JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — By unanimous vote, followed by other agenda items, the Richland School Board approved a motion at Monday’s meeting to continue participation in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference throughout the 2026-27 school year.
“What’s exciting is looking to renew rivalries with, potentially, Windber and Conemaugh Townships and some of the other schools that are in close proximity,” said Director of Educational Services Brandon Bailey. “It’s an exciting time.”
Bailey served on the conference’s expansion committee during the transition period which could see more than 27 schools join, including many from Somerset County, such as North Star.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride,” Bailey said of the situation.
There will be a vote of LHAC schools on March 7 to decide how to proceed.
Bailey said Monday’s board motion was simply to reaffirm attendance at the conference and he was eager to see how it all plays out.
“I think that’s a good thing,” Richland Superintendent Arnold Nadonley said.
According to him, the expansion will make the organization stronger.
Ray McCombie, chairman of the board, agreed.
Another unanimous vote approved by principals was the renewal of business manager Corina Long’s contract at a salary of $97,846.96.
“I appreciate the confidence of the school board and the administration of Richland,” she said after the meeting.
Long added that she looks forward to the next five years in this position.
She said she looks forward to serving the district and doing what is best for students, staff, teachers and administrators.
Nadonley described Long as a “very dedicated” employee who puts in a lot of hours.
“She’s done a fabulous job here,” McCombie said.
He was satisfied with the renewal of his contract.
According to an agenda note, Long’s salary is in line with the average for the region and Middle Unit 8 schools with similar budgets and staffing.
Additionally, the Commercial Director serves as the Director of Transportation for Richland, which is usually a separate position, and for the past decade has written the annual management discussion and analysis report that would otherwise be outsourced .
Nadonley also noted that Long is responsible for managing district contracts, such as energy agreements.
Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5054. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.