Plum School District’s assistant superintendent’s brother hired as new facilities director |

Plum School District’s assistant superintendent’s brother hired as new facilities director

Michael DiVittorio

Plum School District officials have hired Assistant Superintendent Rick Walsh’s brother, John, as their new facilities director.

Board members voted 7-2 at a special meeting June 18 to approve the hire with a $82,000 starting salary.

Board Vice President Vicky Roessler and Steve Schlauch dissented.

Board President Scott Coulson and Scott Kolar, Rich Zucco, Karin Acquaviva, Angela Anderson, Sue Caldwell and Jim Rogers voted in favor.

Rogers said John Walsh has experience and is a very capable facilities director.

Walsh previously served as Penn Hills School District’s plant department manager.

Assistant Superintendent Gail Yamnitzky said there were 14 candidates for the position with 10 of those being interviewed down to four finalists.

“We used a three-round interview process with three different interview teams,” Yamnitzky said. “Each question in each interview round was scored on a three-point scale. Second round candidates also had to complete a writing assignment.

“Mr. Walsh consistently scored as one of the highest. In addition to his consistently strong interviews, his experience, his qualifications and his certifications made him the top candidate.”

Several board members said when it came to take a vote at the special meeting, John Walsh was the only candidate left.

Zucco said he did not like the optics of hiring Rick Walsh’s brother, but knew the position needed to be filled.

“We have too much going on to have that facilities director (position) vacant,” he said. “We couldn’t start the process (of finding someone) all over again. The only other choice would have been to vote, ‘No.’”

Schlauch declined to comment on his no vote citing personnel matters.

Rick Walsh said he recused himself of the facilities director hiring process once he learned his brother applied.

John Walsh did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

Jim McClelland, owner of YESCO Contracting, was Plum’s facilities director last school year.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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