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Plum School Board approves new hires

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 12:39 p.m.

Nicole Lundy was too excited to sit at home and wait for a call from Plum School District officials.

Lundy, a candidate for a special-education teaching position at Plum High School, was in attendance last week when the Plum School Board voted to approve hiring her and other teachers.

“I am eager to get started,” said Lundy of Penn Hills.

“It's time to hit the ground running.”

During a special meeting last week, the board voted to approve hiring seven teachers — three of whom are special-education instructors — three bus drivers, four custodians and a security guard at the high school.

Classes began on Monday.

Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said the money for the hirings, except for an elementary school position, is in the 2013-14 budget approved by the school board in June.

Glasspool said the district's commitment to serving the needs of the increased number of special-education students prompted hiring three additional teachers.

“Our (special-education) population and need (for services) are increasing,” Glasspool said.

“We want to make sure we help kids transition to college and gainful employment.”

The Plum School District, with just less than 4,000 students, has a special-education rate of nearly 11 percent or 425 students, according to special-education Supervisor Kathleen Shirey.

The district earlier this year hired two psychologists as a means of providing more services for both the special-education and gifted-education students, Glasspool said.

The board approved appointing Adam Szarmach, Center Elementary physical-education teacher, as interim high school assistant principal.

Michael Loughren left the assistant principal position earlier this month to accept a job as high school principal in the Carlynton School District.

The district is accepting applications for the assistant principal position.

Board President Andrew Drake welcomed the new teachers.

“We look forward to you bringing in new life to the district and challenging students,” Drake said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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