TASB gives Healey two more years
BY MICHAEL WINTERMUTE
Wyoming County Press Examiner
In a move that surprised parents and teachers alike, Tunkhannock Area School District Superintendent Michael Healey was reappointed for two years.
Listed last on the agenda for the Thursday, Nov. 21 meeting was the superintendent’s contract, up for renewal in December.
The motion was suggested by board member Kim Teeters who felt the board ‘owed’ Healey more commitment.
“We have not worked with Michael, not set goals, not evaluated him in any way,” Teeters said. “I suggest a two-year contract renewal where we set goals for him and meet with him quarterly about his work.”
An audible, collective groan projected from the audience when the motion passed with only one dissenting vote by recently appointed board member Paul Lupinski.
In addressing the board during public comment, Tunkhannock resident Anne DeMarco said the board’s decision would most definitely come as a disappointment to the community.
“Thank God for the teachers here – they keep this district running,” DeMarco said. “You have let everyone here down.”
Resident Deata Nichols shared similar concerns. Nichols presented a petition to the school board last month requesting that the board not reappoint Healey to the position.
Around 100 people signed it in the first week and more than 300 signatures were on the petition at Thursday’s meeting.
“So is it a done deal now?” Nichols asked in disbelief. “I feel like this community’s concerns are spoken and not followed up on. Contract ends are a perfect time to make differences to a system that needs so much change. I have spoken to hundreds of people all over this community and not one of them wants Healey reappointed.”
In other business, board president Mick Cronin announced the commencement of a new feature for the school board in the form of an employee of the month recognition.
“Often times, all we heard on the board is the negative stuff,” Cronin said, “But we have so much to celebrate in our district.”
Cronin went on to say that anyone in the district or community could recommend any faculty or staff member employed by the district.
If an employee does an ‘outstanding’ job, Business Manager P.J. O’Shea will be in charge of collecting referrals and one member each month will pick a recipient of the recognition.
For Thursday’s meeting, Cronin announced two employees of the month.
Katie Wisnosky, an English teacher at the high school, was recognized for her work with a poetry group at the high school, ‘Breaking Ground Poets.’
The group has gained significant recognition and participation since Wisnosky took over four years ago. Prior to the announcement, she gave a presentation with several members of the group.
Another high school teacher, Craig Keiser, was also chosen as an outstanding employee for the first employee of the month award.
The board approved the resignations of middle school Special Education teacher Amie Werts and girls varsity soccer Assistant Coach Jason Munley and the appointments of Colleen Bedford as a level three cafeteria worker and Jeffrey Underwood as a mentor.
Discussions regarding the Community Action Committee proposed last month by Cronin were tabled until next month as Cronin gathers more materials and information.
The board also voted to approve revised bus contracts for the district as well as an updated policy regarding disciplining children with disabilities.
In regards to moving forward with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the board voted to utilize the services of Conrad Siegel Actuaries with Robert M. Glus as a consultant to the new law.
In essence, the board generally feels that the cost of paying a legal consultant for ongoing services is justifiable when considering the costs of fines the district could be hit with for not following the act correctly.
Before beginning their regular meeting, the board took time to recognize the Tunkhannock boys’ cross country team for its recent State Title – the first in Tunkhannock cross country history.
The board also recognized the high school boys’ soccer team who became district champs after a torrid run this season.