Updated: Apr 12, 2021
By Jamie Wiggan
A redistribution of administrative roles approved March 15 reflects a wave of change coming to the education world in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Montour Superintendent Christopher Stone.
Stone said the board’s votes closing the director of K-4 academic achievement and innovation role and creating openings for an assistant superintendent and a director of instruction and academic achievement were created with internal candidates in mind and so effectively amount to a redistribution of existing roles.
The changes reflect “the changing climate of all school systems [in the coronavirus era],” Stone said.“[The new positions] will re-emphasize our high-level academics and augment our high school offerings.”
The now-closed role previously belonged to Justin Aglio, and remained vacant since Aglio left for Penn State University in December 2020 to lead its new Readiness Institute – a “learning lab” for promoting educational equality throughout the Pittsburgh region. Stone did not name the internal candidates slated for the new openings.
Students in public schools across Pennsylvania have been dependent upon remote learning for significant portions of their schooling since Gov. Tom Wolf first issued his emergency order in March 2020. The new reliance on technology has wrought long-term changes even for well-funded districts like Montour, which already furnished each student with a personal technology device prior to the pandemic.
Seeing opportunity amid the disruption, Stone said a steering committee of educators, board members and parents is currently working to reimagine the school’s educational vision on the other side of the pandemic.
“Covid is the catalyst of change,” he said.
Also during the meeting, the board approved five new bus purchases in an effort to upgrade its aging transportation fleet.
Weighing in before the vote, Business Manager Anna Borsos said the district had accrued a surplus in the most recent tax year and was therefore well positioned to buy the five buses for a total of $451,420.
“Because we’re OK financially, we’re able to catch [Transportation Manager Bob Wagner] up,” said Borsos.
Wagner said more investment is needed in future years to bring up to speed the 41-bus fleet in which 24 currently have clocked up more than 100,000 miles.
“We’re still catching up for the sins of well past,” he said.