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Apollo-Ridge school officer to stay through next year

| Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 12:47 a.m.

A Kiski Township police officer will be at the Apollo-Ridge School District campus through the end of the 2013-14 school year under the terms of an agreement the school board approved on Monday.

Officer Seth Hossack, who is armed, has been at the district's campus in Kiski Township since September, before school security became a concern because of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in December.

Board President Greg Primm said the district had taken criticism.

“We're not getting much criticism any more,” he said.

Under the agreement, the township will provide the services of one officer to the district during the school year. The officer will remain a township employee.

The officer will be paid by the township. The school district will reimburse the township monthly for all of the officer's costs including salary, benefits, training and education related to his role as school resource officer.

How much that amounts to was not detailed in a copy of the agreement provided by the district.

The officer will work 7 12 hours per day during regular school hours.

Primm said the resource officer has been a “tremendous asset” to the district. His presence is helpful to administrators, and students behave better, he said.

Primm said the district wants to send Hossack to a school resource officer certification class being held in the Pittsburgh area this spring. The certification would allow him to conduct more programs with students, Primm said.

Cafeteria management

Nutrition Group will continue to oversee Apollo-Ridge's cafeteria program through the end of this school year.

The district brought in Nutrition Group in November after the resignation of food service manager Kathleen Smathers.

Kiski police earlier this month charged Smathers with stealing almost $46,000 from the district. She has waived those charges to court.

The district's first agreement with Nutrition Group ran through Jan. 31. The new agreement runs from Feb. 1 through June 29.

Apollo-Ridge will pay a monthly rate of $1,500 plus a daily rate of $175 for the days its food service director is on-site, according to the district's agreement with the company.

The district will be seeking proposals for management of its food service program.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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