Board ap­points new­est mem­ber

Su­per­in­ten­dent Har­ris gets 2-year con­tract ex­ten­sion

The Southern Berks News - - FRONT PAGE - By Denise Larive

Daniel Boone Area School Board mem­bers didn’t have to look far to fill a va­cancy on the nine-mem­ber board.

In the wake of the res­ig­na­tion of board mem­ber Con­nor Kurtz, ef­fec­tive Oct. 21, the school board has ap­point­ment cur­rent board mem­ber David Rathgeb to fill the two years left on Kurtz’s four-year term.

Rathgeb re­signed his seat, which ex­pires at the end of Novem­ber, to ac­cept Kurtz’s seat. Rathgeb was not plan­ning to seek re­elec­tion on Nov. 7, but he can now re­main on the board for an­other

two years.

The board then ap­proved the ap­point­ment of Steven Miller of Dou­glassville to fill Rathgeb’s cur­rent four-year term, which ends with the board re­or­ga­ni­za­tion meet­ing on Dec. 4. Miller is run­ning un­op­posed for a board seat in Re­gion 1 in the Novem­ber elec­tion, so his ap­point­ment essen­tially gives him a month head-start as a mem­ber of the board.

In other busi­ness, the school board unan­i­mously ap­proved a two-year con­tract ex­ten­sion for Su­per­in­ten­dent James P. Har­ris, ef­fec­tive from Novem­ber 2018 to Novem­ber 2020, and at an an­nual salary of $150,000.

Har­ris’s 2017-18 raise will be de­ter­mined un­der the cur­rent con­tract.

His orig­i­nal three-year con­tract will ex­pire on Oct. 31, 2018.

The pub­lic is in­vited to at­tend the board’s Stu­dent Sched­ul­ing De­vel­op­ment train­ing and in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m., at the high school, 501

Chest­nut St., Birdsboro.

Board mem­bers re­quested the train­ing ses­sion to bet­ter un­der­stand the sched­ul­ing process and why 64 per­cent of se­niors have 10 or more study halls a week.

High School Prin­ci­pal Pre­ston McKnight said the num­ber of study halls could be re­duced by in­cor­po­rat­ing sci­ence labs into sci­ence classes, re­duc­ing the num­ber of pe­ri­ods from nine to eight, or of­fer­ing on­line learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties dur­ing study halls.

Board mem­ber Carol Beitz was ab­sent from the meet­ing.

With Kurtz’s de­par­ture, the board unan­i­mously ap­proved for Beitz to chair the Cur­ricu­lum & In­struc­tion Com­mit­tee.

Also, mem­ber Dane Ochis-O’Neil was pre­vi­ously ap­proved as board sec­re­tary, a po­si­tion held by Kurtz.

Kurtz an­nounced to the board on Oct. 9 that he was re­sign­ing to ac­cept a job at the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute, a free-mar­ket think­tank based in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Board mem­bers rec­og­nized his six years on the board and his ef­forts to keep prop­erty taxes sta­ble while in­creas­ing stu­dents’ ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Kurtz made national news when elected to the school board at age 18 in 2011; at that time he was most likely the youngest elected of­fi­cial in the U.S.

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