December 2017 BOARD BRIEF


Memorial Books

The School Board acknowledged the passing of Robert Firczak, brother-in-law of Diana Merichko, high school cook; Eugene R. Ankrom, nephew of Diana Borges, Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services; Brian P. Baker, cousin of Amber Thomas, secondary school nurse; Kermit G. Rager, father-in-law of Christine Rager, substitute school secretary; Lawrence R. Selick, father-in-law of Amy Selick, Barrett special education teacher; and Barbara Daniels, grandmother of Rebecca Kristen, middle school teacher.  It was moved by Mr. Olson and seconded by Mrs. Yuhas to place an appropriate selection of books into the school libraries in their memory.

Re-organization Meeting

Mr. James Bulger was elected President and Mr. Thomas Olson was elected Vice President of the Board of School Directors for 2018.


Mr. Nino Pollino of Prudential Insurance highlighted a financial wellness program, which will be offered to employees focusing on:

Fundamentals of Financial Wellness Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Building Your Road to Retirement Creating a Solid Plan for the Future

Board President’s Report

Mr. Jim Bulger thanked Ms. Colette Youngblood for her leadership while serving as the President of the School Board for the previous two years. He will strive to continue a working relationship between Board members and the community to serve the needs of our students and taxpayers.

He noted that Senator Costa stated that he looks forward to the Steel Valley Veterans Day Program each year. Mr. Bulger thanked everyone who coordinated the event this year.

Student Representatives’ Reports

Ms. Isabella Furrick, junior student representative to the School Board, reported that Park School students are excited about their All School Holiday Revue next Tuesday and the Band Winter Concert on December 20.

Barrett Elementary School was selected as a host site for the Kids of Steel program, and they will receive a trainer and nutritionist to assist with the training and preparation for the Great Race.

All Barrett students had the opportunity to learn Robotics Coding with a representative from Google.

The Veterans Day program at Barrett was successful, and a number of community members attended.

The Barrett staff was informed that the School Performance Profile (SPP) showed a nine-point increase from last year.

Senior Student Representative Abigail Ferson reported that progress reports were distributed on December 6. The Sarris Candy delivery date has been changed to December 12.

The holiday band concert is scheduled for December 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The choir concert will be held on December 19 beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The middle school basketball season ends on December 21 with a game against West Mifflin starting at
3:30 p.m.

Congratulations to the 2017 Football Team on a spectacular season.

Keystone retesting occurred December 5, 6 and 7.

The juniors won the best attendance contest for the first nine-week period. Homeroom contests are run monthly, and the students are rewarded with breakfast. Individual students who have perfect attendance are entered into a bi-weekly raffle for prizes.

Miss Ferson thanked Dr. Milliner for another wonderful Harry Potter Week at the high school. Daily activities were held in the building as well as after school crafts and cooking contests.

She announced that the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group was named Pennsylvania’s SADD Chapter of the Year. They were chosen for the amount of quality activities the group participates in and organizes. A small group of SADD members presented a workshop at the SADD State Conference, and two members had the honor to introduce the Attorney General to the audience.

The Student Council is hosting a blood drive on Tuesday, December 19. There were 36 donors for the September blood drive, and they are hoping for a better turnout in December. They would greatly appreciate School Board members to consider donating.

Superintendent’s Report

Mr. Wehrer recognized Mr. Michael Terrick as a Friend of Steel Valley. This school year was Mr. Terrick’s 8th year of service to our community as a School Board member. He served as Chairperson of the Operations and Co-curricular Committees, Co-Chair of the Personnel, Educational Leadership and Operations Committees and as a member of the Negotiations Committee. He has provided leadership and direction to the Steel Valley educational community and demonstrated a commitment to our school district. As a Friend of Steel Valley, a shelf of books shall be placed in the Senior High School Library in honor of Michael Terrick. He will also be presented with an Honorary Gold Card for his meritorious service. Mr. Wehrer thanked Mr. Terrick for his time and dedication while serving on the School Board.

Academic performance of our students is measured in the School Performance Profile (SPP) scores, and academic mastery and growth are also reflected in these numbers. Mr. Wehrer reported that only five school districts improved their SPP scores, and Steel Valley is one of the five school districts out of 42
in Allegheny County that showed overall gains. Mr. Wehrer is proud of the growth in our elementary schools and thanked the elementary staff for their hard work and commitment to our students. He recognized the elementary principals and staff members in attendance with a certificate of recognition.

Mr. Wehrer announced that the Girls Varsity Volleyball team was WPIAL qualifiers and four players made All Section. The four players who obtained All Section are Erica Irvin and Samantha Sniegocki who were nominated to 3rd team. Morgan Farrah was nominated to 2nd team, and Senior Kelsey McCafferty was selected to 1st team. Head Coach Jamie Dolton noted that she is proud of her team for playing hard on the court. A certificate of recognition was given to the team.

Steel Valley has a proud athletic tradition, and the Ironmen Football team is part of that tradition. They have a record of 36-3 over three years including two conference championships, WPIAL championship, state championship and a WPIAL runner up. Coach Rodney Steele thanked the School Board for its
commitment to the program, and he thanked the marching band, cheerleaders, fans and students for their enthusiasm and support throughout the season. He introduced his players and coaches and thanked them for their dedication and commitment. A certificate of recognition was given to the team.

Mr. Wehrer reported that Mayor Bodnar suffered a fracture and would not able to attend Munhall’s 29th Light Up Night. Mr. Wehrer, the borough officials and high school choir members Rob Vinay, Lily Brown, Cailyn Tomasic, Diana Craycroft and Mackenzie Pohrte took light-up night to Mayor Bodnar at the Charles Morris Rehabilitation Center singing carols and cheering him up.

Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services Report

Mrs. Borges announced the upcoming dates on the district calendar:

December 12 9:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Park School Holiday Revue
December 14 6:30 p.m.  Middle School Band Concert – HS Auditorium
December 15 1:30 p.m.   Barrett School Holiday Revue
December 18 12:20 p.m.   High School Choirs at County Courthouse
 December 19  7:00 p.m.  Winter Vocal Concert – HS Auditorium
 December 20  9:30 a.m.  Elementary Band Winter Concert – Park School
 December 20  1:30 p.m.  Elementary Band Winter Concert-Barrett School
 December 22 Districtwide Early Dismissal
 December 23 – January 1  Winter Break – NO SCHOOL
 January 2  School Resumes
January 6 6:00-10:00 p.m.  Semi Formal Dance – Westwood Country Club
January 12 Districtwide Early Dismissal
January 15 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday – NO SCHOOL
January 22 Clerical Day – NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
January 25 Report Card Distribution

Director of Academics, Information and Technology Report

Mr. Colebank reported the district would be increasing the number of gigabytes available to enhance Internet and multi-media capabilities. He reminded parents and students how to care for their iPads during the holiday break. Do not remove the iPad from its OtterBox; do not write on the screen; and use glass cleaner on the cloth not directly on the iPad screen. Before returning to school after the holiday break, clean the computer of its non-school content.

Meeting Minutes

The Board approved the following meeting minutes:

  • October 23, 2017 worksession meeting
  • October 26, 2017 regular meeting

Financial Management

The Board approved the following financial items:

  • General Fund invoices for November 2017 in the amount of $477,237.26
  • General Fund hand checks for October 2017 in the amount of $1,740,672.63
  • General Fund Revenue Report for September 2017
  • General Fund Revenue Report for October 2017
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for September 2017
  • General Fund Expenditure Report for October 2017
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for September 2017
  • General Fund Balance Sheet for October 2017
  • Food Service invoices in the amount of $48,541.44
  • Food Service Revenue Report for October 2017
  • Food Service Expenditure Report for October 2017
  • Food Service Balance Sheet for October 2017
  • Payroll Funding Transfers for October and November 2017
  • High School Student Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for October 2017
  • Middle School Activities Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for October 2017
  • External Groups Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for October 2017
  • Athletics Fund Balance Sheet and Disbursement Report for October 2017
  • Refund to Eric D. Mathews for Lot & Block 180-C-298 in the amount of $716.02
  • Refund to Blaise Peterson for Lot & Block 130-N-368 in the amount of $510.71 for year 2016 and $517.50 for year 2017 for a total amount due of $1,028.21
  • ACSHIC Financial Statements and Auditor’s Report as of June 30, 2017 and 2016
  • Credit card for the District to be used in addressing the needs of the Family Consumer Science Department and other Business uses. The limit of the card will be $5,000 and will fall under the social security number of the Business Manager and limited to his use


The Board approved the following items:

  • Facility rental requests as presented
  • Market a Request for Proposal of Security Services to the public. The District will utilize direct mailing and newspaper advertisement for these services.
  • Requests will be due January 16, 2018
  • Security contract with St. Moritz starting December 6, 2017, and ending January 31, 2018, contingent upon the solicitor’s approval of the final draft. The rates on the new contract are comparable to the rates previously approved with State Security and Investigation Services (SSIS).

Co-Curricular Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Fundraising requests as presented
  • Overnight field trip for The Future is Mine students and chaperones to participate in the AnnualConference at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center on April 19 and 20, 2018
  • Authorized payment of $2,500 to the Senior Breakfast/Reception account to defray the costs of the Senior Breakfast for the Class of 2018

Special Assignments

  • Held first reading of all policies in Section 800 Operations of the Board Policy Manual
  • Held first reading of Policy 104.1 Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Website Accessibility

Educational Leadership

The Board approved the following items:

  • Designated 150 white 17” iMacs as unused equipment and approved disposal of the computers
  • District’s membership in EdLeader21 at a cost of $1,000 and approved Edward Wehrer and Aaron Johnson to be the District’s representatives to EdLeader21
  • Advertising of the 2018 Board meeting dates as presented

Personnel Management

The Board approved the following items:

  • Appointed Barb Ferson to a full-time, long-term substitute position with a 2017-2018 assignment of Special Education teacher at the Middle School/High School at Master’s Step 2 salary plus benefits as outlined in the SVEA collective bargaining agreement retroactive to November 28, 2017
  • Catherine Matta as a day-to-day substitute teacher for the 2017-2018 school year at the approved daily rate, contingent upon compliance with Act 168, passing a physical examination and passing a controlled substances screening
  • Accepted, with regret, the resignation of Arica Smith from the supplemental position of Boys Varsity Volleyball coach and the resignation of Andrew Greenhow from the supplemental position of Boys Junior Varsity Volleyball coach effective immediately
  • Accepted, with regret, the retirement of Deborah Woolley, retroactive to November 13, 2017
  • Family Medical Leave of Absence for James Bartko retroactive to October 30, 2017, not to exceed 60 days in duration
  • Hired Debra Johnson, Josephine Owens and Patricia Hoston as substitutes in food service to be paid at the rate of $8.50 per hour, contingent upon receipt of current Act 34, 114 and 151 clearances, compliance with Act 168, passing a physical examination and passing a controlled substances screening, which must be completed within 30 days
  • Volunteers as presented for the 2017-2018 school year, contingent upon receipt of current clearances
  • Hired Jada Griffin as a full-time, second-shift district custodian with all benefits of the current collective bargaining agreement, contingent upon receipt of current Act 34, 114 and 151 clearances, compliance with Act 168, passing a physical examination and passing a controlled substances screening, which must be completed within 30 days