Presentations are focus of Juniata County school board meeting

MIFFLINTOWN – A meeting of the Juniata County School District Board of Directors held Tuesday night was dominated by teacher and student presentations.

Susan Glick, East Juniata High School agriculture education teacher, and FFA students Mikayla Cheran and Brooke Kitting gave a presentation about projects completed during the last school year. Glick said there are currently 130 students in the agriculture department and 40 FFA members at EJHS. Cheran and Kitting narrated a slideshow featuring pictures of FFA conferences and leadership meetings, as well as agriculture education field trips and learning experiences.

Simon Cameron, history and economics teacher, gave a presentation about the Stock Market Game that his classes participate in. Cameron said the students are sponsored by First National Bank of Mifflintown. They are given an imaginary $100,000 to invest over the course of two and a half months. Students are responsible for tracking and managing their money.

Cameron’s students, Mackenzie Geedy and Michelle Mease showed the board how to use the websites they frequent for research on current stock prices and activity. The students said they are only allowed to purchase stocks valued at more than $5, and they must be listed on the NASDAQ or New York Stock Exchange. Mease said the game does not work in real time, so stock purchases and sales are updated after 4 p.m. every day.

Devin Goodling and Dakota Dressler said the game teaches skills in setting goals and making plans. Goodling said using personal stock in real-life situations is more risky, so the game allows students to take educational risks without the fear of real loss. He said his team leaped into “high risk” strategies and will only know how they fared when the game is finished.

Raina Haubert, computer-aided drafting and design teacher at Juniata High School, brought a group of students to talk about the CADD program at the school. Dakota Trego, a CADD II student, said his class started the year with a residential project. Students were responsible for designing a site plan, elevation plan, floor plan, foundation plan and electrical plans for a house. Now, the class is working on a mechanical project, he said.

Brandon Becker, CADD III student, said he used the skills he learned in class to participate in a Technology Student Association competition. He used computer programs to create a graphic model of a two-floor home, landscape, pool and pool house.

Haubert said EJHS students are also able to take CADD classes at JHS.

The Juniata High School Building Trades Program students also presented at the meeting. Steve Whistler, teacher, and two students showed photos of students laying the foundations for dugouts, building gazebos, installing plumbing and wiring electric. Throughout the course of their projects, students learned to use a variety of construction tools and gained practical skills in carpentry, electric, plumbing and masonry.

Also during the meeting, representatives from Johnson Controls made heating, ventilation and air-conditioning recommendations for EJHS. The proposal included renovation and improvements to HVAC equipment, building controls and security. Johnson Controls offered solutions based exclusively on EJHS, as well as two extra proposals that bundled improvements to JHS, Tuscarora Junior High School and Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School.

The project proposals offered by Johnson Controls are estimated to save at least $3,146,444 over a 20-year cycle. Savings were estimated to increase as more projects at other county schools are bundled into the deal, the representatives said.

After the presentation, the board passed a motion to put out a request for proposal, soliciting business proposals from other companies.

In other new business, the school board:

Approved the addition of an AP English 11 course to be offered at EJHS. The pilot course will begin during the 2013-2014 school year.

Approved a request from the Juniata Baseball Booster Club to enhance the baseball field through donations of materials by Lowe’s and the Booster Club.

Approved relocation of the JHS high jump area to Dietrick Field. Site preparation will be donated and completed by Jared Berrier, and a new cinder surface will be donated and applied by M and J Paving.

Approved the purchase of CSIU tax software. The cost for tax billing is 33 cents per bill, and tax collection is 20 cents. These applications will tie directly into the district’s other financial applications with CSIU. They will replace Tenex.

Approved the resignation of Beale Township tax collector Virginia A. Foltz.

Approved the following school meal prices for the 2013-2014 school year; $1.25 for full-paying student breakfasts, $2.10 for full-paying elementary student lunch, $2.35 for full-paying secondary student lunch, $2.25 for adult breakfast, $3.35 for adult lunch, 50 cents for extra milk.

Approved the retirements of: Shirley A. Covert, JHS Spanish teacher; Joel R. Cunningham, FMES teacher; Kathleen D. Durst, TJHS guidance counselor; Glenn R. Grimm, EJHS chemistry teacher; Susan C. Snyder, Monroe Elementary School teacher; Mary Ellen Waples, Fayette Elementary School Title I teacher; Marcia A. Wortman, Walker Elementary School paraprofessional; Dawn L. Fry, Lack-Tuscarora Elementary School Title I teacher; and Patricia A. McClure, LTES teacher. All retirements will be effective at the end of the 2012-2013 school year, or by the end of June.

Approved an application to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association for the JHS field hockey program to merge with the EJHS field hockey program, effective with the fall 2013 season.

Approved the following individuals to serve as board member representatives to fill three new terms on the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit Board of Directors: Gary L. Shives, Central Fulton School District; Janice R. Metzgar, Huntingdon Area School District; and Lisa J. Baer, Southern Huntingdon County School District.