Two days — that was what kept the Carbondale Area School Board from hiring a kindergarten teacher last week.

Two days — that was what kept the Carbondale Area School Board from hiring a kindergarten teacher last week.
During a meeting on Wednesday night, Sept. 19, board president Gary Smedley announced that the position was advertised on the previous Friday, and therefore had only been posted for five days. The district teachers' contract calls for posting of seven days.
Smedley noted that the board reached out to the teachers' union in an attempt to get the seven-day requirement waived in this case, but that request was rejected.
Carbondale Area Elementary School principal William Vaverchak told the board members that there are currently 142 students in five kindergarten classes. Of those five classes, he said one classroom has 30 students, one has 29, two have 28, and one has 27.
"We have an awful lot of kids in kindergarten," Smedley noted. "Shouldn't this be acted on as soon as possible? Like tonight."
However, since the teachers' union wasn't going to allow that to happen, he said the matter would have to be put off until the board's meeting next month.
Director Joseph Caviston objected to that idea.
"I'm definitely not in favor of waiting until October," he offered, suggesting that a special meeting be held in the interim to hire someone.
When asked when the meeting should be scheduled, Caviston responded "the sooner the better."
Vaverchak agreed, stating, "The sooner you get something done, the better it will be for students and teachers."
A motion was made to hold the meeting on Monday night, Sept. 24, with the only agenda item being the hiring of a kindergarten teacher.
Smedley said he opposed the motion because the board already had a negotiating session set for that same night with teachers' union representatives to work on a new contract. He stated that, due to pressures being placed upon the board to address concerns related to those ongoing negotiations, he didn't feel the directors should be taking time away from that meeting.
Director Tracey Andrews, on the other hand, didn't see it as a problem, particularly since both meetings would be held in the high school building.
"We can leave that [teachers' contract] meeting for five minutes to vote on this," she explained. "This is very, very important. We're talking about the children of our school district."
The motion was approved 8-1, with Smedley voting against it, and the special meeting was scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24 — after this week's edition of the NEWS went to press.
Tresa Kielar, who had been employed as a paraprofessional at Carbondale Area, was hired for the open position at the Sept. 24 meeting (see next week's edition of the NEWS for coverage).