LEWISTOWN — The Mifflin County School Board unanimously approved free athletic event passes for a number of county residents at Thursday’s regular meeting.
Mifflin County residents aged 65 and over, active-duty military personnel, veterans and all Mifflin County students were proposed for the passes at the outset of the meeting.
But it was a different story when it came time to vote on an amendment that would have allowed free passes for all parents of student athletes and band members.
When it came to the vote, the free pass amendment failed by a 5-4 margin. But with rewording, it came back at the end of the meeting and gained the board’s approval.
Board member Terry Styers made a motion at the end of the meeting to re-word the amendment and vote on it again. This time, the motion passed by an unanimous vote.
The reworded amendment states that every student participating in an athletic event for which admission is charged, including marching band members, will receive two free passes for parents or guardians to use at home events of the sport in which they are participating.
“It’s not an exact science. People will try to abuse it. My intent is to give parents a break,” he said. “It needed to be sports specific, include the parents of band members, and be a maximum of two passes. Once rosters are established, that’s what the athletic office can work off of.”
In other board news, Superintendent Vance Varner brought up the latest on the potential new athletic fields at Mifflin County High School and the former Highland Park Elementary site adjacent to the high school and junior high.
“This week, Mrs. (Melinda) Kenepp, Mr. (Thomas) White and I met with Todd Smith of ELA and started the process. He wanted an update for Derry Township, and we discussed what they said. We have another follow-up call with ELA,” Varner said. “We have some renderings. We started the process and still have money left over that the school board approved for site analysis. I met with John Pannizo and Joel Diamond this week, and they will start fundraising. We set up a buildings and grounds meeting for Aug. 10 at 6:30 pm to get them on board. People in the community are ready to step up, which is nice.”
The possible co-op with Belleville Mennonite School took another step to a potential reality. Chief of Operations Paul Maidens talked about the developing situation.
“As Mr. (Noah) Wise brought up the motion last week about a possible co-op with BMS, athletic director Miss (Tish) Maclay reached out to BMS staff to set up a meeting with their AD to gauge their interest in a co-op,” Maidens said.
Varner advised Wise and the board to the BMS situation with Maclay at a future meeting.
“I recommend that we find out if they want to participate and invite Miss Maclay to walk us through the process,” Varner said. “We will discuss it, and I will ask her to come in at the Committee of the Whole meeting.”
The board also took the following action:
• Approved the minutes of the Committee of the Whole meeting held June 16 and the regular board meeting held on June 23.
• Approved the following draft policies as a second reading and final approval to replace the board’s adopted board policies: School Counseling, Special Education, Discipline of Students with Disabilities, Behavior Support, Screening and Evaluations for Students with Disabilities, Confidentiality of Special Education Student Information , Gifted Education, Career and Technical Education, Tutoring, Homebound Instruction, Current Events, Field Trips, Extracurricular Activities, Interscholastic Athletics, Concussion Management, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Alternative Instruction, Adult Education, Class Size, Assessment System, Head Lice, Medications, Threat Assessment.
• Approved the following draft policies as a first reading to replace the board’s adopted board policies: Homework, Home Education Programs, Extracurricular Participation by Home Education Students, Language Instruction Educational Program for English Learners, Charter Schools, Extracurricular Participation by Charter/Cyber Charter Students , Migrant Students, Standards for Persistently Dangerous Schools, Standards for Victims of Violent Crimes, Student Services, Title I – Comparability of Services, Dress and Grooming.
• Approved the following new textbooks: Savvas – enVision Mathematics – digital resource ©2021 – Grade 6 and 7, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Into Math – digital resource ©2020 – Grade 8, McGraw Hill – Reveal Algebra 2 – 1st edition ©2020, Savvas – Blitzer Algebra and Trigonometry – 7th edition ©2022, TCI Social Studies: Pursuing American Ideals – digital resource ©2019 – Grade 9, TCI Social Studies: the US Through Industrialism – digital resource ©2023 – Grade 8.
• Approved the following financial items: Review of Treasurer Reports for the month ended June 30, 2022 – Kish Bank, PSDLAF / PSDMAX, Temporary Investment Report and Summary, Capital Projects Fund (PLGIT), Athletic Project, Review of listing of bills for payment , Review of Revenue and Expense Summaries, Real Estate and Per capita Tax Collector Reports.
• Approved Young, Oakes, Brown & Company, PC to perform an agreed-upon procedures for engagement for real estate and per capita tax collectors for the year ended June 30, 2022, at an estimated cost of $18,150.
• Approved permission to make the necessary budgetary transfers for 2021-2022 with the understanding a list of transfers will be brought back to the Board as information: State Budget Update, Real Estate, and Per capita bill samples, Athletic Financial History.
• Approved the following cafeteria items: Cafeteria Financial Report for June 2022, Request authorization to pay Cafeteria Bills for June 2022, Food Service budget for the 2022-2023 school year will be presented at the July 28, 2022, Regular Board Meeting.
• Approved the following Transportation items: Recommended Drivers Lyman Guss (ER Rhodes), Dawn Walter (Krise Transportation), Chris Reinhardt (Krise Transportation).
• Approved the following as Building Leaders for the 2022-2023 school year: Amber Fuller, LES ($1,300 Stipend).
• Approved Christieanna Ofori Tawiah as the contracted Part-Time Mental Health Coordinator at a rate of $51,980. This position is funded through the PCCD Safety and Security Grant, and the position works 135 days per school year.
