Former Gov. Mifflin Swim Coach, Exeter Teacher Guilty Of Molesting 4 Female Students

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Wyomissing man who formerly taught and coached in two Berks County school districts pleaded guilty Wednesday to molesting four female students between 2003 and 2011.

Jonathan D. Bell, 31, faces a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison followed by 10 years of probation under a plea agreement.

Bell is a suspended art teacher at Exeter Senior High School. He was fired from his position as the water polo and swim coach at Gov. Mifflin School District.

Berks County President Judge Paul M. Yatron ordered the state Sexual Offender Assessment Board to conduct an evaluation before Bell’s sentence is imposed to determine if he is a sexually violent predator.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131218/NEWS/312199965/1052#.UrJo-fRDsxI

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Committee Considers Merger Between Exeter, Antietam

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Antietam and Exeter school district officials are trying to flesh out what a merger of the two districts could look like, and they’ve formed a new committee to discuss the possibilities.

Closing Antietam’s two elementary schools and forming a single high school for 10th- through 12th-graders were among the ideas the committee kicked around at its first meeting Monday at Antietam Middle-Senior High school.  The committee is made up of an administrator, board president and three additional board members from each district.

Committee member Beth Calabria, who serves on the Antietam School Board, said there needs to be some sort of time frame for coming up with a merger model.

A merger feasibility study by Civic Research Alliance, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, was released to the public in April and outlined four models for the districts’ futures.  The models were keeping things as they are, sharing programs and services, adopting a regional school model and a full merger.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=493336

Merger’s Benefits Mulled At Antietam Meeting

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the Antietam and Exeter school districts were to combine in some form, students from both could take advantage of a minimum of 42 new course offerings.

They’d also have access to 10 different buildings and added athletic facilities.

And have the opportunity to take part in up to 31 new clubs and activities.

“You’d have the capacity to do a lot more,” Kerry Moyer told more than 150 parents and residents at Antietam’s Mount Penn Primary Center Wednesday. “And you’d have the capacity to accommodate a large enrollment (increase) if it does happen.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=472673

Exeter-Antietam School District Merger Talks Give Rise To Questions

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By definition, it’s a union – oftentimes, an absorption. It could be as simple as sharing a sports team. Or as complex as a new high school.

For the school officials who make the ultimate decision, though, mergers aren’t so easily defined. They’re complex; never the same. And ultimately, the trigger for heated emotions all around.

Since talk of a merger between the Exeter and Antietam school districts reignited this year, questions have arisen.

If the two were to combine, residents wondered, would there be a new name? Which high school would be used? And who, if anyone, would actually benefit?

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=410187

6-Figure Shortfall Stymies Exeter School Board

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frustrations ran high among Exeter school officials at a budget workshop held before a sparse crowd this week.

“It’s a bind the state has put us in,” said Dr. David S. Bender, school board vice president.

“Not to mention the lack of support in Harrisburg for education funding,” said Dr. Beverly A. Martin, superintendent. “You don’t want to raise taxes because people are hurting. How do you get out of that type of hole?”

Since adopting a preliminary budget of $64.8 million in January, the district has slashed expenses by about $1.8 million, Business Manager Anne Guydish said. However, a budget shortfall of $844,298 remains.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=379219

Antietam School District Exploring The Possibility Of Merging With Exeter SD

 
Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

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It’s a tune the Antietam School District has heard before: The district is once again exploring the possibility of merging with Exeter Township School District.

This is not the first time the neighboring districts have considered merging, nor the second. Or even the third. The idea has been discussed, repeatedly, as far back as the 1960s.

And for some Antietam residents, the history of failed mergers clouds their opinion of a new consideration.

“I don’t think they’ll merge,” said Brandy High, a Lower Alsace Township mother with two children in Antietam schools. “They’ve been saying it for a long time and never did.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=362292