Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, October 22, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY JAMES BUNTINGHeavy rains have opened up two sinkholes behind Zephyr Elementary School. At the Aug. 13 school board meeting, Whitehall-Coplay School Board approved an estimate from D.L. Keeney Contracting Inc. to handle the emergency repair. PRESS PHOTO BY JAMES BUNTINGHeavy rains have opened up two sinkholes behind Zephyr Elementary School. At the Aug. 13 school board meeting, Whitehall-Coplay School Board approved an estimate from D.L. Keeney Contracting Inc. to handle the emergency repair.

Sinkholes are found on school campus

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 by JAMES BUNTING Special to The Press in Local News

Heavy rains to blame

Whitehall-Coplay School Board has solicited the work of D.L. Keeney Contracting Inc. to perform emergency repairs to the grounds behind Zephyr Elementary School, where recent heavy rains have caused two sinkholes to open.

The damage is along the roadway between Zephyr Elementary and Whitehall-Coplay Middle School.

In other news, following the resignation of board member Arthur F. Taschler Jr., George Makhoul has begun his second stint with the board.

Makhoul was nominated and unanimously approved to fill the vacant seat at the Aug. 13 board meeting. He previously served on the school board from March through November 2017 following the resignation of Robert Kolb.

Makhoul will maintain the seat through December 2019.

Whitehall-Coplay School District Superintendent Dr. Lorie Hackett laid out the district’s plans for the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. Teachers will report to their first induction day Aug. 20, followed by a professional development day Aug. 21. Students will begin classes Aug. 27.

The district is welcoming 23 new teachers for the upcoming school year, including salaried substitutes. At the Aug. 13 meeting, three new temporary professionals, five salaried substitutes and 18 paraprofessionals were approved by the board.

Hackett introduced Nicole Sharkazy as the new districtwide integrated support services coordinator. Sharkazy previously served as Whitehall’s site coordinator in the Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley program.

“[Sharkazy] will manage a case load of approximately 50 students who have been identified as high risk for dropout within problem areas including, but not limited to, attendance, behavior and academics and will address the underlying issues related to mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues,” Hackett said.

Sharkazy will foster meetings between students, their families and teachers to ensure open communication.

The school board’s committees will gather 4 p.m. Aug. 27, and the next board meeting will take place 7 p.m. Sept. 10.