West Branch appoints Brown to vacant board seat|
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
By Tyler Kolesar Staff Writer
ALLPORT - Christina Brown was sworn in as the newest West Branch School Board member during last night's special meeting.
Brown and Paul Carr were the candidates to fill the position left by Tim Kephart, who resigned at the June 24 meeting. Board President Joe Kovalcin asked the candidates to give a little bit of information about themselves, and asked what they believe the district is doing well and what it needs to improve.
Carr said he graduated from West Branch and was the district's business manager for more than 14 years. He is currently the business manager at the Curwensville Area School District, where he's been for the past six years.
With his extensive background, Carr believes he "has a lot to offer" as a board member. He said the board works well together and the district is improving the education of its students. Carr said that financial concerns are what's currently plaguing the district, but said it is not alone, as numerous districts are in the same situation.
Brown said she also graduated from West Branch and currently has three children in high school. She works as a nursing supervisor at Mount Nittany Medical Center and a is a Lock Haven University graduate. She said she already has volunteered with various booster clubs and would like to share her views and opinions.
Brown said she believes the teachers are doing extremely well and are "forming bonds with the kids," saying that hasn't always been the case. She also cited the district's financial situation as an area for improvement.
Board Member Mel Smeal asked both candidates why they didn't run in the May elections. At that time, Carr said he was performing other duties at Curwensville and believed he could not give his full effort, but things have changed since then.
Brown said since the term runs until November, this would be an opportunity for her to "get her feet wet" and see if she enjoyed being a board member.
A motion was then made by Don Yontosh and seconded by Smeal to appoint Brown to the board, and it was approved by a 7-0 vote. Gary Miller, board member, was absent.
In other news, the board approved the following actions:
• the resignation of fourth-grade teacher Chris Marsh effective July 2.
• voluntary transfers of Cheryl Green from sixth to fourth grade and Brandy O'Hare from fifth to second grade.
• reassignment of Lori Quick from elementary cafeteria kitchen worker to high school cafeteria kitchen worker.
• giving Wendy Fernburg and J.R. Holenchik $100 a day for the 60 days they assisted in superintendent duties, as board members said more than $40,000 was saved during the period the district was without a superintendent.