Board members awarded

Huntingdon Area School Board members were honored at their monthly meeting Monday night with certificates of appreciation from the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA) for their distinguished service. Among those recognized were, from the left, Cindy Dell, Ian Thompson, member services manager at PSBA Erin Eckerd, Dr. Ronald Long and Danyle Shea.

Five members of the Huntingdon Area School Board were honored Tuesday night at their monthly meeting for their distinguished service by the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA).

Erin Eckerd, member services manager at PSBA, awarded certificates of appreciation to Dr. Ronald Long for his 20 years of service, Tammy Peterson, who was not present at the meeting, for her 12 years of service and Lucinda Dell, Ian Thompson and Danyle Shea for their eight years of service.

Eckerd said the awards are for an “ethical principled individual with a deep desire to serve,” and that they are part of a tradition that goes back to the PSBA’s founding in 1895.

Also Monday, director of education Kim Rieffannacht presented the results of a survey regarding the recent Flexible Instruction Day (FID) Oct. 14.

The majority of the 613 respondents said the day went well.

“We got some comments that said, I thought this would be horrible, but it wasn’t so bad, or, I really liked the opportunity to interact with my child. There was some really good feedback that way,” said Rieffannacht.

The majority of the criticisms centered around providing parents with better communication regarding the FID and what was perceived as excessive work for the students.

An anonymous commenter from the survey said that the school “Really needs to work on the type of assignments and assistance for those with parents who can’t take off (work) on those days.”

“What do we do with someone who is an essential worker, like a police officer or a prison officer. They have to go regardless. How do they manager that?” asked Ian Thompson.

Like any other school day, they would have to have a plan for their children,” said Rieffannacht. “Now they know what to expect and what to plan for. So, if I was one of those essential personnel, now I can say to maybe grandma, ‘Hey, little Suzy’s going to have such and such to do. Do you mind helping her? This is what it’s going to look like.’ So they have that frame of reference to talk to their caregivers, as well.”

The board also approved a motion to hold the prom at Lake Raystown Resort Friday, May 15, 2020.

Board member Janice Metzgar was the only board member to vote against the motion.

The board also unanimously approved a motion to renew the district’s contract with the Science in Motion Program for the 2019-2020 school year in the amount of $16,406.25.

Nathan can be reached at


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