ShareThis Page
Local Opinion

Norwin's tough choices

| Friday, June 8, 2018, 8:12 p.m.
Norwin High School
Tribune-Review
Norwin High School

The Norwin School Board is facing some tough choices.

It's about to raise taxes 2.4 mills on property owners in North Huntingdon, Irwin and North Irwin; at the same time, it is eliminating an administrative “position” and shuffling administrators.

Neither move is popular with the public. The proposed tax hike from 77.6 mills would be the seventh consecutive year that Norwin has increased property taxes.

The school board on May 21 also made a decision to shuffle administrators — and then reversed itself in the face of public opposition May 30.

Doreen Harris has been serving as coordinator of educational programs for the past three years. That position is being eliminated for next school year.

Upon the recommendation of the administration, the school board agreed 8-1 to reassign Harris as an assistant principal at Hillcrest Intermediate School.

A handful of people protested that Harris was being returned as a principal. She once worked at Stewartsville Elementary. Resident Tiffany Harabuda told the board that Harris was “unjust and abusive to many people.”

The district approved a $72,000 settlement in a 2014 lawsuit against Harris and the school district in which a retired janitor claimed that he had been a victim of Harris' harassment dating to 2006, as well as age discrimination.

Others complained of having negative experiences with Harris in her current role, for which she is paid close to $120,000.

After the board's reversal, another administrator who Harris was to replace at Hillcrest, Lisa Banasick, will remain as assistant principal instead of becoming associate director of special education and special services.

The board expects to revise Harris' assignment June 25.

This raises questions.

The district eliminated a position, that of a coordinator of educational programs and services. But it didn't reduce the number of personnel.

We're not sure what the district accomplished.

It leaves many curious as to what position and responsibilities Harris will be given in the new school year.

Norwin's under the same fiscal constraints as most school districts.

And nobody likes to pay more taxes or wants to see anyone lose their job.

Let's hope that Norwin's board makes the right choices, even if they are difficult ones.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me