Board members appoint Patrick McGarry as Abington Heights Middle School assistant principal


CLARKS SUMMIT — Members of the Abington Heights School Board voted to appoint Patrick McGarry assistant principal at Abington Heights Middle School during a regular business meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

McGarry, who resigned his position as a middle school math teacher, replaces Eduardo Antonetti, now serving as Director of Curriculum in the Mid Valley School District.

Among other appointments, Amanda Nitowski was approved as a half-time elementary and secondary guidance counselor for the 2015-16 school year, Frank Berardelli Jr. was approved as a long-term substitute science teacher, Ashley Schwartz was approved as a full-time Spanish teacher for the 2015-16 school year, Allison Rogalewicz as a full-time drafting teacher for the 2015-16 school year and Lindsay Iacovazzi as a long-term substitute elementary and secondary counselor for the first semester.

Members of the board approved the resignations of high school special education teacher Elizabeth Rosar, Spanish and French teacher Philip Nevin and Clarks Summit and Waverly Elementary School librarian Julie Zick.

Board members also approved the resignations of aides Amy Rarrick, Karen Senkow, Laurie McCoy and Sandra Pierre.

Anika Althouse and Anna Galvin were approved as personal care aides for the 2015-16 school year.

According to Abington Heights Superintendent of School Michael Mahon, due to a change in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) test that resulted in lower scores across the Commonwealth, the state decided not to count the scores toward several criteria for both teachers and school districts.

“We received a memo from the Pennsylvania Department of Education saying they are going to suspend, for this year, utilizing the PSSAs for teacher evaluations and the school performance profile,” Mahon said. “It’s sometimes difficult, particularly for our teachers, to have two base years of performance and then have the metrics changed. There are issues that need to be sorted out.”

Student Representative Jack Abdalla, a junior, discussed the transition program at the high school.

“Our transition team has continued the mentorship program for the incoming freshman,” he said. “Our goal is to help acclimate the new students to the high school environment. We hope to accomplish this through our freshman orientation and periodic meetings.”

Student Representative Abbey Knoepfel, a senior, informed board members about the benefits of a new class period at the end of the school day.

“The high school implemented a 50-minute study hall at the end of the day with many different options to cater to different students’ needs or interests,” she said. “I chose a science collaborative study hall. It’s extremely helpful because there is a science teacher in the room to answer questions.”

Members of the Abington Heights School Board will meet for a work session at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at Waverly Elementary School, 103 Waverly Road.

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

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