'Pay to Play,' Promotions & Other Leftovers from a June 13 B-W School Board Mtg.

The board will consider charging students for extracurricular activities.

'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.

Tenure Granted

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."

Student Awards

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

Read .

Staff Cuts, Furloughs Help Baldwin-Whitehall Balance its Budget

Read .


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JustMe June 26, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Common Sense, they took a freeze in pay for one year. Then the next year they got the money back on the tax freeze and on top of that got a pay raise. What did our students get, a cut in teachers, cut in the Technology Department and now they want to charge Pay to Play, real fair to our students. Teachers contract is coming up in the next 2 years and I see a strike coming on for more money and benefits.
JustMe June 26, 2012 at 03:03 AM
B-W I am so with you on everything you said and I couldn't believe ml said that then again yes I could from other comments that she makes on the Patch. If that was the case I don't see many parents paying because the district writes up "Were taking your money, but don't expect your child to play" and you can't sue us either over this so nanananana.
Jean Smith June 26, 2012 at 02:55 PM
ML- did you read what JustMe wrote "Pay to Play Sports has opened many law suits over the United States as Parents are paying up from 50 per child per sport. In one school district, one parent sued and won 100,000 because she paid for her child to play and all students that paid were placed on the teams. Her child did not get to play in one game so she sued the school district and won the case." It said her child did not get to play in any of the games so she sued and won the case. It did not say that the child played in all games but didn't play in one of the games. The school was greedy placing all the students on teams that "Payed to Play" The child should of been placed in every game as all the other children that payed the school for their child to pay. Common Sense -why do you call it entitlement when she paid for her child to play and they didn't get to play in any games. That is what Pay to Play is "Entitlement", because she expected her child to play in every game. If the school wasn't so greedy and placed all the students on the team instead of all the students that would play, then they wouldn't be sued. But she said all the students were placed on teams that payed so her child was Entitled to play, she paid the money, just like in league sports that Boroughs, Townships have. All children play on these leagues no matter how good or bad they are.
Jean Smith June 26, 2012 at 02:59 PM
ML and Common Sense do either of you have students that goes to Baldwin School District right now?
Jean Smith June 26, 2012 at 03:02 PM
ML you make no sense at all with your comment. Do you have children in the school?


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