Wilkes-Barre Area Board Set To Appoint New Member Next Week
The Wilkes-Barre Area School Board meets Tuesday to appoint a new board member and will meet again a week later.
At the Dec. 4 reorganization meeting, the board is expected to appoint high school coaches for unified sports teams for the fall 2019 season, board President Joe Caffrey said. The district is merging the sports teams at its three high schools — Meyers, GAR and Coughlin — in 2019-20 due to declining student participation and also plans to merge the three high schools into a new high school in Plains Twp. during the 2021-22 school year.
A total of 15 people have applied to fill the board seat vacated by Dino Galella. Five applicants have been vocal critics of the high school consolidation plan at board meetings — Dr. Mark Schiowitz, Richard Holodick, John Suchoski, Robert Holden and David Wilson.
Other applicants includes former board member Christine Katsock, former Coughlin principal Patrick Patte, Mark Atherton, Brian Brown, Joseph P. Busch, Mary Susan Pomanek-Elias, Beth Anne Harris, Jessica McClay, Carl Naessig and Lisa Sliker.
The applicants are looking to replace Galella, 65, a retired teacher and former school administrator who was first elected in 2011. Galella resigned from the board on Oct. 29 because he moved out of the district to live near his grandchildren.
Katsock was appointed to a vacant school board seat in 2009 and won four-year terms on the board in November 2009 and November 2013. Katsock decided against seeking another term last year, and she voted against the initial plan in 2015 to merge Coughlin and Meyers at a new high school built at the current Coughlin site.
In 2017, the board abandoned the plan to build on the Coughlin site in downtown Wilkes-Barre after the city zoning board rejected that plan. Naessig voted against that plan as a member of the zoning hearing board.
Patte resigned as Coughlin principal last year to take an administrative job for the Hazleton Area School District. Schiowitz served on the school board in 2011 after an appointment to fill a vacancy.
In August, the school board voted to consolidate all three high schools in a new building in Plains Twp. A resolution established a maximum cost of $137.3 million for the project.
In October, the board approved a motion that the nickname for unified sports teams will the Wolfpack and that team colors will be black and Carolina blue.
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IF YOU GO
WHAT: Wilkes-Barre Area School Board meeting
WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Administration Building, 730 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre