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Chemistry Teacher Hired for Wayne Valley Class

Replacement found for Katie Poremba who went on maternity leave Sept. 1.

The Board of Education hired a long-term replacement for a Wayne Valley High School chemistry teacher who went on maternity leave just before school began.

James Kiamie was hired at a board meeting Thursday night. He will replace Katie Poremba.

Poremba has been on maternity leave since Sept. 1. She informed the district in a timely manner of her going on leave. Officials hired a long-term replacement earlier this year but the person withdrew his or her name from consideration shortly before school began.

Kiamie will earn $54,200. Poremba’s annual salary is $65,570.

Superintendent Ray Gonzalez said having to fill teaching positions temporarily because someone goes on maternity leave or takes a leave of absence is common for school districts.

“We’re faced with that all the time,” Gonzalez said after the meeting. “It is equally concerning to the administration as it is to parents when a situation like this presents itself.”

A parent of a student in the class said last week that her son was not receiving any type of significant instruction and that the class was nothing more than a study hall.

“I look to my administrators to ensure that quality instruction is happening in all of our classrooms,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t believe for a second that any administrators in this district would be satisfied hearing that quality instruction is not taking place in their classrooms.”

Michael Damato was hired to teach chemistry at Wayne Hills High School. He replaces Brian Pickler. Pickler resigned in August.

Damato was hired on the tenure track. He will earn $49,500. Pickler earned nearly $58,000.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Tls September 21, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I am happy there will now be a chemistry teacher in the classroom but this article does not reflect what really happened to explain why there was no teacher. Mrs. Poremba has been on leave since April. The district attempted to use the sub service for a long term sub and realized at the last minute that they would not be able to keep a certified chemistry teacher coming at $100/day. They scrambled at the last minute to cover their mistake and our children have suffered as a result. To then blame the principal for a lack of education in the classroom is ridiculous when it was a central office policy that created the mess in the first place. No one should accept that it is "not unusual" to start the year without a teacher. If we do, the level of education will go down from here.
Lisa Rosen September 21, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I agree with everything you said above, Tls. I can't believe that the "officials" are bantering around the statement that starting a school year without a teacher is not unusual. Really? I have never heard of this, especially at the high school level, and especially for three weeks. Hopefully, now that a teacher has been hired, we can put this ridiculous situation behind us and those in charge can learn from their mistakes.
fboy1932 September 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Your correct...we cant blame the board members who got ridiculed for doing nothing. Pavlack still useless, untrustworthy. The so called sisters that look pretty and made promises to make things changed had only 1 agenda, to make their children's school better and all they are, are PTO moms. Daren Delsardo was the only loyal and open minded board member that had no agenda except to make things work. While he fought to make changes that would have effected staff he got back doored by Pavlack and Mr. Meadowland himself. So egg on all your faces as this board still hasn't done a thing for change except for continuing making the BOE uncredible. So now I hear we have another election and I'm ready to sit back and laugh hearing what they can offer making our school district run better. The re-org expenditures was very expensive and wasn't need at least now during these economic times, but yet our board members continue spending money foolishly when all could have remained. I cant wait to hear the answer on that one. Meantime my daughters bathroom is disgusting, ever look up at the exhaust vents? what good is cleaning a buidling when the obvious stares at you inches of dust.
Pad September 22, 2012 at 01:05 AM
The BOE in this town is horrible. All they do is spend, spend & spend more. Yes, this was another fiasco. Maybe Mr. Gonzalez ought to spend some time checking the background of a certain person employed at AWMS who is on maternity leave and ask himself why or how this person is employed in Wayne. Why do you think they need a PR firm for? They do damage control and put a spin on things to BS the taxpayers and PTO moms. I have said this before. The BOE members for the most part are political wannabe's using the BOE to get thier foot into politics. Mr Meadowlands himself and most of the Town Council members are perfect examples of this. The never ending spending at the BOE is destroying this town. Homes in foreclosure, up for sale etc. The number one reason the high taxes in this township. They have never once made any serious cuts in the budget or try to get by with 0% increase. Its for the children is gotten old. It's really for giving friends jobs, creating new unneeded positions etc.
Tls September 23, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I hope so, too. Thanks for making your voice heard Lisa!
Bssa September 26, 2012 at 02:47 AM
The issues related to using the rent-a-teacher fix are far from over. This is just the first widely publicized story of what will probably be many. What happens when these teachers get offered higher paying and permanent positions? The answer is they will leave their classrooms and someone else's child will be without a teacher. Someone remind me again what my astronomical taxes are going towards???
Concerned Educator October 06, 2012 at 02:11 PM
The selection of rent-a-teacher's that have been coming through the door is far below the standards that Wayne used when hiring substitutes. Some of them don't speak English very well, for a Language Arts class, or are just occupying space and collecting a pay-check. The regular, standard substitutes, our go-to people, are outraged by the change as well as the teachers who want learning to occur when they cannot be there. It is very scary to see some of these people near our students. This is not a baby-sitting service this is an education institution. Parents and PTO, I urge you to speak with your Principal's about this.

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