Pair of seniors recognized
DAMASCUS — A wide variety of issues were discussed during Tuesday night's meeting of the Wayne Highlands School Board.
The meeting was held at Damascus Area School, an annual September tradition of the board.
Prior to the start of regular business, the board went into a 20 minute executive session concerning student discipline. The executive session was not part of the regular agenda.
Following the session, the board voted 6-0 for a "180 day exclusion from school" for a student. It was for "violation of the weapons policy."
No details were given, however, on Monday of this week, police did respond to Honesdale High School to a report of a weapon. Upon investigation, it was discovered that a 15-year-old student had a knife in a locker. That student was charged by the Honesdale Borough Police with possession of a weapon on school property.
It is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Bills and bids
The board also approved paying $1,809,095.32 in bills for the period of Aug. 14 through Sept. 10.
In addition, the board unanimously approved paying $172,786.05 from the construction fund.
The breakdown is as follows:
• Leeward Construction, $77,095.55
• Joseph Blacktopping, $33,433
• Keystone Consulting & Associates, $1,192.50
• Everon Electrical Contractors, $61,065
The majority of those funds are from summer projects which have been completed.
The board also awarded bids for snowplowing at the schools. The bids are good through September 2016.
Here are the low bidders:
• Honesdale Area — Pioneer Construction. Snow plowing at $45 per hour; sanding and cindering at $45 per hour; cinders per ton, $18; Loader rate per hour, $95.
• Damascus Area — Maciejewski Landscaping, Inc. Snow plowing at $59 per hour; sanding and cindering at $59 per hour; cinders per ton, $18; Loader rate per hour, $65.
• Preston Area — Como Construction Co. Snow plowing at $35 per hour; sanding and cindering at $35 per hour; cinders per ton, $18; Loader rate per hour, $70.
Board members also approved the traditional Halloween patrols around the Honesdale schools.
The board also gave the go-ahead for the district to advertise for a new van. They will advertise for an eight-passenger, all-wheel drive vehicle.
The board also dealt with various personnel matters during the meeting.
Approved as substitute teachers were Amy Branning, Christopher Doane, Ashley Klim, Dana McHugh and Amanda Utter.
Approved as substitute support staff were Lisa Fries and Julie Warfield.
The board also approved Linda Good as a bus driver. The contractor is Lynda Marks.
At the most recent board committee meeting, approval was given to for Jessica Ebert to be a volunteer field hockey coach and for John Box to be a volunteer football coach. Both are contingent upon completion of the concussion and sudden cardiac arrest online trainings and receipt of clearances.
Debra Paciotti, health and physical education teacher at Honesdale High School, was granted a childbearing leave of absence. She is expecting a baby on Oct. 16.
The board voted 6-0 to approve funds of for the Wayne Highlands Middle School musical, "Getting to Know: Once upon a Mattress."
The motion approved was a production budget of $7,560. However, a sheet distributed by the board last week indicated the total cost of the production is $19,000.
That includes $11,400 for salaries, which are part of the current collective bargaining agreement between the board and the teacher's union.
The board also approved the Occupational Advisory Council at Honesdale High School.
This a group of people from the community who assist students in a variety of ways.
• Laura Lockwood, vocational education coordinator, Honesdale High School
• Diane Scarfalloto, HHS principal
• Barbara Lutat, business teacher and business department head, HHS
• James Ahern, business teacher at HHS
• Michael Modrovsky, business teacher at HHS
• Marie McDonnell, program administrator, Wayne County Job Training
• Elizabeth Lloyd, legal secretary, Nicholas A. Barna, Esquire
• Kate Barna, legal secretary, Nicholas A. Barna, Esquire
• Vannie Williams, CPA, business owner/accountant
• Amy Nugebauer, guidance counselor, HHS
• Paul Reiprich, guidance counselor, HHS
• Paige Pinto, guidance counselor, HHS
• Patty Dunsinger, chief accountant, Wayne Memorial Hospital
• Kimberly A. Modrovsky, office administrator, Diehl Trucking, Inc.
• William McAllister, CPA, business owner/accountant
• Sally Rapp, human resources administrator, Honesdale National Bank
• Lyndsay Birmlein, workforce coordinator, Workforce Wayne
• Dan Card, district manager, Waste Management
• Julie Murray, office administrator, Wayne County Job Training
• Paula Wehrmann, customer contract center manager, Caesars Pocono Resorts
• Erik and Mary Fritz, library outreach coordinators, Wayne County Public Library
The board also honored two Honesdale High School seniors, both of whom attended Damascus school in their elementary years.
David Kirk is the son of William and Barbara Kirk of Damascus. He ranks in the top 5 percent of his class.
His achievements and awards include junior varsity and varsity soccer where he was a letter winner, league all-star second team and MVP award; varsity tennis letter winner; American Mathematics Contest; Keystone Boys State; Interact Club; Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader; National Honor Society; and honor roll.
After graduation, Kirk plans to attend either Susquehanna University or the University of Pittsburgh to major in either business or religious studies.
"It's an honor," said Kirk about the recognition.
Kirk said he moved to Damascus when he was in fifth grade, joking the school "seemed a lot bigger" then.
He told the board he "didn't realize how lucky I was to come into this district."
Kirk called his education an "amazing experience" and said it "helped make me who I am today."
He credited the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Interact Club as "both great groups" which do a lot of community outreach.
He also thanked his parents and two brothers "for always being on my side."
Nicole Kuchta is the daughter of Denis and Donna Kuchta of Damascus and ranks in the top 5 percent of her class.
Her achievements and awards include American Mathematics Contest; Little Shop of Horrors all-school musical; U.S. National Chemical Olympiad; FBLA member; Interact Club; participant in National Association of Teacher of Singing Student Competition twice, winning first place for her division in 2011; active in community theater; practices martial arts regularly; honor roll; and National Honor Society.
After high school, Kuchta hopes to attend Columbia University in New York. She has not chosen a specific major but is interested in both the sciences and music.
She said Honesdale High School has "given me many opportunities that many other high schools don't give students."
Kuchta said the high school staff is "so in tune" with the students it allows them to "reach goals."
Upon entering high school, Kuchta said her "eyes were opened to new possibilities."
Kuchta thanked many of her teachers as well as the board for allowing her the opportunity to further her education.
"Everything I said comes from my heart," said Kuchta.
Board president Tom Fasshauer said "you two epitomize what Damascus is all about."
Fasshauer also pointed to the school district budget, saying the money "goes for each student to be as successful as they possibly can. Your futures are bright."
Superintendent Greg Frigoletto praised both of the students for "leading by example."