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Former Moon Area Principal Hauser steps in for Sto-Rox

By Elizabeth Perry

Michael Hauser has been hired to replace outgoing Sto-Rox Jr. Sr. High School Principal Kim Price as the acting principal.

Hauser started teaching in 1972 and worked as a principal for Moon Area High School for 17 years. He has been acting principal for Wilkinsburg and Aliquippa school districts, according to the Sto-Rox School District.

“The biggest challenge is making sure students are respectful and attentive to the educational environment,” Hauser said.

Hauser told the school board at the March 23 meeting he wanted to manage the high school effectively and safely, providing kids with a solid education in a place where they could feel safe as well.

During his tenure in Moon, Hauser said he oversaw the construction of a new high school. After his retirement as principal, he served on the Moon School Board and the joint operating committee for Parkway West Career and Technology Center. Hauser explained that he began his career in the Rochester School District. After seven years of teaching, he was laid off and at that time purchased an Italian Restaurant.

“That’s what I’m looking for,” joked Sto-Rox Director Lucille Young.

Hauser said his wife was actually a much better cook.

Price attended the meeting, which Board President Cameron Culliver said would be her last. At the Jan. 26 school board meeting she had announced her intention to leave the position, giving the district a 60-day notice citing burnout and a lack of resources as the reason. She plans to become the Coordinator of Performing Arts for Pittsburgh Public Schools. Hauser will receive $475 a day with no benefits as acting principal.

Financial audit

Mark Turnley presented audit data to the school board which was cause for cautious optimism. The board saw an almost $3.4 million revenue increase over the 2021-2022 school year.

The deficit went from $5,906,695 to $2,064,154 on a $34,605,014 budget.

“Obviously federal funds play a huge role,” Business Manager Paul Sroka said via email.

Turnley said the money stemming from COVID-19 relief funding, including the American Rescue Plan and the Emergency and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund will certainly be going away next year.

The district received $1.3 million in ESSERs and ARP funding, Turnley said. Overall, according to the audit, the district received $4,769,300 in federal funding.

Turnley noted an increase of $510,000 in tax revenues and said instructional costs were more than $1 million under budget.

AIU Family Center

The board agreed to allow the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Family Center to use the Foster Building for its programming. The lease commences on April 1 and is scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2024.

Lorene Vollman, program director for the AIU Family Center, said the organization had been at its previous location for 16 years. Vollman said the new owners of the building raised the rent and an agreement could not be reached.

Dan Rinkus, communications manager for the district and AIU, said the AIU will pay the district $1,300 monthly for use of the Foster site for the Sto-Rox Family Center.

Meetings combined

The board of directors has begun to combine the agenda review and legislative voting meetings into one meeting. Previously, they had been separated into two, twice a month. Culliver made the decision in an attempt to streamline the process, said Rinkus. The change causes the single meeting to run a little longer than before, but would ultimately save time overall.

“We try to give folks an opportunity to speak, we still want to make sure our folks are available before and after the meeting,” Rinkus said.

Typically meetings are held in the Junior-Senior High School Cafeteria, but the next meeting will be held on April 20 at the Meyers Ridge Community Center, 901 Gray Ave., McKees Rocks.


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