CASD learns of bond restructuring details, hires new teachers
Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education met April 10 to discuss bond restructuring, new techbooks, hires and more.
Brad Remig, managing director at PFM Financial Advisors LLC, and Melissa Hughes, senior analyst, presented their bond restructuring plan for the board. The focus of the presentation was how to best restructure the school district’s debt to maximize efficiency. After Remig and Hughes presented their plan, Superintendent Robert Spengler shared his support of the program.
“This is an absolute necessity. We need to guarantee the future success of our school district,” Spengler said.
The board voted Remig and Hughes move forward with drawing up plans and prepare for formal approval of the plan in May.
The following students were recommended for hire for the student custodian summer employment program: Gabriel Atiyeh, Zachery Bolzau, Ryder Faustner and Bradshaw Henning. The board expressed their appreciation and respect for the program and their thanks for those students who work hard over the summer to better the school community.
The board also voted to approve the change in employment status for Xavier Fryslin, Loubriel Rivera, Emma Jones and Taylor Krause. Fryslin, who got his start in the student summer employment program, was approved to go from a part-time custodian to a districtwide custodial B part time. Rivera moved from custodial B part time to custodial B at Catasauqua Middle School. Jones, a former Catasauqua student, was employed as a certified aide. She has been approved as a teacher at Sheckler Elementary School.
“I’m happy to be a part of this family,” said Jones at the end of the meeting.
Krause served as a certified aide and longtime substitute. She was approved as a sixth-grade teacher at CMS.
Amy Gair, from the University of Phoenix, was approved as a student teacher. She will be working with Deborah Elek and the fourth grade at Sheckler Elementary.
In other personnel business, DiAnne Galm, Mary Anne Haney and Jill Wismer were all approved to retire at the end of the school year. Galm is a high school teacher with 25 years of service. Haney also taught in the high school for 21 years. Wismer is leaving the middle school after 14 years of service.
Eric Dauberman, principal at Sheckler, presented the March Students of the Month to the board. The students are Arlene Eisert and Desmond Murray from first grade, Destiny Falk and Brennah Coulter from second grade, Joshua Cline and Ava Wetzel from third grade and Evan Reed and Kelly Leon from fourth grade.
Catasauqua Middle School Principal Melissa Inselmann followed by honoring the March Star Players of the Month. The honored students are Christopher Ramos, fifth grade; Morgan Jackowski, sixth grade; Vinicius Rocha Takahashi, seventh grade; and Gavin Dollar, eighth grade.
To prepare for the financial challenges of the next school year, some district employees have agreed to a salary freeze. The board voted to approve the salary freeze for Spengler and his administrative assistant, Lisa Tkach. The school administrators covered by the current Act 93 Administrator Compensation Plan were also approved for the freeze. Board member Donald Panto expressed his appreciation for those administrators who agreed to the salary freeze, a sentiment echoed by the entire board.
Christina Lutz-Doemling, Ed.D., director of curriculum and assessment, discussed the new techbooks that were on the agenda for preliminary approval. The Discovery Education Math Techbooks for seventh grade, eighth grade, Algebra I and Algebra II received high reviews on edreports.com for their pedagogy, according to Lutz-Doemling. She reported one of the benefits to these digital textbooks is that they receive immediate updates when available. Lutz-Doemling will send overviews and demonstration videos to the board before requesting final approval at the May meeting.
Spengler reported that in the next school year, teachers in the district will participate in active shooter training and drills. He attested these programs “make us safer and benefit our kids and community.”
There will be a special budget board meeting 6 p.m. April 25. There will be three committee meetings May 2. The building and grounds committee meets 4 p.m., the academics committee meets 5 p.m., and the athletic committee meeting is set for 6 p.m. The next full school board meeting will be 7 p.m. May 8 in the district administrative office, 201 N. 14th St.