Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘Altoona’
Posted: June 5th, 2013

whalersWe are a family of Vernondale Whalers from way back. And Tracy Tigers. The Millcreek Township School District school board voted 5-4 to close Vernondale and Ridgefield at last week’s meeting.

I feel for the families, but I also worry about the budget. My kids were moved 15 years ago from Vernondale to Tracy, and we knew it was coming. We also knew we could be moved again, and that is true for everyone in any large school district. Depending on enrollments, kids go where there’s room. There are no guarantees.

During last week’s school board meeting, I was confused.  Months ago, we heard the district would save $2.4 million on the school closings, and then the number changed as the idea resurfaced.

Here’s some advice to Millcreek leaders: We expect to hear: “Here’s the plan. It’s the best arrangement for the students and the best choice for the district.” Done. End of story. Move forward. It’s what the Erie School District did last year. Right now, this situation appears to drag out. The MTSD site states:

The official vote on these closings will not take place until the Special Board meeting on August 12, 2013, District administrators are in the process of finalizing redistricting and student realignment plans to prepare for the 2013-14 school year. These plans will be presented at the June 17 Operations Committee, which is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  The School Board would then approve the final redistricting boundaries at the June 27 Board meeting. 

Don’t rush a budget and a superintendent

While the school district continues to battle numbers in a wicked school budget, it’s also rushing to hire a new superintendent– a huge mistake in my humble opinion. This district needs to focus on one thing at a time. Get this budget/school closings issue straightened out with an acting superintendent and start mending fences with residents. Then, look for a superintendent. Take your time and give residents some confidence.

Trust and transparency?

While we hear that Millcreek’s administrators have met with Erie School District leaders for advice, I’m not sure they are taking that advice to heart. An editorial in the Erie Times-News today pointed out that the public will meet four superintendent finalists at McDowell Intermediate High School’s Little Theatre, 3320 Caughey Road tonight at 6 p.m. Part of the editorial reads:

“When the Erie School Board searched for a successor to Jim Barker, the board released the names in advance and held separate two-hour open forums for its three finalists. Millcreek residents were required to submit questions in advance by e-mail.”

The editorial wonders how much filtering will go on with those questions. Read the full editorial here. You can meet all four candidates tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. — or it might be 7:30 p.m. — the MTSD notice has both times on it — must have been a clerical error.  Click on each name below to link to candidate resumes.

  • Mr. Kenneth Berlin – principal of Iroquois Jr./Sr. High School
  • Mr. William Hall – assistant superintendent who is serving as acting superintendent at Millcreek
  • Dr. Joseph Macharola* – executive director of Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 in Altoona
  • Dr. Stephanie Williams – principal of McDowell Intermediate

Dr. Joseph Macharola refused to post his resume. You’ll have to Google him.

A word to the board and administration

Please get your ducks in a row, do your research, and be leaders. Please stop infuriating Millcreek residents with rushed decisions that affect this school district for years to come. Please.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three and stepmom to three — all graduates of McDowell High School. 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 21st, 2013

snowshoesSnowshoeing is something you can do with the family — well snowboarding is too, but it’s not for everyone.

Snowshoeing, on the other hand, is on the rise. Ryan Alford of Snowshoe Magazine says it might helps folks avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder -read that here. He quoted research from the Outdoor Industry Association and SnowSports Industries America that the sport is on the rise, and it is in our family. My sister, two BILs and an SIL are all avid snowshoe fans.

Around my house, snowboarding was never all that popular. We still have a few boards in the attic, and many winters have come and gone with no one asking to rescue them. My daughter’s boyfriend, however, is a master at Blue Knob near Altoona, Pa.

My son’s girlfriend in Virginia Beach. She wants to see these snowshoes becasue she never really sees much snow. I’m going to give snowshoes a try this week with my buddy Grace Perhacs. I won’t have any great tips for you until after our adventure.

In the meantime, if you need some tips for where to enjoy snowshoe fun, Asbury Woods has it. Please call (814) 835-5356 for details. You can rents snowshoes there.

At Presque Isle, Shelter 1 near the Waterworks Ponds offers cross country skis and snowshoes for rent from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Call 814-833-7424 for more info.

You can also check out some of the ski resorts for info on snowshoeing. And Cleveland MetroParks has loads of family entertainment including snowshoeing.

Here’s info from Dana Massing’s blog Cheap in Erie on free snowshoe walks at Erie Bluffs and Pymatuning.

 

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized

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