By Jamie Wiggan
The Sto-Rox school board put off voting on a project during its Sept. 30 meeting to consider whether the district should instead move toward replacing the entire roof of the upper elementary building at a cost of up to $2 million.
The board had initially been set to vote on $108,000 in repair work which would patch the leaky roof until Dave Kerchok, maintenance supervisor, pointed out long-term issues that would still need to be addressed within the next few years.
“If we’re going to attack this, we should go the whole way,” Kerchok said. “I think it’s smart to put that money toward the big project.”
Kerchok said the district could scrape through another year by patching the worst sections of roof for about $20,000 and encouraged the board to take that route if it also intended to tackle the entire replacement project sooner rather than later.
Business Manager Paul Shroka said moving ahead with the $108,000 project would mean “throwing that money away,” whenever the roof is ultimately replaced.
The board tabled the item while it explores financing options for installing a new roof.
Director Cameron Culliver opposed the tabling; directors Adrienne Roberts and Michelina Cersosimo were absent.
The strapped district was recently placed in a state program to steer it back into financial solvency.
Also during the meeting, the board hired long-time educator Pamela Clawson as the district’s first full-time cyber school coordinator.
After launching the Virtual Viking Academy in the fall of 2020, the board voted to create a position for a full-time administrator to oversee the program when it met in September.
Clawson joined the district 16 years ago and most recently worked as a special education teacher for the middle school.
The board also approved seven resignations, including four teachers, one counselor and a paraprofessional. Director Ken Hohman requested the board discuss any issues behind the departures publicly; however, Solicitor Annemarie Harr directed the conversation toward executive session.
During the previous week’s meeting, Carrie Palermo, teachers’ union president, said district morale had reached an all-time low that had prompted at least one resignation.
The board also approved new hires for a primary center general worker, a substitute secretary and a seventh-grade science teacher during the meeting.
Travis Anderson and Kerry Connolly were also hired as boys and girls basketball coaches respectively.