By Amanda Renko

In observance of National School Board Recognition Month, Sayre Area School District superintendent Dean Hosterman and school board president James Osborn opened Monday's board meeting by thanking the nine members of the board for their service.

Hosterman thanked board members for volunteering their time to make school safe for students and for making decisions in the best interest of Sayre's children.

With inflation increasing and state and federal funds decreasing, Hosterman said he recognized the difficulty of serving. "As school board members, you're being forced to make some very difficult decisions," he said. "Thank you for serving every child, every day."

Osborn also thanked board members for their dedication, hard work and commitment to serving on the board, and members were presented with cupcakes at Monday's meeting.

Osborn and Hosterman also recognized district resident Jeffrey Agnew Monday for helping to repair some of the district's maintenance equipment over the winter holiday. "We probably would have been snowed in badly if not for him," Hosterman said.

Sayre High School has buzzed with activity in January, most recently hosting a forensics tournament this past weekend, said high school principal Dayton Handrick. Sayre's forensics team took first place overall at the tournament, he said.

The high school will also host a county band concert this weekend, with several junior and senior high band students representing the Redskins, Handrick said.

High school students recently took Keystone Exams online for the first time, Handrick said. Online testing allows the school to distribute fewer materials, Handrick said, and most students he spoke to preferred the online test to traditional testing.

The board will adopt the district's preliminary budget for the 2013-14 year at its next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.