2009-09-24 / Front Page

SF Superintendent Scott Set To Retire

Southern Fulton "joins the club" of schools asking for budget action
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Special education supervisor Diane Younker (center) and teacher aide Dena Mellott (far right) were the special recipients of the Lauretta Woodson Recognition Award bestowed last Tuesday by Fulton County chapter representatives of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) Ed Layton and Ray and Joy Anderson. One teacher and one support professional are routinely selected for their outstanding performance and support of public education. Special education supervisor Diane Younker (center) and teacher aide Dena Mellott (far right) were the special recipients of the Lauretta Woodson Recognition Award bestowed last Tuesday by Fulton County chapter representatives of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) Ed Layton and Ray and Joy Anderson. One teacher and one support professional are routinely selected for their outstanding performance and support of public education. Airing a clip from the 1994 comedy-drama film "Forest Gump" that depicted Forest going home after a prolonged cross-country race based on the premise of being tired, Southern Fulton School District Superintendent Ralph Scott followed up the quirky clip with a similar announcement last week.

Noting it was also his time to head home, Scott stated it was with a "sense of sadness" he would be resigning for the purpose of retirement on June 29, 2010. The resignation was unanimously accepted with "many regrets" on a motion by John McKee and Richard Mosemann, who coincidentally made the motion to hire Scott approximately seven years ago.

In a letter addressed to the Board of School Directors and President Dwight Bard and disbtributed at the September 15 meeting, Scott said, "Other districts now look to Southern Fulton as a leader in education and want to emulate our practices so they may replicate our success, but our success begins with the people who work here. We have an excellent faculty and staff who are second to none."

Scott went on to publicly cite a list of achievements and growth that have occurred during his time with the district, including numerous building upgrades; the return of the Life Skills program; the Diploma Recovery Program; online grading; and the nature trail.

"I really believe Southern Fulton has become a leader in the Intermediate Unit and the central part of the state," he said. "The board has held us accountable, but we've worked together. The true credit goes to your staff."

Following Scott's announcement, the board convened behind closed doors to discuss personnel matters.

In other personnel-related issues, Fulton County chapter representatives of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (PASR) Ed Layton and Ray and Joy Anderson appeared before the board for a special presentation. Layton stated PASR's Education Support Foundation developed the Lauretta Woodson Recognition Award in hopes of giving positive publicity to public schools. Dr. Woodson held various positions during her tenure with PASR and upon her passing bequeathed a sum of money to the organization for support of public teachers.

One teacher and one support professional are routinely selected for their outstanding performance for a district. The trio presented teacher aide Dena Mellott and special education supervisor Diane Younker with a medallion, certificate and pin in conjunction with being the recipients of the Lauretta Woodson Recognition Award.

Bonnie Shoemaker was added to the substitute custodian, cafeteria and instructional assistant lists pending completion of necessary paperwork and clearances.

Under the guidelines of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, teacher aide Lisa Truax was approved to take an intermittent unpaid leave during the 2009-10 school year. In addition, seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher Ashley Myers will begin a leave of absence tentatively slated for November 9 through February 1.

Debbie Schetrompf and Lori Bard were selected as delegates for the Tax Collection Committee.

Curriculum

Southern Fulton School District became the last public school in Fulton County to sign off on a resolution urging the commonwealth's General Assembly to approve the 2009-10 state budget. The school also asked the state to maintain its commitment to adequate and equitable basic education funding. "We may as well join the club," said the superintendent of the matter that is intended to put pressure on both political parties. Board member Ed Yates voted against signing the resolution.

The board received a donation request letter from Deann Hawkins and Sharon Youngblood, who are collecting old textbooks to be distributed through Mission Central by Simple Acts of Kindness. The books in turn are given to individuals in low income areas, both in the United States and abroad. The superintendent was given the blessing of the board to follow through with the donation.

The band was authorized to attend the following events as previously budgeted: Fulton County Fall Band Festival in Mc- Connellsburg, November 6; FFCMEA County Band in Waynesboro, January 22-23; and District Band at Huntingdon High School on February 10-13.

Tim Mellott said he was disappointed the band did not participate in the Needmore parade this summer. Fellow member Pat Bard added "band is not something you jump right back into ... you've got to build it from bottom up."

An addendum was made to the second-grade report card to provide more information to parents on their child's strengths and weaknesses.

Students in grades kindergarten through second were granted permission to participate in the Child Evangelism Fellowship Bible Release time instruction as requested.

Dr. Tracy Hinish and Bob Shinskie of Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 jointly reviewed the district's PSSA student scores. Dr. Hinish stated looking at the district's no. three ranking in the state, the school is "very well aware" of the hard work it takes to succeed with the standardized testing. She also projected the next area the school will be taking a hard look at is fair assessments aligned to the standards such as summative, formative, benchmark and diagnostic.

Shinskie concluded, "The bottom line is you've done a great job!"

Finance

Looking at best and worst case scenarios for entering into a partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, the board discussed the proposed recycling/daily promotion pilot program. The partnership would span two years and would result in the Dairy Association providing the high school with a dairy vending machine and $2,000 to the elementary for the purchase of a new milk cooler. In return, the district would agree to buy milk in plastic containers that will be recycled.

Superintendent Scott stated the increased cost to the district would be 3.5 cents per unit, but the district would receive a 2- cent reimbursement per unit for recycling. Furthermore, Metz, the district's food service provider, has agreed to absorb any additional cost up to the projected loss of $87,000.

Scott noted it is a "good concept" to teach children about recycling. The recyclable milk containers, board member Richard Mosemann added, are made into new products such as bubble containers.

The administration was given a nod of approval to work out the details for the agreement with the Dairy Association, which will also include nutrition and exercise programs for the kids.

The board agreed to continue forward with its agreement with F&M Trust for the Repo Sweep account.

Acceptance was given to a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant in the amount of $10,462 for development of the elementary nature trail and energy conservation. The grant has been earmarked to purchase a wind generator, LED message board, stone for the trail and solar panels.

Transportation

Bus-stop-ahead signs were approved at the Jason and Melissa Fandl residence located at 641 Tollgate Ridge Road and at an additional location along the Sipes Mill Road route operated by Travis Fogal.

Building and grounds

The National Honor Society was given permission to use the cafeteria and a classroom between 7 p.m. on October 2 and 7 a.m. on October 3 for the purpose of conducting an all-night event.

The Energy Committee was authorized to review an energy request for proposal (RFP) submitted by TAC and follow up with a recommendation to the board. The proposal had not yet been opened as of last Tuesday's meeting.

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