Carlynton School District


Voting Meeting

February 19, 2009

Carlynton Jr.-Sr. High School Library – 7:30 pm


The Carlynton School District Board of Education conducted its Regular Voting Meeting Thursday, February 19, 2009 in the library of the junior-senior high school. Attendance included President Thomas Brown, Vice President Patricia Schirripa and Directors Thomas DiPietro, Sandra Hughan, Ronald McCartney, David Roussos, Betsy Tassaro, Raymond Walkowiak and Sharon Wilson. Also present was Superintendent Michael Panza, Solicitor Janet Burkardt, Business Manager Kirby Christy, Principals Robert Susini and Christopher Very, and Director of Pupil Services Lee Myford. The audience was comprised of 13 individuals and one member of the press.



Call to order - The meeting was called to order by President Brown at 7:32 pm. The pledge was led by Carnegie Elementary sixth grader Samantha Youngblood, who also sang the National Anthem.  Recording Secretary Michale Herrmann called the roll; all board members were present.


public comment on business before the board: None


approval of minutes:

Director Wilson moved, seconded by Director McCartney, to approve the minutes of the February 5, 2009 Committee/Agenda Setting/Voting Meeting as presented.  On a voice vote, the motion carried 8-0-1 with Director Hughan abstaining due to her absence at the February 5th meeting.




  • Executive SessionPresident Brown reported that employment, labor issues and other matters were among the topics discussed in executive session.

Ø      Principals’ Reports Dr Susini provided an overview of student happenings and achievements.

Ø      Pupil Services’ Report Mrs. Myford reported on costs to educate a special education student and said they were comparable to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

  • Superintendent’s Report – Dr. Panza reviewed the calendar of upcoming events and provided the following information:

Ø      The district will have to re-bid the food service contract

Ø      Retrofitting of buses is not feasible; the fuel efficiency is reduced and First Student runs mostly new buses that are already updated

Ø      The AIU banquet is coming up at the end of March; make reservations with Pat Fisher or Michale Herrmann

Ø      Verizon could offer a public service education channel, but equipment in the video lab would need to be upgraded. The nearest public service education channel is in the Mt. Lebanon School District, but the viewing area only covers a small part of Carnegie

Ø      Board Docs – the opportunity to go paperless with hardware and software to view board packets electronically was discussed

Ø      Farewell to Signal Item writer Becky Shetler, who is leaving the paper to return to school

  • Secretary’s Correspondence

Ø      The minutes of the Parkway West Career and Technology Center Joint Committee Meeting of January 6, 2009 were entered into record. (Secretary’s Correspondence Item #0209-1)

·         Pathfinder Report – Director McCartney said the meeting was brief; enrollment is slightly down, but others are inquiring about the school.

·         Parkway West CTC Report – Director Hughan provided the names of the students who made the Director’s List and reported that the annual open house will be held on March 5; also four Carlynton students took part and performed well in a skills competition. The budget will increase for next year, but Mr. Christy explained that the district’s overall budget will drop because we have fewer students attending the school.

·         SHASDA – Director Schirripa said the Secretary of Education spoke at the last meeting about integrating technology with literacy.

·         PSBA-Legislative – Director Walkowiak offered an update about the new movement with the GCA’s; state Congress has stalled the discussions and wants to have a say in the decision. He also noted that the stimulus package will provide increased grant monies to IDEA and Title 1 funds. Lastly, he called attention to an article in the Associated Press about the failing pension plans.




·         Miscellaneous

The Miscellaneous and Curriculum items were approved in one motion:

Director Hughan moved, seconded by Director Wilson, to approve the Conference and Field Trip Requests as submitted and reviewed by administration:

§   C…B. Harewicz…KO School District…Prof. Development…2/3

§   FT…L. Merglowski…Area Stores…Out-based Education…2/26

§   FT…L. Merglowski…Local Restaurant…Out-based Education…2/27

§   C…K. Christy…Sheraton Inn North…Governor’s Budget…2/27

§   FT…J. Welty…D.E.W. MS…Creative Convention…3/5

§   C…F. Zebrasky…Baldwin HS…Alternative Ed Q&A…3/6

§   FT…M. Smoller…KDKA (Gateway Twrs)…High-Q Comp…3/7

§   FT…J. Welty…Carpenter Pwr Products…Workshop…3/11;
      (Miscellaneous Item #0209-1 REVISED)


·         Curriculum


To approve the adoption of the revised Foreign Language Curriculum as presented;

      (Curriculum Item #0209-1)


To approve the purchase of the Destiny software as an upgrade/online database for the school district library;  (Curriculum Item #0209-2)


To approve the purchase of the Terra Nova 3rd Edition for the 2009-2010 school year as reviewed by the Elementary and Secondary Education Committees and recommended by the administration.  On a roll call vote, the motion carried 9-0.


