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Pottsgrove’s Hope: Get More Done With Fewer People

STOWE PA – Hoping to coax “more work out of fewer people” – and busy people at that, he admitted – Pottsgrove Board of School Directors President Justin Valentine on Tuesday (Jan. 14, 2014) introduced new policies that address how the group is organized and functions, and announced an expanded list of committee appointments and other assignments.

Pottsgrove's Hope: Get More Done With Fewer People

Pottsgrove schools Superintendent Shellie Feola, and board President Justin Valentine, during Tuesday’s meeting

It’s not as though his colleagues are slacking off, Valentine explained in a prepared statement read during the directors’ meeting at West Pottsgrove Elementary School. But, he recognized, there is limited time and bodies to accomplish an increasing number of tasks. He’d like board committees to tackle more.

The policy changes broaden committees’ scope, decrease the number of directors required for a quorum, and require the school district to publish committee meeting dates so members of the public can attend if they desire.

The board’s four standing committees this year cover:

  • Curriculum, Technology And Student Affairs, consisting of Dave Faulkner (Chair), Rick Rabinowitz and Diane Cherico;
  • Operations And Facilities, with Ted Coffelt (Chair), Cherico and Kelley Crist;
  • Policy, with Matt Alexander (Chair), Valentine and Rabinowitz; and
  • Athletics And Co-Curricular Activities, with Patti Grimm (Chair), Dee Gallion and Alexander.

Assignments for a negotiations committee will be made as needed; district Business Administrator David Nester noted contract talks with some bargaining units are likely to begin again during 2015. The board as a whole will constitute both the personnel and finance committees.

Pottsgrove will be represented on the Joint Operating Committee of the Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center in Limerick by Alexander, Grimm and Coffelt. Rabinowitz will be its representative on the board of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, and Valentine will serve as its legislative liaison. Faulkner will represent the district on the Pottsgrove Recreation Board, a joint venture with Lower, Upper and West Pottsgrove townships.

Additionally, the policy changes expect the district to publicly post on its website e-mail addresses at which every board member can be reached, and Valentine has ordered low-cost business cards to be printed for board members so they can distribute contact information easily while at public events. The idea, he said, is to ensure greater communication between directors and their constituents.

Because a majority of board members have three or fewer years of experience, Valentine had Superintendent Shellie Feola schedule a series of orientation and training workshops for them during December and January. Their last session was held Wednesday (Jan. 15).

He thanked and described fellow board members in part as a “team of people who are dedicated to our students’ achievement, increasing opportunity for our students, and maintaining fiscal responsibility.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Jan. 14 meeting):

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