McKeesport superintendent Gabauer leaves for new post
Colleagues of McKeesport Area Schools Superintendent Timothy Gabauer got a surprise when they checked their email Tuesday morning.
Gabauer, who has been a teacher and administrator in the district for 19 years, posted a message, time-stamped 6:41 a.m., to inform his staff that he is leaving to become superintendent at Mt. Pleasant Area, effective Nov. 1.
“First and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone throughout the organization for their daily efforts and dedication to doing their very best for all of our students and families,” he wrote. “McKeesport is a special place with special people that pull together in a team better than any other I have witnessed.”
Gabauer thanked the staff for working to make a difference for the district's children.
School directors and administrators, many of whom learned of Gabauer's plans last weekend, said it was his vision that led the way.
“He's always had high expectations for the district,” Founders' Hall Middle School principal Karen Chapman said. “His main goal has always been the betterment of the district and moving us forward. This is a great loss, because he has put so many things in place to help us.”
Gabauer has been with the district his entire career, working his way up from his first teaching position in a Cornell Middle School social studies classroom. He was a high school teacher and varsity baseball coach. He served the middle school as dean of students, assistant principal, associate principal, and principal. He was vocational director, high school principal and assistant superintendent before taking over as superintendent in 2011.
“It's very surprising and disappointing that he's leaving,” school board president Patricia Maksin said. “We only wish him well and hope he is as successful in another district as he's been with us. A good friend is leaving us, and he will be missed.”
School board vice president Joe Lopretto, who chairs the personnel committee, said the district's loss is Mt. Pleasant Area's gain.
“This is a sad day for McKeesport Area School District,” he said. “Like many others, I was shocked.”
Lopretto said he expects the search for a new superintendent to begin immediately.
“This is something the board will have to decide on,” he said. “We have to get together in the personnel committee and in executive sessions (pursuant to the Sunshine Act) to determine who our next superintendent and assistant superintendent will be.”
Traditionally, the district has promoted its assistant superintendent when there has been a vacancy at the top. If that practice continues, Rula Skezas would be next in line for Gabauer's job.
Others in the district who are certified for the position are director of federal programs Michael Matta, curriculum coordinator Harry Bauman, director of technology Jane Coughenour, high school principal Mark Holtzman, director of career and technical education Tamara Sanders-Woods, and Chapman.
School director Chris Halaszynski, who sits on the personnel committee, said regardless of whether a current staffer ends up being the right choice, he would like to see the position advertised publicly.
“You never know who could come in here with new ideas or a different outlook,” Halaszynski said. “We have phenomenal people on our staff, but we need to open up such an important position to see who is out there.”
Gabauer did not speculate on who his successor will be, but said he wants to see “a transition that fits for McKeesport.” He offered guidance and assistance in any form to whomever gets the job.
Gabauer believes the district needs new leadership as it enters a new era with state-of-the-art elementary schools — new construction at Twin Rivers and remodeling at Francis McClure — and evolving standards in secondary education.
“It may be time for someone to set a course for the future of McKeesport Area School District,” he said. “The district continues through one of its most transformational periods in its history, lending it to a most appropriate time for new leadership to shape the brightest future for all McKeesport Area children.”
Gabauer said he will be forever indebted to the school directors, community leaders, service organizations and parents who have helped to strengthen the district's foundation for “enduring and measurable success.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- PSU campus gathers data for McKeesport plan
- Duquesne shooting victims are stable
- Munhall seeks to stave off ‘47’ status
- North Versailles prepares to welcome K-9 unit
- 150 attend East Allegheny teachers union forum
- McKeesport gardeners enjoy fruits of their labors
- ‘Addams Family’ should be lots of devilish fun
- South Allegheny adds robotics course
- 10 years ago, Hurricane Ivan brought record rain to region
- 2 men shot outside Duquesne bar
- ‘Oklahoma!’ sets bar high for theater season