Categories Elizabethtown Area School DistrictFeaturedNewsSchool Board News

K-3 School Principal Departure Causes Administrative Shake-Up

East High Elementary School Principal Amy Balsbaugh has tendered her resignation to accept a position with the Warwick School District. Pending the Warwick board’s approval, her last day will be Nov. 29.

To fill that position for the reminder of the school year, the Elizabethtown school board approved the reassignment of other district administrators at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Kari Druckenmiller, currently assistant principal for Bainbridge and Mill Road elementary schools, will become acting principal at East High. Christel Pond will continue as East High’s assistant principal. Amanda Baxter, principal of Bainbridge and Mill Road, will serve just Bainbridge for the remainder of the year.

Michael Pericci, assistant principal at the middle school, will be Mill Road’s acting principal. An as-yet unnamed teacher will serve as a teacher-on-assignment to fill Pericci’s position, and a longterm substitute teacher will be hired for that open faculty position.

Board President Terry Seiders praised these administrators for stepping up to fill these positions temporarily, which will result in financial savings. He also noted that Mill Road’s fate has yet to be decided. (The board is considering closing Mill Road and expanding Rheems to accommodate those students.) The personnel report, which detailed these changes, also included the hiring of two additional instructional paraprofessionals for the autistic support class at Bear Creek School, and the naming of several faculty members as instructors for homebound students. Board member M. Caroline Lalvani cast the only no vote on the personnel report; she declined after the meeting to give a reason.

Relatedly, the board approved a change to its cleaning service contract to add an additional part-time cleaner to Bainbridge Elementary, which was expanded during its recent renovation.

In other business, the board agreed to take a $1 million fund balance committed to pension costs and designate it instead for safety and security infrastructure improvements in the district.

The board also approved marketing contracts with Market Street Sports for signage sponsored by Albright & Thiry and Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster to be placed on district property, with the district receiving revenue. The marketing will include parking lot and scoreboard signs.

The board also approved a first reading for four policies on the following: food service; public complaint procedures; volunteers, visitors, unpaid assistants and co-op supervisors; and Title I parent and family engagement. After a 30-day review period, the board will decide whether to approve the policies.

During the citizen comments period, Gerald Cole addressed the board’s recent action requesting changes in the district’s contract with Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation & Community Services. Proposed changes include withdrawing the district’s $25,000 contribution to the GEARS scheduler’s salary, charging 3 percent on revenues generated by before and after-school programs held in district buildings and charging GEARS rent for space leased in the middle school.

Cole is a Mount Joy Township supervisor who serves as the township’s representative to GEARS and is the GEARS chairman. He said that GEARS has a zero-balance budget and does not make a profit. Monies made by the childcare program go to the operating budget to support the senior center, child recreation and other costs, he said. The adult recreation programs are self-supporting, with any profits going to the operating budget, he added.

“Any change to the agreement needs to be done in a cooperative manner between all parties to the agreement,” Cole said.

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