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Last updated: March 25. 2014 11:25PM - 1915 Views
By Joe Healey jhealey@civitasmedia.com



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EXETER – At Wyoming Area Superintendent Ray Bernardi’s final school board meeting Tuesday night, the board voted to advertise for the district’s number-two position.


The board voted to seek applicants for director of curriculum and instruction, but not before a plea by several board members to keep the position in-house.


Bernardi is retiring in April and his successor, Janet Serino, will lead the district after that. Before Serino was named assistant superintendent, she held the curriculum position, which was then called district principal of curriculum.


Board member Jerry Stofko made a motion to look inside the district for a viable candidate.


“I don’t believe we should have to advertise outside of our school district,” Stofko said. “I believe we have people in this school district, teachers and administrators, that are qualified for this job. If we do, something is wrong with our hiring policy.”


He was supported by John Bolin and John Marianacci, but the motion failed because it wasn’t supported by Carl Yorina, Kim Yochem, Deanna Farrell, Elizabeth Gober Mangan and board president Estelle Campenni. Mary Louise Degnan was absent.


Campenni said there have discussions by the board over the past six months about whether to keep the position in-house.


“It was the flavor of the majority of the board to not do that,” she said.


The position will be advertised in local newspapers and through the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.


In other business:


• Students will no longer be allowed to participate in roadside coin drops.


District Solicitor Jarrett Ferentino said such fundraisers, which are popular, are illegal. He said state law prohibits anyone from standing on a roadway soliciting contributions from occupants of a vehicle and it is a summary offense in the traffic code. He said they may be done in a parking lot or a private area.


• The neutral arbitrator ruling on proposals from the district and the teachers union has requested an extension, said Wyoming Area Education Association President Melissa Dolman.


Unionized teachers called a strike in September and walked out of the classroom after only three days of school. The teachers returned on Oct. 4, when they were required to by law and have been working under terms of an expired contract since August 2010.


Salary, health care and health care opt-outs are the primary sticking points.


The district’s and the union’s last, best offers are now in the hands of a neutral arbitrator. His decision is now expected around April 10. A possible second strike was nearly eliminated because of the snow days the district used.


• The board passed the first reading of a policy regarding booster organizations. The policy defines what they are, what they’re able to do and what they are required to do.


Campenni said that for the first time ever, the district will have a PIAA community-funded sport, lacrosse. She said the district has a community funded ice hockey team, but it’s not in the PIAA.


“The money has to come to us, so we can buy the gear,” she said. “We need to know about them, who they are, who are the officers, what are their bylaws, where is the money coming from. We have to make sure the district has the final say.”


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