LEWISTOWN - With the opening day of the 2012-13 school year lass than a week away, the Mifflin County School District Board of Directors on Thursday approved a schedule of bus stops and times that it hopes will alleviate a number of complaints received by the district at the start of last year.
With five building closures and the combining of Lewistown and Indian Valley High Schools prior to last school year, many area parents expressed concerns about the amount of time their children were waiting for school buses both going to and returning from school, as well as the length of some of the bus routes.
The new bus stops and starting times appear to be a marked improvement in the eyes of several board members.
"The bus stop times appear to be better than last year," board member Kristen Sharp said.
Vance Varner, director of secondary education, said one of the main problems last year was with middle school kids being bused to the high school, which meant longer waiting times to get to their final destination.
"This year they're busing grades K-7 and 8-12 so that should alleviate that problem," Varner commented.
Both Sharp and board member Kirk Rager noted that Transportation Director Nancy Craig has now had an entire year to tweak the routes and it appears she has done a good job.
"This year looks a lot better, on paper anyway," Sharp said.
Board member Beth Laughlin asked if Craig had to revamp much of the transportation study the board authorized last year in order to make this year's schedule work.
"She had some conversations about places and some nuances," Superintendent James Estep said. "Definitely, some changes were made, but not overwhelmingly."
Chief Financial Officer Sean Daubert agreed.
"She tweaked a few things," Daubert said. "But they gave her a good plan to work from."
In other business Thursday, the board:
Approved a change order for J.C. Orr & Son to furnish and install a new door frame for the Mifflin County Middle School project at a cost of $180.30.
Added Timothy L. Carolus Jr. to the custodian substitute list.
Approved of final 2011-12 budget transfers totaling $2,338,122.
Deleted Molly Schlegel from the cafeteria substitute list.
Approved bus/van drivers for 2012-13.
Gave authorization to provide transportation services for the following private schools for the 2012-13 school year: Belleville Mennonite School, Mifflin County Christian Academy, Beth-El Christian Day School, Sacred Heart School, Valley View Christian School and Coffee Run School.
Approved the resignation of Darlene Brown, health and phys ed teacher at Mifflin County Junior High School, due to retirement.
Approved the resignation of Jill Macklem, learning and emotional support teacher at East Derry Elementary School, due to relocation.
Approved the resignation of Karin Getz, Spanish teacher at Mifflin County Junior High School, due to retirement.
Hired Stephanie O'Donnell as a fourth grade teacher at Lewistown Intermediate School.
Hired Emily Walker as a temporary fifth grade teacher at Lewistown Intermediate School for the 2012-13 school year or less.
Hired Monica Cox as a fourth grade teacher at Lewistown Intermediate School.
Approved Amy Remy as the KtO literacy and data coach for grades K-12.
Recalled teachers Abby Peachey and Brent Stoltzfus from furlough status.
Approved the voluntary resignation of Brent Stoltzfus due to the declination of a job offer (recall) effective Aug. 9.
Approved the following furloughed teachers be removed from the furlough list and considered terminated due to not being available for recall: Adam Harpster, science; and Stephen Stillanos, science.
Recommend the following mentors for the 2012-13 year: Cynthia Pierce, Nancy Walker, Diane Stewart, Jeanette Turpin, Kimbra Fisher, Catherine Borger, Lisa Rheam, Mandy Maxwell, Abigail Goss, Emily Shank and Rebecca Filson.
Hired Tawni Peters as a full time comprehensive child care aide (autistic support) at Mifflin County Middle School.
Hired Marci Rhoades as a full time comprehensive child care aide (life skills support) at Lewistown Intermediate School.
Added Tracy Roe and Bebra Phillips to the substitute paraprofessional list.
Approved the following volunteer coaches: Melissa Kline, swimming; Nancy Craig, swimming; Julie Henry, field hockey; Chelsea Zook, field hockey; Steven Poche, junior high football; and J. Isaac Miller, junior high boys soccer; Larry Wolfe, baseball; and Joshua Grimes, junior high football.
Approved the resignation of Jodi Langham, custodian at Mifflin County High School, for personal reasons.
Added Michael Gillespie to the custodian substitute list.
Approved the resignation of Pearl Miller, cafeteria worker at Strodes Mills Elementary School.
Hired Kara Byers as the certified occupational therapy assistant district-wide.
Hired Kaylie Wasson as a learning support teacher at Mifflin County Junior High School.
Hired Brooke Kodish as an emotional support teacher at Mifflin County Junior High School.
Hired Andrea Appel as a Spanish teacher at Mifflin County Junior High School.
Hired Kelli Russo as Title I language arts teacher at Lewistown Elementary School.
Hired Jennifer Ahern as a temporary first grade teacher at Lewistown Elementary School.
Hired Jennifer Rainey as a Title I language arts teacher at Indian Valley Elementary School.
Hired Nanette Anslinger as the elementary computer teacher at Lewistown Elementary School.
Approved the resignation of Lauren Spigelmyer, learning support teacher at Lewistown Intermediate School, due to relocation.
Approved the resignation of Teresa Merrigan, school psychologist districtwide, due to relocation.
Hired Alan Miller as junior high boys soccer coach and Daniel Schomaker as first assistant girls soccer coach.
Approved authorization to supply power to the athletic field concession stand at Strodes Mills Elementary School with the stipulation that the McVeytown Eagles pay for construction and, if needed, tear down of the stand itself.
Approved the resignation of John Haubrick, math teacher at Mifflin County High School, due to relocation.
Recalled Benjamin Young from furlough status to position of secondary math teacher.
Accepted the voluntary resignation of Benjamin Young due to the declination of a job offer.
Recalled Todd Peters, secondary math teacher.
Accepted the resignation of Todd Peters due to the declination of a job offer.
Hired Joshua Grimes as a social studies teacher at Mifflin County Middle School.
Hired Megan Douty as a learning support teacher at Lewistown Intermediate School.