Group wants Heisman plaque moved - Titusville Herald: News

Group wants Heisman plaque moved

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Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:00 am

A group of Titusville citizens are urging the school board to consider moving the John W. Heisman tribute plaque from its present location by the middle school to near Carter Field.

The group, led by Jon Endres, who has tended to the monument for the past three years, attended Monday’s school board meeting as a show of support for the idea. Endres argued that the plaque should move to Carter Field due to it being more likely that Heisman played there rather than the previously empty field the middle school now occupies.

Endres said that he spoke to Superintendent Karen Jez before a Rockets football game sometime last year, and asked about the possibility of moving the monument.  According to him, Jez said they would need proof that Heisman played by Carter Field, but otherwise didn’t see a problem.

Local historian David Weber presented research he had done supporting the notion that Heisman played at Carter Field. Citing several past editions of The Herald, some of which date back to the late 1800s, Weber noted that the field that eventually became the spot of the middle school, referred to as the East End Field, did not show up in any Herald article until 1891, after Heisman had left the area in 1887. Weber also showed a map from 1896, that showed the East End Field as being a baseball diamond, not a football field.

“As far as I can determine, there were never any football games played at the present so-called Heisman Field site,” Weber said. “When Heisman was growing up, that field was used for storage by the oil refinery and the barrel factory Michael Heisman, John’s father, was a partner in.”

Endres said that he, if permitted by the board, would utilize sponsorship and donations from local businesses and people to have the monument moved, and that the school wouldn’t pay a cent for any work done regarding the plan.

Jez told The Herald that while she supports the idea of placing some kind of marker near Cater Field to commemorate Heisman, she was not fully behind moving the monument. She said that she did not say the plaque could be moved in her original conversation with Endres, and that she did not want to undo the work of Martha Kinnear, the Titusville resident who pushed for the monument’s construction in the 1980s.

While born in Cleveland, Ohio, Heisman mostly grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania and attended Titusville High School, graduating in 1887. He went on to serve as head football coach for several colleges and universities, and is notably the coach of the winning team for the biggest victory in college football history, when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets beat the Cumberland College Bulldogs 222-0 in 1916. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, and the Heisman Trophy is named in his honor.

Tax increase included

in budget

The final version of the proposed 2019-20 school budget put together by the tax/finance committee includes a tax increase for each of the district’s counties.

The budget in its present form is calling for 1.20 mill increase to the Crawford County taxes, a .52 mill increase for Venango County and 1.36 mill increase for Warren County. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in a property’s assessed value. This would bring the Crawford, Venango and Warren counties’ totals to 42.17, 18.61 and 52.46, respectively.

The total expenditures of the budget came to $34,163,055, slightly less than last year’s amount of $34,389,688. Business Manager Shawn Sampson said this decrease is due to the district receiving more grants this coming year, pointing to $110,000 in a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant as one such example.

Around $791,000 of reserve fund money will be utilized to supplement revenue for the budget, of which $300,000 is planned to be reimbursed through the school year. The remaining $491,000 will be used to help with the district’s Public School Employees’ Retirement System contribution as part of a longterm plan.

Sampson told The Herald that previous school boards began saving money, amounting to $3.7 million in total, in anticipation of a rapid rise in the PSERS commitment, which has been utilized over the past few years. The rise began taking effect after the 2008-09 school year. According to data presented by Sampson, the district’s PSERS equipment jumped from 4.76% of payroll in 2008-09, to 34.29% in 2018-19, going from around $400,000 to $4.4 million.

Sampson said this rise was caused by numerous factors, including the stock market crash, increased benefit promises and underfunding of the pension fund.

Roughly $1.7 million of that reserve money is left, and is projected to run out in seven to eight years, according to Sampson. However, he said that projections show the rate starting to decrease in around 10 years or so, as pension programs for school employees have begun to change to a more financially viable form.

In terms of the allocation of funds, Sampson said the proposed budget is largely the same as last year’s, with only minor adjustments.

A final vote on the budget will be taken at the June 24 school board meeting.

Free breakfast,

lunch program

The school board is considering utilizing a federal program to give free breakfasts and lunches to students in the Early Childhood Learning Center up through the middle school.

Known as the Community Eligibility Provision, the program offers a reimbursement to food companies for providing free meals to students. The percentage of costs reimbursed is based on the number of students from low income families attending the school.

According to Director of Transportation/Cafeteria Mike Hlad, each of the schools which would be covered under the program would receive significant reimbursements to make the plan financially viable. For example, he said that the ECLC would receive a 100% reimbursement for each meal.

Hlad said that the high school is presently excluded under the plan due to not having enough low income family students. Offering free meals at that building would cost the district too much money as there would not be a sufficient reimbursement, according to him. However, he said the district can expand to the high school later once the numbers have changed.

The provision would also improve the general financial situation of the district’s food system. Hlad said that the district currently operates at an $80,000 loss when it comes to food, which would be reduced to around $65,000 under the Community Eligibility Provision.

Other meeting news

The board is considering canceling both of its July meetings. While typically only one meeting is held in July due to insufficient need in the middle of the summer, Board President Lynn Cressman said that Stephanie Keebler, who would be the superintendent at the time of the July meetings, wouldn’t be able to attend. As such, the board may cancel both meetings.

An upgrade to the district’s computer server battery that was discussed at the April 8 meeting will be up for vote at the next meeting. The upgrade was not put to vote in April so a few more details could be ironed out. The upgrade will cost $35,976.73, and will replace the servers’ present 14 smaller batteries with one larger one.

Jez noted that the district’s foreign language program won a Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association Globe award for high quality instruction.

The next meeting of the Titusville Area School District will take place on May 20, at 7 p.m., at Titusville High School.

Ray can be reached, by email, at

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Maryjane16354 posted at 11:25 pm on Thu, May 16, 2019.

    Maryjane16354 Posts: 39

    We should all be thankful for David Weber and his research. He is a jewel in the crown of our town and should be celebrated. Thanks David! Keep up the great work!!

  • Noahs Bark posted at 10:40 pm on Tue, May 14, 2019.

    Noahs Bark Posts: 118

    And we are off to a great start. The superintendent from Oil City is going to skip her first school board meeting? The School Board is ok with her playing hooky? Apparently so much that they want to play hooky themselves. What a great example for our students! The message that is being sent is that it’s ok to skip work. I’ve got a message for the new “Super” and the School Board... DO THE JOB YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO! DO THE JOB YOU WERE HIRED TO DO!

  • Jahoba posted at 8:47 am on Tue, May 14, 2019.

    Jahoba Posts: 240

    How about the public be more concerned about the teacher that allegedly committed a statutory rape. And, where is the concern for the well being of the child?


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