Moon Area Superintendent Donna K. Milanovich has announced that she will retire June 28 after serving since 2007 as chief administrator.
She came to Moon Area in 1975 as a second-grade teacher at Bon Meade Elementary School and she returned in 2007 as superintendent.
Mrs. Milanovich has led the district through the reopening of McCormick Elementary, construction of a new high school, conversion of the high school into a middle school, the implementation of prekindergarten followed by full-day kindergarten, creation of the district's cyber school academy and enhanced technological instruction.
She was superintendent of Baldwin-Whitehall School District before coming to Moon Area.
In other action, directors approved a proposed 2013-14 budget Monday night totaling $63.67 million. It would reduce the property tax rate from 21.3 mills to 17.9977 mills in Crescent and Moon to offset increased revenues from the Allegheny County reassessment.
Expenditures are expected to increase 2.1 percent, which administrators attribute to employee salaries and benefits. The district's fund balance will be reduced from approximately $7.9 million to $5.6 million to cover any shortfalls.
"It's a tight budget, but it shows we are tightening our belt," said Director Jeffrey Bussard. "We have to hold the line and keep our education affordable."
The tax bill for a property owner could increase or decrease, depending on the fluctuation of the new property assessment. Each Moon Area mill is estimated to be worth $2.17 million.
For taxpayers owning a median-value $155,000 Moon Area home, a property tax bill will be $2,790 prior to the Act 1 homestead reduction. Approximately 7,400 Moon and Crescent property owners have filed for the homestead exemption.
These taxpayers will see a $129.29 reduction in their tax bill due to the distribution of state gambling revenues.
The proposed budget includes $250,000 for use toward a districtwide technology upgrade.
A new mathematics curriculum for kindergarten through grade six as well as the purchase of informational textbooks and supplementary resources also will be funded.
Directors approved new textbooks, including the purchase of seven different sets of texts and supplementary resources Monday night. These purchases, along with the costs associated with new high school electives approved by the board in January, will be covered by a seven-year lease totaling $309,540, making yearly payments $50,243.
To view the budget document: www.moonarea.net.
Final budget approval is scheduled June 24.
In other news, Joni Shaw, school psychologist, has announced plans to retire, effective June 28.
Middle school orchestra teacher Amanda Neville has been awarded this year's Outstanding New String/Orchestra Teacher Award from the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association. The award recognizes full-time orchestra and string teachers who exhibit high levels of leadership, dedication and achievement in public or private schools in Pennsylvania or Delaware.
Sonja Reis, freelance writer: email@example.com.