'Pay to Play'
"I think the time has come" were the words of Baldwin-Whitehall School Board member Kevin J. Fischer on Wednesday night describing his motion for B-W School District administrators to develop a fee structure for student participation in extracurricular activities.
Fischer did not motion for a fee structure to be implemented just yet, only to be developed and studied.
Fellow board member Nancy Sciulli DiNardo seconded Fischer's motion "for conversation," and the motion passed, 9-0.
This isn't the first time that B-W board members have discussed "pay to play."
"I have mixed emotions for this (paying for activities)," board member Nancy Lee Crowder , acknowledging that extracurricular activities are part of students' educational experiences but also that times are tough economically for public schools.
Crowder said that her sister's school district charges students $75 each to participate in interscholastic athletics. Crowder finds logic in that system, saying that she doesn't see why in-school sports organizations should be treated much differently than out-of-school sports organizations, which do require athletes to pay fees.
But board President John B. Schmotzer said on Wednesday that the amount of money raised by $75 fees in Baldwin-Whitehall would be "inconsequential" to the district. He said that implementing a fee structure would be "symbolic to the taxpayers," though.
Still, Schmotzer maintained that some families in B-W's diverse communities may have trouble coming up with $75.
He that the school board should protect its district's low-income families who could not afford a pay-to-play price. He said that he would never prevent, "even out of (his) own pocket," a low-income student from participating in an activity.
"We've put if off—pay to play," Fischer . "It is something that needs to be looked at. It is a sign of the times.
"The free ride—for all intents and purposes—is coming to an end."
It is not known yet if district administrators' pay-to-play fee structure will be limited to sports or if it will reach all activities. It is also not known which grade levels would be affected.
New Vice Principals at Paynter, Whitehall
By 9-0 votes, the B-W School Board approved the promotions of Heatherlyn Wessel, a kindergarten teacher, to the position of vice principal at , and Anissa Rosenwald, a Spanish teacher and 's activities coordinator, to the position of vice principal at .
Both positions call for annual salaries of $60,000.
After voting, Sciulli DiNardo expressed satisfaction that Wessel and Rosenwald were already employees of the .
"Some of our best principals are those that have come along and worked their way up the ranks," Sciulli DiNardo said.
Five other district educators were granted tenure by the school board on Wednesday by a 9-0 vote.
Approved were Michael Dzanaj, a fifth-grade teacher at Whitehall Elementary; Sara Nairn, a science teacher at Baldwin High; Kathleen Neyman, an academic supporter in math at Whitehall Elementary; Kristal Seale, a math teacher at Baldwin High; and Peter Wagner Jr., the dean of students at Baldwin High.
2012-13 Student Board Reps (Almost) Finalized
Jaclyn Sirc and Victoria Schmotzer were officially welcomed back by the school board on Wednesday to serve as student board representatives during the 2012-13 school year. They will represent the school district's senior and junior classes, respectively.
Joining them will be Jennifer Yanko, who will represent the district's sophomore class. All three students were approved by the board, 9-0.
Dr. Randal A. Lutz, who will become the district's head superintendent on July 1, said that he will approach the school board in August with a recommendation to add another student board representative. The fourth rep will be a male who will also be from one of those three classes.
VISION Club Visit to Bay St. Louis, MS
Retired Baldwin H.S. teacher Richard Yount gave a presentation on Wednesday night about Baldwin's VISION Club students' trip to Bay St. Louis, MS, during the spring semester.
The trip was a Hurricane Katrina relief effort, and Yount and the Baldwin students helped to repair homes.
The students, as well as Yount and parent sponsors, were praised for their efforts by the school board.
"This truly is one of the most worthwhile types of—for lack of a better word—field trips that we do," Fischer said to Yount's group. "My hat's off to all of you for that fine effort."
The B-W School Board recognized a number of district students on Wednesday for their recent accomplishments.
- Receiving awards were kindergartener Ava Sedlock and first-grader Christian Forgacs, W.R. Paynter Elementary kindergartener Ethan Cooley, first-grader Trey Hilger, second-grader Jacob Landman, third-grader Paige Williams, fourth-grader Alexis Kennard and fifth-grader Thembi Mtingiza, and Whitehall Elementary second-grader Ronnie Irvin, third-grader Connor Woods, fourth-grader Matt Cortazzo and fifth-grader Michael Badstibner.
- Honored for earning Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School Extra Effort Awards were Gwendolyn Schmidt (advertising & design), Adam Heenan (collision repair & refinishing), Rebecca Sayenga (cosmetology) and Amanda Lenkiewicz (retail food merchandising and production).
- Honored for earning Steel Center Top of the Shop Awards were Michael Lynch (medium/heavy truck technology), Sean Meyer (collision repair & refinishing), Mariah Nelson (cosmetology), Tyler Price (carpentry) and Alan Yaugh (building trades).
- Honored for earning Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Outstanding Young Citizens gold medal awards were Vivianne Mazzocco, Daniel McTiernan and Katherine Schmotzer.
Goodbye to Korchnak, Wilkinson, McKain
B-W School District Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Dr. John D. Wilkinson and Assistant to the Superintendent for Finance and Operations William D. McKain have each attended their final B-W School Board meeting.
Korchnak , Wilkinson , and McKain .
No Board Meeting Next Month
The next B-W School Board meeting will be held on Aug. 1.
Surprise! Baldwin-Whitehall Maintains Tax Line
Staff Cuts, Furloughs Help Baldwin-Whitehall Balance its Budget
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