Get our newsletters

Centennial won’t waive fee for cheerleaders to use William Tennent HS


Following a spirited discussion at this month’s Centennial School Board meeting, a request to waive the rental fees for TriCounty Athletics Cheerleading and AmeriCheer, which plans to use the William Tennent High School gymnasium, cafeteria, concession stand and restrooms for the 2024 City Lights Championship, failed to garner board support.

The inclusion of the gymnasium waiver resolution on the Dec. 12 agenda was a creative use of Robert’s Rules of Order to reintroduce an agenda item that failed at the Oct. 10 meeting.

The crux of the resolution included an $8,000 waiver of the rental fee for the school property for the upcoming cheerleading competition. New evidence came to light that the fees would most likely be “closer to $7,000,” according to district superintendent Dr. Dana T. Bedden. That change was what enabled the request to crop up on the agenda again under the “Renewal of the Motion” option.

Much discussion ensued among the board members themselves, as well as the representative from Tri-County cheerleading, Janice Charlton.

Bedden reminded those present that all fees for safety, security, and custodial staff would be covered, and that the school district would “break even” if the board supported the waiver. He also indicated that the timing of the event had been altered so that the Warminster basketball program could use the gymnasium at 4 p.m. that day as originally scheduled.

Board member Jane Schrader Lynch referred to the contract for this event and indicated that “the composition of the board” was the only substantive difference from the October meeting. She still understood that TriCounty would receive payment for the admission fees of $10 per person, and the concessions, but that AmeriCheer would benefit from the registration fees — up to $50 per person — which could amount to up to $30,000 if the original 600 participants were to attend, according to Bedden.

Board member Tony Sadowski asked, “What other learning activities could we be investing in” with this money, rather than waiving the fee. Board member Patti Crossan commented that at previous meetings in 2023, the school board heard from senior citizens in the district who are struggling financially and who asked the board to consider no tax increase this year.

Resident Michael Sperduto welcomed the new members, and also raised similar concerns during public comment, saying “We are breaking the ceiling on everything; maybe we don’t need to raise taxes this year. Why are we stuck on the 2.9% tax increase?”

In the end, the vote on the fee waiver failed due to two abstentions. Board members Charles Martin and Kathleen Maguire said that they did not have enough information to make an informed decision on this vote.

Mary Alice Brancato (President), Flemming Godiksen (Vice President), Mark Gindhart and Michael Hartline voted for the resolution; Lynch, Crossan and Sadowski voted against. The final vote was 4-3-2.

In other business, the board approved the job description and position of athletic trainer as an alternative to the current practice of using a third-party provider for the service. In order to be preemptive in the search for a new athletic trainer, should the need arise, the school district has opted to re-post the request for proposal to locate a possible provider other than NovaCare, the current company.

Budget workshop dates will be Jan. 25 and Feb. 29.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.