District voted to hire a new attorney | News, Sports, Jobs


MIFFLINTOWN — The Juniata County School District has voted to hire a new attorney.

At its Thursday evening meeting in Mifflintown, council voted to retain Carl Beard, of Beard Legal Group, Altoona, as counsel.

Superintendent Gary Dawson said the group charges $165 an hour for attorney and other work.

Beard replaces attorney Scott Etter, a longtime JCSD attorney. Etter was one of three law firms to make offers to the school district, the other being Duncansville-based Fanelli Willet Legal Group.

Etter’s offer was $150 an hour for attorney work and $155 for other work. Fanelli Willet Legal Group’s offer was $135 per hour for the work of an attorney.

Board members Helen Casner, David Fry, Douglas Kline, Joe Shearer and Angela Varner voted to hire Beard Legal Group. Kenneth Dupree, Mark Wagner and Troy Woodward voted in opposition.

The board also approved a new elective course, Introduction to Electricity and Electronics.

According to a course outline, students will learn the basics of electricity and electronics and develop practical skills with tools, machines, electrical test equipment, and electronic components.

Also during the meeting, the board renewed its contract with Higher Information Group for the provision of photocopiers, as well as services and supplies. Dawson said it’s a 36-month lease that will replace heavily used copiers while retaining lightly used copiers.

The board also approved:

¯ Minutes of the reorganization board meeting of December 2 and the workshop meeting of January 12;

¯ Financial reports, including Pennsylvania Department of Education payments and bills payable;

¯Purchase of a main switch, which is the center of the computer network of the district;

¯First Reading of Revised District Policy 111, Lesson Plans;

¯Emergency teaching time model for the 2021-2022 school year;

¯Requests for use of facilities, including Scott Messimer, Thompsontown Little League registrations, Jan. 26, East Juniata Elementary School; Angie Walters, Juniata High School Junior Class Parents Association yoga class, Feb. 5, JHS Gym; Walters, JHS JCPA plantscape, March 1, JHS cafeteria; Walters, JHS JCPA Painting Night, March 17, JHS Cafeteria; Rachael Murphy, Girls on the Run Capital Area, Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 22-May 19, JES; Desiree Rhea, Tuscarora Junior High School Home and School Fair and Auction, March 25-26, TJHS; and Walters, JHS JCPA After Ball, April 29-May 1, JHS Gymnasium;

¯ Accelerated resolution of budgetary exclusion certifying the tax rate within the limits of the inflation index;

¯List of persons exempt from payment of per capita taxes;

¯Changed names of co-signers on district bank accounts to current administrative office employees to include board secretary Polly S. Digon, treasurer Richard A. Meily II, and assistant superintendent Christie L. Holderman;

¯ Drivers Darlene Wagner, Kayla Lamey, Shannon Portzline, William Eichenberger, Alan Monico, Makayla Lauver and Amber Mayes;

¯ Field trips including Freshman at East Juniata High School, Curriculum Exploration, Jan. 26, Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology; EJHS students, District Band, Jan. 28, Curwensville; JHS/EJHS Students, PMEA District 4 Choir, Feb. 4, Flinton; JHS FFA, ACES conference, February 12-13, Harrisburg; EJHS Group Student, District Jazz, Feb. 25, Flinton; and JES students, Fifth Grade chorus Fest, May 13, Mount Union;

¯Dental exams for the 2021-2022 school year;

¯Retirement of Daniel P. Smith, JES teacher, effective at the end of the school year;

¯Resignations, including Wayne P. St. John, part-time EJHS caretaker, effective Jan. 11; Kirsten Burda, JES paraprofessional, starting January 17; Stacie L. Kint, TJHS special educator, Feb. 4; and Jessica L. Kratzer, TJHS special educator, at a date to be determined;

¯Employment contract with Lauren Mowry, Deputy Commercial Director, effective January 10;

¯Employment of Shayden J. Feltman as a part-time janitor at the EJES; Jennifer Johnson, LEVEL 1 paraprofessional at JES; and Lori Scmidt, IAA/secretary at EJES and high schools, after having received the authorizations;

¯Kiersten L. Rhine School Psychologist Intern for the 2022-2023 school year;

¯Mentor Melissa Shepps as mentor for Joelle Henry;

¯New positions, including a temporary special education teacher until the end of the school year to meet additional student needs; part-time hearing support position; and a 40-hour guard post when conditions permit;

¯Paper requests including Christie Holderman, Amy Sherman, Melissa Shepps and Jessica Delancy, virtual meeting, Creative Trauma-Sensitive Schools, February 24-25; and Christie Holderman, Benjamin Fausey and Bobbi Bauer, Data Sunnit, March 20-23, Hershey;

¯ Memorandum of understanding with central office administrative support staff regarding payment of unused sick leave;

¯Clinical Experience Agreement with Millersville University of Pennsylvania;

¯Revised Policy 529, Classified Employees, Replacement Compensation, and Policies 334, 434 and 534, Sick Leave;

¯Resignation of Jessen Abram, tennis coach;

¯Extracurricular positions at JHS, including Erin Cressman, head softball coach; Jack McCurdy, assistant softball coach; Nick Beward, baseball head coach; Mike Burge, assistant baseball coach; Kim Hart, head athletics coach; Maisie Aumiller, Jeff Miller and Zach Hart, track and field assistant coaches; Sheri Landis, head tennis coach; Tristan Amey, assistant tennis coach; Erin Derr, women’s basketball assistant coach; Brad Eagle, co-senior class game director; Karrigan Berlin, Senior Class Volunteer Game Director Ethan Rode, Assistant Volunteer Wrestling Coach; and Chase Lehman, Fletcher Hart and Peyton Harris, volunteer track and field coaches; and Casey Harper, volunteer baseball coach;

¯Extracurricular positions at EJHS, including Lauren Cheran, head softball coach; Wes Diehl, assistant softball coach; Justin Martin, baseball head coach; Justin Austin, assistant baseball coach; Johnna Towsey, Head Athletics Coach; Cory Benner, Mark Ritzman and Simon Cameron, track and field assistant coaches; Don Peters, women’s soccer head coach at the college; Megan Dressler, Junior Field Hockey Head Coach; Brandon Houtz, Music Director of Spring; Jenn Hund, volunteer assistant spring music director; Brian Clouser, Dan Kanagy, Matt Ritzman, Bob Price, Zach Allen, Dave Erb, Scott Messimer and Ed Jamison, volunteer baseball coaches; and Len Maguire, Kerry Peck and Jess King, volunteer softball coaches;

¯Extracurricular positions including Garrick Paden, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, TJHS; Travis Fike and Toby Jones, volunteer elementary basketball coaches, EJHS; and Josh Parson and Bryson Clark, gaming staff;

¯All policies and agreements referenced in this story are available on the District’s website under Current Council Agendas, Minutes and Policies.

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