P-O welcomes new superintendents|
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
By Terry Whetstone
PHILIPSBURG - Rebecca Timchak, president of Philipsburg-Osceola School Board introduced two superintendents at last night's regular monthly school board meeting at Philipsburg Elementary School.
Timchak introduced Dr. John Dinunzio as interim superintendent to finish the duties of Dr. Stephen Benson, who was told a new superintendent would be sought to replace him.
Dinunzio is retired and lives in State College. He has previously worked as an interim superintendent at West Branch, Penns Valley and Bellefonte.
He said P-O has a lot going for it, it's a great district and he's looking forward to the new middle school project and keeping within the means of the budget.
His last day will be June 7.
Timchak also introduced Gregg Paladina as the new superintendent beginning June 10. Paladina currently works for Karns City School District, near Pittsburgh, where he is the principal for two elementary schools.
"I'm at a point where I am finishing up my doctorate and I'm looking for a superintendent's position," he said. "I saw Philipsburg-Osceola was looking and I came up and checked things out. I liked what I saw."
He said P-O looked like a good place to plant some roots. He brought his wife and children to the area and they also liked the area.
Paladina has four children, three in school, including second grade, fifth grade and sixth grade. He has an infant as well. He and his family have already made an offer on a new home in the district and he is looking forward to living in the community.
He is planning to meet with administrators and other employees, possibly as early as Monday.
"I'm excited to be a Mountie," Paladina said. "My kids are excited about the move. We're outdoors people, so I think we'll fit in."
Paladina's contract will run through June 30, 2016 with a salary of $105,000.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Tom Whitehead spoke about two matters.
The first was to thank everyone for all of the support extended to his daughter, Emily, during her illness.
He is proud of the area he lives in and the support the people have given. He also appreciated the welcome home his daughter received with the parade and people lining the streets to welcome her back.
His second matter pertained to the baseball fields at the school and the fact the board is considering charging a fee for each game played on the field. Whitehead said his relative put his life into that field, with a lot of volunteer help, they built the dugouts, put the fences in and did other work at the field. He asked the board to consider that when deciding to charge a fee.
Board member Todd Jeffries pulled that motion from the regular agenda to further discuss it; he said he agreed with Whitehead and he can't vote for the charges at the field. He said there is no cost to the district so he doesn't know why the board has to charge a fee.
Don Blake, maintenance supervisor, said the district has put a lot of money into the field over the years, and he said some teams take better care of the field than the others.
Jeffries suggested charging a security fee and if the field is in good shape after it's used, then they get the deposit back. Board member Dana Droll agreed.
After hearing from solicitor Brian Marshall, the board voted 8-1 with Jeffries voting no, to pass the new policy, which it was, just the first reading, then to have teams submit a letter requesting they be exempt.
Resident John Hardy spoke, saying the board was opening a can of worms because other organizations would also be in the same boat.
Board member Jim Verbeck said, "There's no way we can cover this with just one policy."
In other business, the board:
• approved the Central Intermediate Unit No. 10 budget in the amount of $2,221,513.
• denied a motion to hire Mary Beth Eyet as an independent contractor to provide a professional development for teachers of Everyday Math at a rate of $45 per hour not to exceed $3,500. The board voted no due to the board protocol not being properly followed.
• heard from Verbeck, who said the middle school project looks great and it appears to be right on track.
• approved purchasing 100 new English/language arts textbooks for fifth grade and a technology enhancement suite. The total for the two should not exceed $22,085.
• accepted the retirement of Anna Lavo, first grade teacher, effective June 30.
• added Lisa Sleigh to the substitute teacher's list.
• granted Shawn Arnold two days of unpaid leave on May 28 and 29 for a trip to England.
• approved a memorandum of understanding with the P-O Education Association with Middle School Textbook selection.
• approved Louise Hynd for a day of unpaid leave on April 17 for personal reason.
• accepted the resignation of Gregory Barnyak as junior high boys head basketball coach and Brenda Shealer as POHS National Honor Society advisor.