A new elementary school principal was hired by Parkland School Board Tuesday night. The board also moved forward with plans to install an artificial turf athletic field at Parkland High School later this year.
And it passed a resolution calling on Pennsylvania’s legislature to provide more financial support to public schools and “ensure that our students’ education is not jeopardized.”
According to that resolution, the state’s contribution to funding public education has dropped from more than 50 percent in the mid-1970s to less than 35 percent.
That decline in financial support has placed additional burden on local taxpayers to make up the difference.
The resolution also states that, on average, other states across the country contribute 44 percent of total education funding.
But Pennsylvania ranks 42nd among the 50 states in the amount of state subsidies allocated to support elementary and secondary education.
The school board voted 8-1 to pay Architerra PC of Coopersburg $52,000 for architectural and engineering services required for the design and installation of an artificial turf field in the high school’s soccer stadium.
“Any questions or comments on this item?” asked board president Roberta Marcus before the vote. No board member had either.
The only no vote was cast by board vice president David Kennedy, who later explained he had voted against the turf field previously, “so I would be a hypocrite if I would vote for it tonight.”
In November, the school board voted 5-4 to install the artificial turf field, which will cost about $1.5 million. Kennedy was among the four board members who voted against it.
On Monday night, Kennedy estimated the cost of the project will be close to $2 million.
After the meeting, district superintendent Richard Sniscak said he hopes installation of the multi-purpose field will be completed sometime in fall.
One of the major issues that will be addressed by the engineering study will be stormwater management, said the superintendent.
Architerra also is working on an AstroTurf project to install two artificial turf fields in a park in Lower Macungie Township.
Applause broke out at the school board meeting when Timothy A. Chorones unanimously was hired as principal of Fogelsville Elementary School.
Marcus said many candidates were interviewed for the position but Chorones was the unanimous choice of district officials who did those interviews.
After the meeting, Sniscak said the district received 36 applications for the position. Twelve applicants were interviewed, four finalists were brought back for another interview “and Tim was the successful candidate.”
In a news release distributed at the board meeting, Sniscak praised Chorones as dynamic, articulate and professional.
The superintendent also said the new principal has a strong technical background and cares deeply for children.
Sniscak expects Chorones will start at Fogelsville Elementary around the beginning of May “at the latest.” His annual salary will be $97,000.
Chorones will replaces Brenda DeRenzo, who will become director of student services when Robert Thornburg retires from that position at the end of the school year.
Chorones currently is assistant principal at Upper Perkiomen Middle School in the Upper Perkiomen School District. He said he has been in that position for two years.