Moment of silence opens school board meeting

By on December 5, 2018

The Warwick School Board was sworn in and Chief Financial Officer Nathan Wertsch provided a preview of the 2018-19 school district budget at the Dec. 4 committee of the whole meeting.
Before the meeting began, the board, administrators and guests held a moment of silence for a high school student who died on Dec. 2, after being taken to the hospital from a rehearsal for the upcoming high school holiday music program on Dec. 1.

“We will not be making any comments,” said board president Michael Landis, adding that the school district was going through the grieving process and continued to pray for all affected by the death.

The official statement released by Warwick School District on Dec. 2 read:

The Warwick School District family and community are deeply saddened by the death of a Warwick High School student. This is an incredibly difficult time for our community. We grieve for the loss of a young life, and our thoughts remain with the family, friends, students, staff and community members impacted by this event. Counseling will be available to students and staff during and after school between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 and for as long as necessary in the days to come. The district is grateful for the continued support, love and prayers from our community. The family and the district request privacy at this time.

Judge Ed Tobin swears in the Warwick School Board for the upcoming year. Michael Landis will remain as president of the board, with Todd Rucci as vice president. Other appointments included Nathan Wertsch as board treasurer and investment officer, Kegel Kelin Almy and Lord as solicitors, and William Zee of Barley Snyder as special education services solicitor.

The holiday show, presented each year by the Warwick High School concert choir, along with string and symphonic orchestras, was scheduled to be presented Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10, at the high school auditorium. The high school has decided to reschedule the show for sometime in January.

Board sworn in
The school board was sworn in by Judge Ed Tobin for the upcoming year. Michael Landis will remain as president of the board, with Todd Rucci as vice president. Other appointments included Nathan Wertsch as board treasurer and investment officer, Kegel, Kelin, Almy & Lord as solicitors, and William Zee of Barley Snyder as special education services solicitor.
The reorganizational meeting covered committee assignments for the board. They include Education Committee with chairperson Deb Wenger and board representative Leslie Penkunas; Finance and Legal Committee with chairperson Millard Eppig and board representative Nelson Peters; Building and Property Committee with chairperson Scott Shaub and board representative Matthew Knouse; and Student Activities Committee with chairperson Todd Rucci and board representative Timothy Quinn.

Warwick School Board Chief Financial Officer Nathan Wertsch provided the board with a preview of the 2018-19 budget at the Dec. 4 committee of the whole meeting.

Budget
Nathan Wertsch provided a review of the 2018-19 Warwick School District budget, saying that “budget indicators look good.” He noted that Warwick had one of the lowest tax increase in the county. He reported that interim and transfer taxes have returned to a favorable level, interest earnings have continued to rise despite Federal rate hikes, and various grants have been awarded to the school district.

“For expenses, the big one continues to be medical insurance,” said Wertsch. Wertsch discussed the 2019-20 Opt-Out Resolution, noting that the 2019-20 Act 1 Index is 2.3 percent and Warwick’s Adjusted 2019-20 Index would be 2.7 percent.

The recommendation is to adopt the 2019-20 Act 1 Accelerated Budget Opt-Out Resolution, which would be for the sixth year in a row. In the business meeting, the board approved the election of Selena Caplinger as musical house manager, James Ruchalski as John Beck drama director, Chad Zackowski as building services employee, and Chris Hall as volunteer coach.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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