BY PAT FARNELLI
Elk Lake’s school board announced Thursday night that a contract with the building trades programs in its Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center for a new pavilion will save the district more than $42,000.
The pavilion will cost the district $72,000 with the students building the structure.
The diagrams and floor plans for the pavilion were donated by the architect. The contractor working on the pavilion has enlarged the plans for more storage space for the district, and the roof will also be larger than that in the original design.
Elk Lake also is considering re-routing one of the driveways that runs along the far side of the elementary school. In its current location, the driveway separates the elementary school from its playground, and children have to cross the drive in order to go back and forth from recess.
The contractor is getting together an estimate for routing the driveway around the playground, so that delivery trucks will no longer be pulling into the space between the school and the playground during the school day.
“This is the biggest safety committee item every month,” said Elementary Principal Charles Pirone. “It comes up in every faculty meeting as well.”
Board secretary Kim Hollister provided visitors with a chart showing all Cabot gas royalty payments to the district, from the initial $246,688.41 check received on June 25, 2010, to the most recent check received in January, for $50, 355.13.
Several school board members voiced their approval of the recent senior recognition night, and of the basketball team’s honoring Billy Guenter, a senior who was said to make the athletes “better people.”
“He runs the school,” Hollister said.
Board President Chuck Place said, “Billy doesn’t give the administration much slack.”
Several board members said they were pleased to see newspaper and TV coverage of Guenter’s moment in the spotlight.
Assistant principal Brian Mallery reported the Elk Lake cross country teams’ recent recognition by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The boys’ and girls’ teams and coaches went to Harrisburg, where they were honored with citations for both teams attaining a state title last fall.
Mallery said that a coach from another school congratulated him, and asked how many many members the cross country team had. When Mallery said there were 25, the other coach reacted with surprise. “They had 135 on their team,” he said.
A recent fundraiser for cancer conducted by the Key Club raised more than $2,400. A senior athletes’ luncheon will be held on Feb. 28.
Principal Ken Cuomo related that Elk Lake’s Forensics team shattered the team record for a single tournament recently, winning 22 debates at a single tournament. Austin Cohen won ten debates, the most by any single debater in Elk Lake history.
Elk Lake’s Scholastic team, under the direction of Jeff Horvath, beat Old Forge, then went on to the competition in Waverly, where they beat Canton and Mansfield but lost by one point to Mountain View.
Board member Eric Emmerich said that the football committee met with Blue Ridge School District officials to discuss their experiences regarding having a joint football team with Susquehanna School District.
He said that the only negative part of the experience has been the difficulties of transporting their players to Susquehanna at a time when most school buses are being utilized at the end of the school day.
The district had a number of athletic positions which had been advertised. The board approved the hiring of the following:
Kimberly Caines, as cross country assistant girls’ coach; Dave Shingler, as varsity softball assistant coach; Tim Woolcock as assistant junior high track coach; and Phillip McKeon, as assistant boys volleyball coach.
Mrs. Pamela Staats reported that the NEIU Extended School Year program will be held at the Elk Lake School.
During the SCCTC board meeting, director Alice Davis announced a number of upcoming programs being offered and noted that one of the the school’s faculty members, Gary Fenton, was recognized in Harrisburg as Teacher of the Year on Feb. 9.
The Skills USA competition was a success for SCCTC students, with 14 students placing second or third in the competition, and Ricky Guiton of Elk Lake placing first in the Extemporaneous Speaking competition.
There will be a work force expo on Apr. 1-2, focusing on jobs in the gas and oil industries.
A recently advertised Culinary Arts position was filled by the hiring of Jill Weidmaier for a salary of $50,300. The position advertised was created by the retirement of culinary arts instructor Donna Swartz. Dave Dunster has taken Swartz’s place, and so the opening was for Dunster’s former position.