2013-05-16 / Front Page

Forbes Eliminates Elem. Principal

Paul Swope ousted in reorganizational move
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

The Forbes Road School District has followed through on its promise made earlier this year to address right-sizing the district. At its regular meeting last Monday evening, the board voted unani- mously to eliminate the elementary principal position effective the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. The vote meant the suspension of current principal Paul Swope and the reassignment of Christina Ramsey as K-12 district principal. Ramsey currently serves as the high school principal.

Following a budget workshop back in April, Superintendent Mark Loucks told the “News” that “declining enrollment at the school and the limited tax base require a need for discussion and planning a way forward.” At that time Loucks said that enrollment in grades pre-K through 12 had declined from 461 two years ago to 383 in April.

Swope was hired in July of 2010 to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Byron Helsel. Loucks told the “News” that the elimination of Swope’s position has nothing to do with his performance. “This was difficult for everyone in the room,” he said. “We are constantly looking for ways to save money and we have to justify carrying all positions, and we have to learn to do more with less,” he added. Loucks said that while the board will continue to look for ways to trim its budget, “we do not want to take programs away from kids.”

The board voted to finalize the reorganization by notifying the Pennsylvania Department of Education of its “alteration/curtailment of the educational program, specifically the elimination of the elementary principal position.”

The board began its meeting with a nearly 90-minute executive session for personnel reasons and convened the regular meeting at 8:22 p.m.

In other personnel matters associated with reorganization, the board voted to retain Andrews and Beard as school solicitor at $130 per hour for regular solicitor work and $160 per hour for specialized work for the 2013-14 school year.

The board voted to retain Chanin Rotz-Mountz as school board treasurer for the 2013-14 school year and to retain F&M Trust Co. as school depository for the new school year.

Glenda Wolford was re-elected school board secretary for a fouryear term.

Dr. Jamie Hall was retained as school dentist free of charge, and Tri-State Community Health Center was retained to conduct school physicals at $20 per sport physical and $8 per regular school physical for the 2013-14 school year.

A request from Megan Skillings to pursue school psychology certification during the summer was approved. The board accepted the resignation of Ryan Wade as music director for the school musicals was also approved.

The board accepted a resignation from Stacy Gelvin as girls basketball coach, but she will remain a volunteer (non-paid) assistant coach for girls junior varsity/varsity basketball. Trent Black was hired as boys junior high basketball coach at a salary of $1,700.

Zane Bussard, Dustin Peffer and Caleb Washabaugh were added to the teacher substitute list, and all are certified by the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit (TIU).

During a financial discussion, the board approved the tentative Fulton County Vo-Tech budget for 2013-14 in the amount of $843,846. The motion to approve had six “yes” votes, two “no” votes and one abstention. The Forbes Road School District’s tentative budget for the same year was approved in the amount of $7,066,850. It was approved, but had three “no” votes by Merrill Arnold, Byron Helsel and Kirby Shoemaker.

During miscellaneous business, the board voted to approve the 2013-14 school calendar as presented and approved the list of potential graduates as presented pending completion of state and local graduation requirements.

The board approved a request for homebound instruction for a student for the remainder of the school year.

A request for the use of the weightlifting room and both gymnasiums for summer recreation gym night for elementary/junior high/junior varsity/varsity girls basketball was approved as was a request for use of the main gymnasium to have an elementary girls basketball camp.

Other facility use requests approved included: soccer field during

June, July and August on Tuesdays and Thursdays; use of the elementary music room for summer piano lessons; use of the field hockey field on Tuesday nights in June and July; use of the high school auditorium for a Back to School Prayer Night on August 20, 2013; use of Room 203 for the purpose of conducting the meetings of the PIAA Fulton County Basketball Officials Chapter with dates as presented; use of the cafeteria, gym and restrooms to host the annual Szwydek 5K Memorial Run/Walk on April 19, 2014; and a request to continue Tuesday morning prayer meetings was approved. The board also approved the senior class trip itinerary for the Class of 2014.

Also during the meeting, the National Honor Society students were congratulated and recognized for their academic and social achievements.

It was announced that baccalaureate will be held on May 29 and graduation on May 31.

The Forbes Road Board meets the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the high school library. The next regular meeting will be held on June 3, 2013.

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