UDA keeps superintendent at helm

Elaine E. Eib will remain at the helm as Upper Dauphin Area School District superintendent.

The school board voted 7-0 on Oct. 13 to renew Eib's contract for five years, beginning July 1, 2010 and ending June 30, 2015. Board Vice President John E. Blyler was absent.

"We certainly appreciate your hard work and efforts," board President Dennis L. Henninger told Eib, as well as commending her building administrators.

"Thank you for your faith in me," Eib said.

Before the vote, board member Michael Fisher had asked about 125 unused sick days from a previous employer that were written into the contract. Henninger said that item had already been determined before Eib came to the district.

No details about Eib's salary were included in the five-year plan, according to Vaughn D. Shope, business manager/secretary. In July, Eib's salary was approved at $107,500 for the 2009-10 school year.

Fisher also had questions about UDA's marked improvement on its standardized testing, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment. Fisher praised the district's administrators and staff for doing a "fantastic job," but also asked if the curriculum had been set aside while students were encouraged to take practice tests over and over again to try to boost performance.

"Is there any truth to that accusation?" Fisher asked Eib.

Eib assured the board the curriculum is not pushed aside and stressed that what is seen in the PSSA is imbedded into the curriculum. Through benchmark assessments, like the "Study Island" program, for example, the district is gaining feedback on students' progress four times a year, she said.

"It enables us to measure if they're where they should be," Eib said.

In other business, board member Gerald Wiest made a motion to table approval of the activity and club advisers for the 2009-10 school year. Wiest asked Shope if all organizations had filed the appropriate paperwork requested by the district. Some had not.

Shope said the district needs to have copies of the organizations' bylaws, officer lists and treasurers' reports before approval can be considered. The board tabled the matter.

In other action, the board:

- Approved an expulsion hearing waiver for a student. No details were provided publicly on what behavior prompted the action or who was involved.

- Held a 50-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters.

- Reviewed the invoices for several departments, including a $4,394 cost for family consumer science supplies. Shope said the cost reflected the purchase of five realistic-type babies with three-year warranties each, "Real Care" baby supply pack and an $899 pregnancy simulator (body vest). The invoice was approved.

- Approved the district goals for 2009-10.

- Approved the acceptance of E-rate discounts for telecommunication, networking and Internet service provider charges as awarded by the Universal Services Administrative Company and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

- Approved the following substitute teachers: Jeffrey Miller, Kevin Shadle, Brenda Lawrence, Douglas Rubendall, Jennifer Minnich, Shayna Martz and Dana Lomma.

- Approved the teachers' salary level adjustments for 2009-10.

- Approved winter coaching staff for the 2009-10 school year.

- Approved Judy Reed's retirement allowance payout at 208.5 days at $50 per day for a total of $10,425.

- Approved Marcia Schell as the guidance secretary at the high school, replacing Sharon Peters, at $8.85 per hour. Director Tracy Schrey voted no.

- Approved the student-led club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, that will meet before or after school with Jan Hoffner as club sponsor.

- Approved Cherylene Bopp as a van driver for Harris Transportation for the remainder of the current school year.

- Approved the resignation of Kathy Reiner as a personal care aide effective Oct. 5.

- Approved Ron Hamme's request to take 50 students to New York City from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 6 at a cost of $10 per student. The cost would be paid for by students as a museum entry fee.

- Approved the following people to serve on the Policy Committee for the 2009-10 school year: Eib, Wiest, Abbey Walshaw-Wertz, Angela Maurer, Barbara Minchoff, Susan Clouser, Alayna Peters, Benjamin Zigner and Karen Gunderman.

Credit: The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

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