Sto-Rox school directors filled two of three vacancies on the school board board will the appointments of Samantha Levitzki and Maura Mitchell.
The two were interviewed and appointed last Thursday after months of search. Each will serve the remainder of an unexpired two-year term, both as at-large representatives. They fill the seats vacated by Dr. Edward Maritz, who stepped down in July 2013 and James Grimm, who resigned in March. The remaining vacancy, Region 2 of Stowe, was created when Jeanne Hughes of Stowe declined to run in November 2013. That seat must be filled by a resident of Stowe.
Mrs Levitzki said one of her goals would be to work to lessen what she said is a "humongous" gap among the school, community, teachers and parents.
Since she has a sister who works in the elementary school, Mrs. Levitzki said she would abstain from discussion and voting on subjects that could pose a conflict, especially in contract negotiations between the school and its support staff.
Mrs. Mitchell said she grew up in Mt Lebanon, moved to Maryland and then returned to the Pittsburgh area. She moved with her family to Stowe two years ago and has been involved with her children’s elementary and middle school activities.
She said she strongly believes in parental involvement and wants to work on drawing parents back into district activities and to advocate for students who are ”stuck in the middle” because they are neither gifted nor in need of special education.
In other matters:
• The district is terminating the lease with Cingular Wireless, now AT&T, that permitted a generator to be used on high school property as backup source of power for cell phone service during power outages. When the generator was turned on for weekly tests, it produced diesel fumes that entered the school. Solicitor Lisa Colautti said having the generator on site was not worth the $200 per month being paid to the district.
• Directors renewed the school-based probation agreements with Allegheny County Juvenile Court to provide a full-time probation officer at the high school. The only cost to the district is for an office and phone.
• A $124,812 contract was approved with SimplexGrinnel to upgrade and repair the high school fire alarm system It will be paid from the capital reserve fund. Also, administrators are considering security cameras at the high school and elementary school. The cost will be covered with a Safe Schools Targeted grant.
• A three-year agreement with Imagine Learning to provide site licenses and 39 laptop for computer-based reading enrichment was approved at a cost of $40,000 per year. It will be paid for through Title 1 monies and includes tech support.
Sonja Reis, freelance writer: email@example.com.