Three Members Formally Join Crawford Central School Board | News


TOWNSHIP OF VERNON – The Crawford Central School Board welcomed three new members at its reorganization meeting on Monday. The members also unanimously elected Jan Feleppa chairman of the board for the seventh year in a row and chose a new face for the post of vice chairman.

Holly Chatman, Elyse Palmer and Ryan Pickering, all elected to a four-year term in November, were sworn in shortly after the meeting began and took seats on the board. Feleppa, who was elected for her third consecutive term in November, joined her new colleagues to take the oath. The new members replace Paula Jo Harakal, Ross Prather and Frank Schreck, who have all chosen not to stand for re-election.

In a brief meeting devoted to reading the election certificates, nominating members of various committees and associations, and approving the meeting schedule for the coming year, the only point of contention was the election of a vice-chairman of the board.

Past Vice-President Jeff Rose and Board Member Melissa Burnett have received nominations for the position. Rose, who had been vice-chair of the board for three years, did not attend the meeting.

Because Rose was nominated first, her nomination was first considered by the board of directors. Two members – Kevin Merritt and Delwood Smith – voted in favor of Rose for vice president; the other six members – Burnett, Chatman, Feleppa, Palmer, Pickering and Bryan Miller – present voted against.

When the board of directors then considered Burnett as vice-chairman, all eight members present voted in favor. After the vote, Burnett thanked his fellow council members for their support.

The unanimously approved schedule is that next year’s meetings will typically be held at 5:30 p.m. on the third and fourth Monday of each month, with no meeting in July. In December, the board only meets for a reorganization meeting on the first Tuesday.

The first board meeting of the year will be moved to Tuesday, January 18 to avoid any conflict with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Further schedule changes will take place in April, when the first meeting will be moved to April 19, a Tuesday. The neighborhood has a day off scheduled for April 18, which comes a day after Easter. In September and November, meetings will be held on the second and third Mondays instead of the usual days.

The first meeting of each month serves as a study session devoted to the discussion of agenda items that will be voted on the following week as well as other matters that should be brought to the board. Votes on agenda items take place at the second meeting of each month.

In other annual appointments, all of which resulted in unanimous votes, Chatman was approved to replace Schreck as one of three district representatives on the joint operating committee that oversees the county career and technical center. by Crawford. Merritt and Smith are the other representatives.

Smith was also reappointed as a board representative to the Pennsylvania School Board Association. Palmer has been appointed alternate representative.

Palmer was also approved as a board representative on the French Creek Council of Governments, succeeding Feleppa. Pickering was chosen as the alternate representative.

State law requires school boards to hold their annual reorganization meetings during the first week of December, which is variously interpreted as the first seven days of the month or the week beginning on the first Sunday of the month. Crawford Central meets for the reorganization in December, but does not hold the typical study session or voting meeting that takes place the other months.

The Conneaut School Board met last week for a reorganization meeting and study session and will meet again on Wednesday for a regular voting meeting. The PENNCREST school board meets on Thursday for a reorganization meeting and a regular voting meeting.

Mike Crowley can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at

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