Indiana, PA - Indiana County

PURCHASE LINE: Board continues superintendent search

by on October 15, 2013 10:49 AM

PURCHASE LINE — The Purchase Line school board is continuing its search for a permanent superintendent.

According to acting Superintendent Paul Gallagher, the board has interviewed several candidates for the position, and is now bringing some candidates back for a second interview.

“After that, the board will decide if they want to do any other interviews or if they’ll be ready at that point to make a decision,” he said.

Gallagher has been acting superintendent since July.

District parents Connie Berringer and Sandra Fyock recently attended a Title 1 State Parent Advisory Council conference, bringing back the news of the new assessment method for academic performance that all schools in the state must now use.

The School Performance Profile replaces the Adequate Yearly Progress report previously defined under the No Child Left Behind Act implemented by the U.S. Department of Education in 2001. Individual school buildings within a district will now receive a score up to 100 points “based upon classroom observations, teacher specific data, elective data, and building level data,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This allows teachers to compare schools within the district, other school districts and other schools across Pennsylvania.

The score for a school is based on five elements: 40 percent for academic achievement, 5 percent for closing the gap for all students, 5 percent for closing the gap for historically underperforming students, 40 percent for academic growth and 10 percent for other academic indicators. Schools can even earn an additional 7 percent of “extra credit” for advanced achievement.

Details of the score for the two schools in the Purchase Line School district can be found through the Purchase Line School District website by clicking “District Programs” under the “District” tab, or by visiting

The elementary school scored 66.9, while the high school scored 70.9.

The board approved the district’s participation in the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, a decision that had been tabled during the board’s meeting last month.

Headed by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the survey measures students’ knowledge and attitude toward drugs and alcohol.

Per board member James McMullen’s suggestion, the survey will be given only to students in grades 10 and 12. Summaries of the responses will be available once the survey is completed. Parents can still have their children opt out of the survey if they so desire.

Business manager Janice Pearce was presented with a certificate from the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials renewing her status as registered school business administrator for a period of four years.

“You are to be complimented for having a member of your administrative and supervisory staff who meets the printed personal, ethical and professional standards established by the program,” Gallagher read from the certificate.

In other business, the board approved:

• Participation in the Challenger Learning Center program at a cost of $1 per student.

• The resignation of Melissa Cessna, mathematics teacher, as of Oct. 18. The board also approved recalling a furloughed teacher to fill the position, although a specific individual could not be named.

• The creation of a mathematics position to fill the departure of Cessna.

• Hiring Dennis Priesser to the position of librarian at a salary of $49,614.

• A leave of absence request for Tiffany Palmer, special-education teacher, for Sept. 26 through Jan. 1.

• A leave of absence request for Tiffany DeStefano, elementary teacher, beginning Oct. 14.

• A leave of absence request for Connie Pershing, cafeteria employee, from Oct. 29 through a tentative return date of Jan. 1.

• The resignation of Larry Peterson, assistant musical director.

• Hiring Karen Conrad as senior class co-adviser for $774 for 2013-14.

• Hiring Kathleen Cowden as play director at $1,675 for 2013-14.

• Hiring Chad Small to conduct an elementary boys’ basketball program on Saturdays during the months of October and November at a salary of $561.

• The renewal of the following athletic contracts for the 2013-14 school year: Erica Fetterman, assistant track coach, and Raymond Keith, assistant track coach.

• The following additional teacher substitutes: Tiffany Fry, mathematics 7-12; Jodie Kauffman, early childhood; and Cassie Ulisse, mathematics 4-8.

• Continuing math coaching services, subcontracted with Dave Hall, at $45 per hour for up to 222 hours or $10,000 for the 2013-14 school year. Funds will come from the School Improvement Grant funds. Board President Mary Pittman voted no.

• Literacy coaching services, subcontracted with Deborah Wright, at $45 per hour for up to 222 hours or $10,000 for the 2013-14 school year. Funds will come from the School Improvement Grant funds. Board President Mary Pittman voted no.

• The transfer of Mary Connor from a 4ᄑ-hour elementary cafeteria position to a 5ᄑ-hour position beginning Oct. 15.

• Leslie Butz and Dana Lloyd as additional cafeteria substitutes.

• Dana Lloyd as an additional instructional aide substitute.

• The creation of the following bus stops: Harkins Stop at 1915 Barr Slope Road in Clymer and Hill Stop at 110 High St. in Cherry Tree.

Jeremy Hartley is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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