School Board holds annual reorganization meeting

PUNXSUTAWNEY– The Punxsutawney Area School Board held their reorganization meeting Tuesday evening in Punxsutawney, with very little looking different after the meeting than it did before.

Current board President Gary Conrad was re-elected and will continue to be president of the Punxsutawney Area School Board for 2013.

Vice President Francis Molinaro was re-elected as well and will continue to be vice-president for the next year.

During the reorganization meeting, board members made a decision as to when their 2013 meetings would be held.

Board member, Roberta Dinsmore made a motion to have the meetings on the first Tuesday of the month and fourth Wednesday of the month. Everyone agreed to the motion.

The next school board meeting will be held on Jan. 8.

In other business:

• Renee Belisky, student representative, said that all 8th-grade officer positons have been filled.

She also reported that the 12th-grade officers are holding a blood drive on Dec. 14th.

• Rachel Spack, student representative, said the student government is having a 'Spirit Contest,' where doors will be decorated for Christmas. The theme for this year's contest will be 'Christmas Around the World'.

• Laura Chelgren, student representative, reported that PAHS is doing a fundraiser by selling class t-shirts. The shirts are being sold for $10, and the money is going to the student officer fund.

• There was a discussion about allowing Heather Hanzey to be a volunteer coach for the district. She does not want to be paid but instead work as a volunteer. Though the board has approved if for now, a final decision is pending further approval.

• Dr. Keith Wolfe, superintendent, received a letter from the Pennsylvania School Board Association, in which it recognized President Gary Conrad for his dedication to the school district.

He was given a certificate for being on the school board for eight years.

• Dr. Keith Wolfe praised teacher Josh Conrad, who recently came to a student's rescue.

The student was choking on a piece of food when Conrad rushed over and performed the Heimlich maneuver on the boy, quite possibly saving his life.

Although the student did have to go to the hospital afterward and have another piece of food removed, it was reported that he was OK.

• David Young, solicitor, brought it to the attention of the board that two students are to be expelled from school for the remainder of the school year.

The board agreed to the expulsion of both students, who will attend the Alternative Education Program for Disruptive Youths.

• The board approved the hire of Andrew Tygert as middle school volleyball coach for 7th grade; Heather Good as middle school volleyball coach for 8th grade; Tracy Smith as middle school cheerleading coach; and Mike Carlson as assistant athletic director.

• Vice President Francis Molinaro brought forth the Act 93 Agreement, concerning district employee salaries, for a vote.

Board member Jack White felt it was too early to agree on it. President Gary Conrad, however, wanted to thank each member of the Act 93 team.

The agreement states that they will have a freeze in pay for the first year. Members of this team include the principals, vice principals, director of special education and other faculty members.

• Board member Melissa Snyder said that Denise Geist, district cafeteria manager, talked with students about the changes in the cafeteria and will be providing food samples at the next meeting for students to 

Snyder also mentioned educational achievement and how some students have received invitations to attend the National Honor Society event that will be held on Dec. 13.

• In new business, board member Jack White brought forth the idea of teaching the students about green 

He has been to various establishments where they have electric meters in every room and solar panels on the 

This has lowered the cost of energy, he said, and these establishments are paying $9 per month, whereas many others are paying more.

He asked if the shops are teaching about green energy and said that if not, it should be added to the curriculum. Green energy is something he believes students should start actively learning more about.