A familiar face will be guiding Seneca Valley school board meetings in 2013.
In a 6-2 vote at Monday’s reorganization meeting, Bob Hill was re-appointed board president for the sixth year in a row. James Welsh voted for Eric DiTullio as president Monday while Eric Gordon nominated and voted for himself.
While he didn’t get the presidential nod, DiTullio unanimously was chosen as the board’s vice-president. He replaces Gordon, who served his first year as vice president in 2012.
DiTullio, who will enter the final year of his first term in 2013, said he was honored his fellow members voted him the VP.
“I’m very excited about it,” the Harmony resident said.
A veteran school director from Cranberry, Hill, who is serving his fourth term, noted many of his fellow officials started their first terms several years ago. Now that the directors are more experienced, Hill said he believes the board will operate in a more efficient manner.
“What I’m looking forward to most on the board is the new harmony with which it seems to be working,” he said.
The board has faced some tough budgeting challenges in the last two years, including closing a $10 million deficit in the 2011-12 school year and a $4.8 million shortfall in the 2012-13 school year.
Moving forward, Hill said he hopes to focus on the educational, and not just the expenditure, side of things. Some of the goals he mentioned are changes to the curriculum and to the way Seneca Valley conducts business, including growing the Seneca Valley Foundation.
Unveiled in March, the Seneca Valley Foundation is a private, tax-exempt nonprofit corporation that seeks donations and patrons to help develop capital projects, classroom programs and student scholarships for the district.
In November, Superintendent Dr. Tracy Vitale announced the foundation has $25,000 in commitments—and $17,000 in the bank.
Vitale said money from the foundation will be used to fund secondary science STEM student research grants, elementary literacy and support for extracurricular activities, including a $3,000 donation towards the purchase of new uniforms for the Seneca Valley marching bands and its auxiliary groups.
To generate revenue, the district also has begun selling advertising space on its website. Saying it’s an exciting time for the district, Hill credited Vitale, who was hired last September, as “revolutionizing public education.”