DuBois Area School Board meeting by Glenn Schuckers

The DuBois Area School Board recognized a number of athletes at its regular November meeting. Assistant Athletic Andy Edinger introduced both coaches and players for the fall sports teams and the coaches went on to introduce the players and present them with their awards.

Athletes in Girls Golf, Boys Golf, Boys Cross Country and Girls Cross Country were recognized for their accomplishments. The Girls Golf Team completed their second consecutive undefeated season and won the District 9 championship, and the Boys Golf Team was also the District 9 Champion. The Cross Country Team also completed an undefeated season and won the District 9 Championship, while the Girls Cross Country completed the season with a 19  and 1 record. The board congratulated all the athletes along with the coaches for their hard work and dedication which resulted in such outstanding seasons.

Before recognizing the athletes the board heard from a the representative of Pyramid Engineering who presented an update on the HVAC and plumbing work that has either been completed or is in progress. He said that the complete HVAC system at the high school is being replaced with a new system that will increase both the efficiency and quality of the current system which was judged to be no longer able to be repaired. The system, all of which will be roof mounted, will insure that the air quality in the school will be improved as well as increasing the energy cost-effectiveness.

Work is also in progress at the C.G. Johnson Elementary school in Reynoldsville where the heating boilers are being replaced, as well as the hot water systems and lighting systems. Those improvements will also improve the quality of the air and enhance the lighting throughout the building while at the same time lower the energy consumption.

Before getting into the agenda the board heard from three members of the audience who questioned it about the curriculum in the schools, in regard to what has become known as “Critical Race Theory” (CRT). The first speaker said the board should pay more attention to what community members say and what they want in the schools. The second speaker reiterated those comments while also asking the Board to appoint Deidra Brown to a possible open seat. The third speaker also advocated for Brown while saying board members need to pay more attention to what the community wants.

At the end of the agenda Superintendent Wendy Benton addressed  some of the concerns by reading the state requirements on curricula. She added that the current curricula at DuBois does not include any teaching of CRT and states that all children are included in the teaching and no one is excluded. She went on the address the comments made  at the previous meeting regarding the book, “The Hate U Give,” stating the book had been written in 2017, had been awarded many literary awards and had been in the Middle School Library for two years. The book, she said, had only been checked out twice in that time, both times in the month prior to the last board meeting. She said that the book is rated as “Mature” but it will remain in the Middle School library but can only be checked out with a parental permission slip having been signed. 

The board hired two new personnel. Kyle Gordon was hired as Director of Student Services, effective on November 22, and Marissa Douthit was hired as a Special Education Instructor at the Masters Step 3 Year 4 level, also effective beginning November 22. 

Benton went on to recognize two board members who have completed their terms.  Albert Varacallo and David Schwab have both served for four years and she thanked them for their service and dedication.

The next time the board meets will be for their mandated reorganization meeting on December 8, 2021.

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