By Peter Becker
Three seniors were recognized Nov. 12 by the Wallenpaupack School Board, for their outstanding academic performance and utilization of programs and extracurricular activities offered by the District.
They were Paige Hiller, Robert Hoffman and Hannah Stack.
Each is a National Honor Society member. Stack and Hoffman have been named Commended Students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. This places them in the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Hiller, the daughter of Colleen and Michael Hiller, plans to attend college and pursue a business career. She has been active with SADD, Prom Committee, Basketball and Tennis.
Hoffman, son of Diane and Robert Hoffman, wants to major in Communications at college. He is active in the WAHS Players and Marching Band, and has also been involved in Show Choir, Chamber Choir and WAHS Morning Show.
Stack is the daughter of Vivian and Thomas Stack. She plans to attend college and major in Foreign Languages with a potential career in translation/interpretation. At Wallenpaupack, she has been part of the Foreign Language Club and Cross Country, and also has participated in Track & Field.
The School District-wide energy system upgrade is still being adjusted. Superintendent Michael Silsby thanked staff and students for their patience while the contractor McClure Company, performs the "fine tuning" after hours. The heating and cooling systems are expected to be balanced by the end of November. Some pre-existing problems have had to be repaired, such as faculty valves at North Primary and North Intermediate.
Poor weather also had delated final grading and reseeding of the fields where the geothermal wells were drilled. A landscaping firm from New Jersey is doing the work. The fields should be ready for use next March for sports and physical education activities.
• PA Department of Education auditors were arriving Nov. 20 and will review various aspects of the District over the next six to eight weeks. The state audit is required every couple years.
• A policy was approved allowing for expansion of on-line courses offered to students. Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Lorraine Kloss said that the demand for on-line instruction is increasing. The policy details how students would be enrolled and permission obtained from the parents.
• The Semi-Formal dance was held with 450 students, said Assistant High School Principal Jim Kane.
• Principal Amanda Cykosky, North Intermediate School, was commended for an excellent Veteran's Day Program hosted by the 4th grade.
• Regarding the Porter Township (Pike County) decision, the Pa. State Board of Education is expected to have a hearing held on two days, possibly next April or May, said District Solicitor R. Anthony Waldron II.
The matter concerns a petition filed by residents of Porter to have the township transferred from the East Stroudsburg Area School District to Wallenpaupack. The request was made based on tax rates being lower at Wallenpaupack and the belief that Wallenpaupack's academic program was superior.
Waldron stated that East Stroudsburg was expected to put on a vigorous challenge of the 2010-11 review by the Secretary of Education. That review concluded it would be in the best interests of Porter students educationally, to transfer to Wallenpaupack.
Pike County Judge Joseph Kameen also ruled in August 2011 how the debt would be shared, which has since been upheld by the Court. East Stroudsburg also objects to the financial loss of giving up Porter.
Waldron stated that the decision by the State Board of Education may be announced by September 2013, although whether this too could be challenged is not clear in the state code. Should the decision favor Porter's request to transfer, the change would not take place until the 2014-2015 school year, Waldron said. That is because the 2013-2014 school budget is already being planned.
Waldron said there has never been an appeal of the Pa. State Board of Education that reached the court level.
• Margaret "Peggy" Melody, art instructor at North Primary, is resigning effective January 3rd.
Superintendent Silsby stated that Melody has had a long time commitment to the School District, having served on the School Board for years prior to becoming a teacher. He added that Melody was his art teacher back in school. She will be moving to Arizona.
She was also named "Teacher of the Year" at the Nov. 8th Honesdale Area Jaycees banquet, said Anthony Cavallaro, North Primary Principal. The resignation was approved with regret.
• Cathy Myers, North Primary School Teacher Assistant, is resigning effective Nov. 21. Her resignation was accepted with regret.
• School volunteers were approved for the 2012-2013 school year: Linda Dura, Wendy Creamer, Tanja Buckes, Linda Calabro, Melissa Dechellis, Karen Fabri, Donna Feely, Jody Higgins, Janice McConnell, Andrea Orlando, Bridget Schroder, Doris Singer, Marissa Stopyra, Christina Wyman, James Zumpone, Mary Grimm, Loriann Ryan, Marci Brand, John Iona and June Horton.
• Volunteer coaches were named at the High School for the current school year: John Tintle, Volunteer Track & Field Coach, and Jeanne Ladner, Volunteer Swim Team Coach.
• New van drivers approved were: Carolyn M. Martin, Robert Poplawski, Kathleen Haley, Stephanie Roy and Esther Rupp. Cosimo Gianatiempo was approved as a bus driver.
• Long-term substitutes appointed were: Allyson Bayly, WAMS Special Ed. for Deanna Nezlo; Erica Mercado, WNPS for Dawn Williams; Katie Wasco, WAHS Communications teacher for Jessica Sutton; Lori Hosking, WNPS Kindergarten for Robine DeLeon.
• George Pittsman and Lisa Holden were approved for mentor appointments.
• Three personnel were approved for child rearing leave: Lucrezia Grier, WNIS/Middle School Social Worker; Nicole Kromko, Speech & Language Therapist and Robine MacCarter-DeLeon, WNPS Kindergarten teacher.
The next scheduled Wallenpaupack School Board meeting is set for Wednesday, December 5 at 6 p.m. at the High School Library. A committee meeting, also open to the public, precedes it at 5:30 p.m. The board will reorganize at 5:45 p.m.