Minority of school directors wanted to promote Principal Janet Donovan.

Last updated: April 16. 2013 11:37PM - 744 Views

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YATESVILLE — For the second month in a row, the Pittston Area School Board on Tuesday voted down a motion intended to change the job function of current Primary Center principal and former high school principal Janet Donovan.

The board opted 6-3 to refrain from naming her the acting assistant superintendent and director of curriculum.

Directors Kent Bratlee, John Donahue, Anthony Guariglia, Bruce Knick, Marilyn Starna and Charles Sciandra voted against the move, citing their preferences to act on the matter after next year’s budget is in place.

Joseph Kelly, Robert Linskey and Richard Gorzkowski voted in favor.

Kelly repeated his comments from the March regular school board meeting that Donovan is sorely needed to aid Superintendent Michael Garzella. Kelly dismissed allegations from Guariglia that he had “a personal interest” in the matter and argued the district has missed out on grant opportunities.

Garzella, when pressed, said the grant funding that the district has applied for over the course of the school year has been “minimized.”

Kelly also said he believes Donovan’s aid will be essential as the district grapples with the filling of several upcoming administrative vacancies and the possible closure of the Benjamin Franklin Kindergarten Center in Dupont.

With regard to that facility, the board heard from Dupont Borough Council President Stanley Knick Jr. and Mayor Daniel Nello, who hope that the borough will have the first option to obtain the property and facility if the district opts to close the school.

Dupont previously owned the property but transferred it to the Greater Pittston Area School District in 1983 when Dupont schools were absorbed into the district. The property was sold to the district, as a point of formality, for $2. Dupont officials jokingly stated that they were willing to double that amount.

The land transfer agreement also included a stipulation that the borough be given first consideration should the land become unneeded by the district.

District officials probably will not make a decision before July but they pledged to keep Dupont officials informed.

If the school is closed, Dupont hopes to possibly convert the facility into senior citizen housing.

The school board’s next meeting has been rescheduled from Tuesday May 21, to Thursday May 23, to avoid having a meeting fall on an election day. The budget for the new school year is the likely topic.

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