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Plum High School military program loses 2 instructors

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Plum School District is looking for two instructors for the Air Force Junior ROTC program.

The school board during last week's meeting accepted the resignations of Major Scott Kolar and Chief Master Sgt. Tim Conley.

Kolar, who started Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps — a military leadership education program — at Plum High School in 2006, has been hired to head the JROTC program in the North Allegheny School District. Kolar's salary in Plum was $78,000. He will be paid $103,499 in his new district.

Conley has been hired as an assistant instructor for the new program at the Norwin School District where he will be paid $71,164, plus $2,500 for opting out of the health care plan. His salary in Plum was $72,625.67. Kolar said he worked with Norwin school officials to establish the program that begins this fall.

Chief Master Sgt. Terry Speer remains an instructor in Plum's program. His salary is $59,839.

Kolar said he will be working to increase the number of cadets at North Allegheny from its current number of 104. Plum has 200 cadets in the high school program. Kolar said Plum had 55 cadets when the program began eight years ago.

“They hired me to grow their program,” Kolar said. “They (North Allegheny) are the biggest and best at everything, and they want to be the biggest and best at ROTC.”

Kolar said he will miss the Plum cadets.

“I always said the kids in Plum are fantastic,” Kolar said. “I wish them good luck and success.”

He added that Plum students in the program have garnered $1.6 million in college scholarships since the program's inception.

“It is an incredible program,” Plum School Board President Sal Colella said. “There are so many success stories.”

The positions have been advertised on the district's website. Kolar said the U.S. Air Force also is advertising the posts and forwarding candidates' names to the district.

Colella expects discussion about the hiring process for the positions during the board's education committee meeting on July 15.

Classes in the Plum School District are scheduled to begin on Sept. 4.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2367 or

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