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Pottsville School Officials Facing New Backlash Over Proposed Cut in Publication Department

Pottsville pub department

As of Wednesday morning, more than 1,500 people have signed an online petition opposing a proposed cut in Pottsville Area School District’s beloved Publications Department.

save pottsville pub department


The petition gathered that much support in just 7 hours. It underscores the connection the Pottsville community has with this particular part of the school’s curriculum. Even if a student didn’t participate in the Publications Dept., many treasure their copies of their high school yearbook, Hi-S-Potts. If you’ve ever seen a Pottsville yearbook, you can understand why.

Petition to Keep Pottsville Publications Department Full-time Advisor

According to the petition, created by a senior student at Pottsville Area High School, the Pottsville Area school board is considering cutting the full-time funding of a Publications Dept. Advisor. The petition suggests the current full-time advisor would be moved to the high school English department.

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“To the students and many others, this is heartbreaking. There also is a possibility that the program could not have an adviser. Without a full-time adviser, the publication team will not be able to function at the high quality it does now,” the petition reads.

If the school’s plan is put in place, starting next school year, students in the Publications Dept. will only have one period during the school day to work on the school yearbook, the school’s online news site, and any other projects coming from that department.

The petition goes on to say, “The key to our success for multiple years is a strong dedicated full-time adviser. Our current adviser has expanded our program in the last two years in many ways. She was able to create an outstanding business staff that brought in more than $20,000 in the last two years from business sponsorships. We use this funding to attend conferences and create books. She is constantly assisting parents and answering phone calls all day long, while still managing to help her students with their content.”

Another Bold Move by Pottsville School Board Members

Count this as another decision by Pottsville Area school board members that’s, well … pissed off the public. These decisions are starting to add up quickly, especially since the new directors were sworn into office last December.

And it’s not the first time the school’s made some controversial and unpopular decisions with teaching staff.

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Remember, last year, the school decided to dump its longtime band director because it wanted to go in a different direction with the program. The decision’s controversy multiplied when it was realized how close that teacher was to retirement.

And then, a few years ago, the school accepted a private donation that paid for a music instructor that was about to get cut from the school’s plans.

Couple those questionable staffing decisions with decisions to outfit students with iPads and enter into a long-term solar panel scheme that will definitely cost taxpayers more than $4 million. The solar panel decision also prompted another public petition. Previously, the public responded similarly by joining a movement to save the football practice field from the school’s solar panel plans.

You have to wonder how there’s money for some projects that don’t seem necessary but not for expenses like teachers. Guess it’ll be a while before that solar panel cash starts rolling in, as they claim it will.

Back the Cause

The school may have picked the wrong fight here. More than 1,500 signatures in less than a half-day. Of course, it seems that for the last few years, that doesn’t matter to Pottsville school officials.

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To show your support for the movement to save the full-time Publication Dept advisor, use the hashtags #SAVEPUB and #PUBvBOARD.

Sign this online petition: CLICK OR TAP HERE


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  1. Mark

    February 19, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Another questionable decision by this administration. The district is 1 million plus in the hole and they decide to cut an adviser position that will save 2 to 3 thousand in the budget?

    Also, in the music department the Elementary Music teacher left so they have a substitute teacher who is not certified in music trying to teach music.
    And the high school band director is expecting a child in August so they will have to find someone to direct the band during football season while she is on maternity leave. Hopefully the so called “band assistants” who know nothing about directing a band will not be tasked with trying to run the program. What a mess.

  2. 360Guy

    February 19, 2020 at 11:53 am

    The PUB program a the Pottsville Area High School is totally unique.

    It has had remarkable advisors over the years that have guided this program to be the envy of high shells throughout this country.

    The PUB students are truly dedicated to a level of commitment that is the envy of other school related activities. PUB students often times come to school early (very early) and stay late (very late). Saturdays also will be put aside by a PUB student and be spent working in the PUB room.

    The students gain appreciation of organizational skills, meeting deadlines, developing a project setting it in motion, and while not necessarily meeting a payroll, students gain a working knowledge of economics by cash flows (in and out) from yearbook sales and outside advertisement income and expenditures.

    PUB is the closest thing to the outside working world offered by the PASD. It is a one-of-a-kind experience taken on by students not faint of heart.

    PUB students are ready to hit the real world immediately after graduation, and some go on to an institution of higher learning. In either choice, the PUB students a well prepared.

    All that comes with an advisor who has a vested interest in the success of the program and one who really cares about, no loves, their award winning students.

    Need more? Just ask Dr. Zwiebel’s mom. Quite the dedicated advisor.

    • littlefoxy7

      February 20, 2020 at 8:07 pm

      360 Guy you are absolutely correct. As being a proud Pubster back in the late 99’s I can say just having one period for yearbook etc isn’t going to cut it. They produced the newspaper the Literary magazine and also the yearbook. Not to mention hours after school and evenings are spent creating everything. The School Board is in for quite a rude awakening and fight! Not to mention the talent that came from the Pub room that includes well known ESPN sportswoman Doctors and writer and producer out Hollywood you can bet you ass when you ask them about high school the Pub room was an influence on them. And for the life of me I can’t even fanthom the fact that one of the legacies and legend of an Advisor of the Pub Room is the Superintendents mother! Of course she was mine and just simply the best! What a slap in the face to her!

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