2009-12-17 / Front Page

Forbes Road School Board Reorganizes

Agrees to participate in Race to the Top By Jean Snyder STAFF WRITER

The Forbes Road School District reorganized last Monday evening and re-elected Terry Brant and Debbie Strait as president and vice president, respectively. In addition to Brant, Kirby Shoemaker was nominated for the president’s position, but Brant won out on a 6-3 vote. Strait’s election was unanimous.

Prior to the reorganization, new board members Chanin Rotz-Mountz and Stacie Keller were sworn in along with reelected members Kirby Shoemaker and Deonna Carmack.

Other appointments made during the meeting included Deonna Carmack as treasurer, who replaces former board member Dr. Walter Curfman in the position; Karen Peffer was re-elected as legislative chairperson; Deonna Carmack will serve as the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit board representative and will complete Curfman’s term; and Teresa Bard will serve a threeyear term as AVTS representative. Debbie Strait will serve as her alternate.

Meeting times and dates for 2010 were set. Regular board meetings will be held on the first Monday of each month (except for holidays); administrative committee meetings will be held on the Tuesday before the regular board meeting; and policy meetings will be held as needed. All meetings will be held in the high school and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Following discussion, the board voted in favor of the school district’s joining in the state’s application for “Race to the Top.” Race to the Top is a competitive grant opportunity for states and represents the largest discretionary funding for education reform ever made available by the federal government. The total amount available nationally is $4.3 billion, with Pennsylvania eligible for up to $400 million. The Race to the Top rules call for at least 50 percent of a state’s grant to be passed directly through to districts for district- and schoollevel reforms. Examples of reforms required by the grant include: adopting standards and assessments that prepare students for college and workplace success; implementing data systems that measure student success and inform instruction; creating and supporting effective teachers and principals; and ensuring equitable distribution.

During a financial business discussion, board members revisited the subject of the district’s 2004 Series B bonds. At last month’s meeting, board members met with consultant Gordon Walker to clarify the district’s existing debt service and discuss refinancing options. Although no action was taken after that discussion, on Monday night, board members unanimously approved a resolution to pay off the Series B bonds of 2004 for $387,315.81.

They also asked Walker, who was accompanied by special counsel Joe Pierce, to utilize a savings figure of $40,000 when preparing paperwork for the proposed Series A bond refinancing. Shoemaker voted against the matter, which will be put to a final vote next month.

The directors also voted to appove sending out Homestead/ Farmstead annual invitation letters to owners of eligible parcels. The letter will be sent by 21st Century at a cost of $220 for 283 letters.

Also on Monday night, the board was given a presentation by the FFA students and teacher Eric Rubenstein on their attendance at the 82nd annual FFA convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The convention was held October 21-24, and the trip was made at no cost to the district.

During a discussion of personnel matters, the board agreed to add Joyce Mills and Alfred Cross to the substitute teacher list. Both are IU-certified teachers. A leave request submitted by Angela Gabrielson was approved, and the board tabled a decision on hiring a long-term substitute during her leave.

Bus contractor Tawnie House was given permission to search for replacement vans for the board’s review and also approved substitute van drivers for House. Corey Doyle was hired as paid assistant boys junior high basketball coach at step one. In a related matter, the coach listing for the 2009-10 school year was approved as presented.

The board adopted a resolution to approve changing the name of the Tuscarora Blended Learning Charter School to “The New Charter School.”

The board approved field trips for two special-education students to visit the Hiram G. Andrews Center in Johnstown; first-grade students to visit Shavers Creek Environmental Center in Petersburg in April; and the FCCLA to visit the Hustontown Senior Center on December 16.

The board held two executive sessions during the meeting to address personnel and negotiation issues.

Return to top