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Blairsville-Saltsburg board promotes prinicipal

by on July 31, 2014 10:54 AM

CONEMAUGH TOWNSHIP — Jeffrey Soles, principal of Blairsville Middle School, on Wednesday was selected as assistant superintendent for the district.

Soles, who was hired as principal in January 2012, will have a starting salary of $102,000 and a five-year contract.

He replaces Ian Magness, who resigned in May to accept a superintendent position in the Leechburg School District.

Prior to serving as principal, Soles had been employed in secondary education administration for 10 years and previously worked in administration at schools including Deer Lakes and Kiski Area.

Before working in administration, he was a technology education teacher for the City of Pittsburgh and West Mifflin.

He is looking forward to becoming involved “in all aspects of district operations,” he said.

Soles’ hiring will require the district to make some decisions about other positions, said Dr. Tammy Whitfield, superintendent.

The board on Wednesday approved Dr. Deb Shirley, a retired Blairsville Elementary principal, to be hired temporarily as an assistant to the principal at Saltsburg.

Whitfield said it looks as if Tracy Richards, currently Saltsburg Elementary principal, will be principal of the K-12 campus.

Other staffing decisions have not yet been made, she said.

In other business, the board:

• Expanded the cross country program to the junior high level at the request of Jim Buckles, athletic director.

Buckles said in a letter to the board that he has received a request to consider adding track to junior high sports by a person in the Blairsville attendance area.

He spoke to the coach, who he said is willing to train the athletes at no additional cost “in order to improve our overall program.”

The board approved the action and junior high track will be considered a club sport with no additional cost to the district.

• Hired the following teachers: Maureen Bell, $50,000; and Robyn Shaw, $50,000, with an additional $200 for special education instruction. The start date for both is Aug. 22.

• Will provide a $375 stipend to the following for mentoring newly hired professional staff for the year: Greg Kaylor, BMHS family and consumer science; Laura Thompson, BMHS art; Denise Fazi, BES special education; and Jim Buckles, BMHS music.

• Approved the following leaves of absence: Justin Kulic, SES health and physical education, about Oct. 16 to Nov. 3; Brittany Ciganko, BMHS business education, Aug. 22 through the end of the first semester; and Bonnie Bell, SES instructional aide, intermittently through the year as needed.

• Hired Ronald Bopp, of Blairsville, for custodian and maintenance.

• Approved an agreement with Kathy Lupyan as an independent contractor to serve as the Keystone to Opportunities early childhood liaison.

• Hired Brandi Muffie as a long-term special education substitute at SES to start Aug. 22 at a prorated salary of $20,000.

• Approved the following supplemental contract positions: Alexis McBride, varsity girls’ soccer assistant coach; Brandi Muffie, SMHS band front adviser; Douglas J. Doak, wrestling head coach; Tammy Smith, BMHS junior high volleyball co-coach with Ryan Conrad; Ashley Meyer, BMHS junior high cheerleading assistant coach; and Ada Henigin, BMHS junior high volleyball coach.

• Approved the following volunteers: Rachel Duchesneau, girls’ soccer; Logan Grguric, SMHS football; Betty Branthoover, BMHS golf; Alyssa Smith, volleyball; and Mitchel Fox, cross country.

• Approved an agreement with Lifestat Ambulance Service for the 2014-15 year for $3,000.

• Approved an agreement with Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission Inc. to provide the Student Assistance Program for 2014-15.

• Approved the 2014-15 testing schedule.

• Approved the following as recognized organizations: SES cheerleaders, BEBA elementary basketball boosters, BMHS band boosters, BSSD volleyball and BMHS football boosters.

Margaret Weaver has served as a Gazette staff writer since 2006. She covers Clymer Borough, the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District and Blairsville court, and also works in the areas of layout, design and editing. She can be reached at
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