Administrative downsizing Warwick goes from two to one assistant superintendent

By on March 22, 2012

By: MICHAEL C. UPTON Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Because of recent departures, Warwick School District Tuesday approved status changes for administrative personal to replace exiting staff members.

At this time, the district has no plans to hire an additional employee to fill the position vacated by board secretary Jo Anne McClain, while the resignation of former Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Keith Floyd in February has led the district to promote from within.

With unanimous approval of the board, acting Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Robin Felty will take over as assistant superintendent, effective Wednesday, March 21. This is effectively a downsizing of the administration. Felty’s new position is an existing position that was managed by two assistants. Felty is now the number two administrator for the district, under Dr. April Hershey, and will continue her previous duties in addition to her new ones. Floyd’s position has been dissolved and will be replaced with a lower level administrative position, director of elementary education. That position is expected to be filled in the near future.

The board was also unanimous with the election of Business Manager David Zerbe to fill the remainder of McClain’s term ending June 30, 2013. The motion for Zerbe’s appointment was quickly motioned and seconded prior to approval.

"I would like to thank Mrs. McClain for her many, many years of service to this board. We are very sad that she will no longer be with us at this point in time," said Superintendent Dr. April Hershey.

In other personnel news, the board approved the retirement of high school French teacher Janet Ross, and sabbatical leave requests for high school language arts teacher Laura Houghton and middle school technology education teacher Martin Meier.

Proceeding with regular business, the board approved Monday, June 11 as the date for Warwick High School graduation. The school’s commencement exercises will be held at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Road. Later, discussion revealed baccalaureate ceremonies will take place Friday, June 8.

During her report, Hershey encouraged all community members to take the opportunity to fill out the online budget survey located on the district website, warwick.k12.pa.us. The April 3 committee of the whole meeting will take a further look at the upcoming 2012-13 school year budget. During the finance and legal committee report, board member Darryl Miller reported on recent budget work.

"We took a little bit longer than usual (at the March 8 meeting), but that is to be expected this time of year as we sink our teeth into the budget. We reviewed some of the revenue streams. We reviewed some of the potential timing or delay of cash flow and what that impact might be to our school district," Miller said. "We reviewed some fixed costs, like insurance, PSERS (Pennsylvania State Employee Retirement System), and so forth. Health insurance, we covered a little bit on that. We discussed some of the savings from retirements and how that will be offset by contracted wage increases. We looked at the projected costs of the year that we are in. We talked about where the projected budget stands today. Again, there is a lot more work to go into the budget. We still remain focused."

Toward the end of the meeting, an out-of-state field trip approval raised discussion amongst the board. The trip, actually outside of the country, would take high school students and staff to various locations in Italy from June 24 through July 3, 2013. Board member Millard Eppig, Jr. expressed concern about students traveling outside of the U.S. and ultimately voted against the approval motion.

"I’d just like to express my concern again about students going to another country. That’s always going to be a concern of mine, especially with the day and age we live in … I still have a reservation about these kinds of trips," Eppig said.

"That was one of the concerns of the committee as well. That’s why we took the time to really dig into the itinerary and the travel and (get) more information as far as the safety and contact information the students will have. I want you to understand the committee felt confident in what was expressed to us about the trip," said board member Todd Rucci. "Fortunately, (the student activities committee) had a couple months to really go through this and get some more information on the itinerary and what they’ll be doing in the country. The committee really felt good about this trip."

Prior to regular business, community members had the opportunity to address the board during the public comment session. Regular district activist Howard Snoke presented the board with a check for $91. Since 2011, Snoke has continuously organized recycling drives to benefit the district.

"We’ve collected 175 pounds of cans in the last four months. It comes out to about 5,400 cans we collected," Snoke said.

Afterward, he reluctantly posed for a district photo opportunity with board secretary Miller.

"Thank you, Howard, for all your hard work," said board president Dr. Timothy Quinn. More SCHOOL BOARD, page A7

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