ShareThis Page

Penn Hills superintendent quits, 34 teachers fired

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Penn Hills School Board accepted the resignation of the superintendent during a meeting Tuesday in which 34 teachers were fired as part of an effort to plug a $5 million hole in next year's budget.

Patricia Gennari, the superintendent since 2004, informed the board by letter of her resignation. She provided no reason for leaving the $130,000-a-year job.

The board appointed Assistant Superintendent Joseph Carroll Jr. as interim superintendent.

A number of residents attending the meeting criticized the board for publicizing the names of furloughed teachers before they were told they were losing their jobs.

"Those names should not have been listed (on the agenda)," said resident Doug Salah. "Shame on you for doing that."

Board President Erin Vecchio, who cast the lone vote against the firings, said the board did not learn that the names would be published until after the agenda was printed. She voted against the measure because she believed between 17 and 20 teachers would be let go, not 34.

Board members Don Kuhn Jr. and Margie Krogh were absent from the meeting.

Union representative Ryan Osorio said a grievance will be filed against the district because the teachers contract requires that employees be notified of furloughs by April 1.

The board voted recently to close two of its six elementary schools, scrap the vocational education program and raise taxes to address a budget deficit. A number of administrative positions have been eliminated.

The cuts, including the 34 teaching positions eliminated, amount to about $3.6 million in savings. Additional cuts are expected in the coming weeks.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.