Puperi elected UL board president

BELMONT-A brief organizational meeting kicked off the Union Local Board of Education’s 2013, which included the election of Terry Puperi as board president and Todd Kildow as board vice president, both with unanimous votes.

Approval of general annual resolutions and authorizations followed, and members voted to keep the established regular meeting dates as the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in the high school library.

Superintendent H. Kirk Glasgow began the board’s regular meeting by distributing certificates to the board members for “School Board Recognition Month.”

“I appreciate everything the board has done,” Glasgow added. “We have a very caring board, tops, as far as that goes.” He noted their “tireless efforts” and years of service: Allen Mann, 35 years; Ed Stenger, 7 years; Todd Kildow, 3 years; Dean Lancaster and Terry Puperi, 1 year.

Glasgow brought up the subject of a resource officer and renewed interest in pursuing this addition.

“The Newtown tragedy has made us rethink ways of doing things here,” said Glasgow.

Security discussions have also included the possibility of allowing teachers to carry concealed with proper permits and additional trainings in emergency situations. The district is currently exploring security cameras. He did note that funding for additional security is an issue, especially for a deputy sheriff as resource officer.

“In 2003 the elementary school parking lot was full, and that was with teachers’ cars and people who worked there,” Glasgow said. “Now it’s about half. I don’t like to talk about adding a position when so many others have been let go. I think the only way we’ll be able to get a resource officer is through a levy.”

Puperi added that there may be a way to share a deputy with the Sheriff’s department or look into hiring a private security firm. Treasurer Janet Hissrich gave the board information on income tax programs that might bring in funding for additional security. Dean Lancaster asked her to research some levy possibilities for February’s meeting.

Kildow informed the board that the athletic committee received 32 applications for the position of head football coach. Seven of those candidates will be interviewed for the first time over the next week.

Additionally, the search for a new superintendent yielded more than 40 resumes. Those interviews will begin the week of Jan. 21, and second interviews will be held in February. The board will be sending out surveys to all district teachers and administrators asking for their input on what qualities and priorities they would like to see in the new superintendent and suggestions for questions to ask the candidates. Teachers will be able to respond anonymously.

In her treasurer’s report, Hissrich said that though the general fund is currently in the red by around $289,000, figures are actually up by $303,166 over this time last year. Members approved the financial report and supplemental appropriations for FY13 and accepted a donation of 25 laptop computers to the kindergarten and first grade classes from the elementary school PTO.

Members approved the following supplemental contracts and substitutes: Jill Loase, ROE assistant advisor; Karl Penz, volleyball head coach; Adam Gay, short-term sub; Melissa James, secretary; Arthur Henderson, bus driver.

They also approved a six-month contract renewal with Preferred Meal Systems from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2013.

Valenti can be reached at gvalenti@timesleaderonline.com.