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School board OKs librarian, PE teacher for WASHS

July 14, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- A new librarian and physical education teacher are coming to Waynesboro Area Senior High School through votes by the school board this week.

During 2010-11 budget discussions, the school board talked about filling the two positions with long-term substitutes. That required an agreement with the Waynesboro Area Education Association.

Superintendent James Robertson said Tuesday the bargaining unit felt the issue was a legal matter in regards to the school code. It didn't feel it had the authority to enter into that agreement, he said.

The board approved a candidate administrators found for the part-time physical education position. Board members said the position could be removed if on-the-road driver's education is eliminated as discussed.

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Board member Leland Lemley said he supports driver's education, but cutting it could end up being a financial necessity.

"There may come a time in the next year or two when we have to make that decision," he said.

The part-time physical education position is tied to the driver's education program due to some staff changes, Robertson said.

The superintendent told the board he feels it is important to have a good person in the librarian position.

"We lost two candidates already," Robertson said of the hiring delay.

Other district librarians addressed the board during a public comment session Tuesday to lend their support to hiring a trained professional.

"A library media center is a wonderful place where wonderful things happen," said Mary Lee Yaukey, library department chairwoman.

Students start arriving at 7 a.m. to take advantage of resources, Yaukey said. Up to three classes are taught at once in the library, she said.

One study found that schools with good libraries (determined by budget, size of collection and staffing) had better scores on Pennsylvania System of School Assessment standardized tests, according to middle school librarian Catherine Beatty.

"They discovered the libraries with adequate staffing scored 10 to 15 percent higher on PSSA scores," she said.

The board agreed to fill the position and Robertson said he'd return to it with a candidate.

Both the physical education and librarian votes were 6-1. Board members Lemley, K. Marilyn Smith, Pat Heefner, Ed Wilson, Firmadge Crutchfield and Billie Finn voted in favor. Board member Chris Lind voted "no." Board members Bonnie Bachtell and Brenda Lucas were absent.

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