By Steven Hoffman
The Nottingham Elementary School has done it again.
After raising approximately $14,500 at the first Walk to Cure Diabetes event last year, the 2014 effort on June 2 nearly equaled that success, with more than $12,000 being collected. Proceeds from the event go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
At the June 17 meeting of the Oxford School Board, officials and volunteers involved with Walk to Cure Diabetes expressed how pleased they were with the fundraising effort that has now collected more than $27,000 in two years.
“The money we raise is very important and I can’t thank the community enough,” said Jason Galante, whose son, Drew is a student at the school. “The leadership of the Nottingham School has just been tremendous.”
There are a half a dozen students at the school who have juvenile diabetes, and Drew Galante is one of them. In addition to organizing the Walk to Cure Diabetes event, the school also holds assemblies to educate all students about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and to teach the youngsters about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
The Nottingham School has been one of the leading schools in the area when it comes to raising money to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in each of the last two years.
At the previous board meeting, Nottingham Elementary School principal William Vogt said that the fundraising campaign is a good learning opportunity for the students, who learn not just about diabetes, but about working for a cause and giving back to the community.
In other business at the meeting, the school board formally recognized the contributions of several teachers and principals who have served the district for long periods of time and are now retiring. They include LeAnn Gogel (37 years with the district), Michael Henry (12 years), Karen Olivieri (35 years), William E. Ray (10 years), Marianne Roken (27 years), Gregory Taylor (13 years), and Deborah Vendrick (38 years).
Kathy Geesey, a longtime language arts teacher at Penn's Grove School, took the opportunity to thank the people that she worked with through the years. Geasey has been an educator for 42 years, spending 30 of those years in the Oxford Area School District.
Geasey said that the staff at Oxford, including everyone from the teachers to the bus drivers, to the principals to the custodians, are among the most dedicated, caring people that she knows. She said that she is very proud of being a part of the Oxford family.
In his Chester County School Boards Legislative Council report, school board member Richard Orpneck reminded his colleagues that state lawmakers in Harrisburg are still working on the budget for the next fiscal year. Revenues to the state's coffers, Orpneck said, are well short of the projections that were made in early 2014. As a result, it appears likely that some grant money that the state had expected to allocate to public schools will not be included in its final budget.
The “good” news for Oxford, Orpneck said, is that district officials did not include that grant money in its own 2014-15 budget so there is no shortfall in the budget that the district approved earlier this month.
The board approved superintendent David Woods salary of slightly more than $165,000 for the 2014-15 school year, in accordance with the contract that he signed when he was hired by the district in the summer of 2013.
The board also approved the $90,000 salary of new high school assistant principal Michael Garrison.
Board member Joseph Tighe was appointed as the treasurer of the board for the next fiscal year.
The school board has decided not to hold the regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 8 so the next meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 15.