DuBois Area School Board reorganizes by Glenn Schuckers

The DuBois Area School Board held a reorganization meeting at the Administrative Center on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Seven members were present with Jeff Mattinger present via zoom from his home where he is recuperating.

Returning members Dustin Dodd, Gilbert Barker, Mark Gilga and Robert Wachob elected Gilbert Barker as the temporary  president.  The  board secretary read the Certificates of Election for Samuel Armagost, Jeff Mattinger, Larry Salone and Charlie Watt. One seat in District A remains open, and will be filled at a special meeting on January 3, 2022 when the board will interview applicants for that open seat and appoint a resident to fill that seat. Following that, Salone was again elected to serve as president for the coming year, Barker will return as vice president and  Armagost will again serve as Representative to Jeff Tech. 

Prior to getting to the regular agenda, Superintendent Wendy Benton introduced Matt Reed from the First Class Children’s Foundation who explained how the Foundation works. He made a special presentation to Callie Hynds whose contribution “Callie’s Creations” donated the funds that put the Foundation over its goal for the year and made its possible to give all students an “Imagination Box.” Reed then presented Callie with a certificate and a special Imagination Box in recognition of her contribution. 

Benton then recognized the contributions made by the local Staples Store for its  contributions to the “Show Students You Care” campaign. 

The last recognition of the evening was to the students and teacher Mr. Tony Monella at Juniata Elementary School for the book they wrote and illustrated. Benton read the book about Thanksgiving and said it will be added to a library at the Administrative Center.

Three residents, Steven Russo, Deidre Brown and Kent Smith  then spoke to the board stating their dissatisfaction with how the board appears to only discuss issues in executive sessions and not in public meetings, how there is a lack of press releases, and how the board lacks transparency in its decision making. All  three also urged the board to appoint Brown to the remaining open seat. 

The board voted on its meeting schedule which remains much like the past year with work sessions on the second or third Thursdays and regular meetings on the third or fourth Thursdays. No work sessions are scheduled in July, August, November or December. 

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