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Drama director facing sexual assault and related charges

A Valley-based performing arts instructor faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges after Pennsylvania State Police say he touched one student multiple times and made sexual comments to others.

Justin Patrick Shaw, 38, of Waverly, was charged with six counts of felony institutional sexual assault, a count of felony corruption of minors, two counts of felony unlawful contact with a minor, four counts of misdemeanor corruption of minors, six counts of misdemeanor indecent assault, and three counts of misdemeanor harassment. He currently sits in the Bradford County Correctional Facility on $250,000 bail, according to court documents.

Shaw had been a drama director at both the Sayre and Athens high schools, although the police report largely focused on incidents that took place elsewhere, such as the former Justin P. Shaw Academy of The Performing Arts building in Athens, in Shaw’s vehicle, or at his home in Waverly. It was unclear if three claims of sexually suggestive comments took place on school grounds.

Police began investigating Shaw after a student came forward to Athens Area High School administration. Three of the student interviews referenced in the affidavit were conducted back in January while a fourth took place in February.

Included in the affidavit of probable cause are claims that Shaw touched a male student inappropriately multiple times and made the student touch him, that he made sexual advances toward that student, that he commented about a girl’s chest in front of other students, that he made a comment about oral sex to another female student, that he told a girl to make sexual sounds during a rehearsal, and that he suggested sex between a boy and girl once she was 18. In a fourth student interview, another male said Shaw asked him about his sex life, and tried to hold his hand, touch his arm and cuddle with him, according to police. Both young men related that Shaw would act emotionally unstable and threaten to harm himself when the students were hesitant about hanging out. These claims dated back to around the beginning of 2018.

Shaw is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 25 before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hurley.

NEB passes final budget for 19-20

ORWELL TOWNSHIP — The Northeast Bradford School Board voted 7-2 to pass the school’s annual budget in their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday evening.

The final budget includes a real estate tax rate increase of 3.3%, or a millage increase of 1.2643 to a total of 39.5771, which is in step with the Act 1 index. The school district plans on generating $4,731,516 in local revenue, which is mostly from real estate taxes, $9,313,958 from state revenue sources, and $323,406 from federal sources creating $14,368,880 in total revenue.

New to this year’s budget is an extra $27,740 in revenue from a Vocational Education Subsidy from the state.

The school projects to have $14,858,879 in expenditures in the 2019-2020 school year. The most notable changes in the new budget are $114,000 in salary increases and $249,000 in benefit increases which is primarily due to increased contributions to the Pennsylvania State Educational Retirement System and healthcare increases.

The new budget also shows increased expenditures on new computers and chromebooks, STEM equipment and more investment in the elementary school math curriculum.

Two school board members voted against the budget: Howard Rought and Debra Hicks. The rest voted in the affirmative.

This is Northeast Bradford’s 15th consecutive budget that has raised taxes.

Wyalusing Area School District brings in new assistant principal

WYALUSING — The Wyalusing Area School District brought a new member into their administration team during their school board meeting on Monday.

Matthew Wincek has been hired as the high school’s new assistant principal, as their current assistant principal, Donald Jacopetti, has been appointed as the new high school principal at Canton after four years of service in Wyalusing.

Wincek comes to Wyalusing after serving many years in the Wyoming Valley West School District as a physical education teacher, according to Wyalusing Superintendent Jason Bottiglieri.

“Matthew has a great personality and a demonstrated ability to build rapport with students, families, and staff at his previous school,” said Bottiglieri. “Matthew will be able to broaden his leadership capabilities at Wyalusing and I am thrilled to have him as part of the Wyalusing leadership team.”

According to Wincek, he is excited to take on the role as he steps into Jacopetti’s position.

“It’s amazing, it is something I have wanted to do for a while,” said Wincek. “This is an opportunity I am very excited to see started. I hope I can do as good of a job as he has done, everybody has been telling me what a great and fantastic job he has done and I hope I can do just half the job he did.”

Recognizing their national achievement

The Harlan Rowe Science Olympiad team stood to a round of applause Tuesday in recognition of their four national medals and overall 15th place finish at the recent National Science Olympiad Tournament at Cornell University.

Superintendent Craig Stage recognized the young members as part of Tuesday’s Athens School Board meeting before highlighting the efforts of their coaches with certificates of appreciation.

“Behind every great Science Olympiad team is a bunch of coaches,” he said, before calling each coach forward.

Team members earned third place in Game On and Boomilever, and fifth place in Disease Detectives and Roller Coaster. In addition, they were recognized with the Lockheed Martin Spirit of Science Award, earning the team $2,000.

The Harlan Rowe team competed against 58 other teams in their division.

“This is one of those activities that consumes their lives,” Stage said about the coaches. “I know you give countless hours. … I can’t thank you enough for what you do for the Athens Area School District, these amazing students and the community.”