BOE pursues personnel matters at special meeting

EAST LIVERPOOL – Members of the city board of education voted to approve a pair of new hires at a special meeting Thursday at 5 p.m., later breaking into executive session to discuss an important upcoming hiring.

One of the new names is Alaina Felgar-Cornfield of Youngstown, who will start as the new high school band director on Aug. 25, receiving a Step B-2 annual salary of $34,370.78. Before the vote, there were questions about Cornfield’s qualifications centered around her having only two years of experience.

Superintendent James Herring replied that she will receive guidance from former band director Donald Caiazza, who has volunteered to assist with the transition. Despite her relative lack of experience, Herring assured board members that Cornfield has in her brief career already led choirs, marching and concert bands, as well as doing student teaching.

Satisfied, the board unanimously approved Cornfield’s hiring.

The other new hire is Thomas Gruhalla of Wintersville, who will serve as an intervention specialist at the junior/senior high school beginning Aug. 25, at the Step B-8 salary level of $42,769.07 annually.

Board members also voted unanimously to approve a pair of resignations. Jacob Walgate, a math teacher at Westgate Elementary School, and Karolynn Walgate, an intervention specialist at the school, will resign their respective posts effective Aug. 1. Both have been with East Liverpool City Schools for three years, and both have accepted new positions with another school district. They were wished well and thanked for their service.

The board went into executive session at 5:12 p.m., minus Herring, to review applications for the soon-to-be-vacant position of superintendent, though no action was taken following.