Exeter board honors family killed in North Carolina crash

Wife, mom lone survivor of August 4 head-on crash

ST. LAWRENCE, Pa. - The Exeter Township School Board began its special voting meeting Tuesday night on a somber note.

Board President David Hemberger called for a moment of silence in honor of the Dawson family, which was involved in a deadly car accident in North Carolina on August 4.

Bryan and his son, Garhett, an Exeter Township High School senior, were killed in the crash. Kylie, an Exeter graduate, died three days later.

Bryan's wife Melissa, who was driving, was not seriously injured.

Hemberger said the entire Exeter family "shares grief and pain."

Superintendent Robert Phillips thanked the district's counseling staff members for returning to school during their vacations to be available to talk with students about their grief.

Personnel matters

The board accepted the resignation of Jeffrey P. Fries as principal of Owatin Creek Elementary School, effective immediately.

Phillips praised Fries for his work and said he made an enormous impact at the school well beyond the short time he spent there. Board member Allison Wilson, who has a child who attends Owatin Creek, also heaped praise on Fries. She said he was beloved by the students.

In addition, Edward J. Isselmann was appointed principal of Lorane Elementary School and Margaret D. Wright was appointed assistant principal of the senior high school, both effective August 14.

The board also appointed Dr. Beverley Niehls as school physician for the 2019-2020 school year and Dr. Randal Reinecker as school dentist for the 2019-2020 school year.

The board approved job descriptions for a student services liaison and general maintenance technician. The student services liaison is a new position; in the past the role was handled informally. Also, the board approved revised handbooks for the schools for electronic distribution.

At next week's meeting, the board anticipates approving the fiscal year 2019-2020 IDEA-B Special Education – Grants to States program agreement with the Berks County Intermediate Unit for a total amount of $642,975.40. The funds are used to support special education staffing costs.

The board also expects to approve changes in the daily pay rates for certified substitute teachers and retired Exeter certified substitute teachers. Certified substitutes will be paid $115 for 1-20 days (currently $130/day), and $125 for 21+ days (currently $140/day). Retired Exeter certified substitutes will be paid $135 for 1-20 days (currently $150/day), and $145 for 21+ days (currently $160/day).

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