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Allentown School Board fills vacant seat

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 24 2013 10:52:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 25 2013 08:00:54 AM CDT
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

There was no suspense, no lengthy debates and no surprises during Thursday night's Allentown School District Board of Directors' meeting. In fact, things went pretty much according to script.

Act number one was to fill a vacant director seat. That role went to Charles Thiel, a name not entirely unfamiliar to city residents, who was formally appointed and sworn in as the newest director.

Thiel, who twice authored failed bids to win a seat on city council last decade, fills the vacancy of former director Julie Ambrose who resigned a little more than two months ago. Thiel, who was nominated just two nights ago, will fill out the remainder of Ambrose' s term, which runs until December 2015.

He will fill that term as member of the Democratic Party, the same political party as Ambrose. Thiel's city council bids were under the Republican Party banner.

Thiel's test run as a director was calm enough. All items on the voting agenda were approved with few questions and no debate.

One of their votes ascended Renee Sallit to acting assistant principal at Trexler Middle School. Ms. Sallit, who was elevated from dean of students at the middle school, will make $75,942 her year, effective Friday.

In the Building Committee report approved Thursday night, was the installation of a bus shelter along the Turner Street side of the William Allen complex. Director Scott Armstrong noted the shelter was a "student-led effort."

In other business, in responding to a citizen's inquiry during a public comment session, Superintendent C. Russell Mayo said the school was "not engaging in union-busting" as it relates to the district's paraprofessionals union, some of whom sat quietly in attendance Thursday night, adorned in blue shirts.