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Franklin Regional officials hire Reljac, appoint board member

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Mary Catherine Reljac, assistant superintedent of curriculum and instruction at Franklin Regional.

Franklin Regional officials welcomed two new faces to the district Monday night.

The school board hired Mary Catherine Reljac as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and appointed a new school board member to replace Joe Seymour, who resigned.

“I'm thrilled to become part of the Franklin Regional family,” Reljac said. “There is such a tradition of excellence here, and I'm happy to be a part of that.”

Reljac is the principal at Eden Hall Upper Elementary in the Pine-Richland School District. She formerly worked as a principal in the Gateway School District. Superintendent Jamie Piraino said he anticipates that she will transition to Franklin Regional next month. She will earn a salary of $118,000 next year and will be eligible for annual merit raises not to exceed 4 percent based on a performance evaluation. Her contract extends through June 30, 2016.

Reljac's position was created after Shelley Shaneyfelt, director of instructional services and public relations, announced plans to retire at the end of June. Shaneyfelt has worked at the district in varying capacities since 1971 as a student teacher, teacher, coach, principal and administrator.

“This district has definitely gotten its money's worth out of (Shaneyfelt),” Piraino said. “It has definitely been a labor of love and her passion.”

The board also appointed Chuck Hergenroeder to replace Seymour, the board's vice president. The board accepted his resignation Monday evening. The board appointed Hergenroeder by an 8-0 vote with no discussion. Board President Herb Yingling said Hergenroeder served on the school board for several years during the 1990s.

“As a board member, he was very effective,” Yingling said following the meeting. “He took his job very seriously and never missed a meeting. He has no political axes on either side.”

Hergenroeder was one of six candidates to submit a letter of application for the vacancy. Yingling said the other candidates were former school board members Lynn Gurrentz, Mary Bach, John Koury and Bill Evans and resident Gary Siegel.

Hergenroeder, 65, of Murrysville, is a lawyer. He said he thinks he will bring a level of expertise to the board and that he thinks the board is doing a good job and wants to help in any way he can.

“We were good custodians before, and I believe we will be good custodians now,” Hergenroeder said. “I have good feelings about Franklin. It's an excellent school district and one of the shining stars of Murrysville.”

Hergenroeder's four daughters are Franklin Regional alumni and four of his 11 grandchildren currently attend district schools.

He will serve on the board from August until November. Seymour's term was slated to expire Nov. 30. The board does not meet in July.

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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