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South Butler promotes assistant to superintendent

| Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7:05 a.m.

South Butler School District's assistant superintendent is expected take over as superintendent in July.

Michael Leitera will take over for departing Superintendent Dale Lumley, who was hired by Butler Area School District on Monday.

The school board promoted Leitera on Wednesday. They also accepted Lumley's resignation and gave the go-ahead to search for a new assistant superintendent.

South Butler officials cited the desire for a smooth transition, along with Leitera's performance as assistant superintendent, as the reason for the quick decision.

“I think certainly his work with the students and staff of the district has been outstanding,” said South Butler spokesman Jason Davidek. “Tonight's vote shows confidence.”

The district awarded Leitera a five-year contract with a starting salary of $130,000. The district will give him a $5,000 raise when he receives his doctorate. He is enrolled in the Educational Leadership program at Youngstown State University and expects to graduate in December.

Leitera has served as South Butler's assistant superintendent since 2011. Prior to that, he was a high school principal in Riverside School District and a social studies teacher in the Seneca Valley School District. He lives in Shenango, Lawrence County, with his family.

Leitera will take the superintendent's seat July 2, the day after Lumley is set to leave.

In the meantime, Leitera said, he will work alongside Lumley to learn more about the top post.

“I think that gives us a fantastic period of time to (transition) in an efficient and measured manner,” Leitera said.

Leitera plans to help the district navigate state education requirements while also meeting the needs of individual students.

In addition, he said he is looking forward to involvement with staff.

“I want to continue to support the staff here that has just done a tremendous job with embracing those initiatives and really just showing their dedication and their talent for teaching every day,” he said.

Lumley will replace retiring Superintendent Michael Strutt at Butler Area.

“I seriously want to thank the board of directors who have been supportive from the very beginning,” Lumley said after receiving applause from the board.

Julie E. Martin is a freelance writer.

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