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Penn Hills

Penn Hills school board leadership remains the same after reorganization

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, 10:27 p.m.

Penn Hills school board leadership remained the same as board members reappointed Erin Vecchio as president and George Sens as vice president.

The action was taken via 8-0 vote at a reorganization meeting Dec. 3.

Board member Kristopher Wiegand was absent.

“I’m very honored to be put in there again,” Vecchio said. “I’m working with (state Sen.) Jay Costa, (D-Forest Hills), to get more funding and get this district back on track. Our grades are coming up, our fights are down and things are positive.

Vecchio pledged to continue to push Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. to complete his investigation into district finances.

“I want to see indictments,” she said.

The DA’s office launched its investigation in response to the May 2016 release of an audit by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, which alleged mismanagement of funds, bad decisions and lack of oversight put the district more than $170 million in debt.

The debt is largely due to high school and elementary construction projects. Penn Hills also borrowed $18 million in October 2015 to fund day-to-day operations.

Many financial checks and balances have been installed since then, and district officials said they continue to see signs of improvement.

Board members had a voting session immediately after the reorganization.

They accepted donations of $5,000 from Tim Krise and $2,500 from Bill Fralic for the high school football team’s trip to Hershey to play in the state championship game.

Colleen Burg donated $500 for student football tickets and the Penn Hills Sports Hall of Fame contributed $500 toward a student fan bus.

Penn Hills takes on Manheim Central for the 5A title Dec. 7.

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