Apple on the desk

Titusville School District Superintendent Stephanie Keebler sits at her computer as nine new teachers were welcomed to the district during Monday’s school board meeting.

The Titusville Area School District board of school directors held a committee meeting on Monday, featuring the smiling faces of nine new area teachers before hearing updates on summer construction and the upcoming budget.

The nine teachers are working in buildings all across the district, including some working for Rocket Online Campus.

The nine new faces appeared virtually at the school board meeting Monday to introduce themselves, say what subject and school they are teaching at and give a brief history of their teaching careers. The  teachers ranged from graduates fresh out of school to more experienced teachers looking for a change of scenery.

The new teachers are as follows: Maddie McFall, first grade teacher at Hydetown; Shannon Kerr, sixth grade reading and language arts teacher at the middle school; Christa McHenry, social studies teacher for Rocket Online Campus; Kari Yount, a special education teacher at Pleasantville; Angela Lesko, a special education teacher at Pleasantville; Melinda Watkins, fifth grade teacher at Main Street Elementary; Kendra Mott, english teacher for Rocket Online Campus; Amy Prather, K5 teacher at the ECLC and Sara Sawtelle, science teacher for Rocket Online Campus. The school board welcomed the new teachers and wished them success this year.

It is approaching audit and budget time for the school district. The local audit update and tax collectors’ audit will be presented at the next meeting on Monday.

Business Manager Shawn Sampson gave the board an update on the ESSER II funds and how it is impacting the budget. The district has received more than $12 million in federal funding through the ESSER programs that offset the effects of the pandemic. ESSER I money, $857,000, according to Sampson, was used entirely for last year’s teacher salary and benefits.

The district received $3.7 million for ESSER II. The district used $400,000 of that money to do technology updates. The district plans to use $1.9 million of ESSER II to pay salary and benefits for the upcoming year.

The remaining $1.4 million is currently slated to be used for salary and benefits for teachers moving forward, so that the district can wean itself off this funding source.

This past summer was a busy one for the school district. Building and Grounds Director Josh Atkins presented the school board with a recap of all the work that was done. The presentation featured small projects like excavating and storage work at the Ed Myer complex, to large projects like the Carter Field renovation.

According to Atkins, work is “finally winding down” at the Early Childhood Learning Center. The district carried out extensive work on both the interior and exterior of the building. “It turned out to be a beautiful building,” said Atkins.

He also mentioned HVAC work done at both the high school and at Hydetown Elementary. One project that will continue into next year is the high school roof.

Atkins said that the roof project was for roughly 105,000 square feet. Of that, 75,000 to 80,000 square feet was finished. The work will be completed in the coming summer.

The next board meeting is on Monday, Oct. 18. Board meetings are held at the high school cafeteria at 7 p.m.

Dvorkin can be reached by email at Gdvorkin@titusvilleherald.com.

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