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Baldwin-Whitehall board approves termination of interim cafeteria manager

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

An interim cafeteria manager at Baldwin High School, who was arrested on charges that she stole more than $90,000 from student accounts in a nearby district, was terminated last week.

Kathleen Smith, 55, of Carnegie, left her job in Baldwin-Whitehall on March 14, district officials said, the same day she was arrested on charges alleging she used computer software to adjust student accounts and steal $92,619 while working as a cafeteria cashier in the Keystone Oaks School District during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, according to a criminal complaint.

Baldwin-Whitehall school board members on April 9 voted unanimously to terminate Smith, effective March 14.

District officials have said that Smith passed all required clearances and reference checks before being hired as an interim cafeteria manager last September, earning $160 a day.

Smith is awaiting a formal arraignment at the Allegheny County Courthouse on May 9 on charges including theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and unlawful use of a computer.

Charges were filed by the Allegheny County District Attorney's office relating to the alleged Keystone Oaks thefts.

Substitute pay

Teachers filling in for the day in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District will leave with more money.

School board members on April 9 approved a new substitute teacher rate of pay at $125 a day, effective April 14. The rate will increase from $100 a day.

“One hundred dollars a day is not sufficient,” school board member Martin Michael Schmotzer said, noting he hopes the rate change will help to attract more substitute teachers to Baldwin-Whitehall.

Lawn care contract

A divided Baldwin-Whitehall School Board agreed to allow an outside contractor to handle tractor and lawn care services in the district.

Board members, in a 5-4 vote on April 9, awarded a bid for tractor and lawn care services to Pittsburgh Lawn Care Services at a cost of $870 per service.

Board members Martin Michael Schmotzer and Tracy Macek and Vice Presidents Ray Rosing and Diana Kazour dissented.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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