2009-08-06 / Front Page

Forbes Road District Hires New Staff

Teacher contract remains unsettled; new busing inline for extracurricular activities
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The Forbes Road School District will be starting off the 2009- 10 school year on August 26 with multiple new hires, including a recently selected high school principal, learning support staff and a vocational education teacher.

Retroactive to July 1, Christina Ramsey was hired as high school principal with a beginning salary of $62,000. Ramsey will replace former Principal Fred Foster, who is now serving the district in the capacity of acting superintendent.

In accepting the position, Ramsey announced she was honored to be one of the leaders at Forbes Road and pointed out she had a lot to bring to the table. She also thanked the board for the privilege.

Longtime high school librarian Sarah Peck, who more recently worked as an English teacher, submitted her resignation for the purpose of retirement. Peck's retirement was effective June 15. In a follow-up motion, the board hired Stephanie Beckner as English teacher at the starting salary of $32,500.

Beckner will begin her duties on August 24 as will new elementary teacher Sharon Bakner. Bakner's salary was accordingly set at $32,500.

Effective August 24, with a starting salary of $32,500, Sarah Grote will take over the duties of elementary learning support teacher. Superintendent Foster noted the district completed a cost analysis, which revealed money could be saved by bringing several students back to the district to be overseen by Grote in comparison to paying out-ofschool tuition rates. Grote's salary will be covered by those savings, he added.

The board tabled hiring a middle school learning support teacher. The position had been held by Brandye Armstrong, who resigned effective August 3.

Filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Ann Meyer, the board hired Eric Rubenstein as the new vocational education teacher at $35,200 with a supplemental contract of $3,831.60 effective August 24.

The new hires were selected following a 30-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters.

In other personnel-related issues, the board named multiple mentors at the annual rate of $250. Those selected include Christie Daniels for Cindy Robinette; Mechele Seville for Kayla Knepper; Heidi Pawuk for Corey Doyle; Donald Burd for Nathan Whitsel; Chad Bosley for Eric Rubenstein; Robin Whitsel for the junior high learning support teacher yet to be named; Deb King for Stephanie Beckner; and Shannon Brown for Sarah Grote.

Tenure was approved for teachers Donald Burd, Erika Cooper, Christie Daniels, Brandi Robertson and Mechele Seville.

Lisa Skiles was added to the teacher assistant substitute list, while Randy Robinette was placed on the custodial substitute list as previously approved by building and grounds supervisor John Mixell.

A long-term substitute will be hired for an approved leave of absence at the elementary facility. Neither the board nor administration elaborated on what faculty member was slated for a leave of absence.

In the area of finance, the board made its annual motion to forgive the cafeteria account the amount of $25,325.99

Breakfast and lunch prices were established for the 2009-10 school year following last year's prices. Breakfast prices are $1 or 30 cents at reduced cost, while regular lunches will remain at $1.75 or 40 cents for reduced lunches.

The board and administration held a lengthy discussion with contractor Rick Bolinger of Wells Tannery regarding prior transportation practices, procedure and the future of the extracurricular activities route.

In light of a decision by the Helman family to relinquish the route, the board agreed to offer the fall athletic route to Figard's Busing. The superintendent noted Figard's transportation rate will be determined during a meeting of the Tussey Mountain School Board on August 10. Foster noted he did not anticipate the numbers "going high."

To establish future procedure for the contracting of athletic transportation, Foster presented the board with a brief overview of how the situation could be handled. Interested contractors will be given a packet detailing the events needing coverage, rules and guidelines and request information dealing with the amount per mile and layover time. Events can change, however, due to inclement weather and may result in the contractor needing multiple buses.

The procedure or process outlined by Foster was accepted by the board as was a request by Bolinger to purchase up to two buses. Bolinger stated he already possesses one bus, which is operated on a route spanning Wells Valley and Waterfall, but has another bus lined up through Ron Barton to purchase. The possibility also exists Bolinger and his wife, Anita, could rent a bus from Greg Carbaugh with the Northern Bedford School District.

Bolinger stated he has reviewed the sports schedule and feels he can operate the route with only an extra bus needed on several occasions. With additional details and information from the school, Bolinger added he could be up and running within two weeks.

Bolinger issued a personal guarantee that the district would not need to go out of county for transportation in the future, and he is willing to accommodate their needs. Bolinger was asked to provide the district with various specification information on the buses he purchases or rents such as year, make, model and passenger capacity.

At the request of Bolinger, Christine Englert was also approved to serve as a substitute driver on his buses.

High school Principal Ramsey announced seventh-grade and new student orientation is scheduled for Monday, August 24, at 7 p.m. elementary Principal Byron Helsel concluded new teacher orientation will be August 19. Meanwhile, Red Bird orientation has been set for Thursday, August 20, at 6:30 p.m.

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