Wilkinsburg cuts position of middle school principal

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Taking steps to organize its new 7-12 secondary program, the Wilkinsburg school board eliminated the position of middle school principal and approved curriculum writing stipends for high school faculty creating new courses.

The board unanimously approved a motion to eliminate the position of middle school principal " for reasons of economy and substantial decline in student enrollment" and to reassign former middle school principal Candee Hovis to the newly-created position of middle school/high school assistant principal at an annual salary of $65,000.

Ms. Hovis, who did not attend the meeting, was hired on August 2013, at a salary of $90,000 as middle school principal.

An April attendance report provided to the board showed there were 270 students in grades 7-12 at the time. Of the total, 119 were in the middle school grades of seven and eight.

High school Principal Steve Puskar will be principal of the middle/high school program.

Last month the board furloughed 19 faculty members because of declining enrollment and planned to use some of the funds from the savings to create new courses for students at the middle/high school.

On Tuesday the board approved curriculum writing positions at $17 per hour for teachers to create courses that include: honors algebra I and II; high school creative writing and drama; high school biology and robotics; high school American history and African American history; and art, animatronics, photography, film studies, and cartoons and caricatures.

The curriculum writing costs are not to exceed 126 hours or $2,142 per teacher.

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