Panama Discusses Sports Mergers

PANAMA – Although it has successfully negotiated an agreement to share its superintendent with a neighboring district, Panama Central School is giving heavy consideration into the sharing of other services as well.

Recently, during a meeting of the district’s Board of Education, Panama Superintendent Bert Lictus presented updated information regarding his transition into shared superintendency with Clymer Central School and the possibility of combining athletics with other districts.

Lictus said he is currently working with Karen Moon, Clymer’s interim superintendent, during a transition period which began Oct. 1. While he will not officially assume his dual-district leadership until Oct. 26, Lictus said both districts have embraced the changes necessary for him to successfully fill the role.

“I think it’s exciting,” Lictus said. “It’s going to be challenging, but I think that the staff from both schools have been very accommodating regarding the way my duties and schedule is starting to change. The staff at Clymer have been very welcoming for the couple of days I’ve been in their building, and the staff at Panama has been very supportive. It’s going to be a change for both schools and their staff – not to mention myself – but I guess you’ve got to start somewhere.”

Lictus also discussed the district’s looking into sharing more of its sports programs with neighboring districts, specifically Clymer and Sherman Central School, citing the successful sharing of its track program last year. He said the first program up for consideration is football.

“Based on the numbers around the league, we’re entertaining the idea of possibly sharing football next fall,” Lictus said. “It may be a way to provide these opportunities for the kids that we’re not going to be able to unless we start working with our neighbors. And if you look around, that’s occurring all across the county in that section. So, we’re no different than the other schools, and we’re not ruling out any sports.”

Lictus said the reason for the district’s consideration of a football merger so far in advance of next year is because an agreement to do so would need to be completed by or in December. Traditionally, he said, the district would have until April to finalize such an agreement.

Lictus also said Panama’s swimming and wrestling programs are being discussed in merger talks, but that every sport is being considered on a case-by-case basis.

In other business, the Panama board approved resolutions to accept monetary gifts to the district. According to Monday’s meeting agenda, a gift of $26 was given by Shawn Abers to benefit girls volleyball and a gift of $29 was given to benefit a second-grade field trip to the Safety Village in Ashville.

Personnel appointments included: a bus mechanic; Cathleen Monroy, Cora Monroy, Ronald Roberts and Anna Turcotte as student lifeguards; and Althea Kester and James Peppy as substitute universal pre-K through 12th-grade teachers.