Belle Vernon superintendent, 3 board members resign |

Belle Vernon superintendent, 3 board members resign

Megan Tomasic
Three school board members resigned from Belle Vernon School District Tuesday, along with the superintendent.

The Belle Vernon Area School Board this week accepted the resignation of three board members and received the intent of resignation from the superintendent, according to board solicitor Victor Kustra.

Superintendent Michele Dowell and board members Aaron Bialon, John Nusser and Dan Sepesky all resigned, taking the nine-person board down to six members. Board President Lou Rood was not immediately available for comment regarding how the vacant positions will be filled.

While the resignation occurred on the same day, Dowell said her decision to leave was not related to the board members’ resignations.

“I had to put my family first,” Dowell said Thursday. “The hours that it takes to do this job is very challenging.”

Dowell confirmed she accepted a position as director of curriculum at Ringgold School District in Washington County.

“I love Belle Vernon,” she said. “I have had an amazing experience. It was a very hard decision.”

Working in the district for almost 10 years, Dowell served as acting superintendent since May 2018 after former Superintendent John Wilkinson resigned. Before she accepted the position, she worked as principal at Marion Elementary School.

Her resignation does not go into effect until the board takes action, Kustra said. Dowell said she’ll help the board find her replacement and make the transition.

After serving on the board for 22 years, Bialon decided to resign for personal reasons.

“I wish the current board … well moving forward. All things must end,” he wrote in a letter to the board president.

Bialon said his resignation was submitted prior to the other two board members.

Sepesky, who sat on the board for almost 12 years, and Nusser, who served for nine years, had a similar reason for leaving — the board was moving in a direction that didn’t line up with their beliefs and values.

“It’s just one of those things where my thoughts didn’t align with theirs,” Nusser said Friday. “I didn’t believe a lot of those decisions were true. Again, that’s just my opinion.”

Sepesky and Nusser declined to go into further detail regarding the board.

“I’d like to thank everybody that supported me over the years, and I’m sorry if I disappointed anybody,” Sepesky said.

The board meets twice a month, once for a workshop session and again for a public meeting. The next workshop is scheduled for March 19.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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