Student Spotlights, Budget Confusion Highlight Monday Night’s Brookville School Board Meeting

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – As the deadline for Brookville Area School District’s (BASD) proposed budget draws closer (May 30th for the proposed budget and June 30th for the final budget approval), the pressure is on to find a suitable plan that appeases parents, students, faculty, staff, and taxpayers.

The 2017-2018 General Fund Budget will affect every man, woman, and child in the Brookville Area School District in some way. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that most of Monday night’s School Board meeting was dedicated to understanding its intricacies.

The meeting began on a more commemoratory note however, with James Overly recognizing some of the star students and faculty of the BASD. Students of the month for the month of April were Autumn Hetrick, Vincent Dunn, Kira Powell, Ashlynn Ross, Mikayla Georgevich, and Morgan Thrush.

The Extra Effort Awards for April went to Gary Reed, Kevin Epley, Cody Johnson, Kylie Fiskus, Daylen Park, and Hannah Kirkwood.

Teacher of the Month awards went to Maria Heinrich and Amanda Carrico.

Dr. Robin Fillman was next up to the podium, to introduce and recognize two of BASD’s most impressive students to date. Levi Roseman and Ryan Thrush are two exceptional examples of academia, athletics, and leadership.

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“Both of these young men have taken advantage of every single academic opportunity we provide here at Brookville,” said Fillman “along with leadership opportunities (and) extracurricular activities.”

Both Roseman and Thrush are maintaining 4.0 GPAs, which for most students would be enough. However, their impressive resumes also include accolades in athletics, a long list of clubs, committees, and other extracurricular activities, and even summer jobs.

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And their hard work has paid off in a big way. Both young men have been accepted into Ivy League schools; Roseman to Dartmouth and Thrush to Harvard. Dr. Fillman pointed out to the rest of those in attendance that having two students accepted into Ivy League universities in one year is a phenomenon that hasn’t occurred during her time as an administrator, and reflects the stellar educational system that Brookville has put in place.

“While their resumes are terribly impressive,” said Fillman, “I want to say that the most impressive thing about them is that they are kind, considerate, humble, giving, friendly, outgoing young men, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in life.”

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Next, BASD Business Administrator, Ellen Neyman, took on the daunting task of discussing the proposed General Fund Budget for 2017-2018. The main concerns lie in the fact that a large portion of the funding that the BASD had received in previous years from the Keystones to Opportunity Initiative (KtO) would not be present for the 2017-2018 school year. So far, several options have been placed on the table to compensate for this lack of funding, including an increase in property tax and an increase to occupational assessment tax. Currently, board members are examining which options will have the smallest effect on taxpayers, while still allowing for the quality level of education that BASD has been providing.

A vote for the Proposed 2017-2018 General Fund Budget will take place during the next school board meeting on May 15th, after which time changes to the budget can still made up until June 30th, which is the deadline for the Final 2017-2018 General Fund Budget.

After a lengthy discussion on the proposed budget, the board voted to move on to other matters.

Dr. Fred Park presented the findings of the Pennsylvania State Police Security Assessment, which suggested that the school grounds not being used for school-related activity, be inaccessible to the public during normal school hours. This would include the track, the playground, and the field behind the school. These areas would still be accessible to the public during school sanctioned events, and during the times when school is not in session.

Next on the docket was a list of items that required board action.

Hager Paving was to be awarded the job contract for a paving and line painting job required at the Shipping & Receiving Main Drive Parking Lot. All board members voted yes and the item was approved.

It was recommended that Judy A. Gromley be elected Treasurer of the BASD for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. All board members voted yes and the item was approved.

It was recommended that the firm of Mauthe, Yutzey, Gabler, and Troxell, LLC be given the job of school auditor during the 2017-2018 school year for a fee not to exceed $20,175. With a vote of 8-1 the item was approved. Michael Smith voted nay.

It was recommended that Farmer’s National Bank and S&T Bank be named as the BASD’s depositories during the 2017-2018 school year. All board members voted yes and the item was approved.

Elementary general/art supplies, Jr./High School general/art supplies, and technology bids were all approved.

It was recommended that the law firm of Knox, McLaughlin, Gornall & Sennet P.C. be retained as the solicitors for the 2017-2018 school year. All board members voted yes and the item was approved.

Monetary donations were received from all the 4th-grade teachers (in memory of Norma Jean Heinrich), PATHS, and East Main Street Gulf. All board members voted yes on accepting these funds. Kerith Strano-Taylor made a special point to thank the members of the community that donated funds to the BASD.

It was recommended that the Act 93 plan, the Compensation Plan for the Confidential Secretaries, and the Confidential Secretary Compensation Adjustment – all of which were negotiated during a previous meeting and dealt with the coverage of tuition for administration and faculty as well as a 3% salary increase per year over the next four years – be approved. With a vote of 8-1 the items were approved. Michael Smith voted nay on all accounts.

A list of costs pertaining to Professional Development were approved, as were a list of Facility Usage requests, a list of Textbooks to Discard requests, a Fee Waiver request from PATHS, and a McKinley Field Maintenance Contract between the BASD and the Brookville Grays.

The PA Youth Survey was approved for completion during the fall of 2017, at no cost to the district.

Mike Rakovan’s letter of resignation for retirement purposes was approved with regrets.

John Pozza was appointed as both the Jefferson County Tax Collection Committee Delegate and the Raider Scholastic Foundation Board Representative.

Don Gill was appointed to the Wellness Committee.

Kira Jacoby’s letter of resignation was approved with regrets.

Shannon Haag, Elice Hamaker, Karen Bowdish, Patricia Gordon, Tina Swineford, Ashley Snyder, and Brooke Hanes were all approved for the Extended School Year Program for 2017.

Some exciting news from this meeting’s Administrative Reports included two Artists in Residency coming to work with students in both high school and elementary school settings, plans to live stream graduation on YouTube, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) coming to Brookville to film five high school teachers using instructional tools and strategies they’ve developed while participating in the Thoughtful Classroom program.

The next school board meeting will take place on May 15th at 7 pm in the Hickory Grove LGI room.


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