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Keller served district as teacher, board member
Mary Jane Keller’s final meeting as a McKeesport Area School Board member was a bittersweet occasion for district officials and her fellow school directors.
At Wednesday's school board meeting, Superintendent Mark Holtzman Jr. presented Keller with a bouquet of flowers as well as a plaque recognizing her for a combined 45 years of service to the district, first as a teacher, and later as a school director.
Keller has been on the school board for eight years and served as vice-president for the past four.
An emotional Keller said, “It is my hope that I have been a positive voice for children.”
Keller said she will remain actively involved in the community --- and in local schools -- through projects organized by the Ladies of Charity at Corpus Christi Parish in McKeesport as well as the White Oak Lions Club. The projects will provide, among other things, clothing items and food to students in need, Keller said.
Holtzman said he was very grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with Keller, adding that she was a very active school board member and calling her commitment to volunteerism in the school district “unmatched.”
Holtzman said that Keller had provided personal advice and guidance since he was named superintendent three years ago. “I appreciate all the help you’ve provided and we appreciate you more than you know,” he said.
“Mary Jane, thank you, again, we appreciate you,” Holtzman said. “Just because you got a little choked up, we know how tough you are.”
In Other Business:
Board members unanimously approved the hiring of two permanent substitute teachers at $100 per day plus individual benefits. The rate will increase to $125 per day after their 61st day.
Keith Parton is assigned to the high school, effective Oct. 23, and Kenyetta Hamlin is assigned to Francis McClure Elementary, effective Oct. 8.
The hiring of Carol Bray was approved for the position of allied health teacher at the high school, at a pro-rated annual salary of $42,378, effective immediately.
Board members accepted the resignation of Michael Mihalov, director of buildings and grounds, effective Oct. 7, and the resignation of Ron Kalup, assistant football coach, for the 2019-20 school year.
The board approved participation by high school students in a field trip to Peru during the summer of 2021, through EF Educational Tours.
According to Holtzman, high school science teacher Marla Hayes is orchestrating the trip.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who covers news from McKeesport Area School District and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published October 27, 2019.