The board also approved the hiring of a new facilities manager.
Shawn Besong resigned effective Aug. 8 from the position after serving as the district’s athletic director since 2012. He has taken a teaching position with the Midland-based PA Cyber Charter School, officials said.
Freed has been the boys volleyball coach for 15 years at the high school and junior high. He also teaches eighth grade math at the junior high.
“I’m happy they asked me to help out,” Freed said.
Freed said there are several sporting events coming up, including the football team's first scheduled scrimmage at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16 against New Brighton.
The board also voted 6-3 to approve Gerald Kronstain as director of facilities. His three-year contract includes a salary of $67,500. Board members Roger Kowal, Robert Keber and Kelly Smith opposed.
Kowal questioned why funds were being taken from the science department to hire the facilities manager.
Business Manager Minnie Baker said money wasn’t taken from science. She said the budget was cut prior to board approval and prioritized to purchase a reading and math series for the elementary schools. In the meantime, Baker said building principals were allotted $15,000 to decide at their discretion how funds should be used.
“There was definitely a cut in the supplies for the buildings, but I budgeted money for the principals to discreetly determine what they would believe is important,” Baker said.
After the meeting, both Kowal and Keber said they didn’t feel it was appropriate to spend more than what was budgeted.
Keber said he voted against hiring the facilities director because only $55,000 was budgeted for the salary, yet the board spent $12,500 more.
“We have to come up with that money to pay Paul,” Keber said, adding that it’s the students and the tax payers who will get hurt in the end.
Baker, who also has been performing the facilities duties, said Kronstain comes with a lot of knowledge and experience, and said the salary amounts to what is fair.
“Did I want to pay more? No. Was it the right thing to do? Yes.”
The board also voted to hire the following professional employees: high school Spanish teacher, junior high technology education teacher, high school business teacher, social worker at the high school and Highland, and emotional support staff at Economy Elementary and the high school.
The board approved the following resignations:
- Jacqueline Bishop as social worker at the high school and Highland Elementary effective Aug. 8
- Stuart Rusnak as nurse at State Street Elementary effective July 25.
- Janice Pawlawski as nurse at Baden Academy Charter School effective July 30.
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