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School Board Creates Two New Positions
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            The Upper Perkiomen School Board voted last week to create two new positions. On October 12, members approved separate action items to create a part-time community relations specialist and an executive director for the Upper Perkiomen Education Foundation.

            Member Kerry Drake cast the lone vote against the action item hiring the community relations specialist. The measure regarding the foundation director passed unanimously.

            In August, Superintendent Alexis McGloin asked the members to consider both positions. She proposed that both positions be part-time and operate under independent contracts.

            The positions will be posted soon, according to an October 16 email message from McGloin. 

            Last week, the superintendent said the members could determine the salary for the community relations specialist when they fill the job. In August, she estimated that person in the position, who would manage the district's website and social media and report to the board, would work approximately 20 hours a week and earn between $35,000 and $40,000 annually.

            "There are a lot of good things going on in the district, and we're not getting it out there," she said during the Aug. 24 workshop meeting.

            Last week, members Mike Elliot and Willard Pike spoke out in favor of creating the position.

            "Overall, this is needed," Elliot said during the October 12 meeting. "No matter what. This is going to help."

             Drake explained his opposition, saying that he is concerned the work of the community relations specialist could morph into something different that initially intended.

            "Sometime there is a fine line between communications and spin," he said prior to the vote. The member also said he would be willing to change his stance if the position proves to be productive.

            Board Member Kim Baccari expressed her support, stating that the community relations specialist would enhance the work of the foundation director.

            The superintendent told the members that the foundation would hire the director and determine a salary. In August, McGloin stated that the director would earn approximately $50,000 a year. She said the director eventually would be paid by the organization. 

            Hiring a professional, who is skilled in development and fundraising efforts will allow the district to bring in additional funding to offset the cost of programs and infrastructure projects while providing individuals and corporations with an avenue to make tax deductible contributions, according to the superintendent.

            "Federal and state dollars are dwindling and funding to create and continue programs is a constant concern in the district every year," McGloin wrote in an August 29 email message. "On the other hand, there has been an increase in charitable and philanthropic funding available."

            At the beginning of last week's meeting, Solicitor Ken Roos announced that the board held an executive session on September 28 and before the October 12 meeting to discuss the incentive compensation for McGloin. Roos said the members discussed a separate personnel item privately before the most recent public meeting.

            The solicitor also announced that the board would hold another executive session after the October 12 meeting "to discuss a confidential special education situation and other issues that will be announced at the next school board meeting."





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