DALLAS TWP. — Fear not, Mountaineers, all Dallas High School events for seniors will occur as scheduled. Both School District Superintendent Tom Duffy and teacher union president Michael Cherinka scotched rumors to the contrary that cropped up Thursday.
Duffy said the two people filling the contractual posts of senior class advisers resigned from those positions, but stressed all those final-year events seniors look forward to will still be held.
The adviser positions have been posted so others interested in doing the job can apply, Duffy said, and if no one does, Principal Jason Rushmer has promised to step in.
Duffy said that he had received calls from students and parents concerned that senior events had been cancelled, and he suspects they stemmed from the resignation of advisers amid protracted teacher contract talks.
“When they resigned the positions, they gave the usual reasons” of time constraints, Duffy said, adding that the adviser post can consume a lot of time for the stipend the person receives. The contract, which expired in 2015, lists a $2,119 stipend for senior class advisor.
Cherinka also said the resignations had nothing to do with ongoing contract talks.
Teachers went on strike last November into December. They have threatened a second strike, though pushed the date back several times to give negotiations a chance to succeed.
While state law allows two strikes in one school year, there is some question regarding the legality of a second strike in this case. A second strike must end in time for students to get 180 days of school by June 30, and the first strike coupled with days lost to snowy weather already pushed the last day of school to June 30.
Following winter storm Stella and the record snowfall it dropped, Duffy conceded that, even if students stay in class until June 30, they will not complete 180 days. That would risk the loss of some state reimbursement money for each day short of the goal. Duffy is working with state officials to mitigate that problem.