PLAINS TWP. — After months of butting heads with members of the committee that runs the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center, the director of the school’s nursing program submitted her resignation, effective Aug. 1. The Joint Operating Committee accepted the resignation at Monday’s monthly meeting without comment.
“We can’t run the program” Mary Beth Pacuska said of her resignation following the meeting. She cited the JOC’s repeated refusal to approve requested spending on the nursing program. “It is to the detriment to the students. It is unfair.”
The JOC, comprised of representatives from the school boards of five districts that send students to the center, has repeatedly rejected nursing program requests in recent months. In March, the JOC tabled three items: a stipend for administrative manager Cheryl Woloski, appointment of two clinical instructors and a request to advertise for a clinical coordinator.
Pacuska warned the committee that failure to hire the clinical instructors would strand students who would be unable to complete their training, and the board voted to hire the clinical instructors but still left the other two items on the table.
In April, the JOC rejected the stipend for Woloski again, and rejected a request to pay $490 to renew Woloski’s membership in an accountant organization.
At Monday’s meeting, the board rejected a request to purchase cloud back-up and off-site storage for the nursing program at a cost of $1,800, and rejected a request for a new computer server for $5,700. Pacuska said the students would not be able to take their nursing tests without the server, but CTC Executive Director Anthony Guariglia said the school has a server with enough space available to fill the needs of the nursing program.
Pacuska’s resignation comes on the heels of last month’s resignation of nursing program assistant director Laura Zdancewicz. On Monday, the JOC also accepted a “Letter of intent to retire” from Assistant Business Manager Daniel Bierdziewski.
The JOC also voted to send a 2018-19 budget to the member school districts for approval by each of the five school boards. The budget does not call for an increase in payments from the five districts overall, but it does shift the costs among the member districts, lowering the payments for two districts and raising the payments for three.
District payments are based primarily on the number of students they send to the center, and Board Member Bill Jones, a representative from Crestwood School District, said the budget changes reflect changes in percentage of students each district contributes to total enrollment.
The budget increases are $9,793 for Crestwood, $3,524 for Greater Nanticoke Area, and $24,477 for Pittston Area. Hanover Area will see a decrease of $6,871, and Wilkes-Barre Area will see a decrease of $31,013.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish