Montour considers nepotism policy

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Montour school directors are considering creating a policy to prevent family favoritism when filling district jobs.

School board president Duane Faith said last Thursday that the human resources department will look at drafting anti-nepotism guidelines, possibly as part of a hiring policy the district already has begun developing.

“We’ve talked about having a policy that will dictate how we hire and that we are firm and fair across the board,” Mr. Faith said.

The board will discuss the issue during their personnel meeting in February and then possibly vote later in the month, he said.

Board member Dean Caliguire said he wants to ensure all positions are advertised. “Sometimes I don’t necessarily [think hiring] blood relatives  is the problem,” he said.

Vice president Scott Suess had brought up the idea of an anti-nepotism policy.

“Maybe we won’t proceed down that road, but at least let’s have the board review a draft,” he said.

Patricia Crump, assistant to the human resources director, said she could begin a draft by evaluating nepotism policies that other school boards have adopted.

“Typically, the policies are just to ensure transparency,” she said.

Donald Palmer, the board’s attorney, said districts may implement their own nepotism policies in addition to following state codes and ethics guidelines.

Future boards would be able to vote to revoke the policy, he said.

“The real issue would be they’d have to sit here in front of the public and do it,” Mr. Faith said.

In other business, school officials announced that David E. Williams Middle School in Kennedy has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Highmark Foundation’s Healthy High 5 program.

The money will help fund the new health and nutrition course that seventh- and eighth-graders are taking to learn about healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer:

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