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6 Monessen teachers set to retire

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Monessen school district is anticipating at least a half dozen teacher retirements, some from educators with more than 40-year tenures, at the end of this school year.

Superintendent Linda Marcolini and school board President Sharon Mauck said district officials will examine the budget when considering possible replacements for 2013-14.

“We're going to look at what we really need to replace and what we may be able to get by on,” Mauck said during a Tuesday school board agenda meeting. “There may be more resignations to follow.”

She added that the district extended the deadline for retirement notification to March 31. The original deadline was March 1.

Marcolini said the teachers union met Tuesday with officials from the Public School Employees' Retirement System. They discussed Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed reform to the state pension system to take effect July 1, 2015 – that could drive more teachers to choose earlier retirement.

Marcolini said the district has not offered any early-retirement incentives.

“It's an awful plan he has, so some people might decide to go now rather than wait,” Marcolini said of Corbett's plan. “There are some people on the fence. … I wanted these folks to have the chance to consider their options, so that's why I extended the window.”

The school board next week is expected to accept the resignations of elementary instructors Melcena Mendicino, Darlene Pushnack, Ann Ghinassi and Joyce Octave; high school instructors Vicki Furnier and Dominic Sarnese; hall monitor Major Corley, and athletic trainer Richard Yanachik.

Marcolini said she plans on conducting 30-minute exit interviews with the teachers for planning purposes.

“They've all been here for 30-plus years, so who would know (the district) better?” Marcolini said.

“I'm going to ask questions like, ‘If there's anything you could do different, what would it be?' and ‘What do you see are the strengths and weaknesses in the school district?'”

Marcolini also confirmed the high school prom date will be moved ahead one week – from May 10 to May 3 – to accommodate the rental of the Greensburg Country Club and a more convenient in-service day.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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