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Norwin rehires assistant superintendent, despite opposition

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 10:24 p.m.
Norwin assistant superintendent Natalie McCracken
Norwin assistant superintendent Natalie McCracken

Norwin rehired its assistant superintendent for elementary education this week, but not without opposition from three school board members.

Natalie McCracken was rehired by a 6-3 vote for another five years, beginning with the 2018-19 school year. Directors Brian Carlton, Raymond Kocak and Darlene Ciocca opposed the move.

McCracken, who has been the assistant superintendent for the past five years and interim for one year, will receive $145,386 in the first year of the agreement, the same as her current salary. For the four remaining years of the contract, she will receive annual raises of $3,275.

Carlton said he opposed McCracken's rehiring because “we are in the business of education, not in the business of administration.”

Carlton said he was in favor of eliminating McCracken's position as a way of cutting administrative expenses and reallocating the money to reduce the size of the elementary classrooms.

Carlton claimed the school district is “top heavy.”

Kocak said he opposed giving McCracken a five-year term “because of everything that is happening financially.”

“I did not want to be locked in for that long,” said Kocak, who favored giving McCracken a three-year contract.

Ciocca also favored giving McCracken a three-year pact, rather than a five-year contract, because of the district's financial condition.

Carlton is a special education instructor at Penn-Trafford, which has one assistant superintendent for 3,860 students in the school district.

Hempfield Area, which has about 5,600 students compared with Norwin's 5,300 students, has an assistant superintendent for elementary education.

Franklin Regional, with 3,700 students, has only one assistant superintendent.

Greensburg Salem, which has 2,880 students, has coordinators for elementary and secondary education rather than assistant superintendents.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or

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