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Baldwin-Whitehall school board eliminates custodial manager position

| Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 10:57 a.m.

A top position in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District facilities department was eliminated last week without any explanation.

School board members, in a 5-2-1 vote at their Oct. 2 meeting, approved eliminating the district's custodial manager position, effective immediately.

Denice Morrow, an at-will employee with the district, held the position for at least two years, Superintendent Randal Lutz said. Morrow's job was to oversee the nearly 40-person custodial staff, he said.

Those employees now will report to the facilities director, who was Morrow's superior, Lutz said. Morrow couldn't be reached for comment.

The superintendent said he didn't know the vote was going to take place, or that eliminating the position was being discussed.

School board member Martin Michael Schmotzer made a motion at the end of the meeting to eliminate the position, without giving a reason. He declined to comment after the meeting.

Board members George Pry and Vice President Kevin Fischer dissented. Vice President Diana Kazour abstained. President Nancy Sciulli DiNardo was absent.

“While I can understand the motion, I have mixed feelings about where it is. The problem about adding motions from the floor that eliminate — in essence, terminate — people in an immediate action, I think, is a major problem,” Pry said.

A motion to table eliminating the position failed in a 5-3 vote with Pry, Fischer and Kazour voting in support.

This is the second month in a row when a motion that wasn't on the board's agenda has led to a district employee losing a job.

Last month, board members approved the termination of Baldwin High School cafeteria manager Kristy Morgan in a 7-2 vote, with cause. Pry and Fischer dissented. Officials accused Morgan of throwing away food that a football boosters group left in a school cafeteria.

The day after board members fired Morgan, district food service director Tammy Caponi retired.

District administrators said they planned to recommend a candidate for the food service director position for hiring at the school board's voting meeting Wednesday, which occurred after the South Hills Record's deadline.

The food service director will have input on the hiring of a cafeteria manager at Baldwin High School, Lutz said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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