When: Donegal school board meeting, Nov. 12.
What happened: The school board voted in favor of extending a five-year employment agreement with Superintendent J. Michael Lausch. He will continue to serve as Donegal schools through June 30, 2026. Under the new contract, his annual salary for the period of July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, will be $157,500, according to an email after the meeting from Stephanie Manuel, executive administrative assistant to the superintendent.
Background: Lausch began his career as a teacher working in the Manheim Central School District. He then served as principal of Londonderry Elementary in the Lower Dauphin School District for nine years. He joined Donegal School District in 2014 as the assistant superintendent and was hired as superintendent in 2017.
Board comment: Oliver C. Overlander III, president of the board, said this agreement provides continuity for the next five years and thanked Lausch for his commitment to the community. Overlander said the board is “looking forward to a continued good working relationship” with Lausch.
Coronavirus update: At the meeting, Lausch reported the district had 14 positive COVID-19 cases across four district buildings so far this school year. Six of those cases are considered active and still in quarantine. Since the meeting, there have been four additional cases reported; two at Donegal Intermediate and two at the high school. Cleaning and sanitizing are being done to a high level but transmission from the community does make it into the schools. Lausch said they will pivot to online instruction for short periods of time as needed. He reminded everyone of the need to wear face coverings, wash hands and maintain distance in and out of school. In a letter sent Nov. 17 to families, the district announced it suspended in-person classes at the high school through Dec. 1.
New position: The board approved a request for the new position of technology integration and instruction coach. The district currently has three employees managing about 5,000 technology devices and providing technical support to all staff and families. They will be seeking a dynamic individual with teaching and technical experience to meet the diverse technological needs of the community.
Next meeting: Reorganization meeting is at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3.