BOARD CLIPS 5-6-08
(Note: This summary of a Pioneer School Board meeting is not the official
minutes but has been approved by the administration.)
The top 10 students in the Class of 2008 were introduced and presented with
board recognition certificates. They are: Valedictorian Brittany Canaski,
Salutatorian Seth Andrews, Suzanna Farner, Erin Asquith, Rachel Suttell,
Katherine Blackmon, Molly Howard, Derek Kirsch, Andrew Boldt, and Jacob
MEET THE CANDIDATES
Board of Education candidates Suzanne Ellis, Linda Rule, and Ed McCarthy
made brief statements. The other two candidates, Tracy Matheis and Michael
Conroy, were unable to attend.
PUBLIC BUDGET HEARING
Superintendent Jeffrey Bowen said the proposed 2008-09 budget continues
strong support for current programs and services while requiring no increase in
the local tax levy. The spending increase of 4.68 percent includes costs
($255,000) related to the current capital improvement project that are 100
percent state aideable. Pioneer is one of only two districts out of the 40 in Erie
County with no tax levy increase, and one of only three in Cattaraugus County
with no increase. Along with the budget, voters will decide on propositions to
establish a reserve fund for future capital projects and an increase in the tax
proceeds collected by the district and turned over to local public libraries.
School administrator Nick Silvaroli said the $43,304,400 general fund budget
proposal increases spending $1.9 million but keeps the tax levy at $10.96 million.
The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation may actually fall from the current
$14.21 depending on whether or not local assessments increase. A state aid
increase of 6.41 percent, coupled with $180,000 from the appropriated fund
balance, are responsible for the 0 percent tax levy increase. New positions in the
proposal are a high school guidance registrar and a curriculum data integrator.
There is also funding to bring full-time status to the high school's SRO, who is
Mr. Silvaroli provided a table that indicated that the district's employee retirement
costs had risen 1,647 percent from 2001-02 to 2005-06, while health insurance
costs rose 51 percent. Over that same period, the allocation for salaries
increased less than 1 percent. Another table indicated that administrative
positions increased from 15 to 17 over the last seven years—driven by the
increased special education population and supervisory demands at the high
school and middle school—while teaching positions had decreased by 22.
Enrollment fell by 385 students, to 2,703, over that period.
Mr. SIlvaroli fielded questions from the audience regarding the appropriated fund
balance, the increasing cost of fuel, and the actual amount of aid paid to the
district by the state.
Dr. Bowen indicated he was still awaiting the final printed board policy manual
from Erie I BOCES. It will also be made available electronically.
He mentioned the Ch. 2 interview that he had participated in regarding students
whose nude pictures were sent to other students via their cell phones. He
condemned the practice, and said the suspended students (one in the middle
school, one at the high school) need to consider the negative impact such an
incident could have on their futures.
Mr. Silvaroli brought the board members up to date regarding bids for the capital
construction project, while supervisor of buildings and grounds Lon Owens took
them through the project change orders.
Mr. Silvaroli also outline the proposed $61,000 purchase of a mid-sized tractor
for the grounds department. Current equipment has been deemed inadequate
and unsafe for snow removal and other uses. Replacement cost of the current
dump truck, which will be kept for other duties, is over $100,000. The board will
consider the purchase at a future meeting.
• authorizing the superintendent or business administrator to approve change order
quotes related to the capital project up to $20,000
• an out-of-state field trip request for juniors and seniors to attend a post-prom party at
Splash Lagoon in Erie, PA on Sunday, June 8, 2008 at a cost of approximately $39 per
• establishment of the John Wingspread Howell Award and Scholarship
These individuals were approved to work at the budget vote/school board election May
Jennifer Kraft, Jane Antkowiak, Debbie Franklin, Karen Duttry, Donna Coloross, Michelle
Karpinski, Bethany Pocock, Marlene Gleason, Marge Harrison, Claudia Miller, Mary Lou
Sworts, Jennifer Tatko, Joellen Morey, Ginger Comstock, and Joanne Offers
The following leaves of absence were approved:
EMPLOYEE POSITION DATE DATE EFFECTIVE COMMENTS
Carrie Hirsch Teacher 04/24/2008 Approximately 06/20/2008 For the purpose of medical
– 06/30/2008 leave under FMLA
Tammy Belscher Cleaner 04/23/2008 04/24/2008 For the purpose of family
leave. This is intermittent
leave under FMLA
Barbara Agen Home Ed Liaison 04/22/2008 06/13/2008 – 06/30/2008 For the purpose of medical
leave under FMLA
Elizabeth Harrison Teacher 04/28/2008 04/30/2008 – 05/09/2008 For the purpose of extending
a current medical leave
Bethann Reinbold Teacher Aide 04/23/2008 04/30/2008 – 05/06/2008 For the purpose of family
leave under FMLA
The following recall from the preferred eligibility list was approved:
EMPLOYEE ASSIGNMENT CERT. AREA TENURE SALARY STATUS EFFECTIVE
Joseph Necci Art Teacher Art K-12 Special Per PFA contract One year July 1, 2008
Tenure Area Probationary
These substitute teacher/tutors were approved:
NAME DEGREE CERTIFICATION GRADE SUBJECTS
Michelle Bull N/A Childhood Education Grades 1-6 (pending) All All
Alise Bennett AS N/A All All
Jeannine Mitchell BS Childhood Education Grades 1-6 (initial) All All
These non-instructional substitutes were approved:
Sandra Carpenter Substitute Teacher Aide
Linda Haentges Substitute Teacher Aide/Food Service Helper
All were approved.