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Moon school hiring under fire

| Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:18 p.m.

Two Moon Area School Board members are unhappy with the hiring process used to select the chief financial officer/chief operating officer, who used to work in the same Virginia school district as Moon Area's superintendent.

The board voted 8-1 on Monday to approve a committee's recommendation to hire Margaret Lindsey for a position newly established by Superintendent Curt Baker to replace Alan Bennett, who is retiring as Moon Area's director of fiscal and school services.

Lindsey's salary will be $130,000 annually, Baker said.

Board member Jerry Testa, who voted against Lindsey's hiring, said at the meeting he has an issue with Lindsey being one of only two candidates interviewed for the job, that she worked with Baker in Roanoke City Public Schools in Virginia and that no school board members were involved in a selection committee. Only the superintendent and two other Moon Area staff members were on the committee, he said.

Board member Michael Hauser said he was displeased with the lack of transparency in the selection process. He said he voted to hire Lindsey, however, because he was impressed with her skill level.

Baker asked if Testa was making accusations of wrongdoing, to which Testa replied that he was not. The job was advertised on the district's website and those of education-related organizations, such as the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, in the typical manner.

“This school system should be thrilled with the caliber of candidate that is being brought here,” Baker said.

Several school board members said they were satisfied with the hiring process.

“We need to trust our superintendent … he's out to make decisions for the district,” said Gia Tatone, board secretery.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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