Celebration, optimism major themes
With the beginning of the 2019-20 school year upon us, Aug. 21’s Saucon Valley School Board meeting was largely a positive one, with board members and administrators alike expressing optimism about the year that lies ahead. Superintendent Dr. Craig Butler stated, “We had a great opening week last week… the first two days of school have been, in my opinion, terrific.” He added that teachers are “good in spirits” and that classroom “...seats are full and all students are present. I think we’re off to a great, great start.”
There was some discussion regarding the adoption of a new textbook for the newly-offered AP English Language and Composition course. The total cost of 30 textbooks, which come with a six-year digital license, was stated to be $3,622.73. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kristine Rosenberger said, despite the initial request from the teacher for 25 books, the district actually obtains a better value due to the licensing agreement and cost per book from the publisher by purchasing 30. “I believe our current enrollment is somewhere around 16 or 17 students,” Dr. Rosenberger said. She explained that each license is good for six years, not necessarily to be used consecutively. This would mean that up to 180 students can use the digital tool over a number of years. Board member Bryan Eichfeld posited that “theoretically, then if this maintains, this could be a 12-year license.” Rosenberger replied “yeah, it’s possible, depending on enrollment.”
Board President Susan Baxter did say that despite this possibility, generally courses upgrade to newer textbooks sooner than that. Rosenberger went on to explain that even though only a handful of hard copy books might be necessary from year-to-year, that bundle pricing from the publisher renders it to be significantly more cost-effective for the district to purchase the package as offered by the publisher. The measure to pass the purchase passed unanimously.
Custodian Cazimir Matuczinski, a Bethlehem resident, was on hand to celebrate his retirement from the school district after over 29 years of service. During his almost three decades, Matuczinski worked in all four buildings on the district campus.
Regarding Matuczinski’s tenure, Butler said, “...in my short two years here, we couldn’t ask for a better gentleman, employee, worker. Something I’ve always appreciated about your staff, and the staff in general, in all of our buildings, is how much they appreciate being employed here and having a good job and being able to serve the district, and I really think that was a symptom of your leadership and your attitude.” When Baxter asked Matuczinksi about future plans, he said he was looking forward to the upcoming marriages of two of his three children.