Three new principals introduced
At their April 29 meeting, Bethlehem Area School Board members approved previously discussed measures, including the continued use of the Sapphire system to track students’ school nurse records and contracting with Blackboard Inc. to redesign the BASD website.
All agenda items passed by a vote of 8–0, except the awarding of the food service management contract to Aramark, which passed 6–2, opposed by Angela Sinkler and Tom Thomasik.
The board formalized new principal appointments to replace a trio of longtime educators: Erin Martin-Medina is succeeding Sonia Vazquez at Donegan ES, Courtney Wertman-Stambaugh is replacing Lisa Lynch at Fountain Hill ES and Erin Hines is following Tim Lynch at Hanover ES. José Sanchez has been promoted from dean of students to assistant principal at Fountain Hill.
Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy commended the St. Luke’s University Health Network mobile medical and dental services team. Kathleen Halkins, the district’s supervisor of health services, helped to honor SLUHN personnel Dr. Bonnie Coyle, Anita Desai, Raelah Garcia, Casandra Ortiz, and Olivia Strawn.
Freedom HS representative Josh Konschnick and Liberty HS representative Elisabeth Lee reported successful spring musicals and the raising of $140,000 through their joint mini-THON event. President Michael Faccinetto noted that the Foundation for the BASD dinner raised $48,000, and thanked its organizers, particularly Julie Bailey, Kayla Jacobs, and intern Cricket Lennon.
Community member Jack Toy inquired about charter school student busing requirements. Students attending charter schools outside the district receive BASD-funded busing if the charter school is within 10 miles of the district’s borders. President Faccinetto responded that the board’s efforts to reduce this distance to five miles have been “resisted at every level” of state government. Faccinetto also shared that legislation is being discussed in Harrisburg to set a statewide rate for cyber charter schools; if passed, this legislation would reduce by roughly one-half the amount BASD pays cyber charter schools.
The board finance workshop previously scheduled for May 1 was canceled; the content was to be covered at the May 6 Board Facilities and Board Curriculum Committee meetings at 6 p.m. in the Education Center at 1516 Sycamore St.