New Castle News


October 14, 2013

Neshannock drill goes ‘without a hitch’

NEW CASTLE — A disaster drill last week showed the Neshannock school district is prepared.

Dr. Mary Todora, superintendent, noted the drill — which she said “went without a hitch” — was carried out with cooperation of the township police department and school’s security guards. The drill tested the “panic button” alarm system and put the school into lockdown for part of the afternoon.

“We wanted to be sure that if something is happening here,” Todora said, gesturing toward the front hall of the high school, “that our kids will be safe over there,” she said, pointing toward the elementary wing of the building.

High school principal Luca Passerelli and elementary principal Matthew Heasley said parents had been notified prior to the lockdown and drill. Heasley said he believed elementary students would experience less anxiety if parents were to discuss procedures with them prior to the event.

“(The students) would have to be sitting quietly in the dark. I called parents the night before to tell them what we were doing, to tell their kids this is just a drill.”

He added the district conducts at least one major drill each year.

School facilities will be used in a countywide drill involving state agencies as well as county safety officials being planned for early November, board members were told.

In other business the board:

•Hired Jamie Howell as Keystone exam mediation teacher.

•Named Dr. Stephanie Corrette-Bennett as part-time science lab coordinator.

•Hired Lisa Duckworth as paraprofessional/library aide and Denise Slagle as a paraprofessional

•Named Melissa Hardt as cafeteria supervisor for the three elementary school lunch periods at $5,541 per year.

•Hired Clair Robison as a bus driver.

•Approved supplemental contracts for Julie Garda as choreographer at $2,346; Luanne Goodrich for vocal music at $2,346 and Krystle Fava as assistant drill team advisor for $693.

•Hired substitute staffers Pam Lozano, Glenda Radicella and Maryjane Hudak-Start as teachers, Mary Jo Devido as a secretary, Carman Farris as playground supervisor and Jerome Hasson for security.

•Discussed with administrators an anticipated change in scoring of the Keystone examination because of a misunderstood question.

•Heard a presentation by family and consumer science teacher Leanne Wilson.

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