Montgomery hires wrestling coach

MONTGOMERY – While the decision upset many in the crowd, the Montgomery Area School Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to elect Kyle Mowery as the varsity wrestling coach for the 2013-14 school year.

Many citizens expressed concerns that the position had not been adequately advertised and that other applicants may be available. Several spoke out against the vote.

“When the varsity wrestling coach position came up, that position was not opened. There are five other people in the program and you may want to get their thoughts on who was best for the position,” said one man, who did not wish to be publicly identified.

However, others defended Mowery’s coaching abilities and the board’s decision.

Resident Tim Wrights noted that Mowery has been teaching wrestling for several years and has a “fine pedigree” as a coach and educator.

Another local, Shawn Lee, also defended the coach.

“Mowery knows the trade and has no children in the program. His focus is not on one child, rather the group as a whole,” Lee said.

Several people shook their heads and gasped in disbelief after the board voted.

The board also hired Robbie Showers as varsity cheerleading coach at a stipend of $2,500 and Dennis Deem and Tanya Deem as head coach and assistant head coach of varsity girls tennis. The Deems will receive yearly stipends of $3,500 and $2,250, respectively.

Montgomery hires wrestling coach

With construction work threatening the swim season at the Williamsport Area High School this year, the school board voted to take temporary measures in the school’s natatorium in order to ensure a full season for the team Tuesday.

Dr. Don Adams, superintendent, explained that while working on installing new duct work in the high school’s pool, workers discovered “deterioration” of the natatorium’s suspended or drop ceiling. Adams said this was a “real concern,” and corrective measures were in place to fix it.

But the work would have not allowed the school’s swim team to practice or hold meets in the natatorium, as the work would not have been completed until the end of January. The swim practice season begins Nov. 18.

After hearing concern from swim team members, the district asked Vern McKissick, project architect, if it was possible to postpone the work until after the season ends in April. McKissick reported back to the district Tuesday that temporary work could be done but added there was no “firm price.”

Some board members noted that if the district was going to wait until April to begin the work, it should just wait until after the school year in June in order to allow physical education classes to use it the entire year.

Adams suggested that the board allow work to begin after the season and not wait for June to give workers more time to complete the project, as there are other projects that already are scheduled to be done in the summer.

He also noted that the pool is rarely used later in the school year by these classes as there are warmer temperatures and physical education classes typically go outside during those months.

When the motion was made, it did not include when the permanent work would be begin. The board asked that McKissick attend an upcoming board meeting so it could decide when it would be best for work to begin.

The board voted 8-0 to approve the temporary work for the natatorium.

In other business, Richard McCusker, director of pupil transportation, updated the board on the possibility of posting crossing guards for students.

He reported that the district could reassign two high school security guards in the morning and afternoon to perform these duties. He said they would post one at the intersection of Market and Vernon streets, and another on High Street.

This could be done for “virtually no extra cost” to the district, McCusker said.