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Tyrone Area School Board members look back 43 years for graduation speaker

The Tyrone Area School Board voted last night to invite Mr. Gary Crowell as this year’s graduation speaker for the class of 2004 at Tyrone Area High School.
The decision was made after the recommendation of the public and student relations committee which discussed the matter at a meeting last month.
A letter addressed to the school board which was drafted by one of the district’s English teachers through the direction of the committee indicated Mr. Crowell would accept the invitation pending the board’s approval.
Mr. Crowell has recently retired as a special assistant to Tom Ridge in the office of Homeland Security in Washington DC. Crowell previously was the assistant director in the Federal Emergency Management Association as well as Secretary in the Department of General Services.
Mr. Crowell is a 1961 Graduate from Tyrone Area High School. He then attended Penn State majoring in Secondary Education and Psychology. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies at Penn State, he joined the United States Marine Corps.
Mr. Crowell currently lives in Camp Hill and has indicated he’d like to visit Tyrone sometime this spring prior to returning again for commencement exercises.
Mr. Crowell noted as a 1961 graduate he did not attend school at the present high school building which was opened in 1962. He’s expressed some interest in touring the facilities prior to this year’s graduation ceremonies.
Tyrone Area School Superintendent Dr. William N. Miller said a full resume about Mr. Crowell and further information regarding graduation will be released at a later date.
This year’s graduate ceremonies are set for Thursday, June 3, 2004 subject to no further adjustments in the school schedule due to snow days.
In other business, the school board approved the 2004-2005 school calendar which will include 179 student days and 185 teacher contract days. The first day of school for students is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004 and the last day of school is scheduled for Tuesday, May 31, 2005.
The board also took action by approving disciplinary action regarding four students for violation of the district’s drug awareness policy and one student for violation of the district’s discipline and attendance policies.
Superintendent Miller noted three of the students were in the 12th grade and two of the violations were second offenses this school year.
“These all dealt with marijuana,” the two students with second offenses have been expelled for the year,” said Miller.
“They will graduate because we have an alternative program they are placed in so they can complete their academics. They will not be hurt in that aspect. They will not attend classes and other than alternative education will not be on school property.
“They will not walk across the (graduation) floor,” said Miller. “We have to take a tough stance on this. Again these are second offenses.”
The board also took the following actions:
•approved the proposed 2004-05 Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 general fund budget in the amount of $3,681,136.88, with the district contribution totaling $5,605.91;
•approved the proposed Act 93 middle management agreement;
•approved entering into a 36-month lease with Dollar Bank Leasing Corporation in the amount of $112,395.70, at the rate of 3.3 percent, for elementary school fitness equipment. All costs will be reimbursed by the National School Fitness Foundation;
•approved occupation assessment exonerations for February 2004 in the amount of $764.16;
•approved policy number 918 in regard to Title 1 parent involvement;
•approved financial reports and several personnel decisions and field trips.
The board also received the first reading regarding several proposed policies. The policies are subject to a 30- day review period prior to approval.