Warwick approves proposed final budget; extends teachers’ contract

By on April 17, 2019

The Warwick School Board approved a 2019-20 Warwick School District proposed final general fund budget at the April 16 school board meeting.

The proposed $75.27 million budget calls for no increase in taxes for Warwick area taxpayers.

“This is huge,” said school board president Michael Landis, noting that much of the credit goes to Chief Financial Officer Nathan Wertsch, who was able to balance the budget due to insightful planning that would allow the school district to move forward.

With no tax increase required for the proposed final budget, the millage rate would remain at 16.37. The Finance and Legal Committee reviewed the proposed final budget and supports the recommendation.

On another action item, the board approved a three-year extension of the existing contract between the Warwick School District and the Warwick Education Association. The collective bargaining agreement was originally to run from 2016 to 2020. Now that four-year teachers contract has been extended for another three years.

Jenna Ginder. Photo by Laura Knowles.

“We want to thank Lisa and her team for their hard work,” said Landis, referring to Lisa Hochreiter, president of the Warwick Education Association and an agriculture science teacher at Warwick High School. The extended contract covers salary, benefits, health care, and other factors in the teachers’ contract.

The newest educator to join the Warwick School District is Jenna Ginder, who was approved as coordinator of secondary student services. Ginder replaces Debra Ulicny, who resigned.

“I am very pleased to be back at Warwick,” said Ginder, a life-long Lititz resident who graduated from Warwick High School in 1999, and has been serving as assistant coordinator of student services for the Ephrata Area School District.

Superintendent April Hershey announced that the district was recognized by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation for outstanding commitment to music education. Hershey reported that Pennsylvania Department of Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera congratulated Warwick among 92 Pennsylvania school districts that are committed to music education.
Rivera noted that Pennsylvania continues to be a national leader in advancing strong music programs in its public schools, thanks to the efforts of talented music teachers, supportive school administrators and board members, and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.

One of those music educators shared the talents of his young fifth and sixth grade musicians in a mini-concert before the school board meeting. Tim Thompson, a music teacher at John R. Bonfield, Brunnerville, and Kissel Hill Elementary Schools, directed the Warwick Youth String Ensemble in a selection of songs for the school board.

As Hershey noted, Thompson is among music teachers who have encouraged the music talents of students performing in jazz band concerts, orchestra performances, and musicals like “Mary Poppins” and “Hello Dolly.”

Hershey also announced that the Warwick School District is marking a 30-year German-American Partnership Program with the König-Karlmann Gymnasium in Altötting. The program was started in 1989 by now-retired German teacher David Hoffman, and now continues under the direction of German teachers Wendy Andrews and Molly Zelewicz. In the past 30 years, more than 250 Warwick families have participated in the exchange, with students alternating in visits to Lititz and to Altötting, Germany. During the 2018 trip to Germany,

Warwick students visited Burghausen, Salzburg, and the castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof.

The German students marked the 30th anniversary by presenting Warwick with two special gifts. One is a painting that depicts the German-American bond and the other is a unique keepsake, a piece of the Berlin Wall, which officially fell 30 years ago, opening the barrier between East and West Berlin following President Ronald Reagan’s famous call to “Tear down this wall!”

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *