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Monessen School Board appoints new superintendent

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Jeremy Sellew | The Valley Independent
The Monessen School Board on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, appointed Dr. Leanne Spazak as the district's acting superintendent.

During a brief special meeting Tuesday, the Monessen School Board accepted the resignation of Superintendent Linda Marcolini and immediately hired her replacement.

Dr. Leanne Spazak, who had been a teacher in the middle-high school, was appointed acting superintendent – effective Wednesday – in a 7-0 vote.

Spazak received a one-year contract and a $90,000 salary.

Directors Sharon Mauck and Maria Scuteri did not attend the meeting.

Marcolini has been hired as superintendent of the Bethlehem-Center School District.

The special meeting took place prior to the board's regularly scheduled work session, during which Spazak occupied the superintendent's seat.

“I have been entrusted not only to teach our students at the high school-middle school, but also to serve in various capacities that allowed me to gain supervisory and administrative experience throughout the district,” Spazak said in a prepared statement.

“While I will miss teaching the students on a daily basis, this opportunity will allow me to make positive changes that will affect the entire student population.”

Spazak, who lives in Charleroi, said her commitment will continue to be to Monessen's students.

She said that as superintendent, she will set goals and develop strategies to increase student achievement, promote a shared commitment to move the district forward and revise curriculum to offer more advanced courses.

A 13-year faculty member, Spazak has taught web design, computer application and Earth science.

For the past 12 years, she has served as advisor for the school's Future Business Leaders of America chapter.

In addition to her work at Monessen, Spazak serves as an adjunct faculty member at California University of Pennsylvania.

“I look forward to working with the school board, administration, staff and the community to implement decisions vital to the future of our school district,” Spazak said in the statement.

In another matter, the board heard from Stephen Major III, representing Monessen Elks Lodge No. 773, about a possible change to the organization's annual Hoop Shoot.

The board indicated it would consider having preliminary rounds of the competition during a school day.

The board informed Major it would explore such matters as clearance issues, the lack of a gym teacher in the elementary school and how quickly it could provide him with information.

Major said that should the board refuse the request, his organization will stay with the existing format.

The board is expected to vote on the Hoop Shoot request at next week's business meeting.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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