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Leechburg Area board ready to name superintendent

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:38 a.m.

The Leechburg Area School Board is expected to name the district's new superintendent on Thursday.

District officials and board members confirmed on Tuesday that they've settled on a candidate but declined to identify who would take the top job until the hire is finalized.

“The board is not at liberty to discuss that at this time,” board member Anthony Shea said. “But I think the public will be pleased with who we've chosen to help move the district forward.”

Whoever the board appoints on Thursday will be the district's first permanent superintendent in nearly a year.

The district hired Frank Prazenica as interim superintendent in June when Jim Budzilek left to head the Mars Area School District. The board and Prazenica believed he'd serve the district for a brief transition period as they looked to hand over the reins to another permanent hire.

They thought that was done in November when they hired Terence Meehan from the New Castle Area School District, where he serves as assistant to the superintendent. He was expected to begin with Leechburg Area in late January but was delayed by the sudden death of a family member, which ultimately led him to back out in March and remain at New Castle Area.

The board has since been reviewing the previous dozen candidates and accepting new applications to fill the position, which Prazenica has maintained at a $400 per diem rate.

“(Prazenica) has been amazing for us,” said Carlotta Del Vecchio, board vice president. “Especially considering he didn't expect to be here as long as he has.”

Prazenica said he will remain with the district through the end of June.

The new superintendent is tentatively scheduled to begin July 1. Contract details were not yet available.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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