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Mt. Pleasant Area hires retired Franklin Regional superintendent for interim role

| Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 7:40 a.m.
Dr. P. Emery D'Arcangelo

Mt. Pleasant Area School Board on Monday appointed P. Emery D'Arcangelo as the district's acting superintendent while the board continues its search for a permanent superintendent.

Last week, board President Robert Gumbita said the board had planned to offer the full-time superintendent position to William A. Clark, who most recently worked as an education consultant at Salanco School District in the eastern part of the state.

However, Clark informed the district he accepted another job.

The district will pay D'Arcangelo an hourly rate of $65 plus mileage reimbursement for travel related to district business. This will all be effective upon final review and approval of the Pennsylvania School Employees' Retirement System.

Gumbita said the review is necessary because D'Arcangelo just retired in April as superintendent of the Franklin Regional School District where he had served in that position since the 2004-05 school year.

D'Arcangelo said it was his pleasure to serve the community of Mt. Pleasant as acting superintendent for as long as he is needed.

“I'm an honest person who will give 110 percent,” he said. “I will always put the best interests of the students first and I appreciate the opportunity.”

Gumbita said the district will advertise the superintendent position into August when the board will more than likely begin its first round of interviews to fill the spot long term.

In other business Monday, directors agreed to award the worker's compensation insurance coverage to Highmark for $60,506, which is about a $29,000 savings from what was budgeted in the 2013-14 budget.

The savings came about after Director George Hare made a motion last week to table any action on awarding workers' compensation insurance coverage to Bair & Brown Inc. through the Pennsylvania School Board Association for $93,311, which was about a $10,000 increase from the year before.

Hare asked Business Manager Tim Caudill at that time to shop around and make sure there were no other companies that would charge a lower premium.

Caudill said on Monday that he was surprised at the size of the savings by switching to Highmark.

With the switch, the district will be required by Highmark to adopt a return to work policy, which could include light duty or modified duty.

Caudill said he will be working with the safety committee, which includes buildings and grounds supervisor Brian Ruff, to put such a policy in place.

“It's all about people picking up the slack and working as a team,” Caudill said.

Board members as well as administrators thanked Hare for his insistence on having the administration shop around for a better deal.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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