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Franklin Regional School District hires 22 new teachers

Lillian DeDomenic | For The Murrysville Star
Franklin Regional welcomes new teachers to the district this year. Attending the August 13 teacher introductory program are, left to right: (front) Kaylee Dougherty, Heritage; Hannah White, high school; Charis Wray, middle school; Valerie Walker, middle school/high school; and Jennifer Calfe, Heritage. (second row) Tanya Paterson, Heritage; Chelsea Legge, Newlonsburg; Nicole Linsenbigler, Sloan; and Diane Fierle, Sloan. (third row) Casey Miskimmin, middle school; Stefanie Lynn, Heritage/Newlonsburg; Allison Smith, Heritage; Jordan Reinhart Sloan; Amy Kerschner, high school; and Suzanne Fries, Sloan. (fourth row) Erin Kovacs, high school; Andrew Tressler, high school; Jesse Carnevali, high school; Terese Marszalek, middle school; and Allison Ross, Heritage.

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

When classes resume at Franklin Regional on Monday morning, there will be plenty of new faces at the district's five schools.

This summer, administrators hired 22 new teachers throughout the district – more than the past several years combined. That number includes several long-term substitute teachers who will fill in for teachers taking a leave of absence, Superintendent Jamie Piraino said. Most new teachers, however, are replacing those who retired earlier this year.

“That's a significant change of teaching staff,” Piraino said. “We're looking to continue to have high achievement on an organizational level.”

It's fitting the district is welcoming so many new teachers when it has two new leaders at its helm. Piraino took the reins at Franklin Regional in mid-April after serving as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at Greater Latrobe since 2010. On Monday, Mary Catherine Reljac began her term as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at the district. Reljac comes to Franklin Regional from the Pine-Richland School District, where she was principal at Eden Hall Upper Elementary. She replaces Shelley Shaneyfelt, who retired from her post as director of instructional services and public relations in June.

But Shaneyfelt isn't far away. The veteran administrator will serve as interim principal at the middle school until a permanent replacement for former principal Chris Kelly is hired. Kelly will return to the classroom this fall as a health and physical education teacher at the high school.

Personnel isn't the only area where Franklin Regional has seen change. At the middle school, interactive smart boards were installed in all math, English, social studies and science classrooms, Piraino said. At the district's three elementary schools, wireless internet was installed, enabling teachers to use technology more in the classrooms.

“We're looking to infuse technology at that level in a way that is developmentally and age appropriate,” he said.

Students also will see an increase in lunch prices this year -- $2.35 at the secondary level and $2.05 at the elementary schools.

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

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