In a swift meeting of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors on Monday night, a new board president and vice president were chosen, administrator salaries were approved, and permission was granted for a company to conduct land surveys in advance of possible school expansions.
Board members voted unanimously to approve Melissa Gilbert and Virginia Pollard as board president and vice president respectively as part of its annual reorganization. Gilbert, who served as vice president in 2012, replaces president Diane DiBonaventuro, whom Gilbert thanked for her long years of service to the board.
Following the reorganization, the board unanimously approved an agreement
between the Lower Merion Board of School Directors and the Lower Merion
Organization of School Administrators. Similar to the agreement between the board and the Lower Merion Education Association, the agreement provides terms for the salary, benefits and health care contributions for district administrative employees for July 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015. A list of positions and salaries is available in the PDF attached to this article.
The board also approved a $35,900 land surveying contract with Chester Valley Engineers, Inc. for the purpose of exploring options for school expansion. Superintendent Christopher McGinley assured that approving the contract does not tie the board to any specific expansion model, but it does allow the district to begin the process of identifying locations for temporary classrooms.
Board member Marissa Golden expressed concern with the contract.
"Although I understand the need to have the survey work done, I am concerned that each time we vote, we take an additional step towards that committment to this path of construction and it makes it harder to stop the train," Golden said.
Until the board acts to award a construction contract, however, McGinley replied, "the train has not left the station."
The next meeting of the Lower Merion school board will be held Monday, Dec. 10, to review options related to district expansion.