New president says board reshuffle signals clean start for reeling district
Photo by Jamie Wiggan
Magistrate Bruce Boni swears in school directors (left to right) Adrienne Roberts, Bobbi Sangricco, Alice Cooper, Cameron Culliver and James Grimm during the Dec. 9 Sto-Rox reorganization meeting.
By Jamie Wiggan
Following his appointment as the new Sto-Rox board president, Cameron Culliver said he wants his colleagues to move beyond a spate of recent issues and form a united front for the sake of the school community.
“It’s about time some things started changing around here,” Culliver said during the board’s Dec. 9 reorganization meeting. “...Let’s move things on, let’s get things done.”
A month prior to Culliver’s appointment, the board censured then-president Samantha Levitzki-Wright and began proceedings to terminate former superintendent Frank Dalmas for alleged ethical violations. Levitzki-Wright and Dalmas reportedly accepted personal compensation for time spent on a grant application to benefit the school district.
Levitzki-Wright accepted the censure but maintained she was acting as an individual rather than a school board representative when accepting the funds.
Questioned by Culliver about her ability to fulfill the remainder of her term, Levitzki-Wright said she was “110%” confident.
“I’m fine in my skin, I’m fine with my objectives and the duties that I perform,” she said.
“I’m not dedicated to hearsay, I’m dedicated to the kids.”
Culliver returned the confidence in Levitzki-Wright and said he was ready to close the matter.
“You say yes you can do it, so I’m going to have faith in you in the fact that you can do it,” he said.
“Let's press forward.”
Culliver, a former Air Force officer, now recruiting for the newly-founded U.S. Space Force, joined the board in July 2020 and is a Sto-Rox graduate.
Also during the meeting, two new members were sworn in and a former director was appointed to fill a vacancy.
James Grimm, who has served previous terms as a school director, and Bobbi Sangricco were sworn in as newcomers. Incumbent directors Adrienne Roberts, Alice Cooper and Cameron Culliver were sworn in to new terms following their reelection bids.
Cooper was reappointed by her peers to serve as the board’s vice president.
Tasked with filling an additional vacancy, directors appointed Tyler Kochirka to fill the empty seat. Director Ken Hohman voiced the lone dissenting voice, pushing instead for a clearer public process to search for interested candidates.
Bridge with borough?
David Flick, due to be sworn in as the mayor of McKees Rocks in January, addressed the board to express interest in forging deeper relationships between the borough and the school district.
Flick said he didn’t want to insert himself into school board affairs but wanted to make himself available as a partner to pursue mutual goals.
“Your homework between now and January is to start imagining for yourselves what new and different relationships [you want to see] between the board and the Borough of McKees Rocks,” he said. “...I stand ready to explore new and exciting options that we haven’t come up with yet.”
Flick also emphasized the school’s pivotal role in the community and pressed directors to consider expanding programming in creative arts and other areas.