·         Finance


Director Walkowiak moved, seconded by Director DiPietro, to approve the Treasurer’s Report for the month of December 2008 as presented;


The December 2008 bills in the amount of $3,923,297.35 as presented;


The Treasurer’s Report for the month of January 2009 as presented; 


The January 2009 bills in the amount of $1,594,214.69 as presented;  


The Crafton Real Estate Tax Refunds as presented; (Finance Item #0209-1)


The December 2008 cafeteria report as submitted by Aramark Educational Services;  (Finance Item #0209-2)


The January 2009 cafeteria report as submitted by Aramark Educational Services;  (Finance Item #0209-3)


And to rebid the food service contract for the 2009-2010 school year as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  On a roll call vote, the motion carried 9-0.


·         Personnel


All Personnel items were approved in one motion:

Director McCartney moved, seconded by Director DiPietro, to approve the additions to the 2008-2009 Day-to-Day Substitute List as presented and recommended by administration:

§         Lisa Price – Elementary Education

§         Amanda Kraf – Special Education

§         Eric Duff – Cafeteria Van Driver 

      (Personnel Item #0209-1 REVISED)


Additions to the Athletic Supplemental List for the 2008-2009 school year as presented and recommended by administration:

§         Keith Matts – JV Baseball

§         Emily Tupi – Junior High Head Volleyball

§         Emily Wheeler – Assistant Junior High Volleyball

      (Personnel Item #0209-2)


The Memorandum of Understanding for employee SCA09-01 and the extended Leave of Absence for same employee as submitted;  (Personnel Item #0209-3)


An Unpaid Leave of Absence for employee SCA09-02 as requested;  (Personnel Item #0209-4)


An Unpaid Leave of Absence for employee SCA09-03 as requested;  (Personnel Item #0209-5)


A Family Medical Leave of Absence for employee CFT09-01 as requested;  (Personnel Item #0209-6)


Katherine Himmelreich for the position of cafeteria cook;  (Personnel Item #0209-7)


The anticipated posting for an after-school study hall monitor at the secondary level;

Dr. Panza explained the after-school study hall would fill the gap when the school day ends and coaches arrive later for athletics. Proposed guidelines were discussed in order to enforce that students attend the study hall.


Carnegie Elementary teachers Brian Harewicz and Julie Lewis to oversee and facilitate the community outreach program at Carnegie Towers;  (Personnel Item #0209-8)


And the Letter of Intent to retire of high school teacher Rebecca Petronsky, effective the last day of the 2008-09 school year, under the terms and conditions of the Carlynton Federation of Teachers Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement.  (Personnel Item #0209-9)  On a voice vote, the motion carried 9-0.

Directors wished Mrs. Petronsky the best.





Director Roussos moved, seconded by Director Tassaro, to authorize the superintendent to solicit quotes for the general liability insurance coverage for the district for the 2009-2010 school year. Further, that those brokers submitting quotes are required to submit only one quote from one carrier. Further, that each broker is to identify the carrier they will use prior to submitting their quote, and that no two brokers will submit quotes from the same carrier.  On a roll call vote, the motion failed 3-7 with Directors Brown, DiPietro, Hughan, McCartney, Schirripa, and Walkowiak voting NO.

Before voting, discussion took place for several minutes. Director Walkowiak asked if the broker of record would have hierarchy or how would hierarchy be determined? Director Roussos said his reasoning was to insure that multiple brokers would generate competition, hence lowering bids and a greater savings to the district. When asked for his opinion, Dr. Panza said the bar was set last year; the district has a procedure and it worked. He suggested the same procedure be followed since it worked in the past.



Mr. John Richnavsky, owner of Mood’s Image Photography in Crafton, came forward to ask why another photography studio was selected as the official school district photographer when he supports school programs and pays taxes to the district. President Brown told Mr. Richnavsky that the district realizes no money from any photographer, clarifying that a contract was not put out to bid. Dr. Panza said the opportunity for Mr. Richnavsky to contend for the position was presented to him as a courtesy. The two studios were compared and were found to be similar, but the other studio has several items that appeared to be a better value. In addition, the other studio provided a summary of all the school districts with whom the studio has worked, while Mr. Richnavsky’s studio had no affiliations with other schools.


Rev. Edward Bowen came forward to praise those from the district who have volunteered in the church’s food pantry. He also said an anonymous donation made to the church will enable the opportunity for a “community nurse program” for those in the community who don’t have insurance but need medical advice or assistance.


Director Wilson expressed sympathy to the family of Fred Peelor, a Crafton resident who frequently volunteered in Crafton Elementary and was active in the rotary.