Colella looks forward to role as Plum school board president
Sal Colella was hard at work less than a day after being appointed president of the Plum School Board.
Colella, who in November was elected to his second four-year term, last week was busy preparing committee assignments for the eight board members.
The president names board members to chair the various committees, including education, facilities and finance, as well as two other board members as committee members.
“The work will be intense, and we will be results-oriented,” said Colella, a Republican. “I expect a lot of work from this board.”
The Republicans have a majority by a 5-4 margin. Prior to November's election, the split was 7-2, with the Republicans having a super majority.
Prior to Colella's appointment during the Dec. 3 reorganization meeting, Plum District Judge Linda Zucco administered the oath of office to Colella and Kevin Dowdell.
Dowdell, a Republican, was elected to a third four-year term.
Plum Mayor Richard Hrivnak administered the oath of office to new board member Michelle Stepnick, a Democrat. Democrat Michele Gallagher, also elected in November, did not attend.
Colella, formerly board vice president, said members need to concentrate on three areas over the next two months: the beginning of construction of the new Holiday Park Elementary School; the finalization of a 2014-15 budget for members to consider for a vote in January; and the teacher contract that expires at the end of August, with negotiations expected to start next month.
In addition to naming board members to committees, Colella plans to give his colleagues his thoughts on the direction the committees should take.
Colella also plans to work toward implementing the principles in the district's strategic plan that covers academics, facilities, finance and support services.
Community volunteers helped draft the plan.
As president, Colella sees it as his role to refrain from being myopic and to motivate people to look at all sides of an issue.
“We need to make sure we never ever ever have group think, where one person thinks and everyone agrees,” Colella said.
To that end, Stepnick said, she looks forward to working with her new colleagues and listening to all points of view.
“I am excited and look forward to the challenges facing the district,” Stepnick said after the reorganization meeting.
“I look forward to mending fences and seeing compromise as everyone promised we will have.”
Board member Loretta White, a Democrat, said she is eager to hear new ideas from Stepnick and Gallagher.
“Mrs. Stepnick and her husband (who is a dentist) are small-business owners,” White said. “And Mrs. Gallagher is active in the PTA. She very much represents what parents' concerns are (regarding the district).”
Colella said he is poised for the challenge of leading the board.
“It is a privilege and honor to serve the students and citizens of Plum Borough,” Colella said.
“I am here to make sure we meet the expectations of all parties.”
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- With tax increase looming, Plum School Board takes a swipe at cutting expenses
- Plum budget holds taxes, but adds ‘flood mitigation fee’
- Plum Council OKs budget with no tax increase
- Plum pursues walking trail at new community hub
- A vision for Sugar Plum Days: Support efforts launched for 2015 return throughout Plum
- Plum Boy Scout troop has decorated VA trees for a decade