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.
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 through other Baldwin-Whitehall School Board items here.
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