Gateway School Board appoints new member to fill vacancy created by resignation |

Gateway School Board appoints new member to fill vacancy created by resignation

Dillon Carr
Dawn Neilly was appointed by the Gateway School District Board of Directors after Jesse Kalkstein resigned. She will serve on the board until someone is officially elected to the seat in November’s election.

The Gateway School Board accepted the resignation of a member then appointed a person to fill the vacancy during a special meeting held Tuesday.

Jesse Kalkstein, 32, said in a letter he would resign, effective immediately, “to be able to spend more time with my family and focus on my career.”

Kalkstein was not present during the meeting and was not immediately available to comment.

His letter was read by school board President Mary Beth Cirucci.

The board voted unanimously to approve the resignation, then board member George Lapcevich nominated Dawn Neilly to fill Kalkstein’s seat.

She was appointed 6-2. Board members Jack Bova and Scott Williams dissented.

Neilly, 56, said she served on Gateway’s school board from 2003 to 2011.

“I know the ins and outs, so I’m ready to get started,” she said. Neilly, a Monroeville resident, said her four daughters graduated from Gateway High School.

Monroeville Republican Committee Chair Len Young said at the meeting he was happy with the board’s decision to appoint Neilly, who is a Republican.

He said the committee will nominate Neilly so her name appears on November’s ballot.

Neilly will serve until December unless she wins election to the seat. An elected candidate would serve the rest of Kalkstein’s time on the board through 2021, Cirucci said. It was not immediately clear if there were other candidates interested in the seat.

Kalkstein’s resignation was not included in the meeting’s public agenda. Instead, it was added by Cirucci at the beginning of the meeting so Kalkstein could “control the narrative of his resignation.”

She said each school board member received a copy of Kalkstein’s resignation on July 17 then made phone calls among each other to discuss possible nominations.

She said the board considered three people, including Neilly.

Bruce Dice, the school district’s solicitor, said the board had no legal obligation to place Kalkstein’s resignation and the appointment to fill his vacancy on the agenda.

“Transparency is just a word that everybody uses today. The board doesn’t have to be transparent about anything when it comes to an appointment,” he said.

Dice said each board member received a copy of Kalkstein’s letter when Superintendent Bill Short made them available to it.

“But that doesn’t stop one person to call another – because (the resignation) is not accepted yet – to say ‘you know anybody interested in this?’ The board didn’t sit down and discuss what to do about that,” the solicitor said.

Cirucci said the board did not meet to talk about an appointment.

“I chose, as setting the agenda, to do that to protect Mr. Kalkstein (from rumors and gossip),” she said. “(Gateway School District) has a policy that allows us to put things on an agenda if we have a super majority. We followed the policy.”

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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.