2010-01-21 / Front Page

C. Fulton Picks Northcraft As Superintendent

Board agrees to refinance bond series
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Residents of the Central Fulton School District will see one of their own move up through the ranks to take the official reins this summer following the retirement of Superintendent Dr. Julia Cigola.

Director of Education Dwayne Northcraft was unanimously selected last Tuesday on a 7-0 roll-call vote to serve as the newest superintendent over the duration of a three-year contract that will get under way July 1, 2010. Board members Eric Hollinshead and Linda Garber were unable to attend the January 12 meeting.

Northcraft, a Fulton County native and current resident of the Waterfall area, has logged a total of 22 years in public education. Thirteen of those years, according to Northcraft, include administrative experience at the Central Fulton and Bedford Area school districts where he served as principal at elementary, middle and high school levels.

He currently serves as Central Fulton’s director of education, a position he has held since 2005.

“I am honored to have been named the new superintendent of the Central Fulton School District. The support shown to me by the Central Fulton community, its students, alumni, parents, dedicated staff and board of directors is unparalleled,” Northcraft told the “News.”

“I will continue to work in partnership with all stakeholders to create powerful learning opportunities for every child in the district and inspire our youth to stay connected and accomplish great things,” he concluded.

As a follow-up to approving Northcraft’s new job title, the board approved his multi-year contract ending June 30, 2013. The contract stipulates Northcraft will begin with a salary of $96,000 that will increase annually $3,000. Furthermore, the school board maintains the right to increase the superintendent’s salary additionally during the duration of the contract with raises hinging on satisfactory performance of duties.

An evaluation of the superintendent will be completed by the board once a year, no later than July 1, and can include a self-assessment by the superintendent and assessments by each member of the school board. The contract further stipulates that if their findings reveal an unsatisfactory rating, the board will provide Northcraft with a list of areas needing improvement.

In turn, Northcraft is scheduled to complete a yearly report outlining “data and critical events of the preceding year, current operations and suggested goals for the upcoming year.”

In other personnel matters addressed last week, the board nominated longtime board member Linda Garber to serve an additional three-year term of office with the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit (TIU) #11 Board of Directors. Garber’s newest term will begin July 1, 2010, and end June 30, 2013.

TIU emergency certified substitute teachers placed on the district’s professional list were Alfred Cross, Wells Tannery; April Leese, McConnellsburg; and Heidi McCardell, Shade Gap.

Meanwhile, Cory DeShong from McConnellsburg was added to the district’s substitute custodial list. DeShong’s clearances are currently on file with the district.

Elementary teachers Stephanie Shives and Nicole Fletcher were granted leaves of absence in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act. The teachers’ documents are on file in the district office.

Several individuals were placed on the extracurricular salary scale for the 2009-10 school year, including a trio of academic awards advisors Donna Fisher, Shelly McMullen and Carleen Grissinger. Each advisor is slated to receive $406.67 for their duties.

Bridget Pepple, high school emotional support instructor, announced she will be resigning from her position effective March 26. Special education Director Ginger Thompson noted to the board she was pleased with Pepple during her time with the district and considered her an asset.

Julia Dovey was appointed to serve as the district’s representative on the Fulton County Parks and Recreation Commission.

Gordon Walker, managing director with Public Financial Manager, and legal counsel Joe Pierce appeared before the board to kick off the finance section of the meeting with a proposal to refinance the 2005 bond series. Walker stated their goal was to follow the 3 percent savings formula that has been utilized by the district in prior refinancing in order to reach a targeted savings of $275,000. Once the state percentage is subtracted from the targeted savings, the district will save at least $193,000.

Newly elected board member Chris Hann posed a variety of questions to Walker and Pierce ranging from the need for underwriter fees and how to determine if bond insurance rates are fair. Fellow board member Ryan Richards mentioned the current economy and questioned if the district would be able to reach the savings quoted by Walker.

The board unanimously agreed to move forward with the adoption of the resolution for the refinancing of the 2005 bonds before receiving an update from Charles Frame of Boyer & Ritter, certified public accountants, on the results of the 2008-09 audit. The district was given a “clean opinion” with “no findings” in the independent auditor’s report. In conjunction with hearing Frame’s report, the board approved the management and discussion report.

The board also adopted a resolution required through the Tax Payer Relief Act for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which agrees not to raise the tax rate higher than its index of 4 percent.

Under curriculum, Superintendent Cigola announced the elementary, middle and high school facilities were recognized by the commonwealth for their adequate yearly progress (AYP) over the course of two consecutive school years (2007-08 and 2008-09) in annual student testing. The district has received a “keystone” placard to display in each building to commemorate the achievement.

Heather Walker was given retroactive approval to take five life skills students to Lincoln Bowling Lanes in Chambersburg on December 18, 2009.

Return to top