Bethlehem Press

Monday, July 13, 2020

Saucon Valley SD: Out-of-state conference questioned

Thursday, February 13, 2014 by MARK RECCEK Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Saucon Valley School District School Board members questioned the cost and worth of approving a conference at the Jan. 28 board meeting.

At issue for board members was Saucon Valley HS math teacher Elizabeth Allen's request to attend the NATM annual meeting April 1 in New Orleans. The board approved Allen attending the conference 6-2 with board members Susan Baxter and John Dowling opposed.

Baxter questioned the length of time Allen will be absent from the district.

"We are taking a math teacher out of the high school for three days," Baxter said. "I don't think a teacher [substitute] can come in and teach at the same level."

Board member Edward Inghrim questioned the type of technologies taught and utilized during the conference, which he said, are not current.

"I personally feel very uncomfortable using taxpayer's money and sending them [Allen] to New Orleans considering most of this technology has been around for years," he said.

High school Principal Eric Kahler said the conference teaches the participant to utilize math concepts in different ways, using technologies that are older to engage students.

Board member Ralph Puerta said while he does not support the conference, the board previously reviewed the agenda item.

"I'm not comfortable voting against something that had several approvals already," he said.

Member Bryan Eichfeld questioned why the majority of conferences are held during the academic year and not during the summer break.

According to district Superintendent Sandra Fellin, $18,000 is budgeted for conferences, amounting to $6,000 each per school building.

"I want teachers to get out of the district and get new horizons and how things are done," she said.

Board President Michael Karabin asked Fellin in the future those wanting to attend conferences present their reasons to the board prior to the board voting on approval.