Homer-Center School Board to recognize football team
By Jeff Himler
Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, 4:48 p.m.
The Homer-Center Wildcats have seen their extended football season come to an end. But the team has further off-field events to look forward to as local officials are making plans to formally acknowledge the squad's string of successes that continued into the state playoffs.
At its monthly planning meeting on Monday, Homer-Center School Board discussed inviting the football players to the board's voting meeting on Thursday, where it is planning to pass a resolution recognizing the team's stellar season.
Rebounding from an 0-9 record two years ago, the Wildcats thrilled local fans as the team won its first Heritage Conference title and its third District 6 title on the way to a 12-2 season that ended with a Nov. 30 state Class A quarterfinal loss at Hershey.
“It is the growth from when they were freshmen and sophomores to a senior-dominant team, and the growth of the coaches as well,” Homer-Center superintendent Charles Koren said of the football squad's improved fortunes. “We all enjoyed the success.”
Board member Gerald Bertig suggested moving the Dec. 12 meeting from the central office board room to a larger space to accommodate the team members.
District officials have since announced the meeting will be held earlier than usual, at 6:30 p.m., and will be relocated to the high school LGI (large group instruction) room.
Koren noted a board resolution will “give an additional layer of recognition to a group that brought a lot of excitement to the entire community.”
Koren also reported that football coach Greg Page and the four Wildcats team captains are slated to attend the Wednesday morning meeting of the Indiana County commissioners, where the county board is expected to read a proclamation that will also recognize the team's achievements.
“It's a nice group of kids,” school board member Joy Sasala said of the team. “They represented themselves extremely well all season long.”
Reviewing other business items planned for Thursday's meeting, Koren said the board will consider hiring a substitute instructor to temporarily fill a special education position until Laura Ramsey, the new faculty member hired last month for the job, is released by her current employer, Blacklick Valley School District.
According to Koren, officials at the other district could not commit to releasing Ramsey from her duties before Jan. 20.
The planning session was preceded by the board's annual reorganization meeting, which saw longtime board President Vicki Smith and Vice President Gerald Bertig elected to continue in their respective roles in 2014.
Acting as temporary president during the reorganization, Bertig administered the oath of office to recently re-elected members Smith and Julie Rado and to a newly elected member — his son, Michael Bertig, who is a history teacher at Indiana Area Senior High School.
Other board members who won new terms — James McLoughlin and Dan Fabin — were absent from the meeting and were to be sworn in the following day.
McLoughlin was appointed to continue serving as the board's liaison to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
The Homer-Center board will continue to hold its regular voting meetings at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, preceded by a 7 p.m. closed-door executive session. As in the past, monthly planning meetings will be held on the Monday 10 days prior to the regular meeting. All meetings will take place in the central office board room.
Jeff Himler is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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