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Homer-Center finalizes staff moves

by CHAUNCEY ROSS on August 23, 2013 10:50 AM

CENTER TOWNSHIP — The Homer-Center School District has made the final staffing moves in advance of the students’ return to classes for the 2013-14 school year.

The school board on Thursday hired Emily Gates as a third-grade teacher in the elementary school at a salary of $54,149, to be increased according to the teachers’ contract for the 2013-14 school year.

Rather than specifying the percentage of pay raises to be awarded to employees for this school year, the district and teachers established a formula to grant increases based on the district’s ability to pay them.

The formula, created during labor contract negotiations in early 2011, sets the raise at the average of the district’s Act 1 index (2.4 percent) and the basic education funding increase provided in the state budget (1.4 percent), or 2 percent, whichever is greater.

The average of the revenue factors appears to be 1.9 percent, so Homer-Center teachers are in line for salary increases of 2 percent; therefore Gates’ starting pay will be approximately $55,230.

The board also authorized the assignment of high school mathematics teach-er Matthew Rodkey to serve as dean of students during his noninstructional duty periods, assisting high school Principal Jody Rainey, with no adjustment in his salary.

Completing the staffing assignments, the board approved lists of substitute teachers, custodians, cleaners and cafeteria workers for the new school year.

In other business, the board:

• Authorized a one-time refund payment to the tax collection company Pennsylvania Municipal Services of $10,189.64, representing the overpayment of wage taxes withheld from workers who later were determined to be residents of other school districts.

• Agreed to hire Total Asphalt Management to fill cracks and paint lines on the school parking lots at a cost of $6,270.

• Approved payments of $695 for air conditioner unit repair and $3,850 for exterior ductwork repair by Griffith & Petz Company.

• Accepted the resignations of crossing guards Jean Adamsky and Judy Fleming; hired Loretta Blystone as a crossing guard at a salary of $8 an hour beginning Monday; and announced that the district still is seeking a second new crossing guard.

• Hired Amy Stefan and Jaime Wagner as 4-hour cleaners at a salary of $9.13 an hour, and changed Wayne Shields from a 4-hour to 7-hour cleaner, beginning Monday.

• Accepted the resignation of instructional aide L. Lorraine Henry.

• Approved Robert Nymick, Shawn Steffee, Joe Iezzi, Nick Raymond, Matt Wilson, Art Stokes, Don Mester and Dave Cook as volunteers with the football program; Rebekah Barrett as a volleyball coach; John Uccellini as a cross country coach; Jerry Rossi as a girls’ basketball coach; Chad Yancy, James McLoughlin and Paul Pohley as boys’ basketball coaches; and Chellise Allocco, Cory Leydic, Stephanie Mallis and Joy Wilson as members of the band staff.

• Approved a request by coach Scott Bauer and the baseball team to attend the Ripken Experience next spring in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at no cost to the district. Students making the trip are expected to miss 1ᄑ days of school.

• Approved the marching band to attend Band Night and the cheerleaders to take part in the Cheerleading Expo, both events scheduled next week at the Indiana County Fair.

• Approved the use of Memorial Field on Saturday by the Alumni Football USA program for a fee of $1,575.50; and the use of the high school on Nov. 16 for the Youth and Government Elections Convention, at no cost to the organization.

• Approved a contract for administration of the Student Assistance Program by the Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission.

• Approved an agreement with Edulink Inc. to administer an electronic teacher evaluaton software portal at a cost to the district of $2,318.

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