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Budzilek looks forward to role as next Mars superintendent

| Saturday, May 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Mars Area School District's board of directors Monday accepted Superintendent James Budzilek's resignation.

The new head of the Mars Area School District said he's looking forward to meeting the students and their parents.

James A. Budzilek, 51, of Freeport will join Mars as superintendent-designate the first full week of August, and act as assistant to Superintendent William Pettigrew, who will retire by Dec. 1.

School districts can't have two superintendents at the same time, according to state law.

“I'm impressed with the parents, how much they support the school district,” Budzilek said.

His salary will be $138,000 a year, and his contract will run through June 2017, according to the school district.

Budzilek has been superintendent at Leechburg School District for nine years.

Previously, he was a science teacher and football coach in the South Butler School District from 1987 through 2002. He also was an assistant principal at Knoch High School in 2000-01.

He obtained his superintendent certificate from the University of Pittsburgh.

The district received 24 applications to succeed Pettigrew.

“From my understanding, there were a lot of top candidates and applications received. I'm just very fortunate and very, very happy, extremely happy, to get through the process,” Budzilek said.

Budzilek will oversee a district of five schools and 3,200 students, Butler County's third-largest by enrollment.

“I hope to build upon the successes of Dr. Pettigrew and his staff,” Budzilek said. “The bottom line is about engaging the community, while moving our students forward.”

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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