• Approved the renewal of the contract for Cynthia Heister as the Occupational Therapist, owner of Motivation Occupational Therapy, LLC, at the rate of $82.00 per hour for services.
• Approved a $500 stipend per person for Frank Miller to supervise two teachers at Panda Preschool and Daycare and one at St. John’s Christian Daycare and Preschool for the 2022-2023 school year for those teachers to gain Level II certification. Each daycare pays the stipend.
• Approved the following coaches for the fall 2022-23 season: Julia Montgomery (volunteer cross country), Sage Heckendorn (volunteer girls’ soccer), Isaiah Reed (junior high football assistant coach), Josh Snook (junior high assistant football coach), Christian Knouse (volunteer boys’ soccer).
• Approved the following coaches for the winter 2022-23 season: Brett Leister (first assistant girls’ basketball), Richard Gingrich (volunteer assistant girls’ basketball), Jessa Hagans (assistant girls’ basketball), Andrew Baker (8th grade girls’ basketball ), Danielle Craig (assistant 7th grade girls’ basketball), Olivia Halfpenny (volunteer assistant girls’ basketball), Glen Franklin (first assistant girls’ basketball), Donald Lepley (volunteer boys’ basketball), Noah Wright (volunteer boys’ basketball) , Dave Sheetz (volunteer boys’ basketball), Adam Sheetz (volunteer boys’ basketball), Christopher Lehman (head 9th grade boys’ basketball), Kevin Walker (assistant 8th grade boys’ basketball), Ryan Walker (volunteer junior high boys’ basketball) ), Nathan Poche (volunteer junior high boys’ basketball), Greg Loht (assistant indoor track), Scot Sechler (volunteer assistant indoor track), Tamara Sechler (volunteer assistant indoor track), Floyd Ciccolini (volunteer assistant indoor track), Neil Breneman (volunteer assistant indoor track), Richard Yearick (volunteer assistant indoor track), Skylar Ciccolini (volunteer assistant indoor track), Ella Spriggle (volunteer assistant indoor track), Shannon Specht (volunteer assistant indoor track), Dale Searer (first assistant) wrestling), Tyler Bedelyon (assistant wrestling), David Wray (volunteer assistant wrestling), Joe Knarr (volunteer assistant wrestling), Trent Hidlay (volunteer assistant wrestling), Hayden Hidlay (volunteer assistant wrestling), Trey Hartsock (volunteer assistant wrestling), Trey Kibe (volunteer assistant junior high wrestling), Colton Spade (head junior high wrestling), Seth Yearick (assistant junior high wrestling), Mark Cavanaugh (volunteer junior high wrestling), Tim Davis (volunteer junior high wrestling), Isabella Retherford (assistant winter cheerleading ), Adrienne Witters (volunteer assistant winter cheerleading), Cassie Swenson (volunteer assistant winter cheerleading), Jessica Renninger (junior high winter cheerleading), Sidney Barlett (volunteer assistant junior high winter cheerleading), Charles McConaughey (volunteer assistant bowling).
• Approved the following event staff for the 22-23 school year: Paige Johnson.
• Approved the updated MCSD Health and Safety Plan as of 7/28/2022.
• Approved the Soaring Heights School Education Services Agreement with updated rates for the 2022-2023 school year.
• Approved the following Central Office Administrators to sign contracts on behalf of the Mifflin County School District for July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023: Vance Varner (Superintendent), Thomas White (Director of Buildings and Grounds), Natisha Maclay (Athletic Director), Cindi Marsh (Director of Student Services), Doug Cunningham (Director of Information Systems), Steven DeArment (Chief Academic Officer).
• Accepted the resignations of Rachael Belschner (7th-grade art teacher-MCMS), Zachery Snyder (FT-custodian-MCMS), Tina Hale (FT-paraprofessional).
• Accepted the transfers of Isaac Maclay (math to science teacher-Alpha), Jamie Beeler (math teacher-MCMS to math teacher-Alpha), Koleen Nickel (attendance secretary-IVEC to administrative secretary-IVEC).
• Approved the hiring of the following teachers: Harry Pearce (4th grade-IVEC), Abigail Cunningham (science teacher-MCJHS), Michelle Hartzler (Title I Reading Specialist-IVEC), Anthony Teague (math teacher-MCHS).
• Approved the hiring of Ashley Closer as a part-time paraprofessional (learning support) at MCHS.
• Approved the hiring of mentors Jacqueline Holland for Harry Pierce (mentor), Karla Traxler for Michelle Hartzler (full induction), Travis Zook for Abigail Cunningham (full induction).
• Approved to increase 403B Contribution for Vance S. Varner by $3,600 for the School Year 2022-2023.
• Approved the following curriculum maps in draft form: Forensic Science, Microbiology, Survival Science, Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Physics II Honors, Pre-statistics Honors, 2D Engineering Design, 3D Engineering Design, Introduction to Print Media Production, Advanced Print Media Production , Digital Electronics, Stage Craft, Advanced Arts, Drawing and Painting 1, Drawing and Painting 2, Ceramics 1, Ceramics 2, Foundations of Art, Introduction to Digital Arts, Portfolio Development, Wearable Arts.
• By a 5-4 vote, the board did not approve Policy 119 – Current Events as a second reading and final approval.
• Recommended approval of the 2022-23 Food Services budget.