COAL TOWNSHIP - Thomas Ditchey was named president of the Mount Carmel Area School Board on a split vote Wednesday night during the annual reorganization meeting at Northumberland County Career and Technology Center.

Newly elected board member Tony Mazzatesta was appointed vice president and former president Donna James was named secretary.

Ditchey was nominated for board president by James, while Michael Rovito nominated Robert Muldowney. Voting for Ditchey were himself, James, Michael Brinkash, Ray Kraynak and newly elected board member Joseph Zanella. Voting for Muldowney were himself, Rovito, Mazzatesta and newly elected board director Bill Brecker.

Mazzatesta was appointed vice president on an 8-1 vote. James cast the lone dissenting vote. Mazzatesta was nominated for the position by Rovito. There were no other nominations for vice president.

James was appointed secretary on an 8-0-1 vote, with James abstaining.

Rovito and James were reappointed to their current positions on the Northumberland County Career and Technology Joint Operating Committee.

Brecker volunteered to serve on the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit Board, a post formerly held for many years by outgoing director Charles Mannello.

James was reappointed to serve as the district's Pennsylvania School Boards Association representative.

Board members voted to continue to conduct their regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, with the exception of the April 17 meeting that was changed to April 10. Work sessions will be held at 6 p.m. on the same nights as the meetings.

The next regular meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 16.

Superintendent Bernie Stellar and Rovito welcomed the new board members. Rovito also praised James for her years of service as board president and encouraged more people to seek school director seats. The longtime board member said he plans to retire from the board in two years.

During a brief special meeting that followed the reorganization session, board members granted permission to the Northumberland County Tax Claims Bureau to sell 13 properties in the school district that are currently on the county's repository list.

Solicitor Edward Greco explained the primary purpose of selling the properties is to get them back on the tax rolls. He said the school district, municipalities where the properties are located and the county must approve the sale of the properties.

The board also approved a 2012-13 audit report submitted by Klacik & Associates.