Abington Journal

Wyandt approved as assistant superintendent; Diversity Day a success at AH

CLARKS SUMMIT — Abington Heights Middle School Principal Marc Wyandt was approved as assistant superintendent in the district during a regular school board meeting Jan. 17.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to make an impact in a broader leadership role,” Wyandt said. “I will be working with the superintendent Dr. (Michael) Mahon, the school board, and building-level administrators to continue to develop the programs we have in place and look for new and innovative ways to bring meaningful opportunities to our students.”

A group of eighth-graders — Eleanor Yale, Rida Ashraf, Jamison Bessoir, Nandita Boini, William Granci and Isaac Caminero — gave a presentation on a Diversity Day program they organized at Abington Heights Middle School in October.

The main idea for the project started when the students came across an article about diversity issues taking place in other schools. They wanted to prevent them from happening at Abington Heights.

The students paired up with a graduate class at The University of Scranton to further elaborate on the project.

“Our overall objective was to inform eighth-graders on different types of diversity,” Granci said. “We chose five topics to talk about: self care, privilege, microaggressions, where are we from, and emotional masks.”

Mahon was impressed by the thoughtfulness and time the students dedicated to the project.

“The people who were driving it were the students,” he said. “It was absolutely inspirational to see the hard work these students put in.”

South Abington Township resident Brian Franchetti addressed to board to ask support for the creation of a girls’ golf team.

“My daughter, Elizabeth, is going to be a freshman next year and there are five girls who are ready to play,” he said.

According to Franchetti, three girls are needed to field a team in the Lackawanna League. He added the team will also have a place to play.

“We have a course that we can use,” Franchetti said. “A friend of mine owns Scott Greens and they have room for us, if needed.”

Mahon plans to talk with athletic director Randy Hanyon to further discuss the possibility of adding the team.

“We’ve developed a couple different plans and we’ll be back in touch,” Mahon said. “Obviously, we want to have a girls team. We were a little concerned about the numbers last year, but they are up and that’s good news.”

Mahon announced the district will be faced with substantial costs regarding maintenance to its building in the next decade.

“Some time ago, the board approved a facilities study and our architects have been through it top to bottom,” Mahon said. “Over the next five to 10 years, there is a suggestion that we will have to spend $20 million to upgrade our facilities. These are very heavy costs. Our capital reserve fund is approaching $2 million, 1/10 of the amount being suggested to spend. This is basic maintenance throughout the district and the costs are quite staggering.”

Mahon added there is increasing enrollment in the district.

“We had a 24 student increase last month alone at the middle school,” he said. “We’re also keeping a close eye on Waverly Elementary and the high numbers enrolled there. We don’t exceed 26 students in any class, but the concern is that we’re out of rooms there. Should the need arise in the future for an additional class, we’ll have to look at options on how to address that potential problem.”

A group of eighth-grade students spoke about the Diversity Day program they organized at Abington Heights Middle School during a school board meeting Jan. 17. From left, are Eleanor Yale, Rida Ashraf, Jamison Bessoir, Nandita Boini, William Granci and Isaac Caminero.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_ABJ-AH-Board.jpgA group of eighth-grade students spoke about the Diversity Day program they organized at Abington Heights Middle School during a school board meeting Jan. 17. From left, are Eleanor Yale, Rida Ashraf, Jamison Bessoir, Nandita Boini, William Granci and Isaac Caminero. Robert Tomkavage | Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.