Gateway school board condemns member for ‘interference,’ other alleged infractions
The Gateway School Board condemned a board member’s actions through two resolutions approved during a special meeting last week.
One resolution condemned board member Valerie Warning’s “interference and intermeddling with the day-to-day operations” of the school district.
The other condemned Warning for “disseminating and divulging executive session materials and subject matter” to district employees and the public. The resolution removed Warning from serving on all the subcommittees she currently serves, including the athletic, curriculum and technology and policy committees. She is permitted to continue as the liaison for the district’s Sunrise School.
Board President Mary Beth Cirucci and board members Rick McIntyre, John Ritter, Jack Bova and Brian Goppman took turns reading sections aloud of each resolution before the board unanimously approved them.
Warning, 62, apologized for “embarrassing the (school) district” in a tearful response to the condemnation and eventually excused herself from the meeting.
She referenced a time she addressed Monroeville Council on an issue regarding the school district and the municipality’s first responders, including police and fire officials.
“I didn’t realize it was going to cause this much,” Warning said of her actions. “And, personally, there’s other things I’m dealing with right now. And I apologize for embarrassing the district.”
Warning worked for the district as a paraprofessional in the special education department for 15 years before being elected to the school board in 2015. Her term expires in December, but she earned a nod in the May primaries to get a shot for another four-year term.
She was not immediately available to comment.
Addressing Warning before she left the meeting, board member John Ritter said, in part: “… the people need a strong school board, the administration needs a strong school board, and if any of us steps outside of us, it’s the duty of the rest of us to take them aside, rebuke them, get them training — whatever it is, so that we can all win and serve together. That’s our goal — for you to serve and to serve well.”
Board member George Lapcevich said he hadn’t heard the charges in the resolutions before the meeting. He said he and Warning work side-by-side and said that sometimes “(We) get our foot in our mouths.”
“But … I know one thing about Valerie Warning: She has a heart of gold. She will not hurt anybody out there. And she’s for the district,” Lapcevich said as Warning walked out of the room.
Cirucci said she and other board members addressed Warning on numerous occasions about her actions, as they were ongoing “for years.”
“The tipping point for me was the executive session leaks,” she said of employee contractual information discussed during an executive session.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .