Montgomery board OKs sports personnel

MONTGOMERY – The Montgomery Area School Board approved several personnel items Tuesday night, including a varsity golf coach and a girls varsity soccer coach for the 2014-15 school year. The board also approved the appointment of coaches, assistants and volunteers for the 2013-14 track team, girls softball team and varsity baseball team.

R. John Cloud was appointed the varsity golf coach at a salary of $2,500 and Kevin Bittenbender was appointed the girls varsity soccer coach at $4,000 for the 2014-15 school year.

Sam Harer was appointed the varsity track coach at a salary of $4,412 for the 2013-14 year. Assistant track coaches appointed were: Allan Bartlett, $2,831; Ed Sampsell, $2,831; Tracy Johnson, $2,775; and Charley Hall, $2,600. Volunteer track coaches appointed were Hugh Umpstead, Skip Livingston and Gus Spizzirri.

Two assistants were appointed for the girls softball team for the 2013-14 year. Kim Harer was appointed at a salary of $1,000 and Chip Deem at $1,250.

Regarding the varsity baseball team, Tom Persing was appointed coach at a salary of $4,368 for the 2013-14 year. Assistant coaches appointed were Sean Ross at $695 and Whit Wertz at $2,080. Joel Worthington and Adam Diggan both were appointed as volunteer coaches.

Christie Phillips and Tim Cuddeback were appointed as Odyssey of the Mind volunteers and Kathy Pentz was added to the custodial/maintenance substitute list for the 2013-14 school year.

In other business, Superintendent Daphne Bowers announced that, in light of recent school delays and cancellations due to weather, two weeks will be allotted for Pennsylvania System of School Assessment testing as opposed to one.

At the meeting’s start, the board heard from education Development Executive David Diokno, of Apple, who gave a presentation regarding the school district’s Transforming Educational Environment initiative that uses iPads in the classroom.

“We’re living in a mobile society,” Diokno said. “Our kids are going to use mobile devices no matter what we do, so let’s harness that and use these devices to our advantage.”

Diokno said Apple’s education projects have helped improve literacy and algebra skills in schools throughout the country. But he said that technology shouldn’t be used for its own sake.

“It’s not just about the technology; it’s about having the right tools to do our job,” he said.

Diokno said that Apple devices help personalize and individualize the learning experience for students as they interact with the outside world.

“We now have the ability to bring the world into the classroom,” he added.