The 2020-21 budget of $42,677,926 for the Bradford Area School District, with a projected deficit of $1.8 million, down from the $2.5 million that was projected at the May meeting, received final approval from the majority of board members during Monday’s school board meeting.

Judy Bodamer, director of finance, noted the district is unsure at this time how much of a long-term economic impact the coronavirus pandemic will have.

“We anticipate 2021-2022 will be worse than 2020-2021,” she noted, adding that the district will have to be especially careful with spending. “We don’t know what the fall and winter brings for us this year.”

During the meeting, the district comprehensive plan, as discussed by Superintendent Katy Pude during the May meeting, was passed unanimously. The board also passed Pude’s request for permission to alter the 2020-2021 school calendar in order to allow for professional development and staff training prior to August. Additionally, a board meeting will now be held at noon on July 20th. Board meetings aren’t typically held in July, though Pude wanted to give faculty enough time to finalize and approve their reopening plan and academic calendar before August.

Kelly Compton, director of curriculum and assessment, discussed the upcoming changes to the online learning system moving forward. After researching the list of possibilities, the district decided to use the Canvas network. Reasons for choosing this network over other networks, such as Blackboard and Schoology, are that it’s highly customizable, offers professional development and support, and allows students to keep a portfolio from pre-K through graduation. In addition, students will only need to log into one site, instead of multiple like the previous year.

Under personnel matters, the board approved resignations from Lindsey “Al” Wilson, 2nd shift custodian at Floyd C. Fretz Middle School, effective July 10, after 14 years of service; Lance Baker, social studies teacher at Bradford Area High School, effective June 17, after 2 years of service; Jennifer Snow, social studies teacher at Bradford Area High School, effective June 17, after 11 years of service, and Kelly Compton, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment at Bradford Area High School, after 15 years of service. Additionally, the board approved the hiring of Heather Gilespie for the position of social studies teacher at Bradford Area High School, effective Aug. 19.

The board also approved the following coaches for the 2020-2021 season: Head cheerleading advisor, Kathryn Valine; girls’ varsity golf coach, Ashlee Colwell; assistant middle school girls’ basketball coach, Danielle Fesenmyer; volunteer varsity/jv football coaches, Aaron Fishkin, Andrew Pantuso, Jeremy Luna, and Matthew Teribery; volunteer middle school football coaches, Andrew Eckstrom and Mark Havers; volunteer cross country coach, Laurence Stillman; and volunteer girls’ golf coach, Matthew Colwell.

Additionally, Kevin McMurtrie was approved for the position of bus driver CDL trainer, whereas Paula Buckwalter was approved for the positions of bus driver CDL trainer as well as mechanic helper and Francis Doutt was approved as the lead mechanic position.

The board also approved the following lead teachers: pre-kindergarten: Amber Benjamin; kindergarten: Erika Close; first grade: Nicole Lohrman; second grade: Laurie McGee; GGB unified arts: Alyssa Osani; third grade: Rebecca Ward; fourth grade: Katlyn Hillard; fifth grade: Christina Downey; School Street unified arts: Melissa Cornelius; middle school science: Michele Backhus; middle school social studies: Ashley Colwell; middle school mathematics: Mary Gracey-Dalton; middle school ELA: Hannah Rivett; middle school Special Education: Megan Lama-Cercone; high school science: Susan Lee; high school social studies: Anthony Doriguzzi; high school mathematics: Gerald Pattison; high school special education: Donald Stitt; high school ELA: Terry Irwin; high school arts & humanities: Ashley Jackson; high school health and physical education: Lori Nuzzo; high school career and technical education: Matthew Degolier; high school graduation projects: Jeffrey Weiss and high school student services: Cory Placer.

Supplemental positions that were approved included David Cercone for student council (Fretz), Wesley Lohrman for yearbook (Fretz) and Shelby Runyan for cheerleading advisor (Fretz).

Before the conclusion of the meeting, both the Rev. Rob Klouw and recent BAHS graduate Gretchen Henneman both discussed the importance of continuing the music program despite the current economic situation. During the discussion, Henneman shared her experiences with the music program and how they molded her into the person she is today.

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