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Cardinale elected president of Charleroi Area School Board

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001

The Charleroi Area School Board welcomed a new member and appointed a new president Monday night.

Richard Bergstedt, 47, a lifelong Charleroi resident and 1973 Charleroi High School graduate, officially joined the board.

"We're in dire need of looking into our curriculum," Bergstedt said. "We need to get the kids a little more prepared to go into college and get them more prepared at the foundation level at the middle school."

The new director said he would also look to keep a tight lid on spending for future renovations to school buildings.

"We should look at things that are absolutely necessary," he said. "We've spent quite a bit at this school in the last few years, whether it was necessary or not."

Joseph Cardinale assumed the presidency after he was elected with a majority vote.

A prior nomination for Kenneth Wiltz fell short, with only Wiltz and director Richard Hall voting in favor.

Cardinale will serve his third year on the board and his first term as president.

He thanked the board for its support and directed the remaining appointments as the new chairman.

Cardinale said he would continue to serve as the head of the building and grounds committee and follow through with the school's major renovation project.

He also said smaller projects that were not addressed in the district's original renovation package and a large project to replace the high school's roof would be priorities.

The chairman said he also wants to keep a tight budget and revamp the school's curriculum.

"We're looking for a better curriculum all around. Our test scores are low," Cardinale said.

Cardinale said avoiding a tax hike is also a major goal.

"We've got a two-headed monster here. We need money, yet we've got to watch our budget because we're overloaded here already," Cardinale said.

Director Fell Skomsky retained her position as vice president with a unanimous vote.

Skomsky will serve her fifth year on the board.

The board also approved a two-year contract extension with Solicitor Alan Benyak.

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