Armstrong School District finally releases names of those losing their jobs

| Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MANOR TWP. — More than a week after Armstrong School District directors voted to furlough 66 employees, district administrators released the list of those who will no longer have a job.

On May 23, directors voted 5-4 to furlough 35 teachers and four athletic trainers, along with eliminating 31 support staff personnel across the district. In an effort to protect those who would lose their jobs, Superintendent Stan Chapp said he would not release the names and instead released a list that included only the number of employees in each building whose positions would be eliminated or changed from full-time to part-time.

A Right To Know request was filed the day after the meeting by the Leader Times and the district provided the list of furloughs and position changes on Tuesday. Attorneys for the Pennsylvania Newspapers Association said last week that the names of those being furloughed should have been made available to the public prior to the board taking action and that a Right To know request was unnecessary.

According to actions taken by the school board last week, the following people will not be returning to the district effective July 1.

The position of assistant principal at Elderton High School, held by Jennifer Reiter, was eliminated. Elementary home economics teacher Karen K. Toy, business, information tech and computer teacher Charles E. Mowery, and elementary special education teacher Kristy L. Schultz, were furloughed.

Contracts of the following teachers (by name and certification) were not renewed for the 2011-12 school year: Brandi L. Bielski, elementary K-6; Patti J. McCausland, elementary; Courtney L. Kovatch, elementary K-6, early childhood N-3, and mid-level mathematics 7-9; Jennifer H. Brady, elementary K-6, English 7-12, mid-level mathematics 7-9; Amanda J. Stossel, mathematics 7-12; Emily Dusch, biology; Ryan M. Pasko, music; Casey R. Cousins, social studies; Kimberly A. Firment-Miller, elementary K-6, reading specialist; Kelsey L. Boarts, mathematics 7-12; Brandon L. Newill, social studies; Alyssa A. Cadamore, mathematics 7-12; Senta L. Zelenski, elementary K-6, business, computer, information tech K-12, instructional technology specialist; and Amanda S. Haslett, elementary K-6.

The following teachers also were not offered renewed contracts: John H. Cerutti Jr., mathematics 7-12; Lindsay A. Capan, reading specialist, elementary K-6, early childhood N-3; Karen E. Claypool, mathematics; Jared M. Matis, mathematics 7-12; Lindsay S. Dunlap, elementary K-6, library science K-12; Susan L. Bennick, mathematics; Benjamin R. Morrison, social studies; Erin C. Trithart, Spanish, English 7-12; Jamie L. Douglas, elementary K-6, English 7-12, special education N-12; Catherine N. Gibbon, English 7-12, communications 7-12; Andrea J. Cousins, elementary K-6; Jill N. Diamond, elementary K-6, Special education N-12; Justine A. Freeman, elementary K-6, special education N-12; Tyler L. Spence, special education N-12; Cristin T. Rearic, health and physical education; Kimberly S. Alese, elementary; Catherine E. Brown, music; and Brandon R. Kelly, business, computer, information tech K-12.

Also approved by the board, the following teachers (by name and certification) will be reduced from full-time to part-time: Emily J. Crossley, music; Laurel A. Glover, environmental education K-12, chemistry, biology and general science; Jennifer L. Kimmel, special education N-12, elementary K-6 and mid-level mathematics 7-9; Lexi L. Nolf, elementary K-6, mid-level mathematics 7-9 and reading specialist; Jennifer L. Montero, Spanish; Stephanie D. Rizzo, art K-12; and Amanda M. George, health and physical education.

Under the heading of support personnel, the following positions (by name, position and building) will be eliminated: Joseph L. Forester, full-time mail carrier, administration building; Larry T. Lantz, full-time service technician, administration building; Todd S. Harvey, athletic trainer, Kittanning High School; Christopher J. Davies, athletic trainer, West Shamokin High School; Jennifer Wally Blystone, athletic trainer, Elderton High School; Heather Ann Hileman, athletic trainer, Ford City High School.

Also being eliminated are: Kathleen D. Booher, full-time secretary, administration building; Carolyn H. Sobiski, full-time secretary, Elderton High School; and Kimberly A. Kennedy, part-time secretary, West Shamokin High School. The board voted to eliminate one full-time copy center technician at the administration building; one full-time secretary at each of the following schools, Elderton Elementary, Lenape Elementary, West Hills Primary, West Hills Intermediate, Ford City High School and West Shamokin High School. The district will add one part-time secretary at each of the following schools, Elderton Elementary and Kittanning High School; and one full-time split secretary position at the following schools, Lenape Elementary, Ford City High School and West Hills Primary/West Hills Intermediate.

Also under the heading of support personnel, the following positions are being eliminated: Christopher J. Myers, full-time custodian, West Shamokin High School; Luke Wayne Johns, full-time custodian, Elderton Complex; Robert Ross Sheffler, full-time custodian, Dayton Elementary; Matthew L. Brown, part-time custodian, Shannock Valley Warehouse; Charles Alan Sober, part-time sweeper, Elderton Complex; Robert L. Rizzardo, part-time sweeper, Ford City High School; Daniel E. Cline, part-time sweeper, West Hills Intermediate; Paul A. Barotosiewicz, part-time sweeper, Elderton Complex; and Donald Clarence Bark, part-time sweeper, Ford City High School.

According to the district, one maintenance position at the Shannock Valley Warehouse is being eliminated, along with one full-time custodian at each of the following schools, Dayton Elementary, Kittanning Township Elementary and Kittanning Junior High; two full-time custodians at West Hills Primary; and one part-time custodian at each of the following, administration building and Shannock Valley Warehouse; and two part-time sweepers at each of the following, Elderton Complex, West Hills Intermediate and Ford City High School. The district also added one full-time split custodial position at West Hills Primary/West Hills Intermediate and one part-time split custodial/mail carrier at the administration building.

The school board also approved the elimination of two full-time teacher aide positions at Dayton Elementary and one full-time teacher aide position at West Hills Intermediate School. The district approved the addition of one full-time teacher aide position at Lenape Technical School and one full-time teacher aide at each of the following, West Shamokin High School, West Hills Primary and Kittanning Junior High.

Also reduced from full-time secretarial positions to part-time positions were: Elizabeth Anne Zwilling and Beth A. Hepler.

District administrators said the names of those furloughed or switched is subject to change, including the teaching positions as the district works through budget and staffing adjustments between now and June 30.

Teacher union officials said a retirement incentive package and pay concession was approved last week by teachers to help alleviate the number of teachers that will be furloughed in the district.

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