Franklin Regional hires Piraino as superintendent
By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Published: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 11:50 a.m.
A new superintendent will take the helm at Franklin Regional this spring.
The school board hired Gennaro “Jamie” Piraino, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the Greater Latrobe School District, Monday evening. Piraino will take over for outgoing superintendent Emery D'Arcangelo in April.
“Franklin Regional has an outstanding reputation in terms of what they do for students,” Piraino said. “Philosophically and dynamically, they're similar to Greater Latrobe. I looked at the district and the vision they have established here, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
The board approved Piraino's hiring by a 7-0 vote. Board President Herb Yingling and board member Roberta Cook were absent.
Piraino, 39, lives in Latrobe with his wife and their five children. His starting salary will be $135,000.
The district began the search for a new superintendent through the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit this summer after D'Arcangelo announced in June that he planned to retire. Officials wouldn't say how many candidates applied for the position; however, Piraino was one of three finalists.
Board Vice President Joe Seymour said Piraino was an impressive candidate.
“He has a love of education – that's one thing we were looking for,” Seymour said. “He wants to continue what has been started here.”
Piraino said he plans to meet individually with board members and the administrative team during the coming months. Among the programs that drew him to the district, he said, were its bring your own device policy, its approach to student activities and its dedication to professional learning communities.Board member Jane Tower said Piraino's interest in the professional learning communities – a method of staff support and development that the district implemented several years ago – was a major draw.
“To me, he embodied what we need – a fresh, youthful person to lead us,” Tower said. “It seemed to me to be a no-brainer.”
Tower said Piraino's outgoing personality will be an asset when dealing with the diversity of the district.
“He will appeal to a broad swatch of people,” Tower said. “With his personality, he will make people feel comfortable, no matter what.”
Piraino is the latest in a series of new administrative hires for the district. Brad Schrechengost replaced supervisor of technology Frank Muto during the summer; Marlena Buterbaugh began as director of human resources in September, and Rob Buffone was hired as principal at Heritage Elementary in August.
Piraino said he will wait to decide whether to ask the school board to add to the administrative team until after meeting with district officials.
“I want to get a sense for the organizational structure here,” he said. “I want to meet with the community at large and establish goals and build relationships with our stakeholders.”
Seymour credited D'Arcangelo with helping the district find stable footing during the past seven years.
“As we are turning the page from one chapter to another, we should note that Dr. D. has provided stability and guidance to our district,” Seymour said. “We hope the next chapter is just as long, if not longer.”
Piraino has spent the majority of his career at Greater Latrobe, first as a learning-support teacher at the junior high before becoming an administrator in 2001. He worked as an assistant principal, principal and director of elementary education before becoming assistant superintendent in 2010.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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