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Mifflin Co. board approves $79.8 million budget

MCSD residents will see no tax increase if budget is approved in June as well

LEWISTOWN – Residents of the Mifflin County School District will see no tax increase if the preliminary budget – as approved on Thursday – is approved in June.

The district’s board of school directors unanimously approved a $79.8 million budget during a special voting meeting held prior to the board’s regularly scheduled committee of the whole meeting held via Zoom call. The budget shows a $3.2 million deficit.

Superintendent Jim Estep said he expects the deficit to decrease prior to the time the final budget is approved in June.

The preliminary budget, he said, was based on certain assumptions about anticipated revenues, including one that the district would receive level funding from the state for basic and special education.

Additionally, the district is waiting to find out how Coronavirus Relief Funds through the CARES Act can be used. That funding could potentially drop the deficit to $2.5 million, the superintendent said.

Estep said Mifflin County School District is still supporting charter school reform. He said the district currently pays $2.5-2.7 million per year for tuition for charter school students “that would almost eliminate our deficit.”

During the committee of the whole meeting, Estep explained that he anticipates that the district will be pressured to have technology-based instruction in the fall and teaching staff may need to have laptops available earlier in the summer than usual for planning purposes.

Estep requested permission to seek eight interns internally to help clean hardware so that technology could be available for teachers by mid-July.

Following the meeting, the board held an executive session to discuss contract negotiations.

In other news, the board plans to vote on the following items during the voting meeting held May 28:

– Resignations of Katurah Klein, chemistry teacher due to relocation;

– The resignation of David Baumgardner due to retirement;

– The transfer of Jenny Fortson, autistic support at Strodes Mills to emotional support at Mifflin County Middle School, effective at the start of the 2020-21 school year;

– Jeffrey Koleno as first grade teacher at East Derry at a salary of $44,329;

– Allison Koleno as first grade teacher at Indian Valley Elementary Center at $45,136, effective pending pre-employment paperwork and clearances;

– Leah Noerr as first grade teacher at Strodes Mills at $47,363 effective pending pre-employment paperwork and clearances;

– Trey Hartsock as math teacher at Alpha at $43,522 for the 2020-21 school year, effective pending completion of pre-employment paperwork and emergency permit;

– Stefanie Gilbert, school counselor at Mifflin County High School at a salary of $44,972, effective at the start of the 2020-21 school year, pending completion of pre-employment paperwork and all appropriate certifications

-Anne Harshbarger, chemistry teacher at Mifflin County High School at a salary of $43,522 for the 2020-21 school year, effective pending completion of pre-employment paperwork and emergency permit;

– Megan Corl, third grade teacher at Lewistown Elementary School at $44,329 for the 2020-21 school year;

– The transfer of Travis Specht, full-time custodian at Indian Valley Elementary School to full-time custodian at Mifflin County High School;

-The transfer of L. Hope Palm, English teacher at Alpha to reading and English Language Arts teacher at Mifflin County Middle School, effective the start of the 2020-21 school year;

– The following event staff for the 2020-21 school year: Nikki Bailey, Nathan Barnhart, Mark Beck, Jamie Beeler, Banks Bennet, Taylor Boozel, Korie Bubb, Cole Carter, Douglas Cramer, Charles Douglas, Eric Ettinger, Glenn Franklin Sr., Jason Franklin, Scott Gantz, James Garrett, Alex Haines, Maryann Haines, Robert Haines, Brent Hartman, Allan Hepner, Roger Herto, Sandy Herto, Gina Himes, Steven Himes, Ray Hoppel, Craig Johnson, Jodi Kibe, Dakota Macknair, Isaac Maclay, Tamara Matthews, Stephanie Moon, Matthew Moore, Connor Muir, Kristen Neavling, L. Hope Palm, Timothy Palm, Nicole Patkalitsky, Makayla Green, Timothy Pearce Sr., Timothy Pearce Jr., Lisa Poche, Steven Poche, Matthew Reed, Mara Rhodes, Nelson Reiffannachet, Gayle Schifano, Jane Schnell, Jerold Schnell, Lucas Shinskie, Trystan Snyder, Laura Simely, Laura Stuck, Marc Terry, Paula Treaster, Anne Wilson, Marla Wright, Richard Yearick;

– The following coaches for the 2020-21 season: Cassie Swenson, assistant cheerleading; Rachel Corson, volunteer assistant cheerleading; Jessica Renninger, JH cheerleading; Libby Wray, volunteer assistant JH cheerleading; Adrienne Witters, volunteer assistant JH cheerleading; Deanna Russler, volunteer assistant cross country at MCHS; Jennifer Neavling, volunteer assistant cross country; Seth Yearick, volunteer assistant cross country; Christopher Tatom, volunteer assistant cross country; Neil Breneman, volunteer assistant cross country; Lauren Kuykendall, volunteer assistant cross country; Christian Hassinger, first assistant football; Steven Himes, assistant football; Charles Douglas Jr., assistant football; Kyle Baublitz, assistant football at Mifflin County Middle School; Richard Bender Jr., assistant football; Steven Searer, volunteer assistant football; Connor Muir, head junior high football coach; Shawn Renninger, volunteer JH football; Eric Ettinger, volunteer JH football; Carolyn Kline, assistant girls soccer coach; Emma Hepler, volunteer assistant girls soccer coach; Brett Leister, volunteer assistant girls soccer coach at MCJH; Justin Mayo, assistant boys soccer coach at MCHS; Joab Carter, volunteer assistant boys soccer coach; Daniel Schomaker, volunteer assistant boys soccer coach; Keith Yoder, volunteer assistant boys soccer coach; Alex Leight, volunteer assistant boys soccer coach; Jeffrey Mazurek, assistant girls tennis; Steven Hugendubler, volunteer girls tennis; Jennifer Myers, assistant volleyball coach at Mifflin County Middle School; Heather Adams, volunteer volleyball coach; Roy Bucher, volunteer volleyball coach; Michaelan Marini, volunteer volleyball coach at MCJH; Erin McLaughlin, volunteer volleyball coach at MCHS; Melinda Retherford, volunteer volleyball coach; Natalie Faith, head junior high field hockey; Colleen Snook, assistant junior high field hockey at Indian Valley; Anne Harshbarger, volunteer JH field hockey;

– The following softball coaches for the 2020-21 season: Makaylah Holbert, head JH softball coach; Craig Weston, assistant JH softball coach;

– Anne Harshbarger as assistant field hockey coach for the 2020-21 season;

– The following winter head coaches for the 2020-21 season: Roger Herto, head girls basketball; Scott Gaffey, head boys basketball; Scott Gantz, head indoor track; Aaron J. Shepherd, head swim coach; James Martin, head wrestling; Kevin Diven, volunteer head bowling coach;

– Stephanie Hoffman as volunteer field hockey coach for the 2020-21 season;

– Isaac Suydam as volunteer field hockey coach for the 2020-21 season;

– Trey Hartsock as volunteer football coach for the 2020-21 season;

– An agreement between MCSD and Laurel Life Services for one secondary transition classroom for the 2020-21 school year at a cost of $250,000. The program assists with maintaining high risk students in the district in lieu of pacing students outside the district in private licensed schools.

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