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Mt. Pleasant Area continues search for district superintendent

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By Rachel Basinger
Friday, June 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant Area School Board is still searching for a superintendent to replace Terry Struble, who leaves that position on Sunday.

This week, board President Robert Gumbita said with the help of Luanne Matta, executive director of the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, the district had 13 candidates who applied for the position before one dropped out.

Out of the remaining 12, six of the candidates were chosen to be interviewed. The first round of interviews occurred in May, and on June 6, district officials brought back two individuals to interview for a second time.

One of the two was Dr. William A. Clark, who most recently worked as an education consultant at Salanco School District in the eastern part of the state. Before that, he was the superintendent at Manheim Area School District in the Lancaster area.

After his interview, the board unanimously agreed to offer Clark the job, with a start date of July 1.

Gumbita reported, however, Clark has informed the district he accepted another job.

“Unfortunately, this takes us back to square one,” he said. “We are going to interview a retired superintendent who we may be able to bring in and act as the interim superintendent as we continue our search for a superintendent.”

This week, the board took action on several hirings.

The board agreed to hire Dr. Laura Wakefield as a science teacher and Gavin Sikorski as a technology education teacher pending completion of all pre-employment requirements.

Tenure was also granted to Greg Guzy, Heather Johnson, Stacey Hines, Christine Smail, Adam Craig, Michelle Barron and Katherine Cochran.

The resignation of Greg Guzy as head junior high wrestling coach was approved and the following personnel for the district's supplemental programs for the 2013-14 school year were approved: Donald Funk as head junior high wrestling coach; Shawn Thompson as head track coach; and Melissa Gumbita and Jeff Wirth as assistant track coaches.

Tracey Surma, Greg Guzy, Amanda Laskey and Mike Rhodes were all approved as junior high track coaches; Tom Hudzema was approved as the head baseball coach; Chris Firmstone was approved as assistant baseball coach; Lee Smith was approved as a junior varsity baseball coach; and Monica Cox as named head softball coach.

Under finance, directors agreed to table a motion to award workers' compensation insurance coverage to Bair & Brown Inc. through the Pennsylvania School Board Association.

The $93,311 annual premium reflected an approximate $10,000 increase because of about $15,000 in claims last year.

Director George Hare asked district business manager Tim Caudill to shop around for a lower premium.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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