Board OKs admin changes

MIFFLINTOWN–Juniata County School District will see some administrative changes, after the district’s board of directors voted unanimously on an administrative reorganization which would eliminate the director of elementary and secondary education positions and add an assistant principal at Juniata Elementary School.

The vote was held during a special meeting Wednesday night that followed a near hour-and-a-half long executive session. The special meeting was also held directly after the board’s monthly workshop meeting.

The vote came from a recommendation by the school district’s interim superintendent, Shawn Kovac, who was appointed to the position last month when former superintendent, Keith Yarger, resigned suddenly.

Kovac said his recommendation came after the board asked him to look at the current administrator configuration and its efficiency throughout the district. The superintendent said his recommendation from looking at the location of the new elementaries in relation to the high schools and the principal rotation system.

Per his recommendation, the board voted unanimously to eliminate the director of elementary and secondary education positions.

The director of elementary education is currently held by Christie Holderman and the director of secondary education is held by Ed Apple.

The board also voted unanimously to appoint Holderman to a new position, assistant superintendent for operations and curriculum instruction. They also voted unanimously voted to allow the superintendent and solicitor the authority to negotiate contracts for board review.

“In trying to keep consistency and proximity on both sides of the district, I wanted to make sure that those buildings had an assistant principal at each end of the district,” said Kovac.

This would mean having one assistant principal for Juniata High School and Tuscarora Junior High School, and one serving East Juniata High School and East Juniata Elementary School, he said.

“That way, if issues arise, we have people on both sides of the district to take care of (them).”

Kovac also said Juniata Elementary School is in need of an assistant principal because of its attendance of about 725 students. The vote to create an assistant principal position at Juniata Elementary School was approved unanimously.

Kovac did not discuss a date when the changes would take effect. He added that more information would become available at a later time, as administration was not aware that the change would occur until the vote was held.

In a 7-2 vote, the board also approved the creation of a Juniata County School District cyber school principal. Kovac said the vote assigns a title to a position that already exists. He added that the position would either be assigned to the assistant principal at Juniata or East Juniata High School.

Board members Troy Woodward and Ed Shearer dissented the vote.