Frank Casarella is proud of a lot of things during his tenure as chairman of the Wyoming Area School Board of Education.
We successfully completed work on the Mongomery Avenue Elementary school after the flood, he said.
Casarella presided over his final meeting as chairman on Nov. 27.
A reorganization meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Dec. 4.
He thanked the board, administration, Quad Three and Joyce Insurance for all working together after the flood.
That project could have dipped into our fund balance to the tune of $700,000, $800,000, Casarella said.
We were able to secure money from PEMA and FEMA. All that with minimal disruption to the students.
He said other highlights of his term include passing an anti-nepotism policy, refinancing a bond for almost $100,000 to help the district through some economic crunches, a new roof on the high school for $1.1 million and a loan to renovate the Montgomery Avenue Elementary for $2 million, at a record low interest.
He added he helped cut expenditures in the last two school years.
This board has been responsible for saving the district an amount close to $1.3 million, Casarella said. We've done that through monitoring expenses and looking at the revenues that were coming in and controlling the way they were spent.
He said all that was done without replacing personnel, without closing a school and without any furloughs of teachers.
We had a lot of work to do there, he said. I'm proud of what we accomplished and I'm looking forward to moving forward in the next year, with the administration that will be in place after reorganization.
Superintendent Raymond Bernardi discussed the recent Veterans Day program at the Secondary Center. He congratulated Tenth Street Elementary students Bayli Grossi and Cassidy Orzel who presented their winning essays at the event.
In other business, the school board:
• Hired two lawyers to represent the district's interests in negotiating with the NEPA Health Trust. Attorneys John Audi and George Shovlin were hired at $185 an hour. The cost will be divided among the school districts that use their services.
• Hired Berkheimer One Source to assist in printing and mailing the annual Homestead/Farmstead invitation letters to eligible district residents who reside in Luzerne County.
• Hired the following spring head coaches: Barry Pryzbilla, softball; Charles Andrewscavage, baseball; and Joe Pizano, track and field. All three will be paid $3,965 each.
• Approved the following volunteer wrestling coaches for the 2012-2013 winter season: Mike Schutz, Carmen Mauriello, Jeff Pepe, Rob Wrobleski, Mark Poccheschi, Anthony Heck and Mark Ragantesi.
• Approved the appointment of Paul Johnson as assistant junior high wrestling coach for $2,163.
• Approved the appointment of Ryan Carey as eighth grade boys basketball coach for $1,446.
• Approved the appointment of Alex Brogna as elementary boys basketball coach for $884.
• Approved Dean Carey as a volunteer coach for eighth-grade boys basketball and Mike Fanti as a volunteer track coach.
• Appointed Kristina Williams as eighth grade girls basketball coach for $1,446.
• Appointed the following assistant swim coaches: Michelle D'Amico for $2,163; diving coach Kenny Bryden for $2,163; and volunteer Maureen Pikas.