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Latrobe school board eyes options to replace departing assistant superintendent Piraino

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, 9:10 p.m.
Greater Latrobe Assistant Superintendent Gennaro R. Piraino Jr. has taken a job as the new superintendent of the Franklin Regional School Board, effective in April.submitted

The Greater Latrobe School District is discussing how it will replace a top administrator who will become the next superintendent of the Franklin Regional School District in Murrysville.

Franklin Regional last week hired Gennaro R. Piraino Jr., Latrobe's assistant superintendent, as its new superintendent. Piraino will begin his position with Franklin Regional on April 21 at a salary of $135,000. His contract continues through June 30, 2017.

Piraino, 39, of Latrobe will replace Emery D'Arcangelo, who is retiring in April after serving as superintendent since 2005.

Greater Latrobe is discussing options about replacing Piraino during talks in executive sessions, which are closed to the public, said Susan J. Mains, president of the Latrobe school board.

Mains said no decision has been made whether to seek a replacement for Piraino for this school year, which would have about two months remaining after he starts his new job at Franklin Regional.

The district also has not decided whether to hire an assistant superintendent, who would need to have obtained state certification as a superintendent, or an assistant to the superintendent, who would not be required to have a superintendent's certification.

At a larger school district, “an assistant superintendent is very important,” said Kathryn “Kay” Elder, a Latrobe board member.

Elder, who has served on the board for 31 years, said the district has not always had an assistant superintendent.

Superintendent Judith Swigart has wanted an administrative structure with an assistant superintendent, Elder said.

Piraino began working at Latrobe as a junior high school learning support teacher in 1997. He served as assistant principal with the junior/senior high schools from 2001-06, principal of Baggaley Elementary School from 2006-09, and district director of elementary education in 2009-10. He has a doctorate in education.

Piraino's “love of education” stood out among the other applicants, said Franklin Regional board member Joseph Seymour.

“That was one thing we were looking for in the process. ... I was pretty impressed with the range of candidates we had,” Seymour said.

“I am looking forward to coming in and working with the board and the whole school community,” Piraino said. “Franklin Regional has an outstanding reputation, not only in the county but in the region. I was attracted by all of the terrific things they do for the students. ... It was a good fit.”

Joe Napsha and Mary Pickels are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Napsha can be reached at 724-836-5252 or Pickels can be reached at 724-850-5401 or