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Officials change in Franklin Regional School District

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 9:59 p.m.
Former Franklin Regional Middle School Principal Bob Duffy was killed in a car accident in February.

It seemed every few months in 2012, Franklin Regional announced the departure of another top official. As the new year begins, the district prepares to welcome its new leader as it says farewell to retiring Superintendent Emery D'Arcangelo.

Some administrators left for retirement. After a 35-year career, technology director Frank Muto retired and was replaced by Brad Schrecengost. Muto was followed by director of counseling services, Allan Mikach, who had spent 41 years with the district.

Another administrator left the district for a different opportunity. Charles Koren, assistant superintendent of human resources, was considered by many to be an ideal candidate to replace D'Arcangelo, but Koren was picked to take the top spot at Homer-Center School District in Indiana County. Koren said the opportunity enabled him to be closer to his family in Ebensburg. Rather than hiring a new assistant superintendent, the school board hired Marlena Buterbaugh as director of human resources.

In February, the district lost one longtime administrator to tragedy. Middle school Assistant Principal Bob Duffy died in a 50- to 70-car chain-reaction accident in snowy conditions along Route 80. Duffy formerly had been an assistant principal at the high school and had transferred to his new post at the start of the school year. Former middle school guidance counselor Kristi Loyal was named as Duffy's replacement this fall.

But the most notable departure in the district since 2005 won't take place until D'Arcangelo retires in April. Jamie Piraino, current superintendent at Greater Latrobe School District, will replace him.

Piraino has begun studying the district and sitting in on finance committee meetings while the board and D'Arcangelo begin work on a tough 2013-14 budget. A lifelong Latrobe resident, Piraino said he hopes to build a home in Murrysville for his wife and five children.

This year also brought shuffling of principals at several schools. After the retirement of Judy Morrison at Heritage Elementary, the school board hired Rob Buffone from Hempfield Area School District. Sam King, who had been on sabbatical from Heritage for a year, became an assistant principal at the high school. And this month, Tina Gillen returned from sabbatical as principal at Newlonsburg Elementary.

School board members have indicated they expect one more retirement in 2013 but look forward to some stability.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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