Brockway School Board Approves Retirement, Ski Trip

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) – After 35 years, Brockway Area Elementary School will be losing one of its teachers.

Jacque Gillung, who has taught third, fourth, and sixth grades for Brockway, submitted her retirement to the school board. It will take effect at the end of the school year.

“She’s a unique teacher,” said Board Member Jacqueline Manno. “She will be difficult to replace.”

“Jacque Gillung gave over 35 years of service to the Brockway Area School District,” Superintendent Jeff Vizza said. “I want to take a moment to congratulate her. It’s really unusual for a teacher to start and end a career in one district. Who’s really going to lose out is the kids. She’s a great worker, a great team player, and she’ll be sadly missed.”

The school board also approved the resignation of Boys’ Head Soccer Coach Rich Espositio. Vizza said that Esposito did a wonderful job with the soccer team during his years of coaching.

The board approved the hiring of Pam Capetta to take over the junior high volleyball team for the current school year.

Brockway has students traveling to many destinations in the coming months. The board voted to approve nine students on a Make-A-Wish donation visit to DuBois. The board also approved 25 students to go to Penn’s Cave, 35 students to Niagara Falls, and nine students to Philadelphia.

Students and parents attend the Brockway school board meeting to support the Okemo Ski Trip.

The school will also have 25 students going to Okemo, Vermont, on January 23. The board had previously voted to cancel the trip, but when the ski club pointed out that they had already made several non-refundable payments, the board agreed to reopen the vote on the trip. Board Member Edward Yahner moved to rescind the motion from last month’s meeting, which the board approved 8-1. The board then re-voted on the Okemo trip, with only Board Member Raymond Reckner voting against the motion.

Reckner’s primary concern was the distance traveled to get to the ski resort. He felt that the ski club could find slopes closer to the school.

However, many students came to the meeting to defend the trip, which the ski club pays for. Brockway senior Hunter Allenbaugh, the president of the ski club, addressed the board, explaining that Okemo is a top-tier resort, much bigger than Holiday Valley. The opportunity to ski there is one that even students in much larger school districts do not get. Also at the meeting, senior David Nagele said he had joined ski club in seventh grade and was anxious to go to Okemo. He believes other people join the club for the chance to ski there. Parent Erin Welsh, whose daughter Riley also spoke to defend the trip, said her younger daughter is jealous of Riley because she wants to go to Okemo, too. Clifford Kinser also spoke saying that he, as a sophomore, wants to be able to look forward to Okemo in the future. Even the board’s student representative, Cecilia Manno, took a moment out of her regular report to praise the opportunity of the Okemo trip.

“I’m proud of the students who used this opportunity to tell us how they feel about the trip,” School Board President Katie Bish said.

With the trip returned for one more year, the board moved on to other business. Vizza praised School Nurse Leslie Martini, School Counselors Heather Anderson, Kristen Sholes, and Jessie Donlin, and Elementary Teacher Rachel Frederick for running the “We Care” program, which heled 100 students have a happy holiday. He also praised the district for raising over $6,000 for Make-A-Wish and over 4,000 nonperishable items for the Weekend Backpack Program.

The school board will meet again February 12 at 7 p.m.

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