Jersey Shore school board to fill vacancy

JERSEY SHORE — The Jersey Shore Area School Board re-elected Kelley Wasson as president during its reorganization meeting on Monday.

The vote was 7-0 for Wasson, with one member absent and one seat vacant.

The board is accepting applications for a two-year term vacant seat until 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Applications may be submitted to the district’s administrative office.

The vacancy is for Region 3, which consists of Bastress, Crawford, Limestone, Nippenose and Piatt townships.

The vacancy is due to Harry J. Brungard, who ran for both a four-year and a two-year term. He chose the four-year term, leaving the two-year term vacant.

A special meeting is scheduled to conduct public interviews of applicants for the vacancy at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at the district service center, 175 A and P Drive, and the board plans to vote on filling the vacancy at the conclusion of the interviews.

The board has until Dec. 30 to fill the vacancy.

At Monday’s meeting, Brungard, Michelle Stemlar, Wasson and Craig Allen were sworn in for their newly elected terms, with Wasson and Allen being incumbents.

The school board also re-elected Allen as the vice president and Karen Stover as assistant board secretary.

Wasson also addressed a public comment regarding a question about the reconfiguration plan in which Avis and Salladasburg Elementary schools previously have been recommended to close.

“She (the superintendent) is not moving forward with the reconfiguration plan,” Wasson said. “There have not been committees that have been developed to study.”

Dr. Jill Wenrich, superintendent, said she only is moving forward with showing what the plans could be.

“The only thing that we are doing is that we are moving forward with the presentations, the K-2 in January, the 3 to 6 in February and the 7 to 12 presentation in March. That’s what we’re doing,” she said. “We’re having a presentation through my superintendent’s report. We’re not moving forward with the reconfiguration. We can’t do that. The board needs to approve reconfiguration.”

Merrill Sweitzer, board member, asked for clarification about an issue that happened in the previous meeting.

At the previous meeting, the board had set public hearing dates on the closing of Avis and Salladasburg Elementary schools on its agenda, but no motion was passed to address the issue. Dates were not set.

J. David Smith, board solicitor, said there was no confusion on the issue.

“There was no motion, and, therefore, it couldn’t have been board action. There was an agenda item, but there was no motion made. There was no second. There was no vote,” he said. “It died for lack of an option.”

Sweitzer asked if the situation died with it.

“No, it can be re-initiated. One of the things that is a little bit of a nuance. By board policy, if it had been rejected, it would have to go through a vote of six to be approved at a later time. Because there was no vote, a vote of five to schedule a hearing could still carry the day,” Smith said. “But there would still have to be a motion, a second and a vote.”

Present at the meeting were members Allen, Stover, Sweitzer, Wasson, Stemlar, Brungard and Christopher Fravel. Member Mary Thomas was absent.