2009-02-05 / Local & State

Arnold Resigns From FR's Helm

Superintendent tenders resignation; junior high coaching salary issue arises
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Plagued by ongoing health issues, the superintendent of the Forbes Road School District, Dr. Merrill Arnold, tendered his resignation for the purpose of retirement Monday night.

Arnold has joined Forbes Road's staff and administration on three separate occasions during his long career in education, each time to lead the district in the capacity of district superintendent. The most recent of these followed the retirement of Larry Palmer, who left the district in 2006. Prior to rejoining the district this final time in August 2006, Arnold had logged 23 years experience across the state as superintendent.

Arnold cited health reasons as the reason for his retirement, which will become effective June 30, 2009. In accepting Arnold's retirement on a 9-0 roll-call vote, board member Karen Peffer thanked Arnold for his help over the years. Peffer added in the district's time of need, Arnold was there to lend a hand.

In other personnel-related issues tackled at the February 2 administrative and board meetings, the board nominated and approved fellow board member Walter Curfman as the district's representative on the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit board. Curfman's three-year term will begin July 1, 2009, and conclude June 30, 2012.

Finance

Under the categories of negotiations and personnel, the board met behind closed doors in executive session with field hockey coach Carol Cline and junior high assistant field hockey coach Becky Ford. Ford requested the board equal the playing field for salaries granted for junior high assistant coaching positions. Ford's position was allotted a salary of $750 last year upon penning a contract.

The district is in the midst of a three-year contract for salaries, according to Ford, and the issue will likely be addressed by the administration and athletic director when new budgets are set for 2010.

In asking for a decision at Monday evening's meeting on the salary issue, Ford stated she was not given a definitive answer but it is likely the matter will be spoken of in March.

Southern Huntingdon Medical Center was hired by the district to serve as a billing entity for medical assistance.

The board penned a six-year lease for use of Xerox copiers. The new lease includes two new features, including a scanner and networking capability and covers unlimited copies, toner and paper. Arnold noted the contract remains much the same as last year but has a $30-per-month increase in fees.

A resolution was adopted providing for the exemption from "real property taxation" of assessed valuation of improvements to deteriorated industrial, commercial and other business properties. Known as the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) program, the resolution was recently adopted by the Fulton County commissioners to cover the entire county. Adoption allows for tax breaks or incentives over a four-year time frame for businesses wishing to make improvements.

Curriculum

The school calendar was altered during the month of March to compensate for days missed due to inclement weather. The new calendar will include a full day of school on both March 11 and 12 and a half-day on March 13 to observe Act 80.

Junior Eric Broadwater was granted permission to compete in the upcoming track season this spring as a representative of the Forbes Road School District.

Teacher Jessica Volbrecht will be taking seven students to a computer fair on March 31 as requested.

The junior high girls basketball team will be travelling to Everett for an open tourney in the near future. The approxi- mate cost for the trip will include $200 for transportation.

Building and grounds

Ned Cromer was given authorization to host an elementary basketball tournament for league play and to cap the season. The request came as a result of Forbes Road falling into the rotational schedule for tourneys.

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