By DEBBIE WACHTER

NEW CASTLE NEWS

The New Castle Area School District is rearranging some positions held by district employees who are retiring.

The board at its regular meeting Monday approved the retirements of Rick Eagle as attendance officer, Diana Rankin as business education teacher, Robert Pia and Steve Fornataro, custodians and Patsy Nerti as security guard.

Superintendent Debbie DeBlasio emphasized that the attendance officer position will become part-time, and that the district will continue to operate its truancy program.

Altogether, the district has four custodians who are retiring, and three will be replaced, she said, noting that the district will eliminate one position.

The business education teacher position will not be filled.

All of those changes will represent a savings to the district, DeBlasio said.

The board also approved the realigning of staff positions for the special education and special needs program. The moves will not result in any new jobs, DeBlasio said.

The members voted to abolish the fifth-grade learning support teacher at George Washington Intermediate School, the sixth-grade learning support teacher at New Castle Junior High, the 5th/6th-grade split emotional support person for George Washington Intermediate School and New Castle Junior High School; and the gifted teacher for grades kindergarten through six. 

Instead, the board created these other positions:

•5th grade emotional/learning support teacher at George Washington

•6th grade emotional/learning support teacher at the junior high

•Autistic support for grades 6 through 12

•A gifted teacher for grades kindergarten through 6 and for emotional and learning support in grades 3 through 6

•Media literacy specialist/learning commons coordinator

•Two second-grade teachers at Harry W. Lockley Early Learning Center

•One kindergarten teacher at Lockley.

The board also approved the hiring of several cafeteria workers for the district’s summer food program, retroactive to June 8. Ashlee Maggie was named summer food coordinator at $16 per hour for up to 22 hours per week. Hired at $15 per hour are: Trish Rozzi, Rebecca Cummins, Roger Phipps, Maureen Scott, Dolores Weinschenk, Mary C. Colucci, Joyce Deck, Roxanne Data, Cheryl Sorbo, Danielle Alazaidah, Nikki Pezzone, Bernadette Cashier, Marce Powell, Tammi Ritchie, Gertrude Worrell and Yoshie Mastrangelo. 

In other matters, the board:

•Approved an agreement with Cray Youth and Family Services from Aug. 15 through June 16, 2021. Business manager Joe Ambrosini explained that changes in the agreement from the previous year represent a savings to the district of about $17,000. The total cost of the program for the 2020-21 school year will be $564,185. The 2019-2020 cost was $581,206. 

•Approved the attainment of professional status of Allison Masters and Lisa Beshero. 

•Approved a list of teachers and staff for the CANES virtual summer school program, based upon the district receiving its funding allotment.

•Approved the extended school year teachers staffing for special education summer program at $20 per hour. The hirees are Jim Birtalan, Jenine DeSalvo, Lisa Hites and Carrie Popovich.

•Reappointed Jack Camerot as the district’s treasurer at a salary of $5,570 for the fiscal year from July 1 through June 30.

•Approved employees medical insurance through the Midwastern Health Combine with Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield for the 2020-21 school year. The insurance is through the Reschini Agency as the broker. The district’s cost will be $4,630,000, including $3,780,000 from the general fund budget and $850,000 for retirees.

•Approved errs and omissions insurance through Ohio Casualty and MCM Insurance as consultants, for the 2020-21 school year at a cost of $18,751 for the school year. There is no increase from the previous year. The policy covers employees, school board members and student teachers.

•Appointed tax collectors for the next school year. The city of New Castle will collect the district’s real estate taxes in the city at a 1.5 percent commission, and per capita taxes at a charge to the district of $12,500. Andrew Senchak will collect real estate taxes from Taylor Township property owners at a 3 percent commission, plus a $200 annual payment and $2 per each taxpayer who opts into the installment payment plan. The Lawrence County Tax Claim Bureau is designated as the collector of delinquent district real estate taxes from within the city and Taylor Township, at a 5 percent commission. The city will collect delinquent per capita taxes for the entire district at a fee to the district of $12,500. Berkheimer Inc. was appointed to collect the city and Taylor Township’s earned income taxes at a commission of 1.7 percent. Sharp Collections will collect delinquent earned income taxes, from before 2010; Berkheimer will collect city and Taylor Township delinquent earned income taxes from 2011 and the Taylor Township supervisors will collect township delinquent earned income taxes from before 2011.

dwachter@ncnewsonline.com

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