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Kutztown School Board approves listing former Maxatawny Elementary building

The Kutztown School Board voted unanimously to list the former Maxatawny Elementary School building for sale or lease during its Feb. 5 meeting.

The board approved the real estate listing agreement with Berkshire Hathaway, Fox & Roach LP, Peter Adams for the former school building to generate revenue and eliminate expenditures without any negative impact on student programming.

Located at 251 Long Lane in Maxatawny, the building has served as the District Administration Office and has not housed any K-12 students since 2010.

“This has been a conversation in various stages that we’ve had for quite a few years going back to the original change of the administration building (that) happened in the 2009-2010 school year,” Kutztown Superintendent Christian Temchatin said prior to the vote.

Since that time, there has been no direct Kutztown students housed in that building. At one time, the district, had a partnership with a local pre-K program, he said.

“In recent years, it has become less and less likely that even in the event that there was an increase in enrollment that would become a building for students again for a variety of reasons including some decisions we’ve made along the process,” he said.

There are some maintenance issues that have not been taken care of specifically because the intent was not to put students back in the building, Temchatin said.

“Even if there were a spike in enrollment, it would be cost prohibitive to turn that building once again into a student building,” Temchatin said. “The size of it also makes it somewhat inefficient from a long-term standpoint in terms of our staffing, etc.”

Temchatin said this recommendation is a little bit heavy because that administration building serves the district well but it’s the right thing to do for the district and the community to evaluate whether it can be a source of revenue and reduce expense.

He said the district has additional spaces, specifically at the middle school, that can house the administration for the time being until they look at the larger plan.

“Pretty excited to kind of get this process started and see what it does for our overall big picture,” Temchatin said.

Board president Jason B. Koch was absent. Vice president Erin M. Engel presided over the meeting.

New principal hired

The board approved Matthew Pile as elementary principal at Greenwich Elementary School, effective on or after Feb. 6, at a salary of $115,000.

Board members welcomed Pile and said they are looking forward to working with him.

“Had a great opportunity to get to know you over the course of the interview process. We had as many as 20 staff members involved in that process,” said Temchatin. “Very excited to add you to our team.”

“I’m really looking forward to getting involved in this community, seems like a very tight-knit community,” said Pile. “I want to get to know students, staff, board members, just everyone. I couldn’t be more excited. I will tell you that I will work hard for our children every day. I look forward to being here for a long time and getting a lot of good work done with the community, staff and students here.”

Retirees thanked

The Board approved, with regret, the resignation due to retirement of Kutztown Area High School math teacher Sallie Sandler, high school nurse Brenda Loeb, Kutztown Elementary School 2nd grade teacher Andrea Orwig, and Kutztown Area Middle School art teacher Kristen Tuerk, effective the last teacher day of the 2023-2024 school year.

Temchatin recognized Sandler as a staple of the math performance and culture of the high school, as well as having a powerful influence over students throughout her entire career.

“We all go through a career and we make an impact on thousands of students we hope … but not many of us get that as an annual event, that every May or June when someone stands up at the podium at graduation that they mention the impact directly that you had,” Temchatin said.

Continuing recognition of the retirees, Temchatin said Loeb’s impact as a school nurse has been every day working with students. Personally, he also recognized her support and input during the pandemic to him.

“She is a wonderful, empathetic, caring being for those students,” said Temchatin.

He also said Orwig has had a fantastic impact for so many students as a 2nd grade teacher. Board members recognized her for being the teacher that students needed.

“Primary teachers are miracle workers in some ways when you see that they can get the ship of 23 very young children moving in one direction,” Temchatin said.

School board members also thanked Tuerk for inspiring a love of art. In response, Tuerk thanked the board for always being supportive of the art program.

“Every single month we’re talking about the art students and their performance and talent,” Temchatin said while recognizing Tuerk’s 30 years of service and commitment to the students. “The three years they get to spend with you are so integral into them identifying who they are as those adolescents grow.”

Temchatin said Tuerk will be missed both professionally and personally for her contributions to the school and the art program.

“It’s been a great 30 years,” said Kuerk.

Source: Berkshire mont

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