VARDEN—In anticipation of the steadily approaching school year, the Western Wayne School District Board of Directors welcomed new personnel and approved a series of program agreements at their August meeting held Monday night.

Present to vote on Monday were Vice President Rick Hoch, Treasurer Jeffrey Gogolski, and Directors Gary Enslin, William Gershey, Joseph Gombita, Roger Shaffer and Ethan Wood.

The district welcomed a new assistant superintendent, assistant director of special education and assistant high school principal.

Officially hired at a special meeting on June 26, Cynthia LaRosa, Ph.D., will serve as the district's new Assistant Superintendent.

Hired on Monday, Matthew Barr will serve as Western Wayne High School's Assistant Principal and Angela E. Geyer, Ed.D., will fill the role of Assistant Director of Special Education.

Other hires on Monday included part-time food service worker JoAnne Caruth, ten-month secretary Mindy Maros, and the approval of the district substitute list for 2019-2020.

Annual contracts

Agreements approved included transportation contracts, purchases of textbooks and student meal items, dual enrollment programs with Lackawanna and Johnson colleges, and participation in the SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) and PROSPER (Promoting School, Community, University Partnership to Enhance Resilience) programs.

These motions were all approved unanimously.

Other service agreements which were approved included those for the Head Start program, agreements with Pennsylvania Treatment and Healing (PATH), and the Wayne County Office of Behavioral and Developmental Programs and Early Intervention (BDP/EI).

These agreements were approved on a 6-1 vote with Director Roger Shaffer voting no.

In a later interview, he explained, “For most of these programs, not one director will really know their effect on the children because of privacy issues.”

Shaffer stated he could not in good conscience vote yes on programs whose success the board cannot monitor directly.

He expressed, as he has in the past, that he would prefer the district instead establish a stipend parents could use to provide these or similar programs to their children at their discretion without the district as an intermediary.

At Monday's meeting, Shaffer also voted no on approvals naming the new assistant superintendent as Title IX Coordinator, Affirmative Action Compliance Officer, and Right-to-Know Officer.

He explained later these “no” votes were keeping consistent with his vote against hiring LaRosa as assistant superintendent.

Shaffer noted that, while LaRosa is a valued district employee, he did not feel she was the right choice for assistant superintendent, and as such, he did not wish to grant the position further duties and responsibilities.

Western Wayne's Assistant Superintendent has held these offices in the past, and LaRosa was likewise granted them Monday night on a vote of 6-1.