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Mt. Pleasant Area School Board will use IU to help with superintendent search

| Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 7:27 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant Area School Board unanimously agreed on Monday to utilize the services of the Westmoreland County Intermediate Unit to conduct a search for the position of district superintendent.

The board voted in January to open the contract of Superintendent Terry Struble, despite more than an hour of comments in support of the administrator.

Struble's contract expires on June 30.

The board agreed to limit expenses involved in the search to postage, advertising and travel.

Those costs will be minimal, board President Robert Gumbita said, compared to the $9,000 spent for the last superintendent search.

“There is no actual budget. Whatever it costs, we will bear it,” Gumbita said.

The search costs will be paid from the general budget, he said after the meeting.

The superintendent search is a service the IU offers, Gumbita said, with executive director Dr. Luanne Matta compiling a list of candidates that the board will then consider.

Gumbita said he anticipated the position would be advertised and interviews likely conducted this spring. A candidate could be voted on by July 1.

Last month board member David Brooks voted to open the contract, stating that he thought the district needed a change in direction.

“And I think that change starts at the top,” Brooks said.

Also voting to open the contract were directors Rick Albright, Ed Malone, Denver Hudec and Jim McElfresh. Directors Tara Leeder, Annette Wisneski, Gumbita and George Hare voted against the move.

Dozens of individuals, from at least 100 supporters, stood up to comment on why Struble should remain district superintendent.

Asked on Monday if he intended to submit his own name for consideration, Struble declined comment.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a change in the district manual policy regarding school visitors.

The change requires visitors to register one day in advance and show identification.

The policy was revisited after the December shootings that killed 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Struble said.

“If you call ahead, you are not coming in angry or upset,” Struble said.

The board also agreed to purchase two 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 trucks, one for $23,300 and one for $26,900, and a 2013 Ford Econoline van for $20,100.

The vehicles will be purchased from monies gained from the capital proceeds of a 2008 bond issue and will replace three similar vehicles with high mileage.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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