Thursday, July 14, 2022

North Schuylkill School Board Appoints New Member; Board Hears Concern Regarding Clearing of Trees

North Schuylkill welcomed a new board member, approved the hiring of new staff, and voted on other items during the board's July monthly meeting on Wednesday.

The board unanimously voted "No" to a $500 bid for tax sale of a property at 342 West Mahanoy Avenue, Girardville, to Randy Robertson.

An offer was unanimously approved by the board for a bid of $5,000 by Miguelina Rodriguez and Angel Figuereo for the property of 240 West Preston Avenue, Girardville.

The following other items were approved by the board during the meeting:

  • Purchase of a PVI Hot Water Heater from L&L Boiler Maintenance, of Montoursville a cost of $75,491
  • Increase Tax Collector Compensation Rate of $.20 per bill, raising the cost to $4.10 per bill sent
  • Termination of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding between the Schuylkill County Land Bank and the North Schuylkill School District
  • Partnership Agreement with the Seltzer Group in their 10 Year Commitment of $50,000 to the District
  • Hiring of Dara Moucheron as a School Psychologist at a starting salary of $64,000
  • Hiring of Alison Marnell as an Elementary Teacher assigned to Title I Reading at a starting salary of $41,275
  • Hiring of Jennifer Cory as a Full Time Second Shift/Weekend Custodian/Maintenance Worker at a rate of $13 an hour
  • Hiring of Tyler Saylor  as a Full Time Second Shift/Weekend Custodian/Maintenance Worker at a rate of $14 an hour
  • Hiring of Karen Wasilus as a Full Time Secretary at a rate of $17.25 an hour
  • Resignation of Judy Swartz, a Part Time Custodian
  • Transportation Contract for the next 5 school years
  • Jennifer Dacus as a Volunteer Varsity/Junior High Cross Country Coach for the 2022 Fall Season
The board also unanimously approved the appointment of Randy Lattis to the North Schuylkill School Board to fill the vacancy left behind by Suzanne O'Neill.  Lattis took the oath of office after being appointed.

During the public speaking portion of the meeting, Liz Roberts, a parent and member of the Cross Country Boosters, spoke about the concern for the school's cross country track.

Roberts concern stemmed from the recent clearing of trees by the Fort Jackson Logging Company, which was approved by the School Board during the June meeting.  The work was being done to clear out dead trees from the school's property at no cost.

Roberts explained to the board that when the Cross Country team practiced on Wednesday, they were unable to complete the course because of downed trees crossing the path.

Roberts asked what was going to be done due to a scheduled Cross Country 5K fundraiser that is scheduled for August 13th as well as the team's first home meet is September 7th.

"The kids can't even run the course to practice on", Roberts said.

"We met with the coaches today and they showed us where the work is impacting the course.  The trees are knocked over the pole line where they run on that path.  So the trees need to be cleared.  Then about a mile back deep in the woods, they just leveled all that.  It needs a lot of work and probably won't be able to run a race on that in about a months time." High School Principal Ken Roseberry said.

Roseberry also reported that paths that wound through the wooded areas are now wide open areas without a specific clear path.

School Board President Chaz Hepler questioned why the coaches were not made aware of the work being done.

Principal Roseberry and Athletic Director Jim Gross  replied, "We weren't aware.  We've been talking about this, but we didn't know where they [the logging company] were going.  I didn't know they were wiping out entire wooden areas.  It was much more invasive than I had envisioned.  Based on information I gathered from other people in this room, we were surprised by the amount of trees that were taken out".

Roseberry reported that for the time being, he did give the team permission to run off the school campus, which is typically denied.

The board and school officials discussed possible solutions.  No decision were made but the school was going to work to get the course back in condition for next month and the start of the team's season.

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