No Interim Principal Yet at Baldwin High School

But the school board did approve creating that position on Wednesday night. And read more from Wednesday's board meeting here.

Only Interim Principal Position Approved

Baldwin-Whitehall School District Superintendent Dr. Randal A. Lutz is not ready to recommend someone to be the interim principal at Baldwin High School, but the position itself was created by a 9-0 vote from the B-W School Board on Wednesday night.

The position became necessary after Baldwin High Principal Kevin O'Toole was granted a leave of absence in January. O'Toole's leave—district administration has not divulged the reason for it—is expected to last for the entire spring semester.

Lutz said on Wednesday that he is still trying to find a hire.

"I've had conversations with a few different individuals," Lutz said. "There's not someone who I've identified yet as available for this position. Who we thought may have been available is not."

3 Out of 5 Schools Receive Keystone Achievement Awards

The school board congratulated principals from three of its schools for helping those schools to earn Keystone Achievement Awards from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for making adequate yearly progress (AYP) for the second consecutive school year (2010-11 and 2011-12): McAnnulty Elementary School, W.R. Paynter Elementary School and J.E. Harrison Middle School.

The district's other schools—Baldwin High School and Whitehall Elementary School—did not make AYP in 2011-12.

In accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the PDE determines AYP performance based on students' scores each year in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment exams (PSSAs). According to the PDE website, NCLB requires that all students reach at least a proficient level in the subjects of reading/language arts and mathematics by 2014. School districts and schools must show AYP on several measurable indicators, including attendance or graduation rate, academic performance, and test participation.

B-W Board member Kevin J. Fischer said that he was surprised that no one in the audience at Wednesday's board meeting spoke up about the two B-W schools that failed to make AYP.

"What's interesting is, tonight, we had three Keystone achievements out of five schools, and yet, the comments gear toward the football coach," Fischer said.

"Football's king in western Pennsylvania; we know that. But I often wonder, if we were sitting in Mt. Lebanon, North Allegheny, Quaker Valley, if there wouldn't have been a hoo and a hah from the audience because the high school—the marquee school to any school district—did not make what I consider to be a minimum—AYP.

"I'm gonna bet that (residents of those other school districts) would have been there clamoring to their board of education, to their superintendent, to the assistant superintendent, to everybody that is associated with the school district, that somebody needs to be responsible for that lack of achievement.

"Yet, tonight, the audience of Baldwin-Whitehall was quiet."

New Web Hosting Service

The school board voted, 8-1, to approve a one-year Web hosting agreement with Interactive Educational Services, starting on July 1, at a cost of $8,110. Martin Michael Schmotzer cast the lone "no" vote.

The new agreement represents a savings from the district's agreement with its current Web provider—Edline—which charges Baldwin-Whitehall $9,975 per year. 

Service Employees Union President Retiring

The board accepted the retirement of Toni Yurkovic by a 9-0 vote, effective June 30. Yurkovic has been a cafeteria worker in the school district for 20 years and is the president of the Baldwin-Whitehall Service Employees Association.

Student Awards

The school board recognized a number of district students on Wednesday for their recent accomplishments.

- Honored for earning awards from a 2013 Scholastic Art and Writing Competition were Hunter Brain (Gold Key - Metal Ornament), Dennis Doyle (Gold Key - Pencil Drawing), Kayla Keefer (Silver Key - Ceramic Sculpture; Honorable Mention - Charcoal Portrait), Alicia Mastroianni (Honorable Mention - Colored Pencil Drawing) and Carley Malenka (Honorable Mention - Acrylic Painting).

Click through the PDF file found in the media gallery above to view the honorees' artwork.

- Honored for being selected to a Pennsylvania Music Educators Association all-region band, ranking her as one of the very best at playing her instrument among students in five southwestern Pennsylvania counties, was Marissa Eynon.

- Honored for earning Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School Top of the Shop awards were John Ryan (Food Service) and Matthew Mient (Automotive Mechanics).

Peter Wagner Jr. Is New Baldwin H.S. Head Football Coach

Read here.

Read through other Baldwin-Whitehall School Board items here.


Follow the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Facebook and Twitter.

Sign up for the (free) daily Baldwin-Whitehall newsletter.

Sarah February 14, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Does anyone know the real reason the principal took a leave? Rumor going around about it involving parents from the hockey team??! According to the rumor a couple of parents felt the rules weren't for their kids-- imagine that!
jwill February 15, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Pretty pathetic that the football coach hiring has more comments than the schools not making AYP. Goes to show you what is important here.
NB resident February 15, 2013 at 08:03 AM
I couldn't agree more
Brian Rampolla February 16, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Mr. Fischer has been on the BW board for close to 8 years, and has been president and vice president. On his watch the district PSSA ranking compared to the other 100 districts in SW PA decreased from about top 20 to 56, and the high school scores have stagnated making AYP failure inevitable. These trends were obvious several years ago from even a cursory review of the data. I and other parents stood before Fischer and the board to advocate for action, yet he did nothing, because he says not enough other parents did the same. So, here is board member with a legal responsibility to ensure the districts long term academic quality with positions of power to initiate action instead sitting on his hands because enough parents did not come to meetings twice a month to wait two hours to speak for two minutes at the end to a board with a specific policy not to engage speakers, unless of course they don’t like what you have to say, in which case they’ll argue back and call you names, and for your troubles the minutes will show that “Mr. Rampolla made a comment about education”. If Mr. Fischer was so concerned about education he could have very easily convened dedicated meetings for open discussion, set up a board committee, contacted other districts for their best practices, engaged community educational and scientific professionals for their input….the list is endless. But, he deliberately chose to do nothing because it’s so much easier to blame other people.
NE12Ukid April 14, 2013 at 06:25 AM
- Honored for earning awards from a 2013 Scholastic Art and Writing Competition were Hunter Brain , Dennis Doyle, Kayla Keefer, Alicia Mastroianni (and Carley Malenka. - Honored for being selected to a Pennsylvania Music Educators Association all-region band was Marissa Eynon.- Honored for earning Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School Top of the Shop awards were John Ryanand Matthew Mient . Congratulations to these honored students in this wide variety of accomplishments!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »