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West Branch accepts superintendent's resignation
Friday, December 7, 2012
By Tyler Kolesar Staff Writer
ALLPORT - The West Branch School District is in search of a new superintendent after the school board passed a motion at last night's reorganization meeting to accept the resignation of Michael Panek.
At the beginning of the meeting, resident Aaron Cowder spoke of an "absence" at the meetings, as Panek had missed the November meeting and was not present last night. Cowder said there have been rumors circulating and asked when the board would be informing the public of what is going on.
"We will have it (information) tonight," said President Joe Kovalcin.
During the administrative reports, Kovalcin read a statement.
"The superintendent, Mr. Michael Panek, has decided to resign (from) his position of superintendent of the schools," said Kovalcin. "The board will be voting on his resignation during this meeting. The board thanks Mr. Panek for his service to the district and wishes him well. Because this is a personnel matter, the board and administration will not be further commenting on the matter except to say that the parents, students, and employees of the district can be assured that the board and administration is fully engaged in the process of completing the transition smoothly and seamlessly, and there should be no disruption of any school activities, services or functions."
The board then accepted Panek's resignation by an 8-0 vote. Board member Gerald Coble was the only member absent. Later in the meeting, the board appointed High School Principal J.R. Holenchik as acting superintendent. Solicitor David Consiglio and his firm will begin the search for a new superintendent.
As far as the board's reorganization, all positions in 2013 will be the same as they were in 2012. Kovalcin was voted in as president with a unanimous vote, and Larry Allen stays as vice president with a 5-3 vote over Don Yontosh. Voting for Allen were Mel Smeal, Tim Kephart, Rob Seprish and Kovalcin, as well as Allen himself. Voting for Yontosh were Chad Diviney and Gary Miller as well as Yontosh himself. Coble will continue as the Central Intermediate Unit No. 10 representative, Allen will continue as the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center representative, and Kovalcin stays on as the Pennsylvania School Boards Association legislative chairman.
In other news:
• Business Manager Jason McMillen said the next budget meeting will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. In January, the budget meeting will be on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. Diviney encouraged members of the public to attend and said input is appreciated.
• a discussion was held on the possibility of the district creating a smaller-scale cyber school. Holenchik said currently there would be only a handful of students. By having its own cyber school, the district would save money. A motion was unanimously passed to explore the possibility without spending over $6,000.
• the board hired Amanda Lute as school psychologist effective Jan. 2 at the rate of $53,500.
• Athletic Director Dave Williamson said they are in the process of putting together the 2014 schedules. Williamson said to save traveling costs, West Branch and Philipsburg-Osceola school districts have agreed to play each other for the first varsity football game of the season. The contest will be held at P-O.
The next regular meeting will take place on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. The reorganization meeting counted as the December regular meeting.
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