By Kim Lux
Five newly elected school board members were sworn in at the North East School Board meeting on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Judge Daniel Brabender led the swearing in ceremony.
The newly elected school board members included incumbents Paul Behnken and Eric Riedel, along with Sally Abata, George Sucha and Jim Wargo.
Following the ceremony, a reorganization meeting was held.
School board member Joe Cancilla was elected temporary president and ran the reorganization meeting.
During the reorganization, Nick Mobilia was once again voted school board president. He was nominated by Sucha and the vote passed unanimously.
The board also voted for
Riedel to retain his seat as vice president. He was nominated for the role by board member Corrie Boyd and his election also passed unanimously.
A list of meeting dates was also established during the reorganization meeting. In 2020, the North East School Board will meet on the first and third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the North East Elementary Center Board Room.
Three exceptions to the schedule were also approved. The board will only meet once in January, on Jan. 16, and in March, on March 12. There will also be no meetings during the month of July.
Following the reorganization, District Title 1 teachers gave a brief presentation.
“I’m honored to present the best Title 1 teachers in all of Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Jennifer Ritter, principal at Earle C. Davis Primary School. “We are so fortunate to have this group of people help us with our students. They close the gap every day.”
Dina Hathaway, first-grade Title 1 reading teacher, and Kim Carpin, second-grade Title 1 reading teacher, led the presentation.
“Last year Dr. Ritter wrote a grant for the Beyond Dyslexia program and a very few select schools were chosen in the state of Pennsylvania,” Hathaway said. “We were one of the blessed few.”
Hathaway added the grant allowed for seven district employees to travel for three training sessions over a six-month period.
“With the grant we also purchased materials for the new programs,” she said. “Not only did we learn about how to teach students with dyslexia, but we learned some great scientific-based practices on how to teach all of our students.”
Carpin explained how the focus of the new materials was to help increase phonemic awareness among students.
The materials proved successful, and by the end of the 2018-19 school year, students’ reading comprehension was up.
“We’re very pleased with the growth we saw,” Carpin said.
During the meeting, board members also approved a number of business and personnel items, along with one staff travel request.
The request for 10 district employees to attend the PA Educational Technology Expo and Conference from Feb. 23 to 26 in Pittsburgh was unanimously approved.
The trip is set to cost the district about $5,516.60.
Board member Dr. Jane Blystone said she commends the district for sending a large group of faculty members to the expo this year.
The next school board meeting will be held on Thursday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m.