MILTON — Two separate grants totaling $20,000 to be used for agricultural programming in the Milton Area School District were announced during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

A $15,000 grant from Bayer Fund’s Americas Farmers Grow Rural Education program was announced. In addition, the district’s FFA chapter was announced to be receiving $5,000 from the Tractor Supply Grants for Growing Program.

Prior to the meeting, which was held online via Zoom, the district provided a statement on the funds from David Bittner, FFA advisor and high school science teacher.

“We’re blessed to have an abundance of support from our industry partners to provide funds for the Agriculture Career and Technical Education Program,” Bittner said.

The $15,000 grant will allow high school agriculture students to build aquaponic, hydroponic and raised-bed, plant-production systems. Those will be used to teach elementary students in the district about growing plants and emerging agricultural technologies.

According to Bittner, the district was nominated for the grant by local farmers Duane and Cathy Kling, and Bob Pardoe.

The Tractor Supply grant will be used to purchase habitats, supplies and storage equipment to expand the agricultural program’s animal science laboratory. Rabbits, guinea pigs and geckos are currently being raised and bred in the lab.

In business actions, the board approved the resignation Brent Ballo as an assistant boys soccer coach and Maddie East as a junior high softball coach.

Prior to the meeting, Business Manager Derrek Fink said the two resigned from their positions so that they could be re-hired to share the positions and split the salaries. Ballo was approved as an assistant boys soccer coach, along with Rod Yoder. The two will be paid $2,150 each.

East was approved as a junior high softball coach, along with Killian Ferguson. The two will be paid $1,479.50 each.

In other business, the board approved:

• The resignation of Sarah King, middle and high school nurse, four months with the district.

• The following event workers: Ryan Brandt, Rich Counsil, Mary DeLong, Twain Foust, Maggie Gola, Bill Heimbach, Kim Mitch, Rich Neilson, Greg Scoggins, Michelle Shearer, Christine Wendt and Rod Yoder.

• The following extracurricular positions: Angela Davis and Lauren Richie, Class of 2021, $297 each; Angela Davis and Lauren Richie, Class of 2022, $518 each; Sharon Adami and Pam Bailey, Class of 2023, $297 each; Jamie Emery-Seibert and Seth Reitz, Class of 2024, $297 each; Jamie Emery-Seibert, FBLA, $746; David Bittner, FFA, $746; Angela Davis, National Honor Society, $594; Lauren Finnerty, Panther Press, $1,542; Kathy Bower and Keillie Brouse high school student council/student government, $771 each; Jamie Emery Seibert and Seith Reitz, high school yearbook, $771 each; Amanda Smith-Derck, Skills USA, $746; Wally Blair and Nathan Richie, middle school student council, $771 each; Katelyn Emory and Vanessa Yoder, middle school yearbook, $771 each; and Miranda Roush, Where Everyone Belongs, $1,542.

• Granting tenure to the following professional staff members: Janna Bond, Kristen Dolan, Maxwell Frankel, Julia Hummel, Jessica Joseph and Shalee Ward.

• Accepting the following grants and donations: Revival Tabernacle, spiral notebooks; Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, masks and thermometers; Milton Fire Department, $1,200, for special education; Golden Proportions, $600, for special education; Norm Jones, wireless microphone set; Woodman Life, $500, for White Deer Elementary; and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, $1,000, for the Panther Pantry.

The following retirees were recognized during the meeting: Debra Bleistein, Lois Buck, Steve Buss, Cindy Krebs, Kay Porschet, Charlotte Reynolds, Donna Spear and Barbara Wertz.

Also recognized were the district’s new professional staff members: Megan Dennen, Jessica Fuschetti, Crystal Hoover, Alyssa Lockard, Michael O’Connor, Heather Olson, Maggi Parker, Mallory Puchalski, Carissa Wagner and Kimberly Zelonis.

Ashtyn Stump, a first-grade student at Baugher Elementary School, was named September Citizen of the Month.

Kara Mull was named Rotary Student of the month, while Cameron Crites was named Outstanding Senior.

Larry Randler, custodian, was named the Panther Pride Award winner.

Superintendent Dr. Cathy Keegan was on vacation and not in attendance at the meeting.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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