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Assistant principal named to Sheckler

At the Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education meeting May 10, board members approved Carolyn Humes as the new Sheckler Elementary School assistant principal, at $88,000, effective July 1.

In other business, board members voted to approve a new treasurer.

Board member Carol Cunningham nominated Don Panto for the position. The other board members unanimously approved Panto, with him abstaining. The one-year term runs July 1-June 30, 2023.

A large portion of the meeting involved a recognition event to honor the EMTs, police, medical personnel and CASD staff members who helped save the life of Catasauqua Middle School seventh-grade student Steel Martell after he went into cardiac arrest during gym class April 21.

Also recognized at the meeting was Sheckler STEAM teacher Dan Kotran for winning a Da Vinci Science Center STEAM Educator Award. Kotran received a $1,000 cash grant to invest in STEAM education supplies or programs.

Sheckler Elementary Principal Eric Dauberman presented the Students of the Month. This month, the school honored first-grade students Julian Ortiz, Elena Bernini, Zoe Swartwood, Garrett Dotterer and Nicholas Alarcon.

As Dauberman is moving to a new role for next year, this was his last Student of the Month presentation. Board members told his successor, Dr. Robert Kucharczuk, that he has large shoes to fill, as the Student of the Month presentations are their favorite part of the meetings.

In other business, board members granted approval for the proposed 2022-23 final budget. The budget estimates general fund expenditures of $38,960,414. The budget balances anticipated revenues and expenditures with an anticipated real estate tax rate of 19.9477 mills in Lehigh County and 56.1601 mills in Northampton County.

Superintendent of Schools Robert Spengler noted the budget accounts for increases in utilities, fuel, special education, charter school costs and more. He said he is also proud of the valuable academic programs provided for in the budget.

“We have a good healthy fund balance,” he added.

The board is expected to grant final approval at the June 14 board meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Christina Lutz-Doemling reported the proposed special education plan for next year is finished and will be posted on the district website. It is expected to appear on the June 14 meeting agenda for approval.

She also reported 15 CASD students signed up for Camp LCTI. Camp LCTI is set to take place 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 14-17 for students in grades 5-8. CASD students received a 50% discount on the registration cost.

Spengler noted the district is working on the list of summer projects that need to be done. These include water and boiler maintenance at CMS, brickwork at Sheckler, painting throughout the district, LED lighting and more.

He also reported they are looking at June for the final surface on the new track at Alumni Field. There have been some sinkhole concerns that are being addressed.

A number of personnel changes were approved, including the resignation of Thomas Eroh as a substitute bus driver and Kelly Robertson as an ELA teacher at Catasauqua High School.

New additions were added to the district, including ElizaRae Michaud, districtwide ESL teacher, at $64,374, effective Aug. 17, and Charles Matz, CHS art teacher, at $59,663, effective Aug. 17.

“Welcome to being a Rough Rider,” Spengler said to the new hires. “This district attracts the best of the best.”

A change in employment status was approved for Aaron Bilby, moving from substitute teacher to CHS physics teacher, at $61,808, effective Aug. 17, and Edward Heiser, moving from custodial A position to custodial leader, at $65,088, effective May 11.

June Linton was approved as a substitute custodian, and Matthew Trust was added as a substitute teacher.

Six students were approved as student custodians for the summer, at a rate of $10 per hour, effective June 13. The student workers are Delaney Troxell, Anthony Berrios, Joseph Fischl, Bruce Fryslin, Nikoli Polles and Luis Silva.

Board Solicitor David Knerr detailed the three policies that were on the agenda for a first reading.

Policy 918 - Title I Parent and Family Engagement-District (LEA) - and policy 918A for the Title I parent and family engagement at Sheckler are federal policies to ensure parents and families are actively involved in planning and programming. There is a number of requirements involved in these policies.

Knerr noted the district has been doing these things for years to “get our students and parents involved in the program.”

Additionally, the board approved the updated policy 207 regarding student records, such as the collection, maintenance, privacy, disclosure, destruction and more. The policy also includes Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and state guidelines.

“It was a good time for us to do this,” Knerr said. “It’s an important issue.”

The next school board meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 14.

PRESS PHOTO BY SAMANTHA ANDERSON Carolyn Humes and Dr. Robert Kucharczuk, the new assistant principal and principal at Sheckler Elementary, respectively, attend their first Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education meeting May 10. Humes was approved May 10, and Kucharczuk was approved last month.
PRESS PHOTO BY SAMANTHA ANDERSON Sheckler Elementary School Principal Eric Dauberman recognizes the first-grade Students of the Month - Elena Bernini, Garrett Dotterer, Julian Ortiz, Zoe Swartwood and Nicholas Alarcon - at the May 10 Catasauqua Area School District Board of Education meeting.