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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:08:07 19:29:24

STAFF PHOTO/BROOKE WILLIAMS Tyler Emmerich, an Elk Lake School Board member representing Springville Township, takes his oath of office with board secretary Lori Evans.

The Elk Lake School Board has filled its two vacant board seats.

At Wednesday’s (Aug. 7) board meeting, Tyler Emmerich officially took his oath of office to represent Springville Township, a seat that longtime board member Eric Emmerich left vacant in June.

The board also unanimously appointed Renee LaRue to represent Rush Township, with Emmerich abstaining from the vote.

John Pierson previously held the Rush seat, but stepped down last month after the district hired him for a secondary science teaching position.

The board had interviewed two other candidates for the Rush Township seat previous to Wednesday’s meeting.

The board also accepted the resignation of Marissa Metric, who was recently hired in the special education department but had to turn down the position.

In her place, board members hired Leanna Bell for the special education elementary position for the partial hospitalization program, bachelor’s step 1, at a salary of $47,000.

On Wednesday, Patsy Gesford and Lydia Roman were approved as bus radio monitors, splitting a stipend of $2,990.

At a stipend of $4,256, Sandi Truman was also approved as a substitute caller.

The board also approved the following activity positions: Will Squier, varsity cross country coach at a $5,330 stipend; Jessica Lunger, elementary gifted coordinator at a $1,000 stipend; Carly Dibble, secondary gifted coordinator at a $1,000 stipend; Jamie Orlandini, boys junior high soccer coach at a $1,677 stipend; Travis Caines, boys junior high assistant soccer coach at a $1,677 stipend; Will Squier, varsity cross country coach at a $5,330 stipend; and Melanie Transue, yearbook adviser at a $757 stipend.

Superintendent Ken Cuomo noted that the gifted coordinator positions are new this school year, and the district is working on finding a replacement to oversee the National Honor Society now that Jeff Horvath has retired.

The board gave permission for the district to apply for Title I, II, and IV Grants with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and also approved three-year compensation plans for the athletic director and transportation coordinator.

The board approved the district’s 2019-20 substitute list, as well as 2019-20 leadership teams for the elementary center and high school/Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center.

Mentors for nine newly hired members of the teaching staff were also approved.

Cuomo announced that for the first time in 30 years, the district’s pool has been completely drained and refilled.

It was an “incredible undertaking” that involved draining 190,000 gallons of water, acid washing the pool and surrounding areas, plus more, he said.

A leak was found in the pool during this process, which will be fixed soon.

Water had to be brought to neutral before the district could dispose of it, Cuomo said, the trucks that brought in water for the refill were brand new, meaning there’s “no chance” of contamination.

The superintendent also provided an update on the window replacement project, which is nearly finished.

Crews ran into minor problems during the project, adding some additional costs to the original amount to come out of the contingency fund in the district’s capital reserves.

The board also accepted a resignation from janitor Debra Teel, effective Aug. 16, and Cuomo said the district has already moved on finding a replacement before school begins.

Board members approved Children’s Service Center agreements for the partial hospitalization program and the therapeutic education program.

Board member Chuck Place noted that he has been in contact with PennDOT about ongoing road projects that could impede bus traffic when school begins.

While efforts are being made to expedite these projects, he said he’s unsure if PennDOT will finish work by the time school begins.

In the SCCTC portion of the meeting, the board added 40 additional consultant days with Donna Schwartz at $390 per day.

Cuomo said funds for these additional days, which will focus on the career center’s cosmetology program, come from an ALTI Grant.

In regard to the new commercial driver’s license program at the SCCTC, Cuomo said administrators were to attend a meeting at the Cabot Oil and Gas office on Thursday in regard to the construction phase.

The building has been delivered, with SCCTC doing finish work on the inside, and there are still additional steps to take before completion.

The board is scheduled to come together again for a joint Elk Lake and SCCTC meeting on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.