2018-06-07 / Front Page

Vo-Tech Issues Persist At Forbes Road School District

By Cassidy Pittman

Approximately a dozen concerned citizens attended the Forbes Road School District meeting Monday evening to question board members about their decision to withdraw from the Fulton County Area Vocational Technical School (FCAVTS).

The board made no response to individuals who spoke up to either ask specific questions or make a public comment about the decision to leave the county vo-tech program.

Erik Damgaard, FCAVTS director, approached the board to plead for a resolution.

“I still don’t know why the decision has been made. You say you need quality programs. We have just as quality programs as any other CTC (career and technology centers) in the tri-county area. I honor the opportunity to sit down with you. If there is a reason, let’s define it and let’s work out a resolution for that reason. I just feel so frustrated to be in this position for a year and have no just cause for the withdrawal.”

Board members did not respond to Damgaard’s remarks.

During the financial portion of the meeting, zero members voted to pay Forbes’ share of the tentative 2018-19 Fulton County AVTS budget. Because of this, the motion to approve the budget died on the floor.

In other news, elementary school Principal Maria Scott-Bollman gave an update on the final stretch of this year’s elementary program. Principal Scott-Bollman called the year a ‘banner year’ for the elementary and touched on all its successes throughout the year.

These include a problem-solving grant from Pa. TTAN EMTSS Tier 3 (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network Multi-Tiered System of Supports) that was awarded to the elementary. Only six schools in the state receive this grant, which provides custom expertise to help improve reading curriculums. The grant also awarded the elementary $10,000 to modify its curriculum and cover expenses.

Also during this year, the Forbes Road Elementary School (FRES) was awarded the Title 1 Distinguished School Award by Achievement. And, a real estate Web site, niche.com, voted FRES as the best school in the county with the best teachers in the county.

During the high school update, Principal Randy Gelvin touched on the end-of-year testing, and of the mature and respectful manner that the seniors portrayed during graduation. He thanked Superintendent Mark Loucks for his graduation keynote speech and gave a brief update on the success of this year’s National Honor Society banquet.

In other news, the Forbes Road FFA chapter was approved to travel to Penn State University to participate in the PA State Convention June 12-14.

Buildings and grounds

Board members viewed a PowerPoint presentation given by Mike Woods, sales manager at Mitsubishi Electric, regarding a new air-conditioning unit for the elementary. After the presentation, board member Damon Schoen said that his experience in the heating and air-conditioning profession taught him that this potential purchase of new units would be extremely cost effective. During the cafeteria update, Heidi O’Neil informed the board that staff training was completed, and all is looking well for the summer. Free and reduced meals will be submitted for May and June this week.


The board approved accepting a letter of retirement from Hubert Hohman, maintenance personnel, effective June 30. They also accepted a letter of resignation from Amy Gallagher.

Courtney Hykes was approved to hold a girls junior high basketball summer recreation camp based on availability of gym space, and Jamie Gelvin was approved to hold the senior high basketball camp based on availability of gym space.

Board members attending Monday’s meeting were President Kirby Shoemaker, Vice President Brian Barton, Kathy Baker, Margaret Bolinger, Janet Fittry, Dulce Hall, Byron Helsel and Damon Schoen. Superintendent Mark Loucks was also present.

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