Teachers hired to alleviate overcrowding

TUNKHANNOCK – The Tunkhannock Area School Board on Thursday created two elementary certified positions for the middle school in an effort to reduce fifth and sixth grade class sizes.

The board also created a $20,000 teacher aide position for technology at the middle school.

The elementary certified positions, which would be funded with $112,000 of the $247,000 presently in a discretionary income fund, could be filled as early as next week, Superintendent Michael Healey said.

Tunkhannock Area Middle School administration created the positions in response to parents, who have reported at the past two meetings that sixth grade classes are overcrowded.

The sixth grade has 230 students and eight teachers, according to the school district. The fifth grade has 229 students and eight teachers.

Jeff Ruddell and Eric Rome, two parents who have been critical of overcrowding, both said on Thursday the board is moving in the right direction, but added that two more positions should be created.

“It’s a fair proposal,” Rome said. “This helps but I still like to see it go further.”

In other personnel matters, the school board accepted the resignation of Rob Lines, a district computer technician, and terminated middle school math teacher Kandy Taylor.

Healey would not say why Taylor was terminated but did note that the decision was made upon recommendation of the solicitor.

The board also approved Becky Richard to be a substitute teacher aide and Holly Sayre to be a substitute elementary teacher.

In other business, Healey said he received bids for work to the Swale Brook at the high school. In June, flooding damaged the brook’s banks and deposited debris.

The board decided that the four bids ranging from $7,000 to $15,000 would be reviewed at a buildings and grounds committee meeting on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the administration building.

The next school board meeting will be Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Mehoopany Elementary School, at 8 p.m.