Jeff Tech Operating Committee meets, learns of employee honors

L-R: Drew Gilhousen, Ron Doane, Donna Overman, Principal Melissa Mowrey, Dr. Barry Fillman

The Jeff Tech Operating Committee held its regular meeting on May 24 and honored three employees.

In his director’s report, Dr. Barry Fillman announced that school nurse Donna Overman was named Teacher of the Year for her work during the pandemic. Drew Gilhousen, the printer at the school where he’s worked for the past 31 years, received the Employee of the Year honor, the first time this award was given. Also honored was English instructor Ron Doane for his 50 years of service to Jeff Tech. Dr. Fillman noted that estimating Doane taught 100 students per year means that about 5,000 students have attended his English class. Doane plans to return in the fall.

In other action, the committee approved a motion to keep Dr. Thomas Lesniewski of the Punxsutawney School District as the Chief School Administrator. Dr. Lesniewski said he has enjoyed working with the Jeff Tech staff.

Obviously it was an extremely difficult year this year with Covid, and particularly for this type of school that’s basically hands on a daily basis. He [Dr. Fillman] and his staff did a great job of making sure they kept the school open, functional, and running, doing the best they could do for the students,” he said. Dr. Lesniewski added he feels it will be a great school year next year and he’s honored to be a part of it.

The committee also approved a motion to keep the law firm of Ferraro, Kruk and Ferraro as the school’s solicitor.

New grant monies

The committee accepted $135,666 for the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program from the American Rescue Plan for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Dr. Fillman said because of the LPN program’s accreditation, it qualified for the funds while other adult programs did not, but he and his staff are working on grant monies for those programs.


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