2013-10-17 / Local & State

Forbes Road Hires Interim Principal

James Foster will oversee K-12 schools
By Jean Snyder

STAFF WRITER

The Forbes Road School District’s board of directors hired an interim principal last Monday evening. The motion to hire James Foster on an interim basis until a full-time principal can be secured by the district passed unanimously. Foster is a former classroom teacher, former principal at Mount Union and Juniata Valley, and former superintendent of Juniata Valley School District. He has 40 years of service in the education field, and he is someone who Superintendent Mark Loucks knows well, having worked for him at Juniata Valley. Loucks said Foster “is a wealth of knowledge and experience for us, while we attempt to fill the principal position. He does not have an interest in the position permanently.” He went on to characterize him as “kid centered and community oriented.” Loucks said that Foster said, “I am only here to help you get by until you find your new principal.”

Loucks continued, “Our school board was excited to bring a man of Mr. Foster’s experience and integrity to the district. I myself am excited to work with him again because he mentored me as a principal, and I consider him to be a role model for me as a person as well.”

Foster, who has already begun work in the district, will temporarily replace Christina Ramsey, who left the district earlier in the year to accept a position at the Everett School District. Prior to Ramsey’s departure, she had been principal of both the elementary and the high school after former elementary Principal Paul Swope fell victim to the board’s decision to downsize administrative operations in June of this year. Ramsey left in mid-September of this year.

Following a nearly one-half hour executive session held for personnel reasons, the board hired Foster and also accepted Jessica Vollbrecht’s resignation as secondary mathematics and physics teacher effective September 19. The board also added Delores Gahagan, who is elementary certified, to the teacher substitute list pending clearances, and Mitchell Persun was granted tenure.

During a discussion on financial matters, the board approved hiring the law firm of Fanelli and Willett as district solicitor with no change to their current rate of pay of $125 per hour for regular solicitor work and $155 per hour for specialized work such as labor relations and litigation.

The board approved the 2013- 14 extracurricular salary list and the 2013-14 list of bus contractors, drivers and rates all as presented.

Miscellaneous items were also on the agenda, and the board approved motions for a field trip to Allegany College and to a Health Career Fair for the senior high. The college trip is October 21, while the Health Career Fair is October 30.

The Student Council was approved to use the home economics room on October 27 for a candy apple fundraiser, to use the old school for the Snowball dance on December 6 and to use the old school for a fall haunted house on October 31 and November 1.

A request by John Mixell to use the gym on Sunday afternoons for alumni recreational basketball for those 35 years of age or older was also approved.

The Forbes Road School Board meets the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the school, and the administrative committee meets the last Tuesday of each month. The next regular meeting is scheduled for November 4, 2013, and the next administrative committee meeting will be held on October 29.

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