Upper Merion Area School Board Hires New Superintendent, Passes Budget

UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, PA – Starting next school year the Upper Merion Area School District will not only be operating under new leadership, but also under a $89,641,840 million budget with a 3.27 percent tax increase following Monday night’s board meeting.

The board voted 8 to 1 to hire John Toleno, the current superintendent of Stroudsburg Area School District in Pennsylvania, beginning a three-year contract as the district’s new superintendent that starts July 20, 2015 and ends August 31, 2018.

Board member David Karen voted against hiring Toleno, saying he did not think that Toleno displayed the vision that he hoped to detect in the right candidate for the position.

“Personally during the interview process I was not able to detect in Dr. Toleno the overall educational and administrative vision that would take this district to its aspiration of continual improvement and inspiring excellence in every students every day,” Karen said, noting he was in the minority in his opinion, but that it was too important an issue to go along with the majority.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150601/upper-merion-area-school-board-hires-new-superintendent-passes-budget

MCCC Announces New Employees In Development, Human Resources

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) welcomes two new administrators to fill roles that are critical to the institution’s mission and strategic goals of increasing student access and success and creating a high performance culture.

New hires include Donna Fiedler, recently of Hatboro, associate director of development and Adriene Hobdy, of Philadelphia, director of leadership development and talent management.

Donna FiedlerDonna Fiedler comes to MCCC from The University of Texas San Antonio, where she served as assistant director of corporate and foundation engagement. During her career, she also held leadership positions with Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and New York University. In her new role as associate director of development, Fiedler is responsible for managing the Foundation’s stewardship programs including scholarships, awards and various events.

Fiedler holds an Associate in Arts from Suffolk County Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in economics and a Master of Arts in Hispanic Civilization from New York University.

Adriene HobdyAdriene Hobdy served as the chief talent and learning officer with Lambert Worldwide in Philadelphia before coming to MCCC. She also held senior leadership positions in both corporate and higher education during her professional career. In her new role as director of leadership development and talent management at MCCC, Hobdy is responsible for leading the College’s performance management and professional development programs.

Hobdy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in English from Xavier University of Louisiana, a Master of Science in Budget and Finance and a Master of Science in Business/Human Resources Management from Lincoln University, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation from Wilmington University.

MCCC Announces New Employees In Enrollment Services, Alumni Relations

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) welcomes two new administrators to fill roles that are critical to the institution’s mission of promoting student success and alumni outreach.

New hires include Stephanie Prazenka, Lansdale, associate director of records and registration, and Stephanie Wittig, West Chester, director of alumni relations and special programs.

Stephanie PrazenkaStephanie Prazenka comes to MCCC from Widener University, where she served as assistant registrar. Prior to Widener, she held the position of assistant director for Arcadia University’s School of Business MBA program. In her new role as associate director of records and registration, she is responsible for the management, maintenance, security and integrity of the College’s academic records, among other duties.

Prazenka holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University, as well as a Master of Education from Widener University.

Stephanie WittigStephanie Wittig previously served as assistant director of development with Penn State University, Harrisburg, before being hired by MCCC as associate director of annual and alumni programs in 2013. In her new role as director of alumni relations and special programs, she coordinates the Foundation’s annual giving programming, organizes cultivation events, and oversees Alumni Association activities, among other responsibilities.

Wittig holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Penn State University.

MCCC Announces New Employees In Enrollment Services, Marketing

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) welcomes three new administrators to fill roles that are critical to the institution’s mission of promoting student access and success.

New hires include Sherry Phillips-Mayers, Philadelphia, director of records and registration/registrar; Angela Polec, Philadelphia, executive director of marketing and communications; and Joyce Wheatley, Pennsburg, director of student recruitment.

Sherry Phillips-MayersSherry Phillips-Mayers has worked at MCCC since 2006 in a variety of enrollment service capacities. Most recently, she served as associate director of records and registration. In her new role as director of records and registration/registrar, she oversees student registration policies and procedures as well the management and integrity of the College’s academic records, among other responsibilities.

Phillips-Mayers holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Millersville University and a Master of Science degree in Education with a specialization in enrollment management from Capella University.

Angela PolecAngela Polec comes to MCCC from Temple University, where she served as the associate director of online marketing for advancement communications, and most recently as director of marketing for strategic marketing and communications. In her new role as executive director of marketing and communications, she leads MCCC’s branding, web and media strategies, among other responsibilities.

Polec holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and a Master of Science degree in Marketing from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.


Joyce Wheatley
comes to MCCC from DeVry University, where she served as the campus dean inJoyce Wheatley Chesapeake, Va. before becoming president of the institution’s Philadelphia metro area campuses and centers.  In her new role as director of student recruitment, she is responsible for all aspects of MCCC’s admissions and recruiting efforts.

Wheatley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from University of Delaware and a Master of Arts degree in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University.

Allentown Police Hire New Officers, Implement New Training

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Allentown Police Department added four new officers on Wednesday, as the police chief described for city officials new training and equipment the force has been implementing.

In the last few months the department has appointed its first liaison for the gay and lesbian community, and added training in Spanish language, emergency vehicle usage and riot policing.

The department has also received a $68,000 grant for the installation of audio and video equipment in 10 police cars, something Chief Joel Fitzgerald hopes will be implemented in all the city’s marked police cars.

