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Tyrone School Board hires new teachers, terminates bus contract

Due to some issues that required immediate action, the Tyrone Area School Board met for a special meeting Tuesday evening.
All school board members were present except for Bill Hartsock and President Lee Stover.
There was nobody present for the public comment portion of the meeting.
One of the two items on the agenda that required immediate action was the request of the Human Resources Committee to approve a staff transfer and a number of new hires.
Rev. Norman Huff from the Human Resources Committee gave the report to the Board.
The board then approved the transfer of Gayle Fratangeli from high school special education teacher and school to work coordinator to the new position of Middle School/High School early intervening position (IST-MS) and career/transition planning and school to work coordinator (High School), effective August 28, 2007. This was approved by a 6-1 vote.
Board members also approved the election of new personnel. This includes the following new teachers. All were approved by a 7-0 vote:
• Catherine Grubb of Pittsburgh as Middle School/High School French teacher at the salary of $32,000, plus $2,000 one-time bonus incentive for the 2007-08 school year and full benefits, effective August 28, 2007,
• Sarah Patterson of Danville, PA as Elementary first grade teacher at the salary of $33,900 for the 2007-08 school year and full benefits, effective August 28, 2007 and
• Stephanie Haid of Loretto, PA as High School math teacher at the salary of $32,000 for the 2007-08 school year and full benefits, effective August 28, 2007.
The board also approved the election of other personnel to the following positions. All were approved by a 7-0 vote:
• Todd Cammarata to the position of mock trial team advisor at a stipend to be determined with the new teacher contract, effective August 28, 2007 and
• Robin Rupert to the substitute list as substitute mini bus driver pending paperwork and clearances.
The other item on the agenda Tuesday evening was a report from board member Luther Laird on behalf of the Physical Plant and Operations Committee.
The board approved the termination of the bus contract with Rayco Transportation.
District administrators recommended the board take this action. District officials have met 4 to 5 times with Denise Beck from Rayco, plus various telephone conversations.
Beck reported to the school district after signing their contract for the 2007-08 school year her insurance would be raised $15,000 for the upcoming school year.
School district officials said that the Tyrone Area School District has always paid the state reimbursement for transportation to the bus contractors, which is what neighboring Bellwood-Antis and other school districts in central Pennsylvania are paying bus contractors. Dr. Miller stated that the Tyrone Area School District has always stood by these transportation contracts.
District officials also stated that the contract terminated was the contract Rayco Transportation signed and agreed to just a couple of months ago and the same contract that the other contractor, Mort Snider signed and continues to agree to.
There was also an issue that many of Rayco’s fleet of buses were old and needed replaced, which were issues the school district has been dealing with in the past.
When asked by board members if Snider, the school district’s other bus contractor would be interested, Business Administrator Cathy Peachey said that he is aware of the situation and has not expressed interest. Peachey reported that Snider would have to purchase several additional buses in order to accommodate Rayco’s portion of the district’s bus routes.
Peachey said the district has talked to Raystown Transit about taking over Rayco Transportation’s portion of the bus routes. Raystown Transit transports students in the Bellwood-Antis School District, Bishop Guilfoyle and a number of other school districts in the area. Peachey said Raystown would be willing to retain Rayco’s drivers, but she couldn’t guarantee what their wages would be. She was not certain if they would be higher or lower than what Rayco was paying them.
The board voted 7-0 to terminate Rayco’s contract.
Dr. Miller reported that the district received verbal confirmation that their proposal for the Pre-K Counts program was accepted. This will benefit the school district’s growing early childhood program. He also reported that district officials are working at scheduling adjustments for the 2007-08 school year, especially at the middle school level.
With no other action needed, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.