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Frazier School Board accepts superintendent's early retirement

| Thursday, May 8, 2014, 5:03 p.m.

Frazier School Board on Wednesday accepted the early-retirement resignation of Superintendent David Blozowich, who plans to begin a second career in higher education and spend more time with his family.

At the special meeting, board members voted unanimously to accept the early termination of the district's employment agreement with Blozowich, effective June 30.

After the meeting, board members held an executive session to discuss the district's options for replacing Blozowich.

Board President Thomas E. Shetterly said members could decide to take action on advertising for the superintendent's position at their next regular meeting on May 29.

“We're really not sure what we're going to do right now, but we will be discussing personnel issues, including the superintendent's retirement, at the executive session,” Shetterly said.

Blozowich, 52, said he decided to retire as superintendent because he wanted to begin a second career in higher education. He said he plans to spend more time with his 5-year-old daughter, Autumn, and his wife, Debbie. The couple adopted Autumn, who was born in China in 2009.

“I've been so busy that I haven't had time to spend with Autumn since we adopted her five years ago,” he said.

Blozowich said his family lives in Latrobe and that he travels to Perryopolis weekdays as superintendent. He also travels on Saturdays to Erie, where he works as an adjunct professor at Gannon University.

“I'm always in my car, and I don't have a lot of time to spend with my family,” he said.

Blozowich said he enjoys his work at Gannon University so much that he has decided to take an early retirement and begin a second career as a university professor.

“I'm very excited about this career change,” he said. “It's something I've wanted to do for a long time.”

In other business, board members:

— Discussed plans for a memorial for former Superintendent Frederick Smeigh, who died recently.

Smeigh was Frazier's superintendent for many years, and the school board credited him with turning the school district's finances around.

Board member Deborah Vargo Alekson said the state was on the verge of taking over the Frazier School District because of its financial problems when Smeigh was hired.

“We owe the fact that the lights are still on in this school district to Dr. Smeigh,” Alekson said. “We need to do something to remember him and the contributions he made to this school district.”

— Discussed naming the new elementary-middle school under construction in memory of Smeigh. Board members said they will discuss the option with Smeigh's family before making a decision.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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