Tyrone School Board approves KOEZ and small tax hike for Centre and Huntingdon counties

By a 6-0 vote with board vice president James Crawford abstaining, the Tyrone Area School District became the second of the three governing bodies to approve adding the Westvaco and Dixon Industrial Park properties to the Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone at its meeting last night. Crawford abstained because he is a member of the Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation Board of Directors.
The school district collects approximately $62,000 annually from the Westvaco and Dixon properties, and Tyrone Schools Business Manager Cathy Peachey said the district supports economic growth.
“The board feels that this is a chance to support and bring industry back to the community,” said Peachey. “If the mill remains closed, I am sure that Westvaco would ask for a reassessment of taxes that could cut the tax in half. ABCD was hopeful in the meeting they had with us that something would go in the old Westvaco plant.”
The preliminary budget for 2003-04 was released for its 30-day public advertisement. In the budget there is a slight increase for Centre and Huntingdon counties that is required by the State Tax Equalization Board. The millage rates for the upcoming year is 81.71 for Blair County, 21.05 for Centre County and 62.53 for Huntingdon County. That is an increase of .24 mills for Centre County and 1.01 mills for Huntingdon County.
“We haven’t raised taxes for Blair County in four years now,” said Dr. William Miller, Tyrone superintendent. “We budgeted on the state money that we are set to receive this year with no increases.”
The Daily Herald will take a closer look at the Tyrone Schools’ budget for 2003-04 next week.
The board recognized six students in the Academic Spotlight who scored over 1,200 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The students honored were: Amber DelBaggio, the daughter of Patsy and Karen DelBaggio who is the valedictorian of the Class of 2003; Morgann Davis, the daughter of John and Paulette Davis, salutatorian of the Class of 2003; Doug Brown, the son of Mark and Phyllis Brown; Matthew Burnett, the son of Scott and Catherine Kaltenbaugh; Vincent Fontana the son of Peggy Jo Fontana and Sarah Yoho, the daughter of James and Charlene Yoho.
Each student received a coffee mug and the appreciation of the board for their hard work and effort.
In personnel moves voted on last night, the board unanimously:
• approved the retirement of Al Shoenberger as the grounds keeper/sports equipment manager;
• accepted the resignations of Margaret Moran as High School Special Education Teacher; Frieda Miller as a School Crossing Guard; Erin Elliott as varsity cheerleading advisor; Amy Fleck as junior high cheerleading advisor; Richard Bishop as head swimming coach; Sarah Gardner as Senior Class Advisor; Todd Camarata as seventh and eighth grade Student Council advisor; Scott Boslough as Middle School Builder’s Club advisor;
• approved the elections of Teresa Myers as SADD Advisor at a salary of $388.89; Crystal Ramsey as the Eighth Grade Team Leader at a salary of $520.19; Lucas Rhoades as the Key Club Advisor at a salary of $702.21; Paula Binus as Vocational Department Chairperson at a salary of $1,082.42; Dave Eckberg as Guidance Department Chairperson at a salary of $1,082.42; Mary Ann Volders as the DECA Advisor at a salary of $388.89; Gail Nale as the Senior High Honor Society Advisor at a salary of $700.00; Al Shoenberger as the all sports equipment manager at a salary of $6,000.
The board also transferred Melissa Russell from half-day kindergarten, half-day pre-school teacher to full day kindergarten teacher.
The board also approved by a 6-1 vote, with Pete Dutrow voting in the negative, the hiring of Todd Camarata as the new head swimming coach at a salary of $2,800.
In other housekeeping moves for the district, the board unanimously voted to:
• name Dr. Robert Sloss the school dentist at a cost of $5 per exam;
• name Blair Medical Associates the school medical examiner at a cost of $6 per exam. The money from the kindergarten and sixth grade physicals will be donated back to the elementary school to be used in the arts department;
• name Blair Medical Associates the school football team physician at a cost of $100 per game. The fees will then be donated to the Tyrone football boosters;
• approved the English as a Second Language curriculum;
• name Rev. Norman Huff as the school treasurer.
Board president Lee Stover and Rev. Norman Huff were absent from the meeting.