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Charleroi's Ferko gets new job

| Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Charleroi Area School District Superintendent Brad Ferko

When the Charleroi Area School Board opted to not renew the contract of Dr. Brad Ferko, the superintendent said he preferred to know sooner rather than later.

The board voted Oct. 29 to end its 10-year relationship with Ferko. By contract, the board had until January to make its decision, but the early vote allowed Ferko to start on his job search.

Ferko's search has apparently ended, and Charleroi Area's is now beginning in earnest. Board president Ken Wiltz confirmed that Ferko informed the board that he has been tentatively hired as superintendent of the Sharpsville Area School District in Mercer County.

Ferko still has to finalize his contract with Sharpsville Area. The Sharpsville board will review a draft of Ferko's contract Monday.

Wiltz said he expects Ferko to submit his formal letter of resignation next week.

“If they can work it out, he would like to be released right after the first of year,” Wiltz said. “That gives him an opportunity to move on to the new school district and gives us an opportunity to begin our search.”

Wiltz said the board will likely meet in special session Jan. 2 to accept Ferko's resignation. At the same time, the board would be expected to hire an interim superintendent to serve the district while a search is conducted for Ferko's successor.

The board has held preliminary discussions with a few candidates and narrowed the list of potential interim superintendents. Wiltz declined to identify them.

“My hope is that we would pull in a retired superintendent until we have time to complete the search,” Wiltz said.

The district has no assistant superintendent.

Reid Smith, who served as interim superintendent before Ferko was hired, could be a candidate for the post, Wiltz acknowledged.

The next step for the board would be to decide whether to conduct the search internally or use the Intermediate Unit One to bring 10 to 15 candidates back for consideration.

“They're experienced doing it,” Wiltz said. “They did a good job the last time, when we hired Brad.”

Wiltz expressed confidence the transition will be made smoothly.

“Hopefully, were going to come through this and be stronger as a result,” Wiltz said.

Ferko was hired at Charleroi Area May 6, 2004, following a nearly four-month search that targeted 24 candidates. He served as assistant superintendent of the Shaler Area School District from 1998 to 2003, and took 2004 off to complete a doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.

Ferko served as assistant superintendent in the Burrell School District from 1996 to 1998. Ferko served as Riverview High School principal from 1991 to 1996 and at Conneaut Valley High School from 1988 to 1991.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or