County judges pick retired teacher to fill vacancy on Norwin School Board
A retired Franklin Regional school teacher is the newest member of the Norwin School Board.
Westmoreland County’s nine Common Pleas Court judges Monday selected William Essay, 57, of North Huntingdon, to complete the last year of a term left vacant by the resignation of board member Shawn Petrisko in August.
Essay worked for 22 years as an elementary and middle school teacher in Murrysville before he retired in 2014. He previously served a two-year stint as a North Huntingdon township commissioner in the 1990s.
“We have a great slice of the pie here that people don’t realize. We have an emerging district with great facilities and great education,” Essay said, noting that all four of his children graduated from the Norwin district.
Essay will join a school board that is dealing with dwindling revenues and increasing education demands. It also is expected to launch a search this year to replace Superintendent William Kerr, who is retiring in June.
Political disputes left Norwin’s remaining eight board members unable to fill the board vacancy, leaving the task to the judges.
There were 11 candidates who sought the appointment: Essay; former board members Rebecca Gediminskas of Irwin and Ronald Giuliana of North Huntingdon; Jennifer Blasko, wife of North Huntingdon Commissioner Brian Blasko; Parag R. Bedekar, Keith Genicola, Amy Johnson, Cindy Kovacevic, Patrick Lynn, James S. McGinley and Norwin teacher Kimberly Piekut. Each candidate was allowed three minutes to present their cases to the judges for the appointment.
Following a brief deliberation, President Judge Rita Hathaway announced Essay received the appointment and was sworn in to serve on the board, which will next meet Jan. 14.
Essay said he expected to run for a full term later this year.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.