The Northampton School Board met Monday, December 4 for their annual organization meeting.

To begin, re-elected board members Michael Baird and John Becker, as well as newly elected board members Kristin Soldridge, Joshua Harris and Brian McCulloch, were sworn in to begin their duties as directors through the end of their term in 2027. 

Then, board members elected Kim Bretzik as temporary president for the elections of board president and vice-president.

Upon Bretzik’s request for board president nominations, Harris nominated Doug Vaughn for president and Becker nominated Baird.

Vaughn was appointed as board president in a 5-4 vote with Bretzik, Harris, McCulloch, Soldridge and Vaughn voting for Vaughn, and all other board members voting for Baird.

Next, Bretzik requested nominations for vice-president. At that time, Becker nominated Baird and Vaughn nominated Soldridge.

Soldridge was appointed as board vice-president in a 5-4 vote, with Bretzik, Harris, McCulloch, Soldridge and Vaughn voting for Soldridge, and all other board members voting for Baird.

As newly elected president, Vaughn thanked everyone for their support and then took over presidential duties for the rest of the meeting.

Following, the board unanimously approved the 2024 meeting dates, location and time, which will all be held in the Northampton Area High School auditorium, located at 1619 Laubach Ave. at 6:30 p.m. on the following Mondays: January 8 with a cancellation date set for January 10; February 12 with a cancellation date set for February 14; March 11 with a cancellation date set for March 13; April 8; May 13; June 10; July 15; August 12; September 9; October 14; November 11; and December 2 with a cancellation date set for December 4. The December 2 meeting will also include the annual organization meeting.

In other news, the board approved the elimination and combination of several committees upon Bretzik bringing them to the board’s attention. Directors then voted to eliminate the Public Library Liaison and Technology Committee, which will instead follow their departmental chain of command for any issues that may arise needing the board’s attention.

Additionally, The Act 93 and the Meet and Discuss committees were both combined with the Contract Negotiations committee. 

The board also discussed the scheduled meeting times for two of the committees and ultimately approved for the Policy committee to meet on the first Monday of the month beginning in February at 6 p.m. and for the Facilities committee to meet on the third Monday of the month at 6 p.m.

Next, Vaughn requested volunteers for members of board committees. Directors unanimously approved the following committee members: Contract Negotiations/Act 93/Meet and Discuss – Ross Makary, Soldridge, Vaughn and Baird; Employee Benefit Trust – Baird; Expulsion – McCulloch and Bretzik; Facilities – Makary, Harris and McCulloch; K-Kids Foundation – Makary; NASD Community Liaison – Soldridge and McCulloch; PSBA Liaison – Baird; Policy – Bretzik and Vaughn; and Safe School – Makary and Becker.

Then, the board appointed Soldridge to the Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical Joint Committee for the current term through December 2025 and Makary through December 2026. Makary was also appointed to the Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical Authority for the term effective February 2024 through January 2029 to replace previous board member David Gogel.

Last, Vaughn announced that he would like to implement some changes in 2024 with regard to Policy 11: Board Governance Standards/Code of Conduct. Vaughn stated that he wants all board members to work together as a team and make themselves more available to the public by attending school functions and events where they will be able to interact with constituents.

The next Northampton School Board meeting will be held on Monday, January 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium, located at 1619 Laubach Ave.


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