WCSD welcomes 3 new board members

Warren County School District new board members (from left) Elizabeth Huffman, Jeff Labesky, and Mary Passinger, and Paul Mangione, who were reelected in November, take the oath of office at the December organizational meeting.

Warren County School District welcomed three new board members and a new officer at its annual reorganization meeting on Monday.

Elizabeth Huffman, Jeff Labesky, and Mary Passinger took oaths of office and then assumed the seats previously occupied by John Anderson, Tom Knapp, and Jack Werner.

Donna Zariczny was the only nominee for president of the board and retains that title. Paul Mangione and incumbent Arthur Stewart were nominated for vice-president, with Mangione receiving the required number of votes.

Following the organizational meeting, the board moved on to its regular monthly meeting.

Budget

The board voted not to go to referendum in an attempt to raise taxes beyond the state-approved index.

Director of Business Services Jim Grosch said the district could raise taxes up to 3.5 percent or 1.87 mills without exceeding the index.

“I’m for staying within the index,” board member Joe Colosimo said. “Do we have any idea what the number would be if we wanted to go outside the index and cover the PSERS increase?”

“Between one-and-a-half and two mills,” Grosch said.

There are exceptions that would allow the board to still raise property taxes beyond the index. Retirement contributions are on that list.

Not passing the resolution keeps the board’s options open but accelerates budget timelines.

The measure passed with only Passinger voting against.

Kindergarten deadline

Heather Cathcart-Norris and Katie Card addressed the board as parents concerned about the new kindergarten registration cut-off.

“We have found that an Aug. 31 or Sept. 1 cut-off is more appropriate,” Cathcart-Norris said. “We do have an abundance of research and an abundance of information.”

“Children are different and learn at different levels,” Card said. She asked the board to allow for individual testing if the date is not moved.

Board member Joe Colosimo asked that the cut-off issue be placed on the agenda for the curriculum, instruction, and technology committee’s next meeting. He asked the administration to prepare a plan to ‘grandfather’ students already in pre-school to enter kindergarten under the old rules.

Tax reform

Marcy Morgan reported that the Senate’s tax reform “doesn’t look like it’s going to be very good for school districts.”

Beaty basketball

The board recognized the members of the Beaty-Warren Middle School girls basketball team — Lauren Walker, Desirae Bowman, Cara Munksgard, Halee Mineweaser, Isabel Wortman, Chelsea Albaugh, Emma Ruhlman, and captains Katie Madigan and Riley Childress — for their undefeated season.

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