.
Regarding the district’s summer camp program, she cautioned the board that Title 1 funding for the program has been decreased, and that carry-over money from previous years is nearly used up.
Richard Jordan was reappointed to school board director, again replacing George Dow, who resigned a second time after winning the seat in the November election.
Board member Douglas Wilcox was re-appointed as district representative on the Intermediate Unit 19 Board of Directors from July 1 2014 to June 30, 2017.
Debra Smith was appointed as co-board secretary effective Feb. 17 at a fiscal year stipend of $2,000, to be prorated. Duties of the position differ from those of board secretary, Diane Truman.
Technology Director Craig Owens said that a new program for the school’s website is being installed to replace the OWL program currently in use. The new 365 web application will be used for board documents such as minutes and agendas, and will also have an “outlook” program for email, and a Skydrive Pro application will provide each board member with 25 gigabytes of document storage.
Owens said the new Pennsylvania Core Standards program now being implemented is the new Common Core requirements for curriculum. This is the last year of PSSA testing: next year, PCS aligned testing will be employed, it was announced.
Cafeteria director Betsy O’Malley reported that the steamer warming the food at the high school is still not operational, and that the outdoor freezer at Choconut Valley Elementary went down last weekend, but was fixed Saturday.
The search for a new head football coach is underway, and so far, applications have been received from six candidates.
The resignation of Assistant Varsity Wrestling Coach Michael Gardner was accepted retroactive to Nov. 18, 2013.
The resignation of Eric Powers as assistant Track Coach was accepted with regret, and with much appreciation for his service as coach.
The following coaches were appointed: Ariel McKennas as Assistant Softball Coach at $2,350; David Hare as Junior High Head Softball Coach, at $1,850, and Michael Zuba as Junior High Assistant Softball Coach, at $1,785.
Kathleen Lonzinski’s resignation as food service worker at the high school was accepted with regret. Leanne Branning was hired as part time food service worker at the high school effective Feb. 10.
Mary Wager was hired as full time secretary at Lathrop Steet Elementary effective Feb. 10. There were 56 applicants for that job, Caterson noted.
Melanie Major was hired as a long-term substitute autistic classroom teacher at Choconut Valley Elementary, effective approximately Mar. 17 through June 10.