Trail board eliminates public relations position for financial reasons

First Posted: 5/12/2015

FACTORYVILLE — At the Lackawanna Trail school board meeting May 11, the board voted to eliminate the public relations director position, effective at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

Superintendent Matthew Rakauskas clarified that it’s an elimination of a position due to financial purposes, not a disciplinary type of manner.

Cathy Rist Strauch, treasurer of the Friends of Music Booster Club, commended Alice Stuffle, who has been the district public relations director for 21 years, on her service to Lackawanna Trail. She also asked Rakauskas what he plans to do without a public relations director.

“The plan is basically there will be a number of people who will be responsible for the public relations portion that deals with getting information to the media about the good news that’s happening at Lackawanna Trail,” he said.

Rakauskas said that in terms of getting photographs, Lackawanna Trail will hire photographers at a per diem rate to freelance at will.

“It will be a learning process,” he said. “I asked the administrators all to kick in.”

Rakauskas also announced that Stuffle will remain public relations director until June 30, 2015.

“One of the things we’ll look at is fans and so forth taking pictures at games sending them to a certain place. We don’t know where that is or how that will be yet, but most of those events are high school events,” he stated.

Rakauskas said that high school principal Mark Murphy and Harry Powell, senior English teacher and member of the Athletics Booster Club, will choose the photos, coordinate them with a story, and get them to the newspapers.

Strauch suggested to maybe have someone become a moderator for photography students who are looking to put things in their high school resumes. Rakauskas replied that the digital media class at the high school is a possibility.

Also, in his superintendent’s report, Rakauskas thanked Stuffle for her years of service to Lackawanna Trail. Board member Ned Clarke also thanked Stuffle for her service.

“I like to thank Alice for her unselfish commitment to the district itself,” said Clarke. “Since I’ve been around, Alice has been on the ground taking pictures and doing probably many other things that most of us aren’t even aware of.”

Elementary principal Brian Kelly and high school principal Mark Murphy also praised Stuffle for her service.

Also in his elementary education report, Kelly announced that the School-wide Positive Behavior Support System will launch this fall. he said that the school’s new motto is “ROAR.”

“So, the students of Lackawanna Trail elementary center are respectful, organized, accepting, and responsible,” he said. “Those four targeted behaviors are going to be clearly defined and taught to all of our students in all areas of our building. It’s going to be a great program to continue changing our culture in a positive direction.”

Also, the board voted to approve:

• The Lackawanna Trail School District’s 2015-16 proposed final budget in the amount of $20,560,450.

• RBC Capital Markets be named as investment banker for the 2015 Lackawanna Trail School District General Obligation/Refinancing Issue.

• Community Bank NA be designated as paying agent for the 2015 Lackawanna Trail School District Bond Issue at a cost of $1,000 per year.

• Haggerty, Hinton, and Cosgrove be retained as Bond Counsel for the 2015 Bond Issue at a cost of $10,000 plus filing expenses.

• Dr. Michael Mould be appointed treasurer of the Lackawanna Trail School District for the 2015-16 fiscal year at a corresponding stipend of $600. Mould asked that the stipend be divided evenly among the Athletics Booster Club, Friends of Music Booster Club, and the Arts Alive program. School director Joseph Strauch thanked Mould for his generosity.

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