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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Parent upset about process

  • The regular monthly meeting of the Western Wayne School Board brought with it a very vocal public comment section.
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     - The regular monthly meeting of the Western Wayne School Board brought with it a very vocal public comment section.
    Parent Michael Tomasetti voiced his concern over a recent trip the Western Wayne Band took to Virginia Beach.
    "I feel there is a grave injustice" occurring that the board needs to be made aware of, he said. Tomasetti said he has a total of eight children in the district, and two of his children attended the field trip.
    "I signed a permission slip that said that Mr. Raymond Stedenfeld would watch over my children," he said. Tomasetti said while on that trip, he received a phone call from Stedenfeld.
    "He took exactly one minute to announce my children were arrested."
    Tomasetti also said Stedenfeld said "to not call him" back because he had "an early morning" ahead. Tomasetti then drove to Virginia to pick up his children, where Stedenfeld "just handed the kids over" and "we were told to just leave."
    Tomasetti investigated the reason behind their arrest and found that it was alcohol related.
    "One kid" who was sharing a hotel room with his children was in the possession of alcohol.
    Neither of his children were that student. He went on to say that one student admitted to being in possession of alcohol and that "my kids had nothing to do with it."
    The result of the episode was a 10 day suspension, followed by expulsion.
    When asked about the situation, Superintendent Clay LaCoe had "no comment."
    Federal program allocations
    The board was not unanimous in their approval to file Federal applications regarding Title I Reading and Title IIA, Class Size reduction with eight members voting yes and one voting no.
    The board also narrowly passed the approval of King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC to serve as special council for the district on an as-needed basis for the upcoming school year. Six members voted yes, two voted no with McDonough abstaining.
    Page 2 of 3 - Police presence
    The board moved forward with a plan to hire their own police officers to patrol the schools instead of current Pennsylvania State Police officers. Three retired Pennsylvania State Police Officers were hired as officers for district: Paul Semler of Honesdale, Robert Robbins of Honesdale, and Danny Martin of Honesdale. McDonough said this change "will save the district roughly $30,000," with no difference in the quality of service.
    Other business
    The board made the decision to table the adoption of the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year Budget, the final adoption of the 2013-2014 Real Estate Tax Millage and the final adoption of the 2013-2014 Tax Resolutions. Board President Alvin Hollister said an advertisement will be made with the date of a meeting to finalize and discuss those items.
    A motion was made by Vice President Donald McDonough to approve "the use of $110,919.18 from the Capital Reserve Fund" to reimburse the general fund for contracted expenses. These expenses are related to the EverGreen Elementary Construction Project.
    LaCoe said the moved funds are those that "have been set aside" for this purpose since the original construction.
    "There are still things being done in that building," even though it has been operational for a few years. There is no new work being done on the school.The motion carried unanimously.
    The sale of the Lake Elementary School building was also discussed. At the May 14 special meeting, McDonough made a motion to allow district solicitor Matthew Meagher to petition Wayne County Court "to allow for the private sale" of the structure to JBas Realty for "the consideration of $120,000 with no contingencies." During the June regular meeting, McDonough motioned to authorize Hollister to "execute any and all documents" related to the title transfer and closing on the sale of the building to JBas Realty. The motion was approved unanimously.
    Superintendent elected
    McDonough made a motion to elect LaCoe as the district superintendent for a five-year term, beginning on July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2108. LaCoe has been the acting superintendent since the retirement of Andrew Falonk in June of last year.
    Act 93 agreement passed
    A motion was made by McDonough to approve the updated Act 93 agreement for the 2013-2014 school year.
    Page 3 of 3 - Act 93 is an act "that covers compensation for the administration," in the district, said LaCoe, "mostly principals and supervisors." He also said the Act 93 agreement does not include teachers.
    Board member Doris Pliss said that while she will vote yes on the agreement, she "wants to look at the Act 93 agreement closer" in the coming years. The motion passed with seven members voting yes and two voting no.
    Personnel updated
    The board recommended the addition of five individuals to the substitute list for the district. The personnel added are Rachel Cramer, Andrea Jayne, Elijah Matoushek, Jessica Ognosky and Melissa Timony.
    Elizabeth Deecki was appointed to be the Early Intervention Supervisor, earning a salary of $65,000 with applicable fringe benefits, effective Aug. 19, 2013.
    Four coaches were appointed for the fall sports season at both the junior high and varsity level. Those coaches are as follows: Dante Terenzio, wrestling head coach, Jerry Fuller, wrestling assistant coach, Dan Trygar, junior high wrestling coach and Kyle Fagan, cross county head coach.
    Service agreement approved
    A service agreement between the district and Northeast Counseling Associates, Inc., with a rate of $360 per day, was approved. The agreement is effective from Sept. 1, 2013 to June 7, 2014.
    An agreement between the district and Jennifer Barrillo, an occupational therapist, was approved with a rate of $55 per hour, as needed. This agreement is effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.

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