2009-07-30 / Front Page

Southern Fulton Fills Vacant Positions

Several tender resignations; budget impasse remains hot topic
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The Southern Fulton School Board found themselves faced with multiple resignations and crucial appointments last Tuesday evening with the clock winding down to a month from the start of the 2009-10 school year.

With much regret the board accepted the resignations of seventh and eighth grade science teacher George Kuhne, technology teacher Jeffrey Marteeny and Angela Booth, yearbook advisor. Having already begun advertising the vacant technology position, the board in turn hired Van Duncan as the newest high school science teacher. Duncan is slated to begin his duties in southern Fulton County at a starting salary of $36,219.

An initial salary of $36,219 was also selected for the district's newly hired elementary/art teacher Susan Leister. During the 8-1 roll call vote relating to Leister's employment, board member Richard Mosemann dissented.

County resident Jennifer Miller was appointed to the position of elementary life skills teacher at Step 2, Column 2, which equates to $39,837 for the 2009-10 school year. Meanwhile, both Via Shaw and Lindsey Yorke were hired as instructional assistants at an hourly rate of $8.25. The salaries are pending the approval of a new support staff agreement. Board member Ed Yates voted against hiring Shaw.

Joseph Hollenshead was hired as a cross country coach as per the professional staff contract. Last year's cross country team was comprised of five girls and six boys and will likely again number around one dozen team members this year, it was pointed out.

Board member Tim Mellott questioned if the sports program was cost effective based on the number of kids. Kenny Wuertenberg responded that with any new sport, the district expects the program to grow over time. In addition, it was noted Southern Fulton will be sending wrestling hopefuls to Everett, who will, in turn, be allowing their students to participate on Southern Fulton's cross country squad.

Retroactive approval was granted for Debbie Bahrenburg to attend the KEYTA Conference held June 17-June 19. In addition, Superintendent Ralph Scott was scheduled to attend a meeting of Blendedschools.net on July 28-29. Participation cost is covered by the organization.

Building and Grounds

Warfordsburg Area Youth Soccer was given permission to utilize athletic fields from August 14 through October 1 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Usage will be coordinated by the district's athletic director.

The board decided to move forward with the plans laid forth in the Energy Conservation Services Program. It was noted this is the final step in the process before it could cost the district money. The superintendent shared he did not want this program to get in the way of any potential renovation project and urged the board to be cautious in spending money to save money.

"When you have to be careful is when you spend $600,000 to save $600,000," said Scott, who added there are guaranteed savings through the program

Policy

The second reading of the following policies was approved: Policy 304, Employees, Employment of District Staff; Policy 504, Classified Employees, Employment of Classified Employees; Police 810.1, Operations, Transportation; and Policy 818, Operations, Contracted Services.

Finance

As deliberations move forward in Harrisburg and state employees find themselves without a paycheck for the time being, the budget impasse remains a hot topic at area schools. Superintendent Scott pointed out to the board the House voted down Senate Bill 850, which, if accepted, would result in Southern Fulton losing an approximate $412,000 in funding. The monies are earmarked for a variety of programs such as pre- K, kindergarten, dual enrollment and Classrooms for the Future.

To show their support of educational funding, Scott along with board member Donald Whiteside, Principal Meredith Hendershot and Diane Younker travelled to the Capitol rotunda on Thursday, July 16, where they met up with Sen. John Eichelberger Jr. and Rep. Dick Hess. Organizations on hand and supporting the rally were PARSS, the Pennsylvania League of Urban Schools and PSEA.

Scott noted it's "unrealistic" to knock back educational funding to levels set in 2006-07, and added the district's children are unable to speak for themselves in this matter. Scott also stated that stimulus money cannot make up the deficit as there are many strings attached to utilizing those funds.

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