TASB revisits board appointment

 

BY MICHAEL WINTERMUTE

Wyoming County Press Examiner

 

The Tunkhannock Area School Board announced Thursday night there was a residency issue with its appointment last week of Amy Yuhas to fill a temporary vacancy on the board, and it voted to rescind her appointment.

The board then decided to appoint the second candidate it had considered Oct. 10 – Paul Lupinski, pending his availability.

Reached by phone Thursday following the meeting, Lupinski said he was very definitely still interested.

He resides in Northmoreland Twp. and has two children in the district.

He could be voted in and sworn in next Thursday for a term that expires at the end of November.

Whomever is elected Nov. 5 to the open seat in Region 2 will take a seat at the Dec. 5 reorganization meeting.

In other business, three topics of interest were tabled until tomorrow night’s school board meeting due to the absence of School Board President Mick Cronin.

Many residents attended the meeting specifically for an update on the furlough appeal that has been surrounding the district since last year and were dismayed at Cronin’s request to have the discussion tabled.

“President Cronin had planned to speak on all of these topics and asked us to table them until next week in his absence,” Superintendent Michael Healey said.

Apart from business regarding the furloughs, also tabled was discussion on a State of the District report.

The report, completed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, measures how students perform from a variety of evaluations, going beyond mere Pennsylvania System of School Assessment scores.

In other business, a report filed from the Tunkhannock Cyber Academy’s Kathi Felker, educational services program director, informed board members that money saved via the program continues to increase.

Healey said that 24 students actively enrolled has saved the district more than $345,000 which, after expenses, equates to roughly $324,000 that the district has saved by not having to pay fees for students lost to the district.

“The program, in its infancy, has paid for itself,” Healey said.

In the superintendent’s report, Healey spoke to how the Affordable Care Act might affect the school district.

He highlighted three points of interest in regards to coverage.

First, he explained, the district needs to look into whether or not they will be obligated to provide coverage for contracted services.

Another point of interest was in regards to whether someone working two part-time positions within the district is eligible for coverage.

Under the reform, if an employee works at least 30 hours for a company, the company is required to provide healthcare.

Healey questioned as to whether an employee working two part-time jobs for the district that totaled 30 hours would fall under that category.

Lastly, Healey informed board members that the district is not permitted to intentionally decrease and employee’s position or hours in order to avert providing healthcare.

In other news, Healey expressed that tuberculosis testing kits had still not been supplied to the district, so volunteers would have to acquire and finance a test for themselves before providing services to the district.

The board approved the superintendent’s report which awarded tenure to Amie Werts, appointed Nicole Gruver as a clerical aide, and allowed for extracurricular appointments including Staci Wiernusz as student council adviser, Dustin Babcock as varsity basketball coach, Bob Hegedty as varsity wrestling coach and Tim Mislevy as varsity swim coach.