Poland school board discusses store-card use in secret session

By Rick Rouan


The board of education went into executive session to discuss an investigation into a personnel matter related to a Giant Eagle Advantage Card apparently in the school district’s name.

The board met behind closed doors for more than 30 minutes Monday night and did not take public action afterward.

Last month, board members urged an investigation into who claimed fuel savings from a Giant Eagle Advantage Card in the district’s name.

At a work-session meeting in November, board members said groceries were purchased using the card for the high school home-economics course, but that the district did not know who had used the points accumulated on the card to save money on gas.

Card holders can save 10 cents per gallon of gas for every $50 spent at Giant Eagle using the card, according to www.gianteagle.com.

When asked about the card, Treasurer Don Stanvocak said, “I have answers to that question. It’s just a matter of when you want to discuss it.”

Stanovcak said the fuel savings are used by the district’s transportation coordinator for vans the district owns.

The board chose to discuss the card in executive session before two of its members left the seats they lost in November’s election.

“I’d like to have some closure on that before I leave here,” said Frank Divito, school board president.

Board members, however, declined to comment on the executive-session discussion.

The school board also authorized the district to seek bids for renovations to a Poland Seminary High School science lab. The lab is the fourth of five labs to be renovated using money saved when Superintendent Dr. Robert Zorn retired and was rehired at a reduced salary.

The district kept about $55,000 that it saved last year and will pair it with another $55,000 saved this year to pay for the renovations, which CJL Engineering estimated could cost about $82,800.

Originally, the district planned to renovate the science lab this past summer, but the bid came in at more than $79,000, about $24,000 more than the district saved on Zorn’s contract. The board then elected to save that money to combine with this year’s saving to complete the project, Zorn said.

The meeting was the last for Divito and Laura Stacy, who served eight years and 20 years, respectively, on the board. Richard “Beau” Weaver and Larry Dinopoulos will replace the departing board members.

Zorn presented plaques to Divito and Stacy and thanked them for their service to the district.

“I have probably learned more than I have given in these 20 years,” Stacy said. “It’s been a real rewarding experience.”

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