Muncy School District elects a new board member

MUNCY — The Muncy School Board appointed a new board member following a public interview process Monday night.

The board accepted the resignation of Justin Reis, a board member representing Muncy Creek Township, and approved former member Mary Bennardi to fill his position until December 2019.

After receiving a formal resignation from Reis, the board advertised for the open slot from the township earlier this month and had six interested applicants. Two applicants arrived for a public interview during Monday’s meeting, with the other four opting out of the process.

Before the interview and during public comment, Amy Ruth-Swart, a local resident and mother with students in the district, told the board to mind who it accepts for the position.

“I am asking you to please consider hiring someone that doesn’t have a single-minded agenda,” Ruth-Swart said, complementing the work that Reis had done with the district and adding that she felt the district needed to retain and support more of its staff.

Applicant Brian Kustenbauter, a former corrections officer and resident of Muncy since 1999, said he applied for the position to become more active in the community.

Kustenbauter declined to answer a question posed by board President Scott McLean, stating that during a standard election candidates did not have to answer the questions that were being asked of him.

Bennardi served on the board nine years ago, explaining that she previously had left because of personal reasons but wanted to continue to help the district.

“When this application came about, I had no ulterior motive. I got off the board because my mother was ill,” said Bennardi, a resident for 27 years and a dentist in the community. “Maybe my ulterior motive is health promotion.”

Bennardi was nominated by board member Kim Walker, which was unanimously approved by the board, and was sworn in during the meeting.

In other news, the board approved the reappointment of Michael Weber as dean of students for the 2018-19 school year for a stipend of $5,375. Weber previously was a dean with the district, according to Superintendent Craig Skaluba, who said that the appointment is to help the Junior Senior High School principal.

“He assists the principal mainly with student discipline,” Skaluba said, adding that Weber, a teacher with the district, mostly acts as dean during periods he isn’t teaching.

Bradley Watkins was also appointed as a hallway monitor along with substitutes Brooke Walters and Bryan Waltz for a per quarter rate through the 2018-19 school year.

The board will meet on Aug. 6 for a meeting with construction managers for an update on the district’s work on a new auxiliary gym.

In attendance were Ty Fry, McLean, Lisa Sleboda, Robert Titman, Kim Walker and Sarah Woodward. Connie Coyner was present via phone until after voting for Bennardi and then lost connection. Rhondel Moyle was absent.