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M AI NLI NE newspapers

Vol. 114 No. 23

USPS 439-000

Portage, Pa.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Forest Hills Board discusses budget

Since 1904

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By Sean Wechtenhiser for Mainline Newspapers

The 2018 class officers of Portage Area High School are (from left) vice president Alexa Glista, president Kasey Chobany, treasurer Jamie Kostan and secretary Christy Smith. Photo by Ron Portash.

Portage Area graduating seniors hope to make a big impression

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

“We think we made a mark on this school” is how the class officers of Portage Area High School 2018 graduating class described

their senior year. From academics, to sports, to personalities, the seniors have left an impact on the school’s history, teachers and staff. Senior class vice president Alexa Glista described her senior

Forest Hills

years as starting off slowly, “but I never thought the year would go so fast.” Glista remarked about how the class has been together since preschool. SEE IMPRESSION, PAGE 8A

Forest Hills High School held their graduation ceremony May 31 at Mount Aloysius College. Valedictorian Alyssa Murphy (left), high school principal Curt Vasas and Salutatorian Sidney Kakabar talk prior to graduation. Photo by Ron Portash.

(814) 472-4110

At their May 10 meeting, the Forest Hills School Board discussed and approved a number of issues. Items on the agenda included the proposed final 2018-19 budget, the election of some board officer positions, the approval of routine summer matters, and other items as well. The board approved the advertisement of the proposed final budget for 2018-19, in the amount of $25,948,000. Business Manager Chris Reighard noted that the budget includes no tax increase, and that it is a balanced budget. There also are no deficits in the budget. Reighard told the board that the proposed budget must be advertised for 20 days before the final budget can be approved at the June 14 school board meeting. Three board officer positions were also approved at the May 10 meeting. Most officer positions are approved at the reorganization meeting in December. However, the positions of board secretary, treasur-

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er and assistant secretary/treasurer have been voted on and approved at the May meeting. The board voted to retain John Bopp as board secretary, Dr. TImothy Ondrejik as treasurer, and Dr. Richard Knavel as assistant secretary/treasurer. In other matters, the board voted to approve a number of routine end of school year matters. Dr. Paul Petrunak was approved to remain as school dentist at a rate of $5.75/exam. Dr. J. Eric Wieczorek was approved to remain as school physician. His rate was approved at $2,750, the same as the 2017-18 school year. The board also voted to approve summer office hours from June 4 through August 17. During this time, school and district offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. A request regarding funding for musicals was also discussed. The board previously had a policy that they would help fund a musical every three years. Last year, the board amended this SEE BUDGET, PAGE 3A

Portage Area

The graduation ceremony for Portage Area High School was held June 4 at the high school. Salutatorian Sidney Alexa Glista (left), high school principal Ralph Cecere and Valedictorian Kasey Chobany discuss the ceremony. Photo by Ron Portash.

Portage Library has full Portage Elementary student places summer of fun activities in tri-state writers contest

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

Activities abound at the Portage Public Library. With a new director at the helm, the summer heats up with excting new activities and some important staple programs to assist the area’s youth. Kaytlin Sumner joined the Portage Public Library as its

new director March 6. Before coming to Portage, she was the curator at the Johnstown Area Heritage Association for nine years. She is a native of Chest Springs and a Penn Cambria graduate. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in English literature and history. Sumner said she always had a passion for reading and learning, and those passions were nurtured through local libraries. “I am thrilled to have the chance to give back by creating a safe and welcoming environment for our local community,” said Sumner. “The Portage Library is your library. You matSEE LIBRARY, PAGE 14A

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

It is a dream of many people, young and old, to write a story to be heard or read by people around the world. WQED has held a PBS KIDS Writers Contest for several years now. The contest is open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Jersey. As a way to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through active hands-on learning, the contest is a partnership of four public televi-

Kyra Bobolsky

son stations: WQED, which covers western Pennsylvania, WPSU, which covers central Pennsylvania, WLVT, which covers eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey and WVPB, which covers West Virginia. “WQED is thrilled to continue our tradition of encouraging children to build literacy skills by supporting our local schools and teachers. WQED provides fun, hands-on literacy resources to engage children while getting them excited to explore their imagina-


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