New Castle News

New Castle

August 24, 2012

Change of Heart: New Castle board reconsiders, votes to hire janitor

NEW CASTLE — New Castle School District’s John F. Kennedy Primary Center will have an evening custodian after all.

The school board, at a special meeting Tuesday, took a second vote to hire Geary George for the full-time job at the elementary school, in a 5-0 vote.

Superintendent George Gabriel said the issue was brought up at Tuesday’s meeting by board member Mary Ann Tofel, who had voted against it at the board’s regular meeting last week.

She reconsidered it, made a motion to hire George and changed her vote, Gabriel said. Four other members agreed. They were Mark Kirkwood, Allan Joseph, Stacey Fleo and Karen Humphrey. All four had voted for George’s hiring last week, as well.

The no-votes last week were by Tofel, and Barbara Razzano, Anna Pascarella and Dr. Marilyn Berkely. None of the other three attended Tuesday’s meeting.

George previously worked as a substitute custodian in the district for six years. He will be paid $22,880 this year.

REACTION TO MEMBERS

Gabriel, who said he was angry about the board voting down the hiring last week, took exception yesterday to comments that were made by the dissenting board members about deficit spending and about the board not having been given any other options.

He termed that as “absolutely false,” saying the administration had provided alternatives to the janitor hiring.

Gabriel provided letters outlining three options from district buildings and grounds director Paul Fulena, and said Fulena had recommended that the district eliminate a maintenance position, which is separate from custodial.

That option would have instead made that the afternoon job at JFK with zero extra spending, he said.

However,  DiGiammarino, for one, rejected that idea, and the board just remained silent when it was proposed in executive session, Gabriel said.

“We had alternatives but they didn’t want to hear them because they involved furloughing of staff. They put their heads down and there was no response. That was the best option on the table, financially.”

Another option was to leave a day-to-day substitute in the custodial position, but the labor union rejected that idea, Gabriel said.

Yet another option was to not fill the position and try to shuffle  staff around, which was what the board wanted, he continued. But Fulena said he couldn’t do that because he’s already lost three or four custodians in the past three or four years, Gabriel pointed out.

The consquences of not filling the position would have been that rooms didn’t get cleaned after school, restrooms wouldn’t get cleaned, desks wouldn’t get wiped and sanitized, extracurricular activities would not be not taken care of, “and we would have had a filthy and probably unsanitary building,” Gabriel said.

“That’s why I was very upset.”

“The board wanted to reshuffle our staff, but that’s not feasible,” district business manager Joe Ambrosini added. ”It becomes a safety and health issue.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
New Castle
  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle hires information technology director

    The New Castle school district has a new information technology director. At its meeting this week the board hired Emily Sanders of Cranberry Township to fill the position, left vacant by the retirement of Beth Barber.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • High school registration scheduled at New Castle

    Registration has been set for new students in grades seven through 12 moving into the New Castle school district.

    July 15, 2014

  • Police.jpg Couple accused of contacting rape victim

    A man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint allegedly tried to get her to drop the charges.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • festival1.jpg Break out the bubbly

    New Castle may be the Fireworks Capital of America, but Friday night bubbles filled the air.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum1.jpg State title ties: Wampum, New Castle teams celebrate incredible success

    Their spectaular success stories are separated by more than a half century. But they sat side-by-side Thursday morning, sharing more than just breakfast at Jata’s Diner, a familiar meeting spot for former Wampum High School players. 

    July 5, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hooker.tiff Male Athlete of the Year: New Castle's Malik Hooker

    Once in a while, an athlete comes along who redefines the very word. Then, there’s Malik Hooker. The New Castle High graduate took athleticism to a level rarely seen before in the area on the basketball court and on the football turf.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District to sell closed schools, contents

    The New Castle school district will advertise for proposals to buy its three just-closed elementary schools.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results