ShareThis Page

Brentwood hires new special education director

| Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Christine Winiarski has been hired as the director of special education in the Brentwood School District.

The Brentwood school board approved Winiarski's hiring. She replaces Vanessa Strassner, who left the district in December to take a job out of state.

No start date has been set. Winiarski's annual salary will be $79,600 and will be prorated for the current year based on the start date.

Winiarski comes to Brentwood from the Jeff‑erson-Morgan School Dis‑trict, where she was the director of pupil personnel.

She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from California University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She also has a Pennsylvania state certificate in supervision.

Brentwood Superintendent Amy Burch said Winiarski has 18 years experience and is highly regarded by other colleagues.

“We are delighted that she is interested in joining our team,” Burch said.

Door replacements

The board will consider replacing the doors at the middle/high school building at a cost of $39,700.

Business manager Jennifer Pesanka said the new doors are mainly for safety reasons. Seven pairs and two single doors would be installed by AJ Mauro Co. The contract was through Costar, the state purchasing network that doesn't require a bidding process.

Pesanka said the district received bids outside of the Costar program but the least expensive bid came in at $48,900.

Online pay

Parents can now use the online payment program for cafeteria meals in the Brentwood School District.

The e-Funds for Schools, a secure electronic payment service, went live on Feb. 19. Parents or guardians can pay their child's account through Skyward, the software Brentwood uses to manage student accounts.

The board approved the program last month. A $1 fee will be charged for each transaction by check. Parents who prefer to use a debit or credit card will be charged $2.65 for each transaction up to $100.

For households with more than one child, parents would pay for all their children in one transaction.

Superintendent Burch said parents can still pay by cash or check at the school buildings. Details are posted on the district website at

Senate Bill 76

The board members approved a resolution opposing Pennsylvania Senate Bill 76, which would eliminate property taxes in the state.

In order to replace property tax revenue, the bill calls for a 7 percent sales tax that would be applied to most items that are currently nontaxable and an increase in the state income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.95 percent. The state would distribute funds to all school districts.

Burch said while the board's action is important, she urged residents to write or call their legislators to oppose the bill.

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.