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District teachers, volunteers honored

5/29/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Physical education teacher Kathy Casper, at right, was honored as Outstanding Educator of the Year for Fort Island Primary School, Copley-Fairlawn City Schools and PTA District 13. Copley-Fairlawn PTA Council President Barb Varley, at left, and Fort Island Primary School PTA President Susan Strandberg made the presentation at the May 20 Copley-Fairlawn City Schools Board of Education meeting.
Photo: Pam Lifke
Copley-Fairlawn City Schools teachers and volunteers were honored at the May 20 Board of Education meeting.

Physical education teacher Kathy Casper was honored as Outstanding Educator of the Year for Fort Island Primary School, Copley-Fairlawn City Schools and PTA District 13. Outstanding educator selections are made each year by the building PTA and PTSA organizations, according to district officials. District winners are chosen from the pool of building nominees by the Copley PTA Council. Copley-Fairlawn district winners then advance to the PTA District 13 contest.

Other PTA-selected outstanding educators were Angela Kavak from Arrowhead Primary School, Amy Belles from Herberich Primary School, Kimberly Carothers from Copley-Fairlawn Middle School (CFMS) and Stephen Zimmerer from Copley High School (CHS).

Also honored were PTA Helping Hands winners who were chosen from among the district’s volunteers. This year’s winners include Dana Osborne from Arrowhead, Cathlin Pusateri from Fort Island, Lital Pearson from Herberich and Sharon Nagy from CHS. Giselle Davis, who volunteers at CFMS, was both the building and the school district winner.

Students of the month for April were Arrowhead fourth-grader Cory Arp, the son of Thomas and Crissy Arp; Fort Island fourth-grader Emily Wang, the daughter of Guo-Xiang and Bei Lin Wang; Herberich fourth-grader Alyssa Clark, the daughter of Jared and Ashley Clark; CFMS fifth-grader Carmen Rowe, the daughter of Chris and Theresa Rowe; and CHS senior Julia Walton, the daughter of Larry and Holly Walton.

Athlete of the month for April was pole vaulter and senior Dawson Mancabelli, the son of Scott Mancabelli and Maria Theodore.

The board paid homage to 11 staff members who are retiring. In aggregate, the 11 retirees have 272 years of experience, said Superintendent Brian Poe. Three of the staff members — Nancy Shehata, CHS English as a second language tutor; Food Service Director Dale Panovich; and CHS physical education teacher Michael Kuthan — attended the meeting and were presented with Copley Schools blankets personalized with the year of their retirement. Other retirees include: CHS physical education teacher Dan Boarman, instrumental music teacher and band director Lori Ciulla, CFMS science teacher Steven Coon, Education Management Information System Coordinator Sandra Hebing, CFMS teacher Barbara Lang, CFMS teacher Debra Lavelle, Herberich teacher Diane Merkle and Herberich Library/Media Associate Emily Vanke. Retirees not attending the meeting will be presented with blankets at another time, Poe said.

Mike Foster, CHS band director and father of two Herberich students, addressed the board about ongoing contract negotiations with the Copley Teachers Association (CTA). Foster asserted that district teachers love the school system and their students and outlined accomplishments of the school district he attributed to teachers. He said the CTA was “disappointed” with the Board of Education’s contract proposal. Copley teachers in 2011 agreed to a contract with no pay increases. That contract expires June 29, according to documents on the district website.

Foster did not specify which portions of the contract proposal were disappointing to the organization, although he did reference the pay freeze agreed to in 2011 and a budget surplus that “would be envied” by other districts. CTA President Pam Angheld would not say which portions of the contract proposal were at issue.

Poe told Foster he had no comment as the two parties have another meeting scheduled for May 29 and he did not want to negotiate in public.

Board President Sue Emich said the board has presented an offer to CTA, but CTA representatives have not yet presented a counterproposal.

The board granted two-year contracts to administrators, including Denise Cirino, Patricia Hickey, William Kerrigan, Steven Robinson and Larry Watson. Poe said the administrators have accepted the terms of their previous contracts, which contained no pay increases. The contracts, however, would be reviewed after negotiations with CTA are complete, he said.

In other action, the board:

  • authorized the treasurer to advertise for asphalt repairs and renovation to be paid for from the Permanent Improvement Fund;
  • agreed to dispose of three school buses valued at less than $30,000;
  • accepted a donation of cameras and equipment for the CHS Art Department and a used trombone and used French horn for the Music Department. The musical instruments were donated by Marjorie Cooper;
  • approved an overnight field trip for CHS junior Zach Li to travel to Pennsylvania State University to participate in the American Regional Math League competiton;
  • approved graduates for 2014, pending completion of graduation requirements;
  • accepted the resignations of Deidre Kondik, Debra Lavelle, Joseph Knight and Jennifer Stancil;
  • hired science teacher Laura Pancoe and physical education teacher Alan Vanderink;
  • authorized the treasurer and superintendent to enter into and execute a settlement agreement with CHS science teacher Seamus O’Hara; and
  • approved continuing contracts for full-time employees Stephen Gambaccini, Jennifer Lindsey, Andrea Moore, Stacey Mruczkowski, Antoine Pastor, Michelle Quinlin, Christine Sims and Margaret Steffen and part-time employees Brian Crego, Susan Giglioti and Sarah Trogdon.

The board’s next meeting is set for June 24 at 6 p.m. in the CHS Conference Room, 3797 Ridgewood Road.

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