Evelyn Way sign to be reinstalled in Peters
Evelyn Jozefkowicz never had children, but when she died Aug. 10, well into her 90s, her obituary could have listed the names of thousands of children whose lives she touched as a 60-year employee of the Peters Township School District.
She began employment in the district in the 1950s as a playground monitor, eventually moving to the high school cafeteria and spending the final three decades, in all types of weather, as a crossing guard ensuring the safety of the students, teachers, staff and parents. Her post was at the entrance to McMurray Elementary School.
To honor her dedication to the district, a small sign was erected at the school’s entrance, but due to a “glitch” in district policy, the sign was removed three months before her death.
Addressing the Peters Township School Board during a regular meeting Sept. 16, Sharon Lutz of Bellwalt Drive, told the board she was representing the family in an effort to have the sign specifying Evelyn’s Way reinstalled.
“It was Evelyn’s way at Evelyn’s Way,” Lutz said, her voice often breaking with emotion. She said the family was more than willing to pay to have the sign reinstalled.
Board member David Hvizdos said he was not sure why the sign was removed referring to the act as “heartless” and “the right thing to do is to put it back.”
Board president Cindy Golembiewski told Lutz that is was never the district’s intention to be disrespectful to Jozefkowicz or to her memory. The sign, Golembiewski said, was put up without board approval and that removing the sign was “bad timing.”
The board is currently in the process of writing new policy on donations and memorials and that by voting to have the sign reinstalled, would not violate any policy.
At the end of a brief discussion, the board voted to have the sign reinstalled with the administration to determine if the sign would be installed on an existing or on a new pole. The vote was met with applause from the audience.
In other action, the board:
• Approved a new contract with the bus drivers and clerical staff that will expire June 30, 2014. This is the first agreement combining the clerical union and bus drivers employed by the district.
• Created the position of Diversity Club volunteer. Superintendent Jeannine French said the club is “up and running” and needed the approval of the board. In later action, Judith Alexander was named as the volunteer.
• An amendment to name Barbara Deliere as sponsor of the dance team failed by a vote of 6-2 with members Sandra Gregg and Sue Smith voting for. Voting against the amendment were members Golembiewski, Thomas McMurray, Hvizdos, Lori Cuervo, Ron Dunleavy and Lynn Erenberg. William Merrell took part through a conference call but had terminated the call earlier saying he could hear only 30 percent of the conversations. High School Principal Lori Pavlik is serving as acting sponsor.
• Announced the first finance meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28, after learning the administration will seek an exception through Act 1 to raise taxes above the state permitted percentage. McMurray said seeking the exception will permit the district to explore options as the state’s index percentage has not been set.