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Fox named to serve as Highland School Board president

| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 1:02 a.m.

Carrie Fox will be the new Highlands School Board president.

Fox, who has been board vice president four of the last five years, was elected Monday night by a 9-0 vote.

Ryan Hanford will serve as vice president. The vote was 8-1, with Director Debbie Beale dissenting.

Board officers serve a one-year term.

Among the goals for Fox and the board for the coming year is hiring a new superintendent.

“It's an ongoing process and interviews are scheduled,” Fox said. “We want to fill the position as quickly as we can.”

Patrick Graczyk will continue to serve as acting superintendent.

The school board on Monday night voted to give Graczyk a one-time stipend of $7,000 and Business Manager Jon Rupert $2,500 for performing extra duties in the absence of a permanent superintendent.

“We offered this to them since they've done a great job in holding this district together,” Fox said.

Jonathan Love will serve as the school board's liaison to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and Fox will represent the district on the Forbes Road Career and Technology Center steering committee.

Cheerleading limit protested

A number of cheerleader parents protested the school district's planned policy to limit the cheerleading squad to 20 members starting next year when the PIAA begins sponsoring “competitive cheer.”

Ten participants are permitted for the middle school squad.

There are 63 cheerleaders in the middle and high schools combined this year, with 44 undergraduates slated to return next school year.

Thimons said the number was arrived at by averaging five cheerleaders per grade in the high school.

Parent Michelle Josefoski said no other Highlands sports has a cap and added the PIAA website said 30 cheerleaders are prescribed.

“I just don't see the reasoning behind it,” Josefoski said. “The cheerleaders pay on their own for paint and paper for football and basketball game signs.”

Love said other sports have limits for participants, including basketball where a maximum of 15 players are allowed to dress for a contest.

The other provisions of the athletic and cheering policy include provisions for participants caught using tobacco or “controlled substances” such as alcohol.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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