EAST WHEATFIELD TOWNSHIP — The United School board on Tuesday approved the resignation of a principal.
The board accepted, with regret, the resignation of Kirk Atwood from his position of United Junior/Senior High School principal.
His resignation is effective Dec. 12. He has been the high school principal since January 2019.
Atwood is leaving the district to accept a position at Millcreek Township School District in Erie.
The search for a new principal has already begun with online job board postings and the board plans to advertise the opening.
Initial interviews will start as applications roll in and additional interview rounds will take place with the board, said superintendent Barbara Parkins.
During public comment, Daniel Cramer-Nagle expressed concern over the future of the vocational-agricultural program, “Why, over the last decade or so, have we gotten rid of the Vo-Ag program and blue collar things for kids that don’t learn the same way as others? If we’re going to push college, we need to push general education or those things.”
The Vo-Ag program is an opportunity for students to obtain a National Occupational Competency Testing Institute Certificate. Currently, students in the United School District travel to Penns Manor.
“Penns Manor has a very robust program,” Parkins later explained.
She noted six students a year on average have taken the NOCTI exam since they began traveling to Penns Manor, compared to only one student when the program was offered within United. Parkins also said United allows students to travel to the Indiana County Technology Center for half-day vocational coursework and hands-on experiences.
Cramer-Nagle also asked the board to respond with who voted toward continued student mask mandates and community tax reductions.
Eric Matava, board president, responded that board members cannot respond to questions during the public comment period.
In other business, directors voted to approve:
• The following volunteers, pending the receipt of proper documentation, for the 2021-22 school year: Brett Bloom (high school), Stephanie Clark (elementary), Rebecca Elchin (elementary), Kassandra Hearn (elementary), Erynn Mack (high school), Jason Payne (high school), Melissa Rosko (high school) and Amy Sapp (high school/elementary).
• Recognition of booster organizations for United Boys Basketball, United Music and United Elementary Wrestling.
• Budget outline for the 2021-22 La Vista Yearbook.
• Adoptions of board policies No. 006 Local Board Procedures, No. 903 Public Participation in Board Meetings and the operations guideline of No. 006-BOG-0 Publish, Post and Notify Board Meetings/Agendas.
• Expulsion of a student from the district.
• The following fall sports to participate in the PIAA State Playoffs if students are eligible: cross country, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, football and volleyball.
• Activity requests from Jennifer Charney and Jocelyn Hudson for about 18 students to attend the National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla., from Feb. 10 to 16, with eligible students at no cost to the district.
• The Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Supplemental Program Emergency Instructional Time Plan for the 2021-2022 school year.
• The planned maintenance agreement with Cummins Sale and Service for the maintenance of generators in the elementary, junior-senior high school and athletic stadium at a cost of $1,728.61. The agreement is a one-year term starting Dec. 1 and ending Nov. 30, 2022.
• Donation of 21 cases of hand sanitizer from UniFirst Corporation to the district.
• Request from two employees for leave without pay under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.