New Castle News

Schools

September 24, 2013

Substitutes will help wrap up vo-tech nursing program

NEW CASTLE — The adult practical nursing program at the vo-tech school will end in February.

Two classes of nursing students, totaling 42 remain at the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center. About half will graduate at the end of this month, the other half in February.

Meanwhile, several of the program’s staff have resigned and the school’s operating committee has hired long-term substitutes to teach the courses.

The committee voted in the spring to disband the nursing program once existing students graduate.

The adult program, operated independently of the curriculum of the vocational-technical school, was sucking thousands of dollars out of the center’s budget and has prevented it from reimbursing some member school districts for enrollment differences over the past few years.

The center’s debt to the districts for the 2010-11 school year alone was $45,573. That supposedly has mounted since then, but repayment figures have been unavailable from the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, pending audit reports.

Ending the practical nursing program was the only way to stop the bleeding, the committee agreed. Around the same time, amid the budgetary turmoil, the center’s director, Andrew Tommelleo resigned.

The committee contracted with Domenick J. Ionta, retired Union superintendent, to serve as acting director.

Then, at a special meeting earlier this month, the committee accepted the resignation of the assistant business manager, Chastity Williams.

In lieu of filling her position, which paid her $47,000 a year plus benefits, the committee entered an agreement with the Laurel School District for its business office personnel to fulfill Williams’ duties for $18,000. That will save $29,000 plus the cost of her benefits.

Last month, the committee accepted the resignation of Barb DeRosa as practical nursing secretary. Ionta said the school will not replace her. Her salary this year would have been $29,768 plus benefits, also money that will go back into the center’s budget.

Also resigning from the program were instructors Maria Sapienza, whose annual salary was $62,235; Tammy Dawson, who was being paid $48,918; and Allison Offie, who was receiving $58,787.

In lieu of hiring new teachers, the committee named Kathryn Kline and Margaret Strobel as substitute instructors at $30 per hour.

The resignations have left only two regular employees in the practical nursing program — Betty Tillia, the director, and a secretary. Both positions will end after the February graduation, Ionta said.

Meanwhile, he has been working with the committee to address the center’s growing debt to the school districts.

The joint operating committee last week voted to pay for a forensic audit of the school’s financial records.

The committee also is preparing to hire a director to replace Tommelleo.

It received a list of five candidates from the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV, which is screening applications.

Several committee members, Ionta and Dr. C. Joyce Nicksick, superintendent of record, are in the process of interviewing the candidates with the goal of having a new director in place in November.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Schools
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger’s Mercer County trial on hold

    A pending criminal trial for the former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV executive director has been continued again in Mercer County.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger now facing federal charge

    With Mercer County court proceedings pending this week, Cecelia Yauger faces federal prosecution for alleged business credit card misuse.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Todora.jpg Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent

    Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich.jpg Vo-tech administrators get bonuses, no raises

    Lawrence County Career and Technical Center administrators will get one-time bonuses instead of raises next year. The joint operating committee approved one-year agreements that would freeze the salaries of director Leonard A. Rich and the principal, head custodian, cafeteria supervisor and computer technician.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FrankAloi.jpg Frank Aloi: 50 years of school spirit in Ellwood City

    Frank Aloi is a true Wolverine. Aloi, who turned 73 Friday, spent the past half-century affiliated with the Ellwood City school district and its sports teams.

    June 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • FrankAloi.JPG Frank Aloi Retiring: Ellwood superintendent leaving amid budget woes

    Frank Aloi is retiring next month as Ellwood City’s superintendent of schools. Aloi, a 50-year district employee and its superintendent for nearly 12, submitted his retirement notice to the board during an executive session prior to Thursday’s meeting. His last day is July 16.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District mulls building sale options

    The New Castle school district is considering selling its three recently closed buildings through a sealed bid process.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perfect.jpg Your Education: Shenango grad never missed a day

    They say nobody’s perfect. But for 13 years, Jenna DiGiammarino certainly was. When Jenna left last night’s commencement ceremonies at Shenango High School, she did so not only with a diploma in hand, but also with a flawless record of attendance dating back to Day One of kindergarten.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 03.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Three New Castle schools close today for good

    Today is bittersweet for New Castle Area School District elementary students and teachers. Three buildings packed with history as longtime learning institutions are closing their doors for good.
     

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

"State Fair" opens at the New Castle Playhouse tonight. Will you be checking out the show?

Definitely! I've already got my tickets.
Maybe. I'm not sure.
Nah, it's not for me.
     View Results