2011-05-26 / Front Page

Southern Fulton Furloughs Two Staff Members

Real estate taxes could remain at current level
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Projecting a $647,000 loss in state funding for the upcoming school year, board members at the Southern Fulton School District eliminated two positions last week in hopes the cuts coupled with retirements and internal adjustments will bring them closer to breaking even.

On a motion by board members Patrick Bard and Mark Mosemann, the board unanimously agreed to eliminate a high school business education instructor position currently held by Andrew Pepple. The furlough, which was the recommendation of district Superintendent Kendra Trail, is effective with the start of the 2011-12 school year.

However, in a follow-up motion, the board agreed to employ Pepple in the capacity of a fulltime substitute for next year as per a memorandum of understanding. Pepple, according to Trail, will be able to fill in at the elementary and high school in the event of a teacher absence.

In addition, the board unanimously followed another recommendation by Trail to eliminate an instructional aide position. The position is occupied by Lindsay Yorke.

Trail told the “News” several retirements have also been announced, including that of elementary Dean of Students Mike Shade. His position will not be filled. At the high school level, the dean of students position is being eliminated. Student discipline issues arising at either facility will now be solely handled by the principals, noted Trail.

Meanwhile, fourth-grade teacher Dorothy Brambley is also slated to retire. An internal adjustment being made at the school will move elementary environmental science and technology teacher Herb Brambley into Dorothy Brambley’s classroom.

As the position of environmental science and technology teacher will no longer be in existence, Trail stated, environmental related grants, such as Trout In The Classroom, will be put on hold for the time being. She added with the improvements that have been done at the district’s nature trail, students and teachers will still be able to use the area for educational benefits.

In other matters related to personnel and financing, a motion by Donald Whiteside and Mark Mosemann to tentatively set various taxes for the 2011-12 school year failed on a 4-5 rollcall vote. Board members opposed to the taxes, which included an increase in real estate taxes by .4626 mills, were Danny Crouse, Dwight Bard, Allen Morton, Timothy Hull and Timothy Mellott.

In a follow-up 5-4 roll-call vote, the board agreed to leave real estate taxes at the current level of 23.13 mills. Whiteside, Kenny Wuertenberg, Mosemann and Morton voted against the measure. The approved motion also included setting Section 679 Per Capita and Act 511 $5 each and earned income and real estate transfer taxes at 1 percent. Penalties are tentatively scheduled to stay at a maximum 10 percent.

It was noted, the district’s tentative budget for the next school year is set at $10,361,589. Board member Morton dissented on the budget, which along with real estate taxes, will be formally adopted during the board’s June meeting.

The board went on to approve the Fulton County Area Vocational-Technical School (AVTS) budget in the amount of $758,193 for the 2011-12 school year. Patrick Bard voted against the budget during the 8-1 roll- call vote.

A resolution appointing the Fulton County Tax Collection Committee as the Southern Fulton School District’s tax collector for all earned income taxes levied was approved effective January 1, 2012.

F&M Bank was authorized as the district’s treasurer and depository of funds for next year.

A total of $121,784 will be transferred from a PLGIT Plus account to the Tax Stabilization Fund to meet the district’s debt service obligation for the years 2010-11 through 2017-18. Furthermore, deferred revenue from the Fulton County AVTS in the amount of $71,630 will be deposited in the PLGIT Plus account. Morton was opposed to the deposit from the AVTS.

Having previously used the legal services of Andrews and Beard, the district approved Robin Binder Heath to serve as solicitor next year. Heath’s pay rate is set at $115 per hour for general legal services and negotiations and $130 per hour for litigation services.

A subsequent motion to hire Andrews and Beard for solicitor failed 3-6 with only board members Patrick Bard, Crouse and Dwight Bard in favor of retaining the firm’s services. The company’s hourly rates were offered at $125 for general and $155 for special counsel/negotiations.

Dr. Joseph Wolfe will serve as the district’s dentist at a rate of 80 cents per student next year.

Pending the completion of necessary paperwork, the following individuals were approved to serve for the remainder of the current school year: substitute custodians Daniel Rohm, Karen Claypool and Tyler Johnson; and Darlene Shaffer, substitute teacher aide.

