Jeff Tech Operating Committee receives student appreciation, reviews preliminary budget

The Jeff Tech Operating Committee met in regular session on January 24 and received thank yous from students in celebration of School Board Appreciation Month.

L-R: Skylar Allshouse, Lane Verdill, Mason Swab

Despite the snow, three students attended the meeting to thank the committee in person. Two of those students, Skylar Allshouse (grade 12, Brookville School District) and Lane Verdill (grade 11, Punxsutawney School District) informed the committee members of their upcoming participation in the Pennsylvania Skills USA competition in April. The third student, Mason Swab (grade 10, DuBois Area School District) provided a thank you gift from his Computer Tech shop which were wooden kitchen utensils engraved by the class. The thank yous also included a video produced by the Digital Media Arts shop.

Committee Chairperson Dr. Fred Park of the Brookville School District expressed his appreciation to the students.

“One of the better things of this meeting, and what makes this meeting so good, is that we are able to have students come share with us, so I really appreciate you coming, especially on a night like this…,” he said.

Co-op request

Matt Grieneisen of Epic Heating and Cooling of Brockway addressed the board and talked about a Jeff Tech student who worked for him full time through the co-op program this past fall while taking classes online. When school resumed after Christmas break, that student returned to school and could only work a couple of days a week.

“What I’m asking is for the seniors and the seniors only that are in good academic standing to be excused, and if they want to go to cyber allow them to go to cyber so they can work,” Grieneisen said. He added that a former Jeff Tech student also works for him full time.

The matter was referred to School Director Barry Fillman, who said something could be worked out.

Part time class update

Cara Davenport, coordinator for Jeff Tech’s Practical Nursing program, provided an update on the part time classes that began January 11. She said the students meet two days a week. Currently there are six in the class, but she expects that number to increase to nine in June.

“We’ve already had students inquiring about the class for the fall,” Davenport said. Those classes will begin in August.

Preliminary Budget

Sherry Hasselman, Jeff Tech Business Manager, provided a brief overview of the 2022-2023 preliminary budget. She said the school has received more revenue this year which should help offset any additional costs, next year. She also mentioned the school is currently in contract negotiations with the teaching staff.

Dr. Fillman explained the preliminary figures reflect a proposed increase in staffing due to a projected increase in enrollment. In the 2018-2019 school year, he explained, Jeff Tech had 343 students. Here in the 2021-2022 school year, there are 482. He called the projected enrollment increase in the coming year “significant.”

More information on the budget will be provided to the committee at its February meeting. A formal budget report will be presented at the March meeting. The finalized package will be sent in April to the four sending school districts for their consideration.

Other actions

The committee approved a motion to hire William Chase as a full time Diesel Mechanics instructor. He is currently the half-time Welding instructor. The committee also acknowledged and praised the work of the Digital Media Arts classes and their instructor, Steven Sensebaugh, for the new Jeff Tech recruitment video. (To watch the video, click here.)

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