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Warwick High School

What: Warwick school board meeting, Sept. 20.

What happened: Dan Woolley was named to the Warwick School Board, filling the position left vacant by Matt Knouse’s resignation in August. Woolley was sworn in by Judge Ed Tobin and took his seat on the board, joining board members Todd Rucci, president; Edward Browne, vice president; and Jim Koelsch, Scott Landis, Lisa Miller, Leslie Pekunas, Nelson Peters and Emily Zimmerman.

Quotable: “We welcome Dan Woolley to the Warwick School Board, and we would like to thank the four candidates. We were impressed with the caliber of the individuals who stepped up,” said Rucci, thanking the other three candidates, who included Scott Graham, Kimberly Regennas and Michael Sham.

Background: Woolley is a graduate of Warwick High School. He and his wife have five children who went through the Warwick School District. As an empty nester, Woolley saw the opportunity to serve the school district that educated his own children and himself, noting, “Every student deserves opportunities.” Woolley is employed at Hillyard Inc. in Lancaster.

Duties: Woolley will join the Building and Property Committee, with Jim Koelsch as chairperson. Woolley will also serve as alternate representative to the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center and the Joint Municipality Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

Appointment: The board approved community member Lyndsay Gardner to the Student Activities Committee by 8-1, with Zimmerman abstaining. Chairperson Browne welcomed the pediatric nurse practitioner to the committee, saying that there had been five highly qualified individuals considered. “She will be a fantastic addition to the committee,” said Browne.

Presentation: The Warwick Education Foundation presented the district with a check for $124,756. Barbara Mobley, foundation executive director, made the presentation. The funds will provide 34 grants to 60 Warwick teachers for the 2022-23 school year for innovative education opportunities.

Programs funded: Among the programs are an augmented reality topographic sandbox that allows a state-of-the-art resource machine to visualize topographical 3D maps at Warwick High School, 10 new high-powered robots for learning how to code at Warwick Middle School, and the One Book, One School, One Community program for students and their families in the elementary schools.

Quotable: “The Warwick Education Foundation is an amazing asset for the school district,” said Rucci, thanking Mobley for the donation.

Project update: Dan Cicala, founder and principal of Fidevia, provided an update on Warwick’s fieldhouse and athletic fields campus project. Due to unexpected issues with soil quality and the need for a large scale grinder pump, the current revised budget is at $10,813,779. Cicala reported that he does not expect any further issues to affect the final costs, as the project nears completion. The items that still need to be completed are the installation of the grinder pump, remaining roof top units, and bleachers arriving at the end of October. Paving will be done on West Maple Street, the student lots will be extended, and the parking lot pole lights will be connected. At the turf field, fence gates and ball net will be installed, and the existing bleachers will be relocated and installed facing the turf field. Ticket booth block installation will be completed and electric rough-ins installed, with a mid-October completion.

Personnel matters: The board approved the appointments of Taylor Capoferri as a speech & language pathologist at Warwick High School, Dalton Patterson as a science teacher at Warwick High School, and Riley Freeman as a learning facilitator at John Beck Elementary School.

Trip: The board reviewed a request for an educational trip by high school students and staff to Belize in June 2023, with dates to be determined. The trip is intended to provide linguistic, cultural and personal skills for participating students.

Public comment: At the end of the meeting, a public comment session was held, with a wide range of comments from citizens that included support of educators in providing high quality education for students, opposition about a book that tells the stories of six transgender teens, support for books that expand horizons and do not limit children in learning about the world, and the success of Moms for Liberty in standing up for parental rights.

What’s next: The next regular Warwick school board meeting is Oct. 18. There is also a committee of the whole meeting on Oct. 4.

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