GJSD appoints special education director

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District on Tuesday appointed an interim special education director, subject to approval of a state waiver because the person is retired from the public sector.

The board voted at Johnstown High School to appoint Terry Dewey as interim director of special education and pupil services, subject to approval of a 211 waiver by the state commissioner of education. Her appointment would begin Monday and runs through June 30, 2020, “unless sooner terminated” by the board, Tuesday’s resolution said.

The resolution indicates the district wants to employ Dewey — a retired public sector employee. But employment of retired persons receiving a pension from a public retirement system is governed by state law.

Board members are trying to find a replacement for Sarah Sweet as director of special education. The board accepted her resignation, effective this week, on Sept. 5.

In other personnel matters:

∫ The board approved term appointments of Linda Rusnica and Chad Swanson as mentors for the 2019-20 school year.

∫ Samantha Smith was given a probationary appointment as a teaching assistant at a salary of $12.76 per hour, 7.5 hours per day.

∫ The board appointed Meghan Oare as music accompanist, at a rate of $25 per rehearsal and $50 per performance for the 2019-20 school year.

∫ Board member Joseph LoDestro was named as an unpaid boys soccer assistant. He abstained on the vote.

Johnstown Teacher Association President Nancy Lisicki welcomed new district Interim Superintendent Karen Geelan of Springville. Geelan on Sept. 30 takes the position — at least temporarily — of former Superintendent Patricia Kilburn.

Lisicki also urged the board to be careful about possibly closing Glebe Street Elementary School and shifting teachers and grades around to other schools. She said there might not be as much faculty space as the board thinks.

“We have staff literally working out of closets,” Lisicki said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Josh Bovee

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