PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney School Board considered new hires and an increase in sporting event admission for the 2019-2020 school year Aug. 7.
Dr. Michael Guidice was approved as the new elementary principal. He takes the position as Sharon Weber steps down to become an elementary teacher. Guidice has been assistant principal at the high school for one year, and assistant principal at the middle school and new elementary school for 10 years. He will start his 12th year with the district as the head principal.
“We are ready for the new school year, we’re very excited to start year two of the Punxsutawney Area Elementary... We’re looking forward to all the great things the students and teachers do this year,” Guidice said.
Kimberly Sawyer was also approved as a new elementary teacher for the school year.
Resignations of supplemental positions that were approved included the two GSA advisors, Kathryn Irwin and Michelle Hutton. Board member Cindy Depp-Hutchinson voiced concerns with filling the position. Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Lesniewski, explained the students would be responsible for recruiting new advisors.
“These two teachers went above and beyond. They volunteered for a year, and then did it for two just to help the kids out,” Dr. Lesniewski said.
Other resignations that were approved were Madge Persing as a sixth grade level leader, elementary teacher Jacob Otto, special education teacher Joni Strong, and cafeteria worker Diane Phillips.
Jason Grusky was approved as the junior high football coach. Lisa Good was approved as a volleyball volunteer coach. Finally, Matt Koppenhaver was approved as a volunteer cross country coach. The volunteer junior high soccer coach position was eliminated when the board was satisfied with none of he candidates.
The board also voted to increase the price of tickets for the school’s athletic events. A combination of the two options that were presented was adopted by the board; varsity sports admission will increase, the district will begin charging for varsity track admission and for junior varsity football games as well. Junior High games will still be free of charge to attend.
“We charge for every other JV sport because it’s played right before the varsity game,” Depp-Hutchinson said.
Season passes will still be available, and all students who participate in sports will still be admitted free. Those over 60 years old will also be admitted free, but they need to get a pass.
Ticket prices will increase to $5 for adults and $2 for students. Admission to JV football games will be $2 for adults and $1 for students. Junior high sports will still be free to attend. JV Football will cost less than the other JV sports because they are standalone games. All other JV games have the option to stay for a second game.
“It’s not perfect, but if you go to a combined varsity and junior varsity, you have to pay the price even if you’re just going for JV,” Dr. Lesniewski said.
The next Punxsutawney School Board meeting will be a committee meeting on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.