Gabauer takes helm as Mt. Pleasant superintendent
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 3:46 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant Area School District's new superintendent proves that sometimes the best things in life are unexpected — or at least unplanned.
Starting Nov. 1, the office of superintendent for the district has been occupied by Timothy Gabauer, Ph.D., who admits that he may be the person who is most surprised to find himself there.
“I have been with the McKeesport School District for almost 20 years, and I was comfortable,” Gabauer said of his background with McKeesport, one that included several administrative positions, including serving as the district's superintendent since 2011. “I had nine board members who all got along well and a great relationship with the community. I was really not looking (for another job).”
However when Gabauer saw the posting that Mt. Pleasant was still looking for a superintendent, he felt it could be a good opportunity to at least rehone his interview skills and resume.
“I hadn't updated my resume since 1994, and I hadn't been on an interview, except on the other side of the table, for years,” Gabauer said.
After an impromptu visit to the town of Mt. Pleasant, Gabauer said that he began to become more intrigued with the area and the district.
“I had never really been to Mt. Pleasant except maybe to drive through,” Gabauer said, explaining that on his initial visit, he spoke with members of the community who were open and inviting. “Once I got a feel for Mt. Pleasant, I really liked the community. The people have been very cordial and open. Everyone here has been as nice as they could be.”
Mt. Pleasant board of directors President Robert Gumbita said the board feels that Gabauer will be a great fit and asset to the district.
“I think that he will get everyone on the same page and move forward to improve Mt. Pleasant,” Gumbita said. “We were very fortunate to have some top notch good candidates, but Dr. Gabauer stood out. He came to the interview with a plan of what he wanted to do that first 10 days, the first months and the first year, and he was very detailed. That was something that no one else had done. I feel he is the right choice to get us going in the right direction.”
Gabauer has made himself very visible in the district, meeting with the faculty at all five schools, the employees of the bus company, the cafeteria workers, maintenance workers and even the students as he joins them for lunch or in class.
He has attended sporting events and other school activities and even plans to play an instrument with the elementary band students in the upcoming Christmas concerts. But most of all, Gabauer sees himself as an educator.
“I consider myself a teacher,” Gabauer said. “That is what I am and that is what I want to do. I like being a part of the process. I have been told that people would like to see this become a Blue Ribbon school. My goal is to work with the staff to create a teaching and learning process that will work to get us there. I want to create that vision and have it be one that we can all build on. We are at that starting point now. From here, we will build and grow.”
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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