PENNSBURY >> In a tranquil reorganization meeting on Dec. 5, the nine-member Pennsbury School Board re-elected TR Kannan of Lower Makefield as its board president and named Christine Toy-Dragoni as its vice president for 2020.
Both votes were cast unanimously and followed the swearing in and seating of four re-elected board members - TR Kannan, John Palmer, Gary Sanderson and Christian Schwartz - and newly-elected board member Sherwood “Chip” Taylor, who was appointed to the board in October and subsequently won election in November.
District Judge Jan Vislosky was on hand to make it official, administering the oath of office to Kannan, Palmer, Sanderson, Taylor and Schwartz. Kannan took his oath with his hand on the “Bhagavad-Gita” (the Song of God), a 700-verseSanskritscripture that is part of the Hindu epic, “Mahabharata.”
Following his appointment, Kannan said several major issues will be on the floor for consideration in 2020, including school start times at the high school, and the development of a 10 year building renovation and improvement plan for Charles Boehm Middle School, the Pennsbury High School campus, Falcon Field and the Edgewood and Fallsington elementary schools.
The school board in November heard an overview of the building plan and its finance committee is scheduled to begin work this month on a plan to finance the projects.
Kannan, a 16 year resident of Lower Makefield, is beginning his second four year term on the board and his second term as the board’s president.
“I’m very happy. I hope people like what I did,” he said of his re-appointment as president. “In my four years, this was the first time we had a 9-0 vote (on board leadership). It shows unity and that we’re working together,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to continuing that during the coming year,” he said. “We have an awesome board. Our newest member is Chip Taylor who joined us in October. We are getting to know him. He has the right mindset. He has kids in the schools. And I’m very excited that he had joined us.”
During public comment, Makefield Elementary School teacher Kevin Kane congratulated Kannan on his re-election and his subsequent appointment to another term as school board President.
“I’d like to thank him and all the board members who tirelessly donate their time and effort to providing the tools we need to fulfill our mission with the kids,” said Kane.
Among the first actions by the newly recognized board was to set the monthly board meetings in 2020 as the third Thursday of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Fallsington Elementary School on Yardley Avenue in Fallsington.
The board also voted unanimously to extend an employment agreement with Kelly Lambert and the Bucks Intermediate Unit through June 30, 2020, at a per diem rate of $725.
Lambert is serving as interim director of special education until the position can be filled. Her original contract ran through Nov. 30.
“She has agreed to stay on at the same rate through the end of June and we are grateful for that,” said Superintendent Dr. William Gretzula.