COAL TOWNSHIP — The Shamokin Area School Board unanimously hired a new elementary principal during a special meeting Tuesday evening.

Michael Keefer, 35, of Elysburg, was appointed to the position at an annual salary of $83,500. Keefer will be taking over for Anthony Carnuccio, who was approved for a voluntary transfer to assistant principal in May.

A 2003 Shamokin graduate, Keefer first returned to Shamokin to teach middle school math for eight years. Three years ago, he took an assistant principal position at Mifflinburg Area Middle School. Keefer said he’s tentatively set to begin his employment at Shamokin in August.

Keefer said Tuesday evening he’s always considered himself a product of Shamokin and he’s taken great pride in being from the area. He applied for the elementary principal position because he wanted to rejoin the Shamokin “family” and impact kids locally.

He is “honored and humbled to be rejoining the students” and his former colleagues at Shamokin Area School District, where he said he has the utmost respect for the community. Keefer said the district must continue to embrace challenges and inspire learning because education is the promise that all students, regardless of circumstances, can learn, grow and achieve.

A vote was taken to approve Carnuccio’s salary at $81,215, effective retroactively July 1. In May, Carnuccio’s salary was changed from $86,000 as elementary principal to $78,000 as assistant elementary principal.

Board members Steve Cook and Robert Getchey voted against the motion, with Cook stating he believes a higher offer should have been made.

An armed security guard, Keith Bonshock, was hired at the rate of $18.46 per hour for 180 days a year, eight hours a day, effective Sept. 3.

The resignation of Sandy Zurick as school nurse was approved by the board, as was the hiring of Mallory Klingerman as a school nurse at a salary of $38,500.

Resignations were accepted from Jennifer Groller, English as a second language teacher, and Rebecca Dressler, teacher aide, and part-time teacher aide Channon Gregg was terminated retroactively in conformance with the Article IV probation period.

An executive session was held prior to the meeting to discuss personnel issues. Board members Ed Griffiths and Melissa Hovenstine were absent from the meeting.

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