C-K school board appoints member

Knott to take seat vacated by Barnes

CLAYSBURG — The Claysburg-Kimmel School Board appointed a new member Wednesday, replacing a longstanding member who resigned because of health issues.

Jeremy Knott was unanimously voted in as a new member for a term that runs until December. He said he is passionate about the district and has three kids, one of them a first-grader.

Knott said he was a board member from December 2011 to December 2017 but had to resign when he moved out of the voting precinct.

“I never actually wanted to be off the board,” Knott said. “But due to moving and whatnot. … I had the opportunity to come back and wanted to take advantage of that.”

“Success of this district is very important to me because I have kids in the district, and I am an alum, and of course, I live in the district,” he said. “Any way that I can help be engaged, I am definitely willing to do that.”

Knott said he helped with the hiring of Superintendent Darren McLaurin and that he is looking forward to serving on the board under his leadership.

McLaurin said of Knott, “Jeremy was the board president when I was hired here. He’s always had the interests of the students and the community at the forefront. He’s a great proponent of public education, and I am excited to have him on the board.”

Knott is replacing Cathy Barnes, who served on the board since June 2000. Her last day as board member was Dec. 31. The district had 30 days from her resignation to find her replacement.

The board also approved a budget act resolution, which keeps the 2019-20 real estate tax rate within the inflation index of 3.4 percent. If the board elects to raise taxes by the maximum of 3.4 percent in June, the district will receive an additional $80,000 in taxes, according to business manager Michelle Smithmyer.

The inflation index for 2018-19 was 3.6 percent.

When questioned if the federal government shutdown will impact funding for free and reduced-price lunches, the superintendent said it would be fine considering funding is backdated anyway.

“We’d probably have to be on shutdown until mid-February,” McLaurin said. “That’s my understanding anyway.”

Smithmyer said, “We will make it work,” commenting on how the school district could transfer funds into the cafeteria fund until the district receives funding for free and reduced-price lunches.

A $120,000 donation from the Education Foundation was approved by the board and incorporated in the school district’s $11.5 million budget.

The board also approved and recognized a ski club as a new student activity and the appointment of Rebecca Benton as the club’s adviser.

McLaurin said students who join the ski club will take trips to the Blue Knob All Seasons Resort. It is $150 per student for four outings to the ski resort, which includes all expenses.

The resignation of Russ Knisely as assistant varsity softball coach and the hiring of Joan Rhodes as elementary AmeriCorps staffer were also approved by the board.

Feb. 15 and April 18 will be added to the district calendar as early student dismissal days.

Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.