WALLENPAUPACK - Christopher Caruso, who is currently an assistant principal at Wallenpaupack Area High School, is being transferred to the Middle School where he will be the new principal.

WALLENPAUPACK - Christopher Caruso, who is currently an assistant principal at Wallenpaupack Area High School, is being transferred to the Middle School where he will be the new principal. This change, which is effective July 1, 2017, was approved at the School Board meeting, March 13.

Caruso is in his 12th year at Wallenpaupack; he was a math teacher at the high school and middle school, and starting with the 2015-2016 school year, he has been in administration at the high school. His promotion came about following the appointment of Middle School Principal Keith Gunuskey to the assistant superintendent position effective with the next school year.

Caruso is also at adjunct professor at Lackawannna College. He earned a master’s degree in Education from Wilkes University in 2007 and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Teaching from Penn State University in 2005. He serves on the board of United Way of Pike County and as an elder at the 1st Presbyterian Church in Hawley.

New reading program

Among other agenda items, the school board approved a proposal from the American Reading Program for Professional Development, totaling $9,600.

School Board member John Drake had high praise for the American Reading Program, which was instituted this school year for the 1st graders at North Primary and South Elementary schools. The plan is to expand the program through the grades.

“I had a great opportunity to showcase the new reading program that has been rolled out…,” Drake said. “It was outstanding… the innovation that has been designed into this program, the children that were telling their stories… the levels that they were jumping; it was truly inspiring. I could not have been more proud of the students, the teachers’ innovative ways that they are taking this program and making it their own in the classroom.”

Drake commended the principals of the North Primary (Mr. Cavallaro) and South Elementary (Mr. Kirsten) and all those who worked hard to make this a success. “Every bit of effort has been worth it, from what I saw,” Drake stated.

School calendar

Rather unique that evening was that they had a “snow day” the next day and they already knew it. Superintendent Silsby had called off school for Tuesday, March 14, due to the impending snow storm- that proved to be a blizzard leaving approximately two feet of snow on the region.

(As it turned out there was also no school on March 15, March 16 and March 17 due to the snow cleanup.)
In order to maintain their required 180 days of classroom time, the board agreed to make June 13, a teacher in-service day, a class day. The district can also take April 17 (Easter Monday) and April 14 (Good Friday) as class days if more school cancellations became necessary. Beyond that, Silsby stated, they would have no option but to delay the end of the school year.

Personnel

In addition to Mr. Caruso’s appointment, these personnel actions were taken.

Volunteers: Tracey Bajadek, South Elementary; Victoria Lewis and David Pugh, WAHS Players. Student Eric Olsommer was approved for field experience with teacher Patricia Hansen. Spencer Williams was approved as a student observer, with teacher Ryan Neenan. Substitutes approved were Hayley Ackerman, Kirk Fallon and Denise Peterson. Sylvia Krouse, North Intermediate School, was granted uncompensated family & medical leave on an intermittent basis for up to one year. Candace Watson, district transportation coordinator, submitted her resignation for retirement, effective March 31, 2017. Her resignation was accepted with regret. Caitlin Johnson was approved as an assistant track & field coach. Christopher Ortiz was approved as an assistant baseball coach. Barbara Hertzog was appointed as a part-time cafeteria worker in the high school, as of March 14. There were also several staff members granted days off without pay. One employee, who was not identified, was terminated.

The next Wallenpaupack School Board meeting is slated for Monday, April 10 at 6 p.m. in the high school library. A committee meeting precedes it at 5:30 p.m.