Kennett Consolidated School District hires new director of facilities
● By Steven Hoffman
The Kennett Consolidated School District has hired George Wolhafe to serve as the director of facilities beginning on or about Nov. 15. Wolhafe fills the position previously held by Robert Perzel. Perzel was honored for his service to the district when his retirement was announced after 18 years with the district at the October board meeting.
Dr. Michael Barber, the district's assistant superintendent, said that the search committee unanimously selected Wolhafe from among the candidates who applied to fill the position. Barber said that Wolhafe is a West Chester resident who graduated from Gwynned Mercy College and has professional experience as a master plumber, pipe fitter, national field manager, and director of operations.
In his Finance Committee report, school board member Michael Finnegan said that the state has established a 2.4 percent Act 1 Index limit for the school district for the 2018-2019 school year. The district is already starting the early work on the 2018-2019 budget now.
Finnegan also talked about budgeting for the school resource officer that the district has had for the last several years. The school district and Kennett Square Borough initially collaborated to secure a grant that helped pay for a police officer to be assigned to school buildings. Finnegan said that having the school resource officer in the schools has been beneficial. However, the grant funding will no longer be available for the next school year. The impact on the school district budget could double to about $79,000, Finnegan informed the school board. He added that superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti will soon be working with the borough to negotiate the costs for the school resource officer, with the hope that the impact on the budget might be less than $79,000.
During committee reports, board members noted that the State Legislature still has not managed to reach a consensus on a revenue bill that would balance the state budget that was due by June 30. As a result, full state subsidies to the school districts are still not available. Business administrator Mark Tracy assured the school board that the district is in a strong financial position, and has the cash flow necessary to continue the operations of the schools.
Tomasetti and the school board recognized the contributions of school board member Heather Schaen, who has served on the board for 12 years, and school board member Janice Reynolds, who has served on the board for 8 years. Both board members recently received commendations from the state for their service on the board.
“We're honored to recognize you tonight,” Tomasetti said. Board president Kendra LaCosta thanked Schaen and Reynolds for helping the other board members, and for sharing their experience with the other board members.
The Kennett School Board will meet again on Monday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. At the New Garden Elementary School.