COAL TOWNSHIP - Members of the Shamokin Area School Board praised administrators for helping cut $40,000 from the 2014-15 budget by making concessions to their Act 93 agreement.

"This was something that they didn't have to do," board member Charles Shuey said Monday. "We went to them looking for help and they offered to open up the agreement."

The concessions were revealed by Shuey at Thursday's board meeting, at which a final $32.4 million budget for 2014-15 was approved, along with a .8436-mill property tax increase.

It raises the millage from 27.1 to 27.95, resulting in an $8.93 increase, from $284.55 to $293.48, for the average district property owner.

Shamokin Area also approved the Northumberland County Career and Technology Center (NCCTC) budget for 2014-15 in the amount of $1.96 million. Shamokin's share of that cost is $843,893.

Four key changes

The 12 administrators covered under Act 93 include the elementary and high school principals and assistant principals, of which one is the federal programs coordinator; special education supervisor, curriculum coordinator, supervisor and assistant supervisor of building and grounds, dean of students, technology coordinator, director of food and nutrition and the athletic director. It does not include the superintendent or business manager, who have separate contracts.

According to Shuey, the following concessions were made:

- The stipend for uncovered health expenses was lowered from $4,000 to $1,250.

- Administrators will now pay 5 percent of their annual salary toward health care costs; they paid nothing previously.

- A district match of tax-deferred annuities for the administrators was lowered from 4 to 3 percent.

- Mileage reimbursement was eliminated.

"We are in negotiations with the teachers and our (non-professional) workers, so it is great to see that the administrators are leading by example," Shuey said.

Raise requests

Otherwise in financial news at Thursday's meeting, directors noted they are trying to do what they can do to help the district.

Director Robert Getchey was less than complimentary about some staff.

"It is amazing that we have these people that beg us for a job, and then when they get the job, they want a raise right away," he said. "People have to understand we are in a bad situation. Please understand when you take these jobs, this is what you are getting with the salary. Stop calling board members about getting raises. You took the job, wait until your union gets you your raise."

In other personnel news, the board accepted the resignations of swimnastics instructor Kathy Jeremiah, assistant varsity/junior-high cross country coach Angela Golfieri and school psychologist Kyle Brown. The board noted Brown will be required to reimburse the district $8,000 because he did not fulfill his commitment of three years of service following a salary increase.

The following hires were approved by the board:

- Sierra Erdman, Angela Rock, Tad Kalcich, Andrea Klinger and Courtney Schiccatano were appointed to serve as instructors for the extended school year program from July 7 to Aug. 7 at a rate of $18.50 per hour for approximately 25 hours each.

-Tyler DiRienzo was named as the SASD Gets FIT Program Director effective June 23 through April 30, 2017, with compensation set at $40,000 per year determined by the Carol M. White PEP Grant, which the exception of year one, which will be pro-rated, with no benefits.

- Ryan Shevitski was appointed as a student technology assistant during the summer, working 7 1/2 hours per day at a rate of $8 per hour.

- The position of secretary/program coordinator, currently occupied by Carol Bainbridge, will be adjusted from 186 to 260 days a year plus benefits. Director Rosalie Smoogen noted that while she voted yes for the person and the change, she believes the position should have been posted, and director Richard Kashnoski agreed.

- On the recommendation of Chris Venna, middle/high school principal, Casey Weisbeck, Joanne Risso, Melodee Lesher and Tara Owens were approved as instructors for the summer school program for Northwestern Academy students from July 7 to 31.

- Sandy Wayne and Carla McKinney were named co-head varsity basketball cheer advisory for the coming school year, and Kayla Jilinski was appointed to serve as junior high basketball cheer advisor.

In other business:

- A $20 student fee was approved for athletic physicals to be paid directly to the physician at the time of the physical.

- An agreement was reached between Shamokin Area and Mount Carmel Area for the PA Pre-K Counts Partnership program effective Sept. 2 through June 11, 2015, and extended a contract with Michelle Rishel to provide early childhood paraprofessional services for the program at a total cost of $18,000 for 180 days. The moves are contingent upon receiving a grant for the program.

- The board unanimously approved suspending a previous board motion to increase meal prices for the coming school year.