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INDIANA: School directors appoint interim superintendent

by on March 25, 2014 11:00 AM

A retired school administrator from central Pennsylvania has been selected to serve as a temporary superintendent for the Indiana Area School District while Superintendent Dale Kirsch takes leave for unspecified health reasons.

Rodney Green, who served 12 years as a superintendent for the Spring Cove School District in Blair County and the Everett School District in Bedford County, was approved Monday by the Indiana Area school board to act as Kirsch’s backup for an unspecified period of time.

Green, of Roaring Spring, Blair County, will work three to four days a week at a rate of $500 a day and be paid $50 a week for travel.

Green retired in 2012 but returned to service in a similar fashion last year. The Northern Cambria School District hired Green in May 2013 as an interim administrator while Superintendent John Jubas was away on long-term medical leave. Green’s starting date in the Indiana administration offices has not been determined.

In other business, the school board:

• Agreed to create a second part-time position for a health and physical education teacher in Horace Mann and Dwight Eisenhower elementary schools.

Kirsch said the interruption of the class schedule for the lunch period makes it impossible for one part-time teacher to handle classes in both buildings, where the gymnasiums double as cafeterias.

The school board earlier this month approved assigning the part-time elementary health and phys ed teacher to conduct gym classes in the mornings at Indiana Area Senior High School.

“It is just physically impossible to have one person do both,” Kirsch said. “One of those half-time folks will start at the high school at least one period a day.”

The position was approved on a vote of 8 to 1, with board members John Barbor, Hilliary Creely, Deborah Clawson, Thomas Harley, Diana Paccapaniccia, Brian Petersen, Julia Trimarchi-Cuccaro and John Uccellini in favor and Robert Gongaware opposed.

• Added a day of class to the end of the school year and revised the district’s Act 80 days schedule.

A day lost to bad weather on Feb. 19 will be made up for pre-kindergarten though 11th-graders with Thursday, June 5, being extended to a full day and Friday, June 6, being added as a half-day for students and a full Act 80 day for teachers.

The district will ask for permission from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to waive the 180th class day for seniors so commencement can be held as scheduled on June 5. If permission is denied, Kirsch said, the district will schedule a graduation practice for seniors on a Saturday, which can be counted as a class day.

Act 80 days have been set for May 13 for Ben Franklin and Eisenhower elementary schools and May 14 for Horace Mann and East Pike schools, where kindergarten students will be given the day off and youngsters enrolling in kindergarten in the fall will be invited to attend orientation sessions in the schools on those dates.

• Learned from Petersen, chairman of the Academic and Extra Curricular Committee, that 10 seniors appear to be in the running for selection as valedictorian and salutatorian with grade-point averages between 4.1 and 4.2.

With the last day of classes for seniors scheduled for graduation day, that leaves the possibility that final grade-point averages won’t be calculated and the valedictorian won’t be selected until hours before commencement, Petersen said.

To avoid that situation, Petersen said, the committee has recommended that the administration select commencement speakers based on GPAs at the end of the third 9-week grading period.

• Hired Jeff Bland, of Wexford, as a computer technician at a salary of $40,000. His starting date will depend on when he is able to leave his current employer.

• Approved leave of absence for elementary teacher Sarah Bond from Thursday until May 12.

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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