Mountain View board suspends elementary principal

Mountain View Elementary Principal Christine Kelly was officially suspended from her position, with pay, by the school board at the Monday, Sept. 11, meeting.
Kelly was arrested on theft charges nearly two weeks ago by Susquehanna County detectives after school officials reported money had been missing from multiple school fundraisers and programs throughout the 2016-17 school year.
A preliminary hearing for the case has been scheduled for Oct. 3 in Clifford District Court.
The suspension from the district was effective on Sept. 1, prior to the start of the school year for students.
Dr. Christopher Lake, the district’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction, was appointed by the board as the Acting Principal, effective Sept. 12.
The board received a first glance at a proposed energy savings project on the campus. Similar projects have been completed in both the Blue Ridge and Elk Lake school districts.
Maintenance Director Bob Taylor said representatives from Energy Systems Group (ESG) would be coming to the next board meeting to provide more information.
Taylor said that in an initial energy audit of the facilities, the district did not compare well to other schools. “There’s room for improvement,” Taylor said.
Taylor presented the board with small packets with information regarding equipment that was out-of-date or nearly out-of-date. “In the elementary school, much of the equipment has never been replaced,” he said.
Board President Michael Barhite said, “It’s a step in the right direction.” But admitted there would be a large cost associated with the project. ESG, however, guarantees the energy savings.
“In the end, we’ll pay less than we do right now,” Taylor said.
The company will also apply for any applicable grants and rebates in an effort to keep district costs down.
Business Manager Thomas Witiak discussed financing options for the project the board will have to consider if it moves forward with the project.
Revisiting a topic discussed last year, the board talked about revising its policy on Public Attendance at School Events.
Specifically the board is looking at setting guidelines for charging admittance to winter sports events, such as basketball games.
Superintendent Karen Voigt said the district could offer up season admission passes at a price of $10. Senior citizens and veterans would be granted free admission to the events. Students receiving free or reduced lunches would also be eligible to receive a free pass to events, under possible changes to the policy.
Funds raised from admission fees would be used to offset the costs of scorekeepers and referees.
Dr. Lake discussed the Career Readiness Grant accepted by the board at the meeting.
Lake said Mountain View was one of only two districts in IU19 to receive it.
The grant will allow for members of the junior class to job shadow in a chosen career field. Students will also participate in mock interviews.
High School educators will also be able to job shadow for a day in an effort to learn how their subject matter relates in careers available locally.
Voigt said the Pennsylvania State Police will be active in the school this year with community outreach activities.
The mother of a female student in the high school reported her daughter had been bullied by another student just prior to school dismissal.
She questioned the district’s “zero tolerance” policy and said that in an incident that occurred last year in the elementary school, there was no follow through from the school.
Principal Robert Presley said the incident would be looked into Tuesday morning.

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