Ellwood City School Board August Meeting Brief

The following is a brief summary of the Ellwood City Area School Board meeting held on Aug. 11:


The following teachers received EcoLab Visions of Learning Teacher Grants for the 2016-17 school year:

  • Jill Folino- $1071 for 72 sets of headphones for classroom tablets
  • Dana Stelitano- $500 online computer program for speech
  • Seth Rosenberger- $2287 materials designated for learning through kinesthetics
  • Chris Costa- $3000 designated for use of the Mark lab Facility at Perry
  • Megan Berty- $2987 designated for PA Common Core Standards Materials
  • Brittany Severn- $2586 for reading resource books
  • Sheery Shearer- $2100 hands on learning for reading, science, and math
  • Lisa Beatrice- $1097 reading comprehension center
  • Robin Popovich- $2500 online math program
  • Matt Skoczylas- $2908 Raspberry Pi programmable computers
  • Donna DeMase- $760 ebooks
  • Keith Golebie- $3000 designated for parts and components of computers to assemble
  • Debbie Weich- $1650 students and parents to participate in Lawrence County Impact Tour
  • Dena Noble- $1912 purchase 15 T1 184 Plus Graphing Calculators
  • Jolene Krupa- $1912 purchase 15 T1 84 CE Graphing Calculators
  • Mandie Szakelyhdi- $1156 designated for the skills materials

These teachers were able to receive a total of $32,125 for 2016-17 school year.


  • A motion to exonerate taxes for various properties due to be razed in the borough of Ellwood City was not passed after objections were raised by board member LeRoy Cortez. “I understand the idea of removing them from the tax roll, but until we see a plan to bring them back onto the tax roll, I don’t think we can exonerate them indefinitely,” Cortez said. The properties are as follows: 418 Sixth St; 807 Spruce Way; 1226 13th St; 443 13th St; 510 Bridge St.
  • Board member Jennifer Tomon raised a motion to table any discussions concerning the properties until further information was obtained. This was passed unanimously.


The list of fall coaches was approved as follows:

  • Football: head coach- Don Phillips; assistant coaches- Curt Agostinelli, Rich Schneider, Rob Magnifico, Javon Moody and Tom Heckendorn; volunteers- John Sims, Bobby Ewing, John Dibuono and Justin Grogan.
  • Jr. High Football: head coach- Frank Keally; assistant coach- Allan Marsh; equipment- Daren Morella.
  • Boys Golf: head coach- Sam Barry; assistant coach- Bill Baker.
  • Girls Golf: head coach- David Braymer; assistant coach- Kim DeLoia.
  • Cross Country: head coach- Mark Hall; assistant coach- Frank D’Ambrosio; volunteer- Pam MacMurdo.
  • Volleyball: head coach- Jenna Ricciuti; assistant coach- Joelynne Koury; volunteer- John DiBuono, Joe Ricciuti and Michelle Nocera.
  • Girls tennis: head coach- John Dibuono; assistant coach- Albert Campman.
  • Girls 7th and 8th grade: 8th grade- Rich Marshall; 7th grade- Jolene Krupa; volunteer- Paul Hervatine.
  • A motion was passed granting Tom Natale, secondary science teacher, tenure. Natale has completed six successful semesters.
  • A motion was passed accepting the resignation of the Lincoln High School Librarian Erin Parkinson.
  • A motion was passed eliminating a three-hour cafeteria position at Hartman Intermediate School due to economic reasons caused by the loss of the Pre-K program necessitating a reduction in workforce.
  • A motion was passed approving an agreement with Capital Asset Protection Inc. that extends through the 2016-17 school year. Capital will continue to provide 16 hours of Saturday security services and Sunday services as needed at an hourly rate of $15.60. Vice President Matt Morella voted no. On Monday’s agenda meeting, Morella objected to the pay rate.

Education/Student Affairs

A motion extending the Dyslexia and Early Intervention Pilot Program for a year was passed in a 6-3 vote. Board President Renee Pitrelli and board members Jennifer Tomon and Danielle Woodhead voted no. When the program was introduced in the fall of 2015, Pitrelli had objections to it. Tomon, who was at the time running for the school board, also expressed concerns.

The program is administered through a state grant. At the conclusion of the meeting, Cortez thanked the dissenting members for proceeding with the established agenda.

“We had a split vote, the three people who dissented had legitimate concerns, we discussed it, we approved it and we moved on,” Cortez said. “That’s how government is supposed to work, unlike how it’s happening in Harrisburg. You don’t always get everything you want, but you still do your job.”

Softball Field Offer

The board also discussed a proposal made on Monday by Tony Joseph, owner of Its Time Fitness. Joseph offered his facility’s softball field for the school district, which currently uses the fields at Stiefel Park, owned by the Ellwood City borough. According to Joseph, his field is up to regulations, and he will handle maintenance.

Pitrelli said that considering how the borough and school district has just paid for renovations to the Stiefel Field, the district shouldn’t pursue moving fields. However, she added the borough should get a request from Joseph in writing and discuss his offer for future use.

Cortez added the board should seek the opinions of the athletic department and Gary Rozanski, the softball coach. Board member Kathy Pansera also expressed concern that Joseph used the term “offer” and not “donate.”

Finally, Pitrelli added that there have been issues between the borough and Joseph’s facilities and for now, it was best to “leave things lie.”

After this, the board had a vague discussion about trees for approximately 10 minutes.

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