Substitutes approved for next year include: substitute teachers Gail Potter, Jamie Shaw, Lindsey Bard, Linda Smith, Deborah Cooper, Logan Cunningham, Garrett Fix, Thomas King, Betsy Clippinger, Joseph Mogus, Bradley Truax, Tiara Walburn, Terry Diehl, Jamie Shipley, Carol Wolf, Carol Hendershot, Gloria Hurney, Kenneth Welsh, Bradley Fitz, Lindsay Clark, Rachel Leese, Alees Splendore, Karen Varney, Mallory Welsh, Kay Bradshaw, Amanda Schetrompf, Chelsea Hockenberry, Ronald Bolton, Winter Decker, James Harvey, Sarah Keefer, April Leese, Jennifer Miller, Carolyn Stermer and Michael Wagner.

Teacher aide substitutes given a nod of approval were Barbara Peck, Barbara Mellott, Daisy Wertz, Debra Hixon, Rose Shank, Darlene Shaffer, Shonda Price, Anna Thompson, Sandra Wills, Sharon Knable, Jacqueline Duley, Rose Gordon, Cheryl Hanks, Theresa Payne, Julie Rhodes and Tiffany Schooley. In addition, G. Jean Morton, Barbara Mellott, Tiffany Schooley, Sandra Wills, Anna Thompson, Sharon Knable and Jacqueline Duley were given authorization to serve as secretary substitutes.

Board member Timothy Hull abstained from voting on Jessica Hull being authorized to work in the capacity of substitute secretary next year.

Custodian substitutes next year are Sharon Knable, LeAnne Barnhart, Betty Smith, Tyler Johnson, Sandy Wills, Via Shaw, Daniel Rohm, Daisy Wertz, Curtis Zimmerman and Karen Claypool. Meanwhile, Darin Swope, April Hiller, Wendy Fischer, Rebecca Dase and Cassie Scott will be nurse substitutes.

Pending the completion of paperwork, Heather McConnell will also be added to the district’s substitute list for 2011-12.

As recommended by the district’s athletic director, individuals receiving approval to serve as extracurricular coaches and advisors next year were varsity volleyball coach Julie Dickerhoff, varsity soccer coach Brian Strait, junior high assistant soccer coach Ryan Ickes, junior high soccer coach Aaron Harris, varsity assistant soccer coach Leah Eslinger, cheerleading coach Debbie Hixon, varsity girls basketball coach Mark Mellott, junior high girls basketball coach Melissa Mackel, junior high girls assistant basketball coach Amy Fischer, varsity boys basketball coach Kent Hendershot, junior varsity boys basketball coach Dave Gordon, junior high boys basketball coach Terry Wertz and junior high boys assistant basketball coach Justin Sholes.

Additional approvals made by the board include varsity track and field coach Joe Hollenshead; track and field assistant coaches Heather Kauffman, Heather Hollenshead and Andy Brown; varsity baseball coach Andrew Pepple; varsity assistant baseball coach Dustin Fischer; junior high baseball coach Dave Gordon, junior high assistant baseball coach Charles Conley; varsity assistant softball coach Stephanie Mills; junior high softball coach Melissa Mackel; junior high assistant softball coach Brian Mottern; varsity softball volunteer coach Craig Elbin; athletic director Kent Hendershot; varsity softball coach Stacy Smith; game managers Heather Kauffman, Mike Shade, Carolyn Mottern, Terry Shade and Connie Mellott; instrumental music Ben Arnold; band front advisor Karen Smartt; yearbook advisor Carolyn Mottern; vocal music director and stage director Dan Meredith; National Honor Society advisor Cynthia Layton, play director/drama coach Carolyn Mottern; and boys elementary basketball coach Keith Potter.

Pending the submission of necessary paperwork, Amanda Schetrompf was authorized as volunteer assistant cheerleading coach. In addition, Terry Bard and Candace Bard were authorized to serve as the junior varsity girls basketball coach and junior high volleyball coach, respectively, for the 2001-12 school year. Board member Dwight Bard abstained during both roll-call votes.

In accordance with Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, Ashley Myers is slated to take an unpaid leave of absence between September 12 and December 5.

An extension was granted for Bus #12 contracted to Glenn Ward through December 31, 2011. The superintendent indicated the extension was granted in order to give the district ample time to get its new bus transportation software program “BusTracks” in place and operational by January 1, 2012.

Tabling the item for later in the evening, the board agreed to rehire Metz Inc. as the district’s food service provider with a projected loss of $174,069.36. Whiteside dissented during the roll-call vote. The motion was accepted following a 25-minute executive session to discuss personnel and litigation.

Diane Younker, Meredith Hendershot, Doug Leisher, Theresa Corle and Superintendent Trail will travel to Altoona on July 21-22 for an administrative retreat hosted by Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11.

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