CLARKS SUMMIT — Vacant coaching positions for the varsity swim and dive team were a major topic of discussion during the regular monthly Abington Heights School Board meeting Aug. 17.
David Byman, president of the Friends of Abington Heights Swim and Dive, addressed members of the board to express concerns about the status of the school’s swim and dive team.
“We’re aware that no coach has been hired,” Byman said. “Therefore, the program is in flux. The swim and dive team mean a great deal to the parents and swimmers and divers. We’re here to encourage you to make progress on hiring a coach and making sure this program operates this year.”
Byman added the team would like to begin its conditioning program on Sept. 14.
“We really need to have a coach by then so our swimmers and divers can have a proper conditioning program,” he said.
The team’s first home meet of the season is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19.
According to Superintendent of Schools Michael Mahon, the school district is dedicated to the future of the swim and dive team.
“The district is looking for two coaches and the positions have been posted,” Mahon said. “We encourage outstanding candidates to submit their applications. The board is firmly committed to our swim program as evidenced by the fact that a lot of work and resources have properly gone into making sure the pool is open and a state-of-the-art facility.”
Board President Cathy Hardaway echoed Mahon’s comments regarding the team.
“Administration will make every effort to ensure we will have appropriate coaches available,” she said. “There is no intention for us to not have a swim and dive team.”
Sandy Feather, who has been a member of the team’s booster club past eight years, stressed the importance of hiring coaches in the near future.
“There are 19 swimmers on the swim and dive team this year who are going to need (college) recommendations from a coach in the matter of about one to two months,” she said.
During an update on construction work of the pool, Mahon announced a new Dry-O-Tron unit, a mechanical dehumidification system that controls humidity along with pool and air temperature, arrived and was installed last week.
“We’ve made some good progress,” he said. “There is lots of work yet to do, but we are ahead of schedule and hope the pool will be open by the middle of September.”
Members of the board approved the formation of a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) boys lacrosse teams for the spring season during a work session meeting on Aug. 3. The board previously approved the formation of a girls program during a meeting on May 18.
“We’ve been in contact with both the PIAA and the league (Wyoming Valley Conference) and think we’re in clear sailing,” Mahon said. “We’ve already posted the coaching positions and we’ve had some preliminary planning meeting.”
The Lackawanna League doesn’t include lacrosse or field hockey. Teams from that league play in the Wyoming Valley Conference for those sports.
In other business:
• Members of the board voted to approve the sale and disposal of four district vans to DeNaples Auto Parts for the high bid of $300 each.
• Members of the board approved a revision to the 2016-17 school calendar. Students will now have classes the Friday before Memorial Day, May 26.
• Mahon announced the district’s business manager, James Mirabelli, was appointed as a Pennsylvania Registered School Business Administrator by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to state that students will have classes the Friday before Memorial Day, May 26.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.