Shikellamy School District officials and school directors chat before the board’s meeting Wednesday night.

SUNBURY — A representative of a professional services agency hired by the Shikellamy School District apologized Thursday for misleading the community at the school board meeting Wednesday night.

Chris Jones, of ESS, the New Jersey-based agency hired by a 6-3 vote, denied working for the company Wednesday night when asked for comment about the outside firm during a Shikellamy School District school board meeting.

Jones called The Daily Item Thursday afternoon and said he wanted to apologize to the community.

“I regret saying it and that is not the way we treat the media or community,” he said. “We are looking forward to partnering with the district. It was my mistake I made in the heat of the moment and I should not have said it. I want to say I am sorry to the entire Shikellamy community.”

Superintendent Jason Bendle said he was unsure why the representative misled the media about who he was and that he addressed Jones and ESS about the situation Thursday morning.

“We addressed Mr. Jones for not identifying himself to the media and I was assured this would not happen again,” Bendle said. “The district is very transparent and upfront with the media and public. We will continue to conduct ourselves in that manner.”

Emails seeking comment were sent to ESS President and CEO Buddy Helton on Thursday but he did not respond.

Jones attended a Shikellamy school board meeting with other members of ESS in February and addressed the board and community publicly.

Sixty-three members of the Shikellamy School District Educational Support Professionals Association were furloughed Wednesday when the district voted 6-3 to hire ESS.

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