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HOMER-CENTER: School board approves Hunting Club

by on December 14, 2013 10:54 AM

CENTER TOWNSHIP — A new after-school club has been set up for students at Homer-Center High School, but it will involve everything except the central element of the club’s main activity.

Students joining the new Hunting Club will focus on learning safety and ethics of hunting, and stewardship of the environment, but it went almost without mentioning Thursday that firearms won’t be involved in the club’s in-school sessions.

The Homer-Center School District board of directors approved the club at the board’s monthly business meeting, at the request of Greg Hartnett and Bill Tonkin, who will serve as the advisers.

Hartnett and Tonkin will be de facto volunteers for some time, running the club without pay because there’s no provision for a Hunting Club and, therefore, no stipulated extra pay, in the current teachers’ contract.

The advisers and members will be required to establish and submit by-laws to the administration, and they will get an activity account and be scheduled for meetings four times a year, Superintendent Charles Koren told the board.

In other business Thursday, the board:

• Approved Nathaniel Mack and Jon Stolarz as part-time, long-term substitute music teachers beginning Jan. 20 at salaries of $13,782.75 each.

• Accepted the resignation of school-crossing guard Loretta Blystone, effective Dec. 6.

Koren said the district has a volunteer serving as a crossing guard at one of two intersections, working under the auspices of a program that grants credit against property tax due for senior-citizen residents who do unpaid work for the district. Homer City Police Chief Louis Sacco also has been serving as a crossing guard, Koren said.

• Accepted the resignation of cafeteria workers Veronica Ober, effective Dec. 17, and Elizabeth Gallo, for retirement on Dec. 20.

• Designated the business manager, district office secretarial aide and secretary to the business manager as the representatives authorized to access district tax records maintained online by Berkheimer Associates, the tax collection agency.

Business Manager Greg Cessna said the representatives are identified only by title rather than by name so that no more formal action would be needed if different people take those jobs in the future.

• Granted requests for travel for one teacher to a conference and five student groups on field trips.

• Approved an agreement with Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit 28 for regional wide-area network, Internet and other related services through a technology consortium from July 1 through June 30, 2019.

• Approved a training program to help district office workers learn management of a teacher scheduling program, AESOP, at a cost of $1,250 to the program developer, Frontline Technology.

• Offered a resolution in recognition of the Homer-Center Wildcats’ just-completed football season that ended with a run in the state playoffs: “In a time period of 16 weeks of formal practice, coupled with many years of previous work, the 2013 Homer-Center Wildcat Varsity Football team achieved many honors and recognitions, and now … (the board) formally places into its official meeting minutes acknowledgment of the exciting and successful 2013 season.”

Board members and administrators stood to applaud the team and coaches in attendance at the meeting in the high school large-group instruction room.

• Acknowledged $3,000 worth of cash donations offered to the district to cover costs of the football team’s travel to Hershey for the state playoff game. Donors included the organizers of the Junior Legion Tournament; St. Pier Group, the owner of WCCS Radio, which broadcast the team’s games; Dominic and Jamie Sgro; the Homer-Center Football Parents Club; Chad Yancy; AFSCME union locals 2247 and 2121; Sam and Betsy Arone; American Legion Post 493; and Sons of Italy 570 Club Savoy.

• Appointed board member James McLoughlin as the alternate representative to the Indiana County Technology Center joint operating committee through December 2016.

• Approved a list of dates for school board meeting dates from January through June, primarily showing planning meetings on Mondays and business meetings on Thursdays, with the exception of a board meeting on Wednesday, April 16, because the following day is Holy Thursday.

Chauncey Ross is the Gazette’s fixture at Indiana Area and Homer-Center school board meetings, has been seen with pen and notepad in area police stations and courts, and is something of an Open Records Act and Sunshine Law advocate. He also manages the Gazette’s websites and answers your questions about them.
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