KCSD board president addresses rejected pay freeze
By CHRIS MORELLI
MILL HALL — In the first public meeting since it was reported that unionized teachers in the Keystone Central School District rejected a recent request for a pay freeze, the board addressed the issue.
At Thursday night’s Keystone Central School District board work session, board president Boise “Bo” Miller spoke briefly about the issue, calling it a “miscommunication.”
“We had a minor snafu, a breakdown in communication between the board and the leadership of the Association (of Clinton County Educators), the ACCE last week. That resulted in the board not receiving information in a timely manner,” Miller said.
“We don’t want to see that happen again. It was very unfortunate and we are taking some steps to make sure something like that doesn’t happen in the future.”
The request for a pay freeze came as the board begins projecting its 2019-2020 budget. It was the second time the board asked the teachers for a pay freeze in one year. Teachers rejected it both times.
“Board leadership is working with new administration to reach out to ACCE leadership – some of you sitting here tonight, thanks for coming – we want to make sure that there are clear, open lines of communication so we can negotiate in good faith … that’s the way things are supposed to work. It was unfortunate that things played out the way they did. That was not intentional,” Miller said.
Miller didn’t try to place blame on anyone.
“Obviously, we don’t place any blame on the ACCE executive council or anything like that,” he said.
It was also the first official work session for new superintendent Jacquelyn Martin. Her first superintendent’s report re-capped her first week on the job.
“First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for the warm welcome I’ve received at Keystone Central,” Martin said. “I believe this is indicative of a community that cares about education and the children that we serve. I’ve been truly humbled by the kindness that has been extended to me – by the staff, by people in the community and also by the students.”
Martin said that she met with Central Mountain High School students last Friday, Central Mountain Middle School students on Monday and Bucktail High School students on Tuesday.
“I have to say I was very impressed with all the students that I met with. I believe we had very honest and candid conversations about our district. They shared their perspectives regarding the strengths and the challenges that they see in our schools,” Martin said.
In other business, the board:
r Announced that board member Jennifer Bottorf has resigned. She represented Region II, Lamar Township, Mill Hall Borough. The resignation was effective Jan. 22.
r Moved the last day of school to Monday, June 10. That date is tentative and could change if there are more snow days.
r Received the annual individual audit from Baker Tilly. Joe O’Neill and John Compton made the presentation.
The board will hold a voting session at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Central Mountain High School auditorium.