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February 15, 2013

New Castle Schools: District approves police partnership

NEW CASTLE — Additional security will become available through a cooperative effort of New Castle and the city school district.

The school board this week agreed to pay the city $20,000 per officer for an additional six “resource officers” provided through the partnership.

City council approved the agreement last night.

The board hired Darrell Holmes as an additional security guard at the junior-senior high school building. He will work from Feb. 14 through the end of the year and be paid $13 per hour.

Interim superintendent Stanley Magusiak also noted a time capsule was recovered at the Lockley Early Learning Center construction site.

He said he believes the box was buried in the 1950s or 1960s and asks that anyone who recalls anything about the capsule contact him.

Magusiak said the box will remain in his office and be opened at the board’s March meeting.

Those attending viewed a video of the four-day trip to Washington, D.C., last month by high school principal Robert Razzano, three teachers and nine students.

The highlight was witnessing the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. They also toured national monuments, Arlington Cemetery, visited museums, the Capitol and the office of U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly.

The congressman was not available, so the students interviewed his chief-of-staff, Matt Stroia, a New Castle native.

Another staffer, Sam Breene of Grove City, was so impressed by the students, he attended Wednesday night’s board meeting to say so.

“This is an outstanding group,” he said, adding, “A lot of students visit the office. This was the first group who asked to interview the congressman.”

Breene said he also attended the New Castle basketball game and promised to wear the New Castle T-shirt presented by the students “when the team is crowned state champions.”

Razzano also praised the students.

“This was $1,400 well spent,” he told board.

After the meeting, Razzano said the group shared an educational experience, “that would have taken years to learn in the classroom.

“This is what education is all about,” he said. “By visiting Washington, D.C., the students learned how government works.”

Another visitor wasn’t as positive. Ed Olasz of Cascade Street told board members they are being unfair to taxpayers by spending $15,000 to hire the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to search for a new superintendent to replace George Gabriel, when the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV would do the job at no cost.

Olasz also read a list of nine current and former district employees who he said would make ideal superintendents.

The board also approved:

•The retirement of second grade teacher Marilyn Cook.

•Refinancing bonds for the junior/senior high school and the next phase of the Lockley project.

•Establishing an archery program this school year.

•Upgraded school policies relative to employing and evaluating a superintendent.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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