New Castle News

TOP STORIES

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
TOP STORIES
  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Shenango1.jpg Shenango Township: Supervisors fire Tanner, release DeLorenzo

    The Shenango supervisors fired township secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and terminated auditor and consultant Deno DeLorenzo last night.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos 4 Stories

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to take action on Tanner, DeLorenzo

    Shenango’s supervisors will act Thursday night on the employment contracts of two men being investigated for possible theft of township funds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • money.jpg Shenango computers, financial papers seized

    Investigators have seized computers and a host of financial paperwork from the Shenango Township Municipal Building.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • money.jpg Second warrant issued in Shenango Township finances probe

    The home office of Shenango Township’s secretary/treasurer is the subject of a search warrant. A warrant was approved allowing investigators from the Lawrence County district attorney’s office to search Brian Tanner’s home office at 658 Melody Lane Extension in Shenango and seize all computers and computer records.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Our Opinion: Who’s watching the money in Shenango Township?

    The Shenango Township supervisors have some explaining to do. And that’s putting it mildly.

    July 15, 2014 1 Story

  • Shenango places Tanner on leave, schedules meeting

    The Shenango Township supervisors have placed their secretary/treasurer on leave. In a statement faxed late Monday afternoon to the New Castle News, the supervisors said Brian Tanner had been placed on “administrative leave” as the result of a search warrant served on the township municipal building Friday.

    July 15, 2014

House Ads
Poll

Have you held or will you hold a garage/yard sale this year?

I have and it was a success! It's a great way to get rid of some junk and make a little extra pocket money.
I have, but it didn't go over so well. Better luck next time?
I haven't yet, but I plan to.
I haven't and I don't plan to. It's not for me.
     View Results