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Howland schools eliminate an admin position

HOWLAND — The Board of Education voted 3-2 Monday to eliminate the administrative position of fifth-grade intermediate principal “due to financial conditions affecting the district.”

Superintendent Kevin Spicher said the move follows the closing of North Road Intermediate at the end of last school year and was not related to the performance of administrator Sandy Williams.

Spicher previously said the district, like many others in the area, had a significant decrease in enrollment. The cost savings of closing North Road was an estimated $500,000.

The contract for the intermediate principal position is suspended indefinitely effective July 31, 2020. If the position is reinstated, Williams would be able to return to the job, according to Spicher.

Board members Julie Altawil and Denise Delida voted against the move. Delida said it was “just a decision that I felt I had to make.”

Altawil said, “I always vote in what I feel is the best interest of the students of our district, and that is exactly what I did.”

At the board meeting, Spicher also spoke about the district’s efforts to keep students fed and engaged during the school closure caused by COVID-19 concerns. He said administrators were set to meet Tuesday to discuss the rest of the school year, as they expect the closure to extend past Gov. Mike DeWine’s originally ordered three weeks.

“There’s so much to this onion,” Spicher said. He said new information from the state suggests the virus can live on paper for up to 24 hours, meaning the district has had to create a “detention area” for homework packets to sit for a day before being distributed to kids.

The district, like others, also is trying to feed students while adhering to CDC guidelines for social distancing and small gatherings.

He said the main goal is to keep kids engaged.

“I feel good about where we are with our kids,” Spicher said.

Among other Monday business, the board:

• Issued three-year limited administrative supervisory contracts to Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor Erin Pierce, H.C. Mines Principal Jennifer Stephenson, Howland High School Assistant Principal Michael Pollifrone, and Activities Supervisor Andrewa Ferenac, effective Aug. 1 this year through July 31, 2023;

• Suspended the following classified contracts for educational assistants “due to lack of funds,” effective the 2020-2021 school year: Jan Berkowitz, Charlotte Bronson, Patricia Christy, Cathy Davis, Nicole George, Holly Guerrero, Lisa Laws, Diane Noble, Susanne Pilch, Lisa Winch and Sheila Zombar. Spicher said suspending the contracts was standard procedure at the end of the year;

• Suspended the one-year limited contract of Ron Loomis for the position of one-hour TCTC mid-day bus driver. Loomis was transporting one student who no longer needs transportation;

• Approved Brad George, mechanic, as an on-board instructor, effective Jan. 6, 2020;

• Issued a supplemental half contract to Rex Rager for the position of assistant baseball coach for the 2019-2020 school year. Spicher said if school does not resume the matter of payment for the rest of the year will be addressed with the HTCA;

• Approved Jordan Fronzaglio as a volunteer assistant varsity boys and girls track coach, effective for the 2019-2020 school year;

• Accepted the following donations: $50 from HMServices to Paw Pantry, $120 from Debonaire School of Dance / Debbie Moody to the high school art department for backdrops and props for a recital, a Dremel digilab laser cutter tool worth $8,899 from George Burin / Robert Bosch Tool Corp. to the high school art department, $39.94 from Coca Cola Give to Howland High School, items to raffle totaling $105 and $3,000 from a mattress fundraiser from Sleepy Hollow to Howland High School, $150 from middle school senate to the Paw Pantry, $1,000 from Chick-fil-A in Howland to the scoreboard partnership, $250 from Berk Enterprises for the senior breakfast, $200 from Navneet Karr and Grinder Singh for Howland Springs, $400 each from the Cafaro Company and Sunrise Inn, and $100 from Tim Ryan for YES Fest. Also accepted were donations in various amounts for Project Post Prom from the following: Richard and Jacqueline Loges; PJSLB, Inc., Howland Subway; Baker, Bednar, Snyder and Assoc., Inc.; Howland Tiger Booster Club; Barbara Wright; Kenneth LaPolla, DDS, Inc.; Super Green Lawn Service / Kenneth E. Mock; Snelson and Snelson DDS; DeSalvo Construction Co., Inc.; Trumbull Cement Products / Jeffery Carbone; Berk Enterprises; Ken MacPherson / Cindy Michaels’ LMC Foundation; and Peter P. Rossi.

vugrincic@tribtoday.com

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