“It’s a tremendous benefit for both the community, as well as cops because it insulates them from claims that might not be true,” he said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/09/allentown_police_hire_new_offi.html#incart_river

Over Objections, Shickshinny Hires Secretary/Treasurer At $17 Per Hour

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SHICKSHINNY, PA — Amy Evans, a resident of Sugar Notch and part-time secretary-treasurer of Briar Creek Borough, accepted a similar position with Shickshinny on Thursday night after council voted 3-2 to offer her the post that became open with the resignation of Wendy Kramer.

The vote followed the majority-minority line on council. Rosalie Whitebread, chairperson; Michael Steeber and Jim Wido voted to retain Evans. Councilman Kevin Morris and Councilwoman Kathleen Llewellyn voted no.

Steeber called Evans “the most qualified person” to apply for the job. He said Evans during the interview process requested a salary of $17 per hour.

“In light of her experience and her ability to take over the job right now, we believe her salary request is reasonable,” Steeber said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1415828/Shickshinny-hires-new-secretary-treasurer

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Best & Worst Cities To Work For A Small Business

Editor’s note:  Several Pennsylvania metro areas fared well on the list.  Pittsburgh (26), Philadelphia (33) and Lancaster (38).

Continuing WalletHub’s theme of small business-related releases in honor of National Small Business Week (May 12-16), this study sought to identify the cities that are the most and least friendly to employees of small companies.

There is no shortage of commentary on the best and worst cities to start a small business, after all, and with such companies employing about 47% of the private workforce in this country, paying more than 40% of the private payroll, and creating more than 60% of the new jobs added over the past 20 years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it bears asking what opportunities exist for the roughly 12.3% of people who are currently either unemployed or marginally attached to the labor force, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More specifically, WalletHub’s used 10 different metrics – ranging from net small business job growth and industry variety to hours worked and average wages for new hires – to evaluate the state of small business in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.  We then ranked the cities based on their overall attractiveness for job seekers.

Read more: http://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-to-work-for-a-small-business/3768/

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Pottstown Police Department Sees New Recruits, Full Force On Duty

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — Borough residents will soon see several new faces in Pottstown Police Department uniforms after the largest class of officers in the history of the department started this past week.

On Jan. 27, seven men began a year-long probationary period with the department, Capt. Robert Thomas said.

Not only is this the largest class of new members, the addition means the department will be running at full complement.

“Our full force is 46 officers,” Thomas said. They represent 15 percent of the department and Thomas said that is a substantial addition.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/20140206/pottstown-police-department-sees-new-recruits-full-force-on-duty

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Boyertown School Board Hires Superintendent

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

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

The Boyertown School Board has hired a new superintendent whose experience with building projects should help the district as it prepares to renovate and expand the high school, officials said Thursday.

Dr. Richard Faidley, 44, who has spent the last two years as superintendent of the Derry Township School District in Dauphin County, was hired by an 8-0 vote on Tuesday.  His salary was set at $165,000.

The board chose Faidley partly because he’s a strong leader and has construction knowledge, said board President Gwen W. Semmens.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=495561

Pottstown School Board OKs Hirings, Raises

POTTSTOWN — As the school year winds down, most of us have vacation on our minds, but in school district offices, its time to close the books on those who are leaving, and set the stage for those who are coming on board or moving up.

Key to that planning is putting personnel in place and among the many changes coming to Pottstown schools in September, is a long list of changes in personnel — and salary.

The changes began with the appointment of Jeffrey D. Hartman as the new principal at Pottstown High School, effective July 1.

Hartman, who will be paid $105,692, finished this school year as the principal of Phillipsburg-Osceola Senior High School in Centre County, where he has served since 2011.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130623/NEWS01/130629764/pottstown-school-board-oks-hirings-raises

Luzerne County Officials Take Another Look At Gnat Problem

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Luzerne County administration is rethinking plans to cancel participation in a state bug spraying program, sources say.

County management eliminated $75,000 from the 2013 budget for blackfly spraying because the state did not supply documentation showing the program has proven results.  The administration had planned to conduct spraying in-house if problems surfaced.

However, some County Council members and citizens expressed concern about pulling out of the program.

Prior commissioners considered a similar spraying cancellation on the advice of an outside financial recovery consultant in 2010, but they reversed their decision after the state warned the Susquehanna River generates “tremendous numbers of adult gnats that will adversely impact outdoor recreation activities throughout the county.”

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/423374/Officials-take-another-look-at-gnat-problem

Arbitrators Slash Newer Reading Police Officers’ Pay, Benefits

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

City police, especially those hired this year and in the future, will take major pay and benefit cuts now and when they retire, according to a five-year contract handed down Friday by a panel of arbitrators.

The panel froze officers’ salaries and step increases for three years and cut starting salaries, vacation time and sick leave in the new contract, which is retroactive to January 2012.

In setting the terms, the panel followed the city’s Act 47 financial recovery plan to cut millions of dollars a year from police costs.

For employees hired before the old contract expired at the end of 2011, the panel kept that contract’s pension benefits – up to 70 percent of working salaries, the ability to buy years of service to raise that pension, and city-paid retiree health insurance.